FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


(See below for more questions.)

Choosing Your Waterford

What do I need to do to prevent rust and corrosion?

For many bike buyers, the threat of corrosion is the main problem they have with buying a steel bike. Yet most people don\'t realize how little a problem it reaylly is, and how easily they can prevent nearly all corrosion on their steel bike frame.
Water can be good for a finish: Most people are surprised when they learn that fewer regular mountain bike riders suffer corrosion problems than road riders. Why? Because water often helps preserve the finish. The worst enemies of your paint job are sweat, road salt, sports drinks and sun. Abrasion with dirt is also an issue. By rinsing off the mud after off-road riding, mountain bikers are really protecting the bike from rust and abrasive damage.

Paint Curing: When you receive your frame, check to see how recently it was painted. It takes 30 days for the paint to fully cure. Curing means allowing the solvents in your finish to evaporate from the paint, which in turn allows to the polymers within your paint to form more protective bonds. It\'s better to leave the paint bare during this period. Also, your finish is most prone to chipping just after it\'s painted. As it cures, chip resistance improves.

Waxing: Once the paint has cured, applying the proper wax over your freshly cleaned surface protects your finish in three ways:

  • First, it provides a moisture barrier. Most people don\'t realize it, but even after curing, paint contains submicroscopic pores that can let water and corrosive agents eventually come in contact with the steel. Wax seals out the moisture and corrosive agents.
  • Second, it provides an abrasion barrier. Dust and dirt naturally collect on any surface. If you rub a dusty surface, you are abrading the finish - at least at a microscopic level. Wax provides a barrier between the paint and the outside world.
  • Finally, the better waxes include additives that protect the finish from the UV (ultraviolet) rays of the sun. UV damage embrittles the paint, fades the colors and can increase the size of the moisture transmitting pores. Wax eliminates this problem
What kind of wax? Use a carnauba-based wax with UV additives, such as Mequire\'s Tech Wax. Carnauba wax has proven to have the greatest ability to protect a finish of any wax available.

How do I prepare to apply wax? Wash your bike first to get rid of dust, dirt, lubricants and anything else that prevents the wax from getting to the paint:

  • Remove your water bottles and cables from the frame, so you can clean and wax underneath these parts. These areas are especially vulnerable to corrosion.
  • Use a gentle detergent like Simple Green or Dawn dish soap (in low concentration).
  • Rinse thoroughly with clear water.
  • Towel dry (with a cotton towel - not paper towels). Let the frame air dry for a half hour or so to get the residual moisture out of the paint and crevasses.
Now you\'re ready to apply wax.

Applying wax: Simply follow the wax manufacturer\'s instructions. This means typically applying the wax with a soft pad or cloth, wiping off the excess. You\'ll want to give it some time for it to dry - 15-30 minutes or so - before buffing. Buff with a soft cotton cloth to get the really nice shine.

What about the insides? Have your shop apply an internal rust protectant like Weigle\'s Framesaver. These applications will protect your internals for a couple of years. Then re-apply during your annual overhaul.

What if it rains? The problem isn\'t the rain as much a it is standing water inside the frame. To prevent this, drain the bike by hanging it by the front wheel (or holding the front wheel over the rear for 30 seconds or so until any water is drained out). The residual moisture will evaporate out the various drain holes on your frame.

Question List

Choosing Your Waterford

Do you want a racing bike, recreational bike or both?
What kind of maintenance does my Waterford need?
How big a tire do you want to fit on your bike?
How do you go about choosing your Waterford?
What if my seatpost slips during rides?
How versatile do you want your bike?
What kind of handling do you want?
What do I need to do to prevent rust and corrosion?
Why do we measure our seat tubes 'center to top'?
What do you want to carry?
How big a load do you want to carry?
If I'm a 180 pound rider, why does it matter whether my load is 15 pounds or 25 pounds?

Geometry and Fit

How does Waterford perform factory fittings?
What is toe-clip overlap and why do we avoid it?
My Fit Kit recommends a 538mm top tube. Nobody offers stock geometries in these sizes. What's my best fit?
Can't you just build a bike based on Fit Kit® measurements?
Why are your seat angles so steep on small frame sizes?
Why is there toe clip overlap on track geometries?
Why does Waterford recommend 650C or 26" wheels on selected sizes?
Why does Waterford sometimes recommend 650C or 26" wheels?
What if I want to change from a steel fork to a carbon fork or vica versa?

Materials & Construction

Retrofitting S&S Couplers?
What makes Waterford's Tubesets so Special?
Why Steel?
How much do color choices affect durability?
Lugs vs. TIG - Which is best?

Paints and Finish

How do I apply touch-up paint?
Why don't we Chrome Plate all Waterfords?
How do color choices affect durability?
Why not internal cable routing?
Wouldn't clearcoat over bare metal work?
Why not clearcoat only?
What's wrong with a matte finish?
Why can't I just give you a paint code to select custom paint?
Choosing a Finish

Upgrading Your Waterford

What kind of composite fork can I install on my Waterford?

General Information

Where do I find my serial number?
What does my serial number mean?
What is the difference between Gunnar and Waterford
What is the difference between 14-, 22- and 33-Series models?

Assembly & Care

What common dimensions are there for Waterfords - threading, bolts etc.?
My head tube is somewhat out of round. What kind of problem is it?
Which clamp diameter should I use to for my front derailleur
Clamp-on or braze-on front derailleurs.
What kind of care do I have to give my Waterford to prevent rust from forming?
How do I prevent my composite (carbon fiber) seatpost from slipping?
How long a seatpost do I need?
How do I get a good fit when installing downtube shift adapters?
How do I apply touch-up paint?
How do I apply replacement decals?
How do I remove my chainstay protector?
Should I use my Waterford on my Windtrainer?
Why did we go from 27.4mm to 27.2mm seatposts?
Why don't we install dropout adjusters on bikes that have adjuster holes?
I have an older model 1400 or 2400 off-road frame. What kind of front deraileur do I need?
What if I want to install a 1" for on a 1 1/8" head tube frame?
Threading: What is it for eyelets, rack mounts and so on?

Repair & Restoration

Why can't I just have Waterford touch up my frame instead of completely repainting it?
Is it worth it to restore my old Paramount, Raleigh or other classic road bike?
Can Waterford spread my dropouts on my old bike?
What does it take to retrofit my bike with S&S Couplers?
Will Waterford put its decals on a Paramount restoration?
Can I change the geometry on my existing frame?
I have a dent in my top tube, should I be concerned?
I have a chrome Paramount with damage to the chrome. Can you re-chrome it for me?

Buying / Selling a Waterford

How can I sell my Waterford?


Can I order a 1 inch steerer disc brake fork?
How can I get a disc brake fork with the ride of my classic steel rim brake fork


Does the Waterford Warranty Extend to Used or EBay Frames and Forks?
What constitutes normal wear and tear for warranty purposes.


What do I do for a stuck seatpost or bottom bracket?
What should I do to prevent high-speed wobble and shimmy on my bike?
What do I do about brake chatter or shudder?
How do I reduce brake squealing?
How do I prevent my rear wheel from pulling under heavy climbing or sprinting?
What if I experience chain suck on my Off-Road frame.

Log in and Using this Web Site

Does my Waterford Login connect me to the Forum?


What's the fork threading on the 1960's Paramounts
What do the markings mean found on the bottom bracket of Paramounts from the 50's to the 70's?