Steel Frame Paint Bubbling

allezcourage Posts: 64
edited December 2010 in Workshop
I am the proud and rather sentimental owner of a 1988 Muddy Fox Courier. It was given to me for my tenth birthday! (Yes, I have grown since then - it was bought for me to grow into! Thanks Dad :lol: .)

Until very recently I used it a lot, though not off road anymore. It has a crack where the top tube meets the head tube. I have seriously considered having the crack repaired and the frame restored. However, there is some bubbling under the paint on parts of the tubing.

Is this corrosion something that a frame restoration can correct, or does it mean the steel is beyond repair? Any advice??


  • lae
    lae Posts: 555
    Depends how deep the rust is!

    IIRC those were made from fairly stout 4130 chromoly steel. It's not paper-thin like some steels used for racing bikes, which is good news.

    I'd get some coarse wire wool and rub the paint off where the rusty bit is. If, under the paint and rust, you see smooth or smooth-ish bright steel, then great, all you need to do is paint over it to stop it rusting again. If you're gonna get the frame restored anyway (it'll need repainting after you get the headtube done anyway), then just some red oxide primer will do to stop it rusting again. Or you can read this post I made about DIY painting

    If the tubing is deeply pockmarked by rust then it might need the tube replacing. A framebuilder should be able to do this for maybe 100 quid or so. If you're getting the head tube done at the same time it might work out cheaper.
  • stickman
    stickman Posts: 791
    I respect the art of painting but i'd powder coat it - you hand it over, someone else does the work and you get it back a few days later fully cured - brilliant!

    (And much tougher than paint)
    Bikes, saddles and stuff
    More stuff:

    Gears - Obscuring the goodness of singlespeed
  • lae
    lae Posts: 555
    Yeah it's tougher than paint (not baked enamel though) and very easy. Powdercoat can sometimes look a bit 'thick' but for £30-50 you can't argue, it's half the price of enamelling.

    You're limited to solid block colours though, and no proper metallics or pearls or iridescents, which is why I prefer to paint stuff. I've got all the right kit and it's more of a hobby than a practical finish on a bike.
  • £100 for a repair kind of says 'time to buy a new frame'.
  • Well yes, it's never going to be economic, more a labour of love. Were I to go ahead with the restoration I would go with paint rather than powdercoating, as I'd be trying to replicate the metallic purple to white fade effect. Thanks for the tips!