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Old 08-22-08, 01:06 PM   #1
Gunmetal_Ghoul
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Rust On The Handlebars...

I removed the gel grips from my beach cruiser and found out that it has almost rusted through underneath. Not a great day. I used hairspray and a flat screwdriver to remove the grips before, but I only did that twice before to my recollection. I reasoned out that I could probably just cover the rust with some kind of primer and chrome spray paint. Then some very overwhelming questions arose: What if the handlebars were chrome plated and not just painted? What is the actual difference between the two? If the rust will continue to spread how could I be able to save my handlebars? I want to preserve my handlebars and not get a new set, please help me find out how I can save my handlebars.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:11 PM   #2
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I would replace the handlebars, as it is much cheaper than the potential medical/dental bills if they fail at the wrong time.

Anything more than very superficial surface rust on handlebars should be treated as a potential failure point.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunmetal_Ghoul View Post
I removed the gel grips from my beach cruiser and found out that it has almost rusted through underneath. Not a great day. I used hairspray and a flat screwdriver to remove the grips before, but I only did that twice before to my recollection. I reasoned out that I could probably just cover the rust with some kind of primer and chrome spray paint. Then some very overwhelming questions arose: What if the handlebars were chrome plated and not just painted? What is the actual difference between the two? If the rust will continue to spread how could I be able to save my handlebars? I want to preserve my handlebars and not get a new set, please help me find out how I can save my handlebars.
Are you sure the bars are almost rusted through? Because most cruiser bike handlebars have a whole lot of metal to go through before they are perforated. I have never seen a bike handlebar rusted through, including ones that sat outside or at the dump for years. I have seen thinwall (probably <0.9mm thick) bike frames used on winter bikes (in Ottawa - roads covered in slush and salt for 5 months of the year)that lasted for years - they looked aweful, but they didn't rust through.

However, if you have reason to believe the walls of your handlebars have been comprimised, replace the bars - new cruiser-bike style handlebars are probably <$20, and that's a lot cheaper than getting your teeth (or spine) replaced because your handlebars gave way while you rode down the street.

If it is just surface rust (which would be my first guess), it can be removed in about 2 minutes with steel wool. The bars are probably chrome plated steel - I don't know that there is any company making chrome handlebars that aren't plated - then you can get chrome paint from a hardware store (Rustoleum) for about $5 for a spray can and it looks really sharp if done carefully. Just make sure it is completely dry before you put your grips back on.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:41 PM   #4
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If AND ONLY IF the handlebars are structurally sound:

First clean off most of the rust with a brass wire brush then either:

1. User Rust Reformer to convert the rust to black phosphate and paint over it. Yes, you can get Chrome spray paint -- Rustoleum.

2. Remove the rest of the rust with rust remover, then apply Cold Galvanizing Compound (spray paint) -- Rustoleum.

However, since the down side is being killed in an accident if the handlebars fail, I would replace them if there is any hint that they have been significantly weakened.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:48 PM   #5
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You could get some aluminum bars.
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