A college friend and bicyclist friend of mine, Jie, asked me to perform a little bit of TLC to his 1990′s De Rosa Nuovo Classico. This is one beautiful bicycle and upon first inspection, I could already tell that it needed a lot of care.
The frame was originally shipped to him with damage on the fork blade (one blade was bent inwards about 20mm). The frame was pretty well used, as there was a lot of poor home-paint-touchups done on the toptube of the red paint as well on other parts of the bicycle.
The heart badge had previously been detached and then reattached with some superglue of some sort.
I found this little piece of zip-tie on the bottom cup of the headset to be most ingenious. Compared to the original black rubber band that would wrap the cup (as seen on the top cup), the width of the zip-tie was perfect as a replacement. Of course, the block section that locks down the zip-tie had to remain intact, but the previous owner had tactfully scooted that block to closest to the downtube as to hide it from the front of the bike. Pretty ingenious, but also pretty ghetto.
I took the fork off to get a peek inside to see the condition of the bearings and races. As predicted there was a lot of dirt in there. However; the bearings appeared to be in good condition and the races were not pitted (thankfully) so I was able to just clean them off. I soaked all the bearings and their retainers in T9 liquid and replaced them.
Jackpot! I removed the sealed Record bottom bracket to find all this dirt and rust particles just hanging out on the shell. There was quite a bit. First, I just used a small brush to remove all the particles visible inside the shell. In order to remove the rust a bit more that was inside the tube, I used the bike shop’s air compressor to blow into each of the tubes. The downtube and chainstays are most susceptible to rust and water damage. I even found a tiny hole in the driveside chainstay (about 2mm in length) that I had ended up using Bondo to cover up. It looks like rust had eaten through the stay in that area. After all the loose rust particles were completely removed from the inside of the frame, I sprayed the inside with some bicycle degreaser and WD-40, plugged the bike up and let those sit for 20 minutes. This allowed the particles to break down some more. It’s really important at this point to blow the insides of the tubes out again with an air compressor as to make it as dry as possible. I then let this frame sit for a few hours.
At this point, it was time to spray framesaver into the frame. I really like to set framesaver sit inside the frame for a long time before I build it up. On the instructions, it usually recommends that framesaver sits and remains plugged up for 2-3 hours, but I usually just leave it plugged up overnight or up to two days until all the framesaver liquids dry up inside.
It’s really important to spray the framesaver first into the toptube and seatstays first. Plug the headtube and top of the seattube with a paper towel, then rotate it upside down. Spray the insides of the downtube and chainstays with a generous amount of framesaver, then plug up the lower portion of the headtube and bottom bracket shell. After all is plugged up, rotate the frame laterally and then up and down to make sure that framesaver liquid is evenly applied to all areas inside of the frame. Leave the paper towels plugged in the frame overnight until the liquids have had time to dry up.
Framesaver is great as it is a solvent to rust particles within the frame and pretty much protects your steel frame from future rust as so you don’t have to worry so much about riding your steel bike in the rain.