Bare aluminium frame

The powder coating on my SS bike is about 6 years old and has seen better days. The coating has scratches and marks that won’t buff out. I’m considering having the frame-set sand blasted to remove the coating and then leaving it as bare aluminium. As it’s aluminium, I assume that corrosion won’t be a problem.

The bike is my daily commuter. It’s locked in a bike rack on the pavement when I’m at work and generally left out in the weather when I’m at home. As far as exposure to the elements is concerned, the bike has a tough life. That said, I maintain the bike carefully, I really like the frame-set and I don’t want to do anything to damage it.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? All advice is appreciated.

^ You’ll be fine, just watch the blasting media - too harsh may damage the surface. Also, some fine media can get into every hole and wil find its way out over time which looks pretty average. Paint stripper and some elbow grease may be a better option.

What frame is it? Aluminium corrodes too.

If you don’t seal the surface somehow after blasting it will look pretty shit pretty quick

I don’t know what alloy the frame is. The guy I got bought the frame from told me it is an early aluminium custom frame that was made for a road/TT bike for a female triathlete by Pave Bicycles (Frank Kittler in Margaret River, WA) and was later converted to track ends. I assume the frame is 7005 alloy. I bought the forks separately and they’re definitely 7005.

carnauba wax

throw up a pic, sounds wild.

Why not just clear powder coat it? Or clear coat with a rattle can (Matt or satin clear) you’ll have the frame stripped anyway. A can of clear would be a good investment I think.

I had an old Cannonade media blasted back to raw alu a few years back. I lightly wet/dry sanded it, then wiped it over with metho, and after I put new decals on it I clearcoated it with a spray can. Turned out great. The only reason I stop riding it is because it cracked in the seat stay / chainstay join. Not sure if the media blast contributed to that.

It may sound wild, but it looks tame. In fact, it looks disappointingly like an old VISP and the components are nothing special. But its a sweet bike to ride and somehow manages to be more than the sum of its parts.

Its a bit dirty in this photo.

I stripped an alloy frame the other day, just with diggers paint stripper… was kind of a turd of a job, but in maybe 90 mins i went from shocking old paint to all gone, then another 90 to super nicely polished. I havent done anything to the surface of that frame yet, its just sitting in the garage, but would rattle gloss clear if i was going to take it seriously.

Does paint stripper work for powdercoat?

Yes.

totally did not know that. awesome.

A bit of web-research suggests:
• There are two alternatives for removing power coating from an aluminium frame — either sand blasting or using a chemical stripper.
• The best chemical strippers for removing powder coating are those containing methanol. One recommendation was for any stripper that has a dichloromethane/methylene chloride base.
• These strippers are very bad for you. It’s important to follow all the instructions carefully, including ALL the safety instructions. Try not to breathe too much when you’re using this stuff.
• The strippers work best if you roughen up the coating before you apply them. You can use medium wet & dry sandpaper (P60, P80 or P100). You should be aggressive with the sand paper, but careful not to scratch the metal underneath the coating.
• You may also get better results if you apply the stripper to the frame and then put the frame in a large plastic bag until the coating has softened.
• Once the coating has softened, you can remove the coating using plastic scrapers and brass wire brushes. Brass wire brushes work really well on stubborn areas.

I understand a bare aluminium frame will oxidise quickly and look horrible. I’ve gone off the idea of a bare frame for that reason. I may simply rattle-can on top of the existing coating. If I don’t like the result, then I’ll probably get the frame sand blasted and re-coated (possibly clear coat). I won’t use a chemical stripper because its very very nasty stuff, and sand blasting isn’t too expensive. I also understand it may be possible to anodise a bare aluminium frame — but that sounds like too much work.

I’ve stripped a bunch of powder coated bike related things (rims, frames, forks, stems) both new new and old and have never needed to rough stuff up. Have always used the diggers branded paint stripper available from your local Bunnings.

Yep, have used. Will use again.

did you need to glad wrap // plastic bag it??

i know some car guys use the “all natural” stuff for 2pac and enamal and gladwrap it for 6/12hrs before scraping.