Can I get a raw metal or raw steel frame?

Sorry, but no. We understand the desire for that look, but our experience is that there are a number of issues with this approach:

  • Clear coat doesn't bond well with raw steel so it doesn't hold up well over time.
  • Blotching typically occurs about 6 - 8 months after the clear coat is applied due to oils and grease that have been absorbed by the steel previously that are now coming to the surface. Even sandblasting the steel will most likely not prevent this blotching as oil and grease lie beneath the surface.
  • Nicks and dings in the clear coat are not apparent until the frame starts rusting in those spots. Even worse, the rusting will spread under the clear coat which creates more staining issues plus worsens the corrosion.

If you choose, you can buy a painted Wabi frameset and get it sandblasted and clear coated by a local shop. However, this will void the warranty on the frame.

Another alternative is to get a custom powder coated frame that imitates a metal look and feel. It will admittedly look more uniform than raw steel, but it is a much better way to protect the look and integrity of the frame.

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