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Thread: black to silver

  1. #1
    buh/meh
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    black to silver

    im getting a new threadless stem and i really want it to be silver. almost all of them are black that ive seen. i am wondering what i need to look for in a black stem to know if i can turn it silver.

    for example...is it just that anything that is aluminum potentially silver? i can just strip it with aircraft paint remover and then polish the bare metal right? what about that sort of blasted black look that some aluminum parts have (i see this on handlebars a lot).

    is there some sort of indication in the description of the part that will let me know if it can be turned from black to silver?

    my main reason for this is that i dont want to limit myself to only the silver stems and not get the one that i really want!

    thanks!

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    buh/meh
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    thanx for the link! i was reading it and totally happy that i found my answer...

    til the last section.

    he says "Maybe this stem is next....nah, looks like black powdercoat." does that mean that if its powdercoated this will be impossible? so i am to only look for anodized stuff? id think powdercoat came off easier.

    great link...if i get no more responses ill be completely content and know what to look for!

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    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illzkla
    thanx for the link! i was reading it and totally happy that i found my answer...

    til the last section.

    he says "Maybe this stem is next....nah, looks like black powdercoat." does that mean that if its powdercoated this will be impossible? so i am to only look for anodized stuff? id think powdercoat came off easier.

    great link...if i get no more responses ill be completely content and know what to look for!
    There's a multitude of finishes that are used. Anywhere from laquer to baked on enamel, powdercoating and anodizing. That anodizing removal process looks great... for that finish. If you have a laquer finish the acetone or laquer thinner will take it off. Paint stripper works good for enamel and urethanes and maybe powder coating which is basicaly a 'plastic' powder that is statically applied then baked to melt the powder and let it flow into a finish and cooled. So, a chemical remover might do the trick. I've never tried. If all else fails, theres always the friction method... buffing.

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    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Sounds like alot of unnecessary work to me; I've seen lots of silver stems out there.

    Are you set on a specific brand/model that only comes in black?
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    yeah, paint remover (jasco) for powdercoat, lye (oven cleaner) for anodizing, acetone (nail polish remover) for decals.

    the trifecta of debadging.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

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    What is the reason not to buy this wonderful threadless silver stem by Nitto?

    http://www16.ocn.ne.jp/~nitto210/
    Nitto UI-5EX
    Last edited by Barabaika; 01-31-07 at 11:35 AM.

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    There are still a few companies out there making silver stuff unfortunately their far and few between, but fortunately Nitto, as Barabaika showed, makes very high quality stuff and only in silver...at least I haven't ever seen any black Nitto stuff. But it appears that Nitto has gone from engraving their name and models to laser printing it on...something I'm not real happy with! Hopefully they haven't done that to their entire line.


    But the pics and describtion of the work that was done by Ebbet is also very good and could help someone who doesn't want to buy a new stem or simply can't find a silver part to do the job.

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    the nitto is like...already been in my "cart" at a few OBS. so pretty. just...its gonna be one of the most expensice parts of my bike if i go with nitto! no thanx!

    i am really just looking for inexpensive threadless stems. a quick look online and at LBSs will show that the arent many silver stems in comparison to black.

    thanx for the responses. seems like i wont have to worry about the color. and who cares about the work. i have off 2 days a week and my roommates dont mind me doing bike tinkering in the living room. TV + beer + couch = never too much work

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    Yep, it's hard to get silver these days, right enough. Check this thread, it might be useful: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=79332

    I've used this technique to strip the black from a couple of stems and a seatpost. It works very well. I used metal polish and elbow grease to clean up the bare metal afterwards, and then sprayed a couple of layers of clearcoat over the end result. The parts look excellent, and you'd barely know they hadn't come from the factory in silver, and not black.

    One of the good things about this approach is that all of the chemicals you'll need are available at your local supermarket.

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    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illzkla
    thanx for the responses. seems like i wont have to worry about the color. and who cares about the work. i have off 2 days a week and my roommates dont mind me doing bike tinkering in the living room. TV + beer + couch = never too much work
    seems like it doesn't need to be said, but if you use oven cleaner, do it outside. that stuff is foul.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
    seems like it doesn't need to be said, but if you use oven cleaner, do it outside. that stuff is foul.
    +100!!!! Definitely outside, no matter what chemicals you end up using (they're all pretty nasty). Also wear good rubber gloves and eye protection.

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    Stripping Ano off a stem so colored will definately cause the silver you get to oxidize quickly. Possibly the same for paint.

    Silver really shouldn't be hard to find, even on a budget. Check with your LBS, they might even have one about.

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    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TO11MTM
    Stripping Ano off a stem so colored will definately cause the silver you get to oxidize quickly.
    also true. even if you polish that thing up and put protection (bike lust, etc.) it'll get gray pretty fast. i like it, draws less attention. but if you want permanent shiny, best to get a real silver stem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

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    Ok. If you want a cheap one, Kalloy makes one for $18. It's not so bad.
    http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends/kalloystem.html


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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
    also true. even if you polish that thing up and put protection (bike lust, etc.) it'll get gray pretty fast. i like it, draws less attention. but if you want permanent shiny, best to get a real silver stem.
    FYI: spraying a couple of layers of clearcoat over the newly-stripped component will stop it from oxidizing. I stripped and clearcoated a few parts about a year ago, and they are still shiny today, no graying evident at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by illzkla
    the nitto is like...already been in my "cart" at a few OBS. so pretty. just...its gonna be one of the most expensice parts of my bike if i go with nitto! no thanx!

    i am really just looking for inexpensive threadless stems. a quick look online and at LBSs will show that the arent many silver stems in comparison to black.
    You want cheap? How about that Kalloy for half a buck... in silver!

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/117...y-MTB-Stem.htm

    Who loves ya, baby?!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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    Both Deda and IRD have some really nice silver stems which will work on OS bars if that is your need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
    also true. even if you polish that thing up and put protection (bike lust, etc.) it'll get gray pretty fast. i like it, draws less attention. but if you want permanent shiny, best to get a real silver stem.
    REAL silver stems? Since when was any bike component made of silver? Their not, their made of aluminum and then polished to either a dull or bright luster.

    I have an old bike built in the mid 80's before this black craze went crazy, and none of my stuff has become "grey". Of course I do wax and polish my stuff at least twice a year; and when I'm done you would think my components were chromed!

    Which leads to me to another point; if your cleaning and waxing your "silver" stuff that was once black, why would you need to spray a clearcoat over any of it? My stuff has no clearcoat on it and it looks just fine.

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    Aluminium with out a surface finish may be prone to scratching (an anodised surface is harder). If using a caustic soda soln to strip anodising it is advisable to soak in a nitric acid solution around 8% overnight. This softens the film and makes it easier to strip. Be aware that some of the base metal is also removed

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    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme
    Aluminium with out a surface finish may be prone to scratching (an anodised surface is harder). If using a caustic soda soln to strip anodising it is advisable to soak in a nitric acid solution around 8% overnight. This softens the film and makes it easier to strip. Be aware that some of the base metal is also removed
    Anodizing is primarily for corrosion resistance; even silver-colored parts are usually clear-anodized.

    The hardness thing is mostly marketing hype.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  22. #22
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    REAL silver stems? Since when was any bike component made of silver? Their not, their made of aluminum and then polished to either a dull or bright luster.
    their not?

    i think he (or she) knew what i meant
    Last edited by dirtyphotons; 02-02-07 at 02:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
    their not?

    i think he (or she) knew what i meant
    I didn't, I took you literally, you said "real silver", what you really meant was real silver color which I guess would be the same as saying real aluminum color.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla
    Anodizing is primarily for corrosion resistance; even silver-colored parts are usually clear-anodized.

    The hardness thing is mostly marketing hype.
    Silver colored parts are not always clear anodized or coated, mostly their just polished aluminum. This can easily be seen when a silver component gets scratched or gouged and nothing happens to the scratch or gouge, it still maintains a shiny look if you polish it. Silver colored rims would dull and look like crap if they had a clear anodized coating on them and the brakes were ever applied! Coated ceramic rims is an example of what happens to coatings after X many brakings.

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    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    Silver colored parts are not always clear anodized or coated, mostly their just polished aluminum. This can easily be seen when a silver component gets scratched or gouged and nothing happens to the scratch or gouge, it still maintains a shiny look if you polish it. Silver colored rims would dull and look like crap if they had a clear anodized coating on them and the brakes were ever applied! Coated ceramic rims is an example of what happens to coatings after X many brakings.
    No.

    Aluminum products are rarely available without some type of anti-corrosion coating, be it clear anodizing or even some sort of clear "wet" coating (polyurethane, acrylic, etc.).

    Uncoated aluminum will corrode fairly quickly; it is a white powdery coating that is hard to remove and really looks like crap.

    Cheaper silver colored rims are often coated (anodized or wet) all over; the friction of the brake pads wears the coating off the braking surfaces and the continued braking keeps them shiny. Better quality rims will have machined surfaces, making moot whatever is coating the rest of the rim; again, the continued braking action keeps the surfaces corrosion-free.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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