caring for steel frame

Recently got a 1985 Columbus SL steel road frame.

There’s a bit of chipping to the paint on the frame (particularly on the chain stays) and the chrome on the forks. It’s nothing major but wondering what others would recommend for the best care of this type of frame in terms of preventing rusting? How important is it to touch up paint chips?

Thanks in advance

If oxygen and moisture come into contact with steel it will rust. If it doesn’t, due to some barrier, like paint, it won’t. Pretty simple really. A little bit of rust, no worries, rub her down with some steel wool. A lot of rust, on thin high end bike tubes, thats bad.

FYI if you want to touch up a few scratches to stop rust with out ruining the paint job any more just give it a light rub with steel wool to remove the rust and dab on a little bit of clear paint.
If you don’t care about how it looks just lightly sand back the rusty spots and touch up with a metal etch primer.

i reckon clear paints the go for me. cheers

I would suggest applying some rust-neutralizer before applying paint otherwise chances are it will re-surface below the paint. It’s fairly cheap at roughly $12 and can readily be found at hardware stores, automotive paint stores, autobahn etc. - also goes by the name of rust converter. Oh and its really easy to apply - practically like water in appearance and you just brush it on lightly, leave for an hour, then paint over.

Good luck

i have used nail polish to touch up stuff it works prime and it comes in like a bazillion tones/shades sure to be one there to match :smiley:

If its looking a little shabby on the outside, chances are it aint too good on the inside. So take that into consideration too.

awesome, thanks for all the advice

another tip
after you’ve cleaned it all up, give the chrome a few coats of kitten car wax.
when you look at something that has been chromed super close up it has tiny cracks all over it like dried up land, this can let moisture through to the steel beneath. the wax will fill up those cracks and provide some protection against rust