Friday, January 13, 2012

Raleigh Project One, The Frame

I won't bore you on how to take a bike apart. If you cant figure that out, don't expect you will be able to put it back together again.
Seperate all the parts in plastic bags to access later. Starting with the bare frame, Wash everything down with warm water. Stuborn "Baked" on oil and grease can be difficult, so take your time.
My five favorite things to clean and restore my bicycles are, White polishing compound, 000 Steel Wool, 0000 Steel Wool, Elbow Grease and some kind of hard wax. Paste wax is better then nothing, but whipping air into the wax and cleaner in one is in my mind, not as good. If you don't have or know what Elbow Grease is, Stop Here.
Dampen a cotton cloth and work the White Polishing Compound into the rag. Go over everything. Go extra lightly over the Decals or else they too will be polished off. Add extra Elbow Grease to the dropout and Bottom Bracket areas. After the frame and fork are covered with an almost un-noticeable coating of the water and polishing compound. let them dry.
With a clean cloth and more Elbow Grease start your polishing. This will take a fair amount of time. It you use too much polishing compound and see white around lug lines and welds, simply wash it away with warm water.
After you have polished the frame and fork to a level of satisfaction, wax the frame. Remember, Wax On, Wax Off Grasshopper? Sorry. Wax each tube at a time and apply the wax and then with a clean dry rag polish it. Don't wait for this kind of wax to dry first. Its not that type. Its not super important to have it perfect at this time because after the bicycle is back together again, You will be polishing it more. This is a step that will allow you to shine spots that will later be difficult with the components back in place.
Put the frame away and have a break, Spot of Tea anyone?


  1. My paint is pock marked with small rusty spots, have you ever used the white polishing compound to fill in the rusted spots by spreading the paint?

  2. The best thing for that would be just to clean it well and touch it up with nail polish of the corect color. Polishing compound will do nothing for missing paint.
    The easy way out would be to just oil the frame with 30 weight oiland work on soaking the spots with missing paint. It will darken the spot, put a shine on the frame and stop the rust.