Question on how to keep a polished frame looking like new- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Question on how to keep a polished frame looking like new

    I recently just purchased a new frame with a burnished polish finish on it. There is no clear coat on the frame. It is shiny as hell and looks awesome but I know as soon as I take it out it will get beat up. With this being my first polished frame, my question is how do I protect the finish to keep it looking like new for the years to come? I am planning on putting some 3m clear bra tape on it for the most susceptible areas. From what I understand the aluminum will just naturally oxidize and lose its shine over time. I have read that having a burnish polish is better than just polishing aluminum because it hardens the metal, is this true? Do I have to worry about the polish just naturally degrading? Would it be worth having the frame clear coated or clear powder coated or would it be better to just hit the frame with some never dull once a year?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I recently just purchased a new frame with a burnished polish finish on it. There is no clear coat on the frame. It is shiny as hell and looks awesome but I know as soon as I take it out it will get beat up. With this being my first polished frame, my question is how do I protect the finish to keep it looking like new for the years to come? I am planning on putting some 3m clear bra tape on it for the most susceptible areas. From what I understand the aluminum will just naturally oxidize and lose its shine over time. I have read that having a burnish polish is better than just polishing aluminum because it hardens the metal, is this true? Do I have to worry about the polish just naturally degrading? Would it be worth having the frame clear coated or clear powder coated or would it be better to just hit the frame with some never dull once a year?
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  3. #3
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    shoulda got the trucoat... now you got oxidation problems


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    Fargo is a classic!
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  5. #5
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    I hit mine with mothers polish if im going to an event that I want my bike to look its best, otherwise I spend my free time riding it, not cleaning it lol. The oxidation layer actually helps protect the frame as that layer protects from further corrosion. Normally though new frames actually have a clr anodized finish. I'd check with manufacturer before trying to polish the frame.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    ...otherwise I spend my free time riding it, not cleaning it lol...
    Yeah, don't get me wrong, I plan on riding the heck out of it. I just figure that because the frame is brand new and not assembled that this would be the best time to put some kind of coating on it if it would be worth while. I just don't know if a clearcoat would be worse than just leaving it as is. I have a quote to get it clear powder coated for $40. Doesn't seem like much money if it would be beneficial and keep me from having to fuss with it in the future. Without any clear coat I can polish it with mothers like you said and I don't know if that would be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I'd check with manufacturer before trying to polish the frame.
    It's burnished with no clear coat. I have had clear anodized and it is not as shiny as this. I didn't really want a polish frame but it was on sale and the raw frames in my size were sold out. I ended having to pay a couple hundred dollars more to get a polished one so that is why I would like to keep it looking nice.
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  7. #7
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    Powder-coating an aluminum frame will void the warranty and possibly weaken the metal. I'd go with the bra tape, buffing compound once a year (Turtle Wax), and have fun with it and don't worry about the finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GilaMonster View Post
    Powder-coating an aluminum frame will void the warranty and possibly weaken the metal. I'd go with the bra tape, buffing compound once a year (Turtle Wax), and have fun with it and don't worry about the finish.
    They do have low temp coating but I think I'll take your advice and skip it. Thank you for the response!
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  9. #9
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    lemon fresh pledge.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    lemon fresh pledge.
    I just purchased some of this stuff for the cars... I think I will try it. Pledge seems like a good alternative.
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  11. #11
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    Sharkhyde or Everbrite. Google is your friend.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin MD View Post
    Sharkhyde or Everbrite. Google is your friend.
    How well do those work? How hard are they to apply?
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  13. #13
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    As an aircraft mech with previous corporate jet experience, I have some experience with polishing bare aluminum. Polishing will do nothing to the heat treatment/ hardening. Bare aluminum will oxidize over time from exposure to air, dirt, and water. Touching the finish with clean hands and a clean finish will scratch it. Period. It will also deposit oil from your hands which will be visible. Wash extra carefully with a boars hair brush, plenty of soap and water. Washing will scratch it no matter what you do.

    To maintain a mirror finish, regular maintenance is required. Clean the frame carefully. Apply Simichrome or other brand metal polish with a clean dry cotton cloth. Little dab will do ya. Old wife beater prefered. Use wheat flour on a clean rag to finish, and remove polish residue.

    Deep scratches may be removed by wet sanding starting with corse grit 1000 grain sand paper and progressing incrementally to ultra fine 3000 grit micromesh sand paper.

    YRMV.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=simi...m=122&ie=UTF-8

  14. #14
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    Oh I did forget to mention, I use 3m 6mil auto bra tape stuff on certain areas. Partially because I had custom decals made but helps protect frame too. Almost ful length underside of DT, then cover up side decals and along top or TT to protect that decal. Beyond that I put it on Chainstay drive side and any rub points for housings against the frame. More to protect aluminum from damage than anything for those spots. Even put some at rub points for my trunk rack (which I dont use anymore) and to protect fork leg from new hitch carrier I use now.

    Can polish right around it no problem it seems too, just have to be careful and not apply pressure to avoid risk of lifting corners of the tape.

  15. #15
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    I would polish it to the level you want it to stay and than clear anodize it.

  16. #16
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    It's a forking mountain bike dude. Ride the hell out of it and don't give a sh!t about how it looks. No matter how much you lick it clean it will never ever be as nice as it is new.

  17. #17
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    The best thing about an unpainted aluminum frame is that there is no coating on it to worry about.
    Put a clear coat on it to protect it, and then you are worrying about the condition of the clear coat!

    Leave it alone and it will look great for years to come. I've polished my own, using super ultra fine steel wool of different grades, and polishing compounds etc. You can do this for big scrapes if you want. just natural ageing is not going to affect it much, even after several years.

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