Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?

    Guys - before this thread gets moved to some obscure sub-forum where it will fade into oblivion, any idea why most/all bike companies appear to shy away from raw frames? They seem to be among the absolute most loved frames looks-wise. I would have thought they would be cheaper to manufacture than painted frames.

    Every time a limited edition raw frame is released, people go nuts and it is immediately sold out.

    Here is a good example of a beautiful looking stripped frame...go to the last page - posts 5879 and 5886:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/kona/honzo-b...750534-30.html

    It's a steel frame. I have the same one. Is corrosion/deterioration the issue? Inability to easily affix logos? Would a clear coat applied over the frame and logos not provide sufficient protection?

    I generally think raw frames look outstanding. They would likely be my preference for almost any frame. I don't get it? Am I overestimating how many people like the look of raw frames? Or is there some other blocker?

    EDIT: just read post post 5893. Looks like corrosion is the issue, at least for a steel frame, even with a clear coat applied.
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  2. #2
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    Donít know why they donít manufacture them on a regular basis. I do know you are correct that many dig that look. Start some new threads linking this thread in some of the manufacturers forums and get their attention.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  3. #3
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    Woohoo, I've been linked to in another thread!

    I have read about the corrosion thing and my take away is most, if not all, of the examples that people give or relate to is the extreme end of the corrosion process. Everybody seems to think the moment water touches a steel frame holes of rust will appear!

    My first steel frame that I had I didn't do anything to the the interior of the frame to protect it. After 7 years of riding it in all conditions and sometimes putting it away wet there was only surface rust in the BB shell and headtube. And, it was easily wiped away.
    I did liberally coat the BB shell with grease every time I removed the BB.
    In my example of one I didn't experience the catastrophic rust frame failure predicted by most of the posts that I've read.

    When going down the rabbit hole researching for my most recent project of diy paint stripping of a steel frame I came across the issue that if a frame is just factory clear coated without any paint/primer so the raw metal is visible the clear coat isn't a perfect seal. However, the end result can look pretty cool as the rust forms crazy spider web like rust lines as it works its way under the clear coat.

  4. #4
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    I've heard nicer frames get selected for a raw finish. Frames with blemishes go to paint. So it could be more work to supply raw frames.

  5. #5
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    I did my own frame raw the last time around. Frame Saver on the inside, satin clear coat on the outside. Looks pretty good. I don't expect it to last more than 4-5 years in my local environment of wet, humid, snowy, salty, wet some more, and generally bad for anything steel. I just plan on having it blasted and probably powder coated the next time around.

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_8621.jpg

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_8530.jpg

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_8447.jpg

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_8522.jpg

    I understand why manufacturers don't clear steel frames. But aluminum could be done more often. Some still do it. Knolly, Lenz, Banshee?, Canfield?...

    Ti is almost always raw or cleared. Buy more Ti.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I did my own frame raw the last time around. Frame Saver on the inside, satin clear coat on the outside. Looks pretty good. I don't expect it to last more than 4-5 years in my local environment of wet, humid, snowy, salty, wet some more, and generally bad for anything steel. I just plan on having it blasted and probably powder coated the next time around.

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    I understand why manufacturers don't clear steel frames. But aluminum could be done more often. Some still do it. Knolly, Lenz, Banshee?, Canfield?...

    Ti is almost always raw or cleared. Buy more Ti.
    Fillet brazing always looks good in clear.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Fillet brazing always looks good in clear.
    Agreed, shows craftsmanship [welding, it is an art] at itís rawest.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  8. #8
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    Because an unpainted frame shows every blemish and mistake. Its easier to have a more uniform product when its painted.

  9. #9
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    Clearcoat finishes on steel will yellow and get hazy, and they don't cling as well since there's no primer... that's what I've read somewhere else before, anyhow

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I did my own frame raw the last time around. Frame Saver on the inside, satin clear coat on the outside. Looks pretty good. I don't expect it to last more than 4-5 years in my local environment of wet, humid, snowy, salty, wet some more, and generally bad for anything steel. I just plan on having it blasted and probably powder coated the next time around.









    I understand why manufacturers don't clear steel frames. But aluminum could be done more often. Some still do it. Knolly, Lenz, Banshee?, Canfield?...

    Ti is almost always raw or cleared. Buy more Ti.
    MORE TI!!!

    I donít have any Ti at the moment. That is a very legit suggestion...hmmm...

    Surface Ti perhaps?

    To my eyes, your frame looks spectacular.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Clearcoat finishes on steel will yellow and get hazy, and they don't cling as well since there's no primer... that's what I've read somewhere else before, anyhow
    Yup, that's accurate and true. Hence why I realize and understand it's a temporary finish.

    A clear powder coat is definitely more durable and probably longer lasting than what I did (rattle can), but even that has a limited life expectancy.

    I didn't plan on going this route and was kind of forced into it, which is fine. I think it looks OK but actually prefer the first version of translucent Blue powder coat. It looked great with the Purple accents. Plus you could still see the brazing and craftsmanship.

    The raw thing has it's own appeal, but that Blue was awesome. I'll do that again down the road if the frame lasts long enough.

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_6802.jpg

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_6820.jpg

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_6822.jpg
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  12. #12
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    That looks really nice!

  13. #13
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    Should be compulsory to offer a raw finish on all aluminium frames...

  14. #14
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    I agree on the beauty of them. I have carbon frame with paint job that looks kinda like an anodized aluminium, and even that looks miles better than usual plasticky look of most carbon frames.


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  15. #15
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    Once I decided bring to life an old frame,so, I used priming, 2 Car paint in cylinders, varnish, sandpaper and white spirit.
    But you know, I was totally dissapointed! Because after a week of riding, that paint faded and in some places vanished...So, I have an advice for everyone, who's going to restore the frame.
    NEVER USE CAR PAINT FOR YOUR BIKE FRAME!

  16. #16
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    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?

    Reviving this thread.

    Today I was at one of two LBSs I use. Lo and behold, they had a lightly used Large Chromag Primer on the floor. Fk yeah! Hand welded by famed Whistler local, Mike Truelove. Raw clear coated steel! Exactly what I have been lusting over for 2 years now.

    What was weird though was that it had these bronze little squiggly looking patches every now and then. I understand that this is corrosion. Wow! I loved it. It's almost like living art.

    I have not seen this before but I have to say, in my mind it actually enhanced the look of the frame big time. Super interesting and it made the already custom frame even more unique.

    I don't know if I can rationalize getting another bike, let alone another hardtail. My garage is busting at the seams with bikes. Pretty shit component spec but I think I may have to do it nonetheless...

    Raw frames - issues for the manufacturers?-img_0525.jpg
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I've heard nicer frames get selected for a raw finish. Frames with blemishes go to paint. So it could be more work to supply raw frames.
    I stripped a 2007 specialized stumpjumper and found several small dents that had filler in them.

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