I've just picked up an older road bike for not very much money and want to give it a general makeover, starting with new white wall tyres and a brake clean and rebuild.
There are some small areas or surface rust on the rims and the alloy on the handlebars, stem and crank arms look a little cloudy with some minor pitting.
I've heard that aluminium foil (folded and dipped in water) works to remove small rust spots on metal and have also heard Brasso will do the same thing.
Any recommendations re tried and tested methods for rust removal, alloy brightening and rejuvenating handlebar tapes and saddle would be most appreciated.
Before photo attached
If you just want to get rust off steelwool for the hardware shop use as fine a grit as you can get
If you want to rejuvenating / brightening lot's of time with some wet n'dry sand paper. All used wet start off at 400g remove any coating 1st then start working around the part till all sanded then redo with 600g, 800g till you get to 1000g if you can get finer keep going wet till you are about to strat the fines use a cutting paste or some thing like braso or sivler'o, rud down with a dry rag, use a pre paint clearer to give a clean the give it a SEAL coat of something paint, wax,
less work a lot less
What Tim said is spot on, adding to that would be the use of some 3M scotch brite style pads. These work very well on aluminium as they are not too aggressive. I use scotch brite for cleaning up my braking surfaces, works a treat.
With the handle bars, rip off the old tape and replace. Do a search on you-tube for instructional video's.
Now all this talk of scotch has given me a thought.......
Aluminium foil will work but it does create scratches. Autosol is the best I've used so far, it will take light surface rust off without any problems, heavily rusted stuff you can still get good results. its about $7-10 from car places.
Thanks for the replies - sounds like a thumbs up for Autosol and a gentle approach.
I'm picking up the new white wall tyres from Clark's Cycles on Saturday and making a start on the brakes and general clean up over the weekend.
Looks like the weather forecast is favouring some time indoors anyway.
Rust removal from iron/steel- I'd second using, green nylon scourer, with detergent and water which doesnt scratch. Failing that, steel wool. Buy 2-3 scourers, they wear out & tear.
Rejuvenating handlebar tapes and saddles - I'd second, replacing the handlebar tape ($20). Australian Cyclist a month or two back, had an article, on how to do it.
Other tip is lanolin (which Jeremy Miller put me on to). On chrome or iron, turns rust dots from a powdery red, to black, and that colour seems to go better with the sheen of metal. It gives the old, long-used silver-and-black finish, on old wood-working tools, try-squares .
I have to agree with Phosphoric acid works very well on Aluminium. Use on a water damped sponge wearing a glove. Rinse the part off often with water and repeat. This acid doesnt react with anything but the oxide and paint but still be careful. Dont get it on skin though as you wont notice the burn till about 6 hours later when you skin starts drying out and cracking.
do not use a scotch brite or steel wool or the job will become much harder (requires a complete polish to get a uniform finish on the scratched anodising.)
for serious Polishing ala Fyxamatosis style ... get yourself a dremel with a felt tip with autosol polish. With effort Campagnolo parts polish up like chrome .. other brand groupsets don't cleanup anything like as well as old Campagnolo.
btw weak phosphoric acid is present in CocaCola etc