/ Steel frame protection

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Newbuild100 - on 26 Aug 2018

Folks, i have just bought a new steel framed touring bike. Is there anything that comes recommended that I can protect the frame etc with (Some kind of spray perhaps, but maybe thicker than WD40 !!??P

I am thinking long term here, as its steel and not something that will last forever maybe !!


Thanks all

tom on 26 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

J P Weigle's Framesaver.  Spray a good coat on the inside of the tubes before you build the frame up.  Do it in a well ventilated area though - its pretty potent. 

Wulfrunian - on 26 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Bilt Hamber Dynax S-50 is good for this. It's a car product but works just as well on bike frames. Might be worth checking with the bike manufacturer first though. More and more steel frames these days seem to be internally plated against corrosion from the factory.


Fruitbat on 26 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I used Quiksilver Corrosion Guard - this is made for the marine industry so should do the job on a bike. Suggesting it as it may be convenient for you if you have a chandlers nearby (not sure where you are). It's always worth looking at stuff like this -such as the car product Wulfrunian suggested - as anything marketed for bikes is often way overpriced. Caveat: haven't compared any prices to Weigle's Framesaver.

What bike did you get? Frame-only?


Dax H - on 26 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I used to use Waxol to protect the inside of my land rover chassis, that was 25 years ago though so there is probably bettee on the market now

Timmd on 26 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Maybe think about putting some clear frame protector tape over any ventilation holes left in the chain and seat stay tubing and fork blades too?


Post edited at 22:19
Dave B on 27 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I have a 501 frame that is 30 wars old, used in all weathers. It is slightly rusty outside in some paets, but still fine.

My columbus slx frame is 28 years old, used mostly in dry, but occasionally damp has virtually no rust.

My 18 year old 853 Mountain bike has no rust. Used in all weathers.

None have had special treatment . 


Don't block up holes, they are needed to let moisture out.


I'd say don't worry about it. 

Jim Lancs on 27 Aug 2018

Yes, as has been said, don't block up any ventilation holes or drainage holes. So don't put in anything that's too 'thick' like WaxOil.

My touring bike is 1982 Reynolds 531ST and best road bike is 1988 Columbus SLX. They are both rust free, but I have drilled a 8mm drainage hole in the lowest point of the bottom bracket shell in the touring bike and every 10 years I have swilled a can full of  genuine '3 in 1 oil' around all the tubes before letting it drain out when I've been doing a periodic upgrade. 

That's what I would do if you have a new bare frame. You can squirt it in the vent holes in the seat and chain stays.

Post edited at 08:53
Dave B on 27 Aug 2018
In reply to Jim Lancs:

Looks like you care for them better than me..

I'm expecting my slx frame to last longer than me... But I'm hankering after a new bike too... A carbon bike to last 8 years or so...

Will i notice much speed increase?  

Wry Spudding on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I've used something called ACF-50, but it could be a few years yet before I know whether it works, and I haven't set up a control test for comparison

LastBoyScout on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I once had a nice Claude Butler touring bike made of, I think, Reynolds 853 - went to wipe away what I thought was a bit of muck from just above the front mech clamp and put my finger through the seat tube, as it had just corroded through The replacement frame they gave me is crap, but has resisted all my efforts to break it ever since.

On the other hand, I've got 2 ancient steel bikes in the garage (a classic MBK tandem and a Philips road bike) and neither of them seem to have rusted through anywhere.

rachcrewe - on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Invisiframe. Worth the £

Newbuild100 - on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to rachcrewe:

Thanks guys. I actually rang the makers of the new bike today (Ribble if you must know !!) They guy i talked to said he'd never been asked how to further protect a steel frame, in 21 years at the company.

I realise I may be being over protective here but given that paint will possible dissappear from the frame where the wheel "nut/cams" sit, has anyone ever used some kind of protective washer under the nut/cam at all ????


Thnaks for all your answer so far


Fruitbat on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Did you say to the Ribble dude, 'I wasn't asking whether you'd ever been asked about frame protection!'

Quick bike terminology lesson: 

The nut/cam (plus the metal rod to which they are attached which passes through the hub) is called a quick-release (QR).

The area of the frame and end of the forks to which the QR clamps is the dropout.

Place the wheel in the frame/fork, ensure it's central. Hold the QR lever about 90 degrees to the wheel, screw up the nut until it snugs up to the dropout. Close the lever: this should be able to be done fairly comfortably by pushing with the palm of the hand against slight resistance and you should feel the lever cam over and see the dropouts be squeezed together slightly.

If there's no resistance then try again with a half-turn or so on the nut. If it's taking all your strength or you can't fully-close the lever then slacken the nut.

Letting the cam do the work is the key. I've seen loads of people who think QR's work by tightening the nut as much as possible with the result that the lever is either  not fully-cammed over or you need to be Arnie to undo it.

Also make sure the lever is not trapped against the frame or forks as this can prevent it fully closing. The rear can often sit neatly between the chainstay and seatstay, the front is often best lying parallel to the fork leg.

As for the QR scratching the paint on the dropouts, I wouldn't worry about it as they are thick pieces of metal so will easily outlast pretty much all other bits of the frame. Don't put any washers or anything on them, you want the best purchase between the QR and the dropout.

Apologies if any of the above is teaching you to suck eggs but I got the impression you've not had loads to do with bikes. Let us know how you get on .



Post edited at 21:26
Mooncat - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Wry Spudding:

I use ACF50 on mine as well as all of my motorbikes, it's quite expensive stuff but a few good squirts every few years is all you need for a steel frame. It's got all of my motorbikes through recent winters unscathed by corrosion.

Wry Spudding on 03 Sep 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I've just come back to this thread, and following Fruitbat's post, I thought a bit more clarification would be useful - my earlier reply like most others was assuming you meant for protection of the insides of the tubes against rust, that's where ACF-50 and Framesaver go. Rachcrewe's suggestion of Invisiframe is a colourless adhesive film that goes over the paintwork. For me, I wouldn't worry about external scratches and scuffs, if they get to the bare metal to the point of rusting, just touch-up by light sanding, primer and humbrol enamel (the small, model aircraft kit paint pots).

thepodge on 03 Sep 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

If you ever want your bike repainting then protecting the inside gets no love as when they heat the frame to cure the paint all the oil / wax / grease melts, runs out and screws the paint up. 

I have a '92 low grade steel frame that has been used and abused as a commuter for well over a decade and is only now showing signs of internal rusting. 

Timmd on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Dave B: 

> Don't block up holes, they are needed to let moisture out.

I've been thinking about this after not blocking them up being mentioned, and have looking at different bike frames I've come across.  

Any bottom bracket shell I have seen online or in real life, has always been solid, and has either been smooth or had 'sockets' on it for the chain stays and top and down tube to slot into, which means that if one blocks up the little ventilation holes at the drop-out ends, they'd be completely sealed so that no moisture could get in. 

No seat tube I've looked down into has had holes going into the seat stays, too, which means that blocking the little ventilation holes up in those would also stop any moisture from getting in. 

I'm not posting this because I want to be right, as it were,  it's more it just seems to be what is correct from having looked at different frames. 

Post edited at 19:48
Dave B on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Timmd:

My cinelli bottom bracket has specific venting (cinelli spolier) . Was common on better steel bikes. If you didn't have one like that it was common to drill a hole in it.

Airflow is important as moisture will get in anywhere in   the tubes. 

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