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
Anodising is easy to take off with steelo. It's just once you start you have to finish the job. No problem for you & me but I think a few of the crew here get flustered changing a tyre. Watching the TDF and polishing up an old crank building a wheel I love it.
Some dont though.
If you want a chrome finish you have to take the anodising off to get to the alloy, that's the hard work part but having done that the alloy if pretty easy to keep shiny if you just wipe over regularly. The Shimano stuff has lacquer and stuff all over it and nearly needs a coat of paint stripper and then start polishing. My opinion is 80% of the cost of Record, DuraAce and Ultegra is in the finishing cos it has to be done by hand. the low value groups are still good components just rough as guts to look at and the assembly and CNC work (if any) isnt too flash either. Meaning the parts are poorly polished and heavier than they need to be but they are cheap and cheap is important to many seldom riders.
Fyxomatosis ... the guy in Melburn - Link
surely you've spent a few hours checking his bike porn? I gotta admit i have.
All great tips. Check out The Bicycle Tutor's video on removing rust from chrome here.
After you remove the rust or you just want to give the metal a real shine go for some Mothers Chrome and Aluminium polish from an autoparts store.
About the bar tape I've heard spray and wipe works well but why not replace it all? It's cheap and easy.
Thanks again everyone for the tips - all great stuff.
I must say that The Bicycle Tutor video (love that web site) made light oil and fine steel wool look pretty easy and effective. I might try that on the chrome rims and Autosol on the alloy.
I like your term 'bike porn' Roger, the Melburn page is very impressive.
I wished everything worked as well as Autosol - exceeded my expectations.
The rainy afternoon was spent cleaning up the front rim and spokes, changing the front tyre, clean lube and adjust front brakes - looking better than I'd hoped for :-)
Autosol it! I've even used it on the paintwork on this Raleigh as Jeremy said to bring up the paintwork and some fine wet and dry on the paint being from the early 70's and then used gloss car paint to bring up the shine. Autosol works great on chrome to get out as much rust as possible and get the shine going. As a rust protectant I used natural lanoline as well which is the oil from sheeps wool and that has so far worked really well.
Very nice Allan .... looks like LOTS of work went into that project.
Long Live Autosol
Does the Lanoline collect dust/dirt etc??
I have found that a scraper (which is a specialised metal-finishing tool) used lightly and with care removes most of the surface rust from my old British chrome rims. The rust tends to spread across the chrome surface from tiny pits. For Sturmey-Archer hubs, however, the quality of the chrome-work on the machined surfaces (as compared with pressed and spun components) was very poor, and is often irredeemable.
Toothpaste is a good finishing polish.
Coke and Pepsi are both fairly concentrated phosphoric acid solutions.