Diamondback 20″ with Aluminum Franko Frame

My friend Mike brought this bike over a few weeks ago. He wants me to fix it up for his grandkids to ride. I was happy to see it, because I’ve never worked on one before, and the welds on this bike are impressive to behold. It’s mostly welds, actually.

I’ve got it torn down and I’m currently cleaning all the little parts–the bolt heads, where rust thrives. Evaporust soak. Then cleaning with 0000 grade steel wool. Then isopropyl alcohol. Then clear spray paint. And maybe a seasoning with marine grease after that. The bolts will never look like they did new, but at least I can take out that ugly powdery rust and protect them.

The tires look like they will hold up. I’m going to find a new seat, and install new tubes, new rim strips, new grease and ball bearings everywhere, new brake pads, cable and housing.

I’ve polished the frame with Mother’s. It’s not as good as it could be, but I’m not trying to make it look too perfect. I’d end up destroying the stickers, and frankly, this frame shows the years with all the scratches and what not.

4/21/22 – Finished!

Polished everything! Removed rust from bolts with Evaporust. Applied clear paint and grease to bolt heads to protect them. Removed rust from forks and handlebars with 0000 grade steel wool. Seasoned forks and handlebars with marine grease to protect from future rust (it will rust again anyway, but this controls it a bit). Cleaned chain in ultrasonic cleaner. Lubed chain with chain oil. Installed new ball bearings and grease in the bottom bracket and headset. Applied new grease in the front and rear hubs. Pulled dent out of rear rim. Cleaned rims with Mother’s and 0000 steel wool. Scrubbed tires with dish soap and applied Black Magic Tire Wet. Replaced front and rear rim strips with new ones. Smoothed out rough scratches on front rim. Trued both wheels. Installed new brake cable, new brake cable housing, and new brake pads. Adjusted brakes and pads for optimal stopping performance (they stop the bike quickly and smoothly, and they don’t honk). Installed a used seat that isn’t perfect, but is nicer than the one it came in with.

Not much can be done with this headset to make it look nicer. It had a bad finish job from the get-go. I clear coated it and seasoned it with marine grease. It’s the right size, though, and it’s still doing the job well.

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