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Do Raw BMX Frames Rust?

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Unwanted rust on your BMX can spread rapidly and corrode the metal of your bike.

Consequently, your performance may drop. If you do not repair rust damage to your bicycle, it could permanently damage your bicycle so much that you may need to get a new one. 

Do raw BMX frames rust? Yes, they do. Without any paint or coat over them, raw BMX frames will rust easily.

However, the rate at which your frame will rust largely depends on the material used to build the bike frame.

A raw BMX frame will begin to rust when you expose it to the moisture in the air. This holds true because, in the presence of air, dampness sets off a chemical reaction that corrodes iron on the frame.

We are pretty sure you do not want your BMX to get rusted – no one ever does.

So, to help ensure that doesn’t happen to you, in this post, we discuss how to stop a BMX from rusting and how to prepare & paint a raw frame. 

bmx rider choosing a bike frame

How to Stop a BMX From Rusting

Although the rust on your BMX may start small, it can expand quickly and corrode a wider area.

It does not take rust too long before it damages the small metal components of your bicycle permanently.

However, if you notice the rust early enough, you can remove it effectively. Early detection and removal also reduces the risk of the rust expanding. 

Here are some tips to stop your BMX from rusting:

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is remove any existing rust by rubbing the affected area with sandpaper or a steel wool pad.

Rust will continue to grow once it has developed on any metal part. But removing the rust will prevent further corrosion of your bike’s metal temporarily. 

Step 2

The next thing to do is apply fingernail polish or some paint to the area where the rust occurred.

Painting it will help protect your bike from air moisture exposure preventing the oxidation that causes rust. 

Step 3

Apply a protective lubricant or grease to any exposed metal part like brake cables, gears, and chains.

The risk of these surfaces rusting is higher because they are constantly exposed.

greasing bicycle

Greasing them will reduce exposure to air (oxygen), minimize oxidation, and reduce rust in the process.

Apply protective grease regularly to the exposed parts of your bike to stop new rust from emerging.

If any part of your bike has been damaged significantly through rust, you may need to get a replacement part. 

What Is a Raw Frame?

A raw frame is a bicycle frame that has been stripped of its original paint to expose the material used to build the bike frame.

Once stripped, the raw bike frame can be polished and clear-coated. But if it is left unpolished or uncoated, it will rust with time.

What is the Best BMX Frame?

BMX bicycles are used mainly for off-road riding.

They are the ideal choice when performing stunts and aerial acts. These bikes need to be built out of materials that will produce lightweight and stiff framing. 

For this reason, a steel frame is a good choice. However, steel and other metals are not used in their purest form.

A steel alloy known as Chromium steel is used instead. It is one of the best materials for a BMX frame. 

Although using such materials to build a bike frame makes them expensive, the finished product is lightweight and highly durable.

Also, bike frames made from Chromium steel have an impeccable strength-to-weight ratio. This makes them ideal for stunts, fast racing, and jumping. 

Another durable but cheap material that is ideal for BMX bike frames is aluminum. 

Although bike frames made from aluminum give riders a rough riding experience, they still provide sturdy and stiff frames.

These frames are also lightweight enough to meet the expectations of BMX bike riders.

bicycle frame at factory

How to Prepare and Paint a Raw Frame

Here are some steps on how to prepare and paint a raw frame:

Practice First

If it is your first time painting a bike frame, you might need to practice first.

You can try experimenting with a cheap bike frame you do not mind messing up.

You can also practice on a cheap metal tube.

Prep the Frame

Before you start painting, you need to prepare the frame.

First, clean the frame with a lint-free towel and rubbing alcohol.

Then if the frame is not raw carbon, aluminum, or steel, sand it to ensure the paint will stick to the surface.

Choose Your Paint

It is necessary to choose high-quality paint, so the painting lasts a long time.

Opt for one in a low-pressure can. When paint comes out slowly, it is easier to work with.

Tape Over the Frame

Next is to tape over the parts of the frame that have components attached to them, such as the seat tube, dropouts, bottom brackets, and head tube.

You may also mask certain areas of the bike with tape if you intend to create a design.

While painting, ensure the base layer of your frame is completely dry, or else the paint will peel off.

Set up Your Workstation

It can be a hassle to paint your frame while you hold it, so you need to secure it.

Securing the frame allows you to paint the frame without having to touch it or hold it up.

You can try wedging the head tube onto a dowel and clamp it to a stand

You can also hang it from a rafter by threading twine or string through the crossbar. You may need to lay a drop cloth underneath to help catch any overspray. 

different colored spray cans

Start Spraying

Before you start painting, you need to shake the can for at least three minutes.

Also, check the can to know how far away it should be while you spray. 

The paint needs to be sprayed evenly with one coat at a time.

Ensure your hand moves at a steady pace as you spray. Before you start painting, you need to consider the weather.

It is best to paint in dry weather, low humidity, and warmer temperatures. 

Ensure there is enough time for the paint to dry between adding a second coat and laying different colors.

Will a Clear Coat Help Keep It From Rusting?

Yes, a clear coat will stop it from rusting.

When you clear coat your frame, it prevents moisture from getting to your bike, reducing the chances of rusting. 

Any clear-coated frame will only have surface rust whenever the coat is scratched and rust will only appear where there is a scratch.


A raw BMX frame will rust, and sometimes the rust will pop up out of nowhere.

Luckily there are several ways to eliminate the rust before it spreads and becomes a severe problem.

Rust is unavoidable but still treatable.

With the tips provided, you should be able to stop your BMX from rusting while preventing further damage.