I'm planning to build a new bike from scratch.

Part of that is buying a new frame, and possibly facing/reaming it. That's actually the part I'm scared of the most.

Fortunately, the brand I'm targeting, Surly, seems to do that in the factory. But as they state, there may be some paint left where it should not be:

Since Surly frames are faced prior to painting, it is possible to shave the paint off the head tube and BB shell ends with a carpet knife blade. This usually results in an acceptable result, saving you money, but we still recommend having it done the proper way to ensure longest life from your components.

So what is the "proper way" to remove the extra paint, if the frame is properly reamed/faced already?

Should I choose not to do it the proper way, which components are going to suffer? I suppose at least the headset and bottom bracket, but could the frame suffer as well?

  • 1
    The page you took that quote from directly answers the question. Then you even misquote in a comment that they say reface can be dangerous. surlybikes.com/info_hole/spew/…
    – paparazzo
    Mar 25, 2015 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


The proper way to do this is to use a facing tool. Park Tool makes the BTS-1 for BB's and has directions to use it here. Theres also the Park Tool HTR-1 for head tubes with directions here.

[You may need different tools, but the idea is generally the same. Note that some manufacturers of headsets or what not may void your warranty if you don't do this properly.]

  • 1
    It should be noted these tools probably cost more than your Surly frame, so you may as well have a shop do it. And an example of a manufacturer who will void your warranty is Chris King iirc.
    – Batman
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:38
  • So I would still need to reface the frame despite the fact that it has already been done in factory? That sounds weird. Especially because they say it's not necessary and could even be dangerous.
    – Antoine
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:43
  • Yep. This is why they tell you to get someone who knows what they're doing to do this -- to remove just enough material as is necessary. They say reaming is not typically necessary, but someone who knows what they're doing will handle it.
    – Batman
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:47
  • Thanks! And, indeed, the tools cost more than the frame. Quite a surprise!
    – Antoine
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:54
  • Shouldn't be too much of a surprise. A lot of bike specialty tools are quite expensive. I know a lot of home mechanics who choose to take bikes to shops to deal with stuff like facing that you would only ever do rarely. Mar 25, 2015 at 18:19

The instructions that you quoted are what we call "covering one's ass". Don't let them intimidate you into spending more $ than you need to. Just get a razor blade and scrape it off. You'd have to dig into it pretty hard to cause any problems, especially on a steel frame.

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