Author Topic: The quest for the rust-free bicycle  (Read 1474 times)

The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« on: February 16, 2013, 12:13:39 pm »
My Inbred is looking rather rough after a few years on the road.  Any steel bolts have rusted to a greater or lesser extent (even some of the stainless steel bits like the front brake noodle).  The V-brake pad mounting hardware looks atrocious.  The front wheel cartridge bearings are rusty on their outer race.  There is rust in the welds for the cable guides on the frame.  The Project Two fork is not looking good at all.

It's all cosmetic, but very annoying.  Does anyone make an off-the-shelf commuter bike that can go through a British winter and still look nice?
Never tell me the odds.

Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 02:17:53 pm »
I use ACF50 and have a 32 year old steel framed bicycle that still looks pretty good.

Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 03:43:23 pm »
I wouldn't think you can build a completely non steel bike. Normal standard parts you can buy from shops will have chromed steel somewhere. So if you don't do any cleaning and maintenance, then there's always something that can eventually rust. Of course the more non steel parts you have the less there is to rust. But aluminium is not tarnish free either, it can be corroded by salty water.


Biggsy

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Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 04:05:23 pm »
I wouldn't think you can build a completely non steel bike.

You can, nearly, but it's expensive.  Roger wants an off-the-shelf job anyway.  How about coating any vulnerable bits with something?  What, I dunno.
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Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 06:42:50 pm »
I'm not actually going to buy one, it's a thought experiment.

You'd need a non-steel frame and titanium bolts everywhere (aluminium bolts are OK for a few things like mudguard stays).  Stainless steel cables and rim eyelets, obviously.  Nothing polished at all. 
Never tell me the odds.

Gaston Lagaffe

  • aka Mr Kite
Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 07:26:26 pm »
"Il veut moins de riches, moi je veux moins de pauvres"


Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 10:52:35 pm »
I've replaced many steel bolts on my lightest road bikes for titanium, aluminium and nylon.  Done a few on my Brompton as well.

Even with ceramic bearings, alloy/ti axles, fibre cables, and a titanium chain or belt drive, you're still going to have the odd little bit of steel in things, including some springs, pivots and tiny internal screws.
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Re: The quest for the rust-free bicycle
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 09:17:46 am »
Another source of annoyance is the powdery corrosion you get around stainless steel rim eyelets.  All eyeletted rims used in winter seem prone to this.  It lifts any anodising or paint and makes it impossible to see if the rim is cracking.  It's quite possible to make durable rims without eyelets, and a silver-anodised, uneyeletted, rim stays looking good.
Never tell me the odds.