Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grid Reference, SK
Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.
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Originally Posted by Gunmetal_Ghoul
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.