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Old 11-17-10, 04:18 PM   #1
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Suggestions regarding chrome plating

I finally got the bike at the top of my "Must have" list, Raleigh International in my size (58cm). I'm trading my 56cm International for the 58cm f/f. Now the bad, at some point in the bikes life a PO added some braze ons and moved some others, no big deal. The big deal (at least to me) is that they painted over ALL THE CHROME!!!! To make matters worse, the actually prepped it properly, so even with the paint stripped off it looks like a$$.

So at this point I guess my options are 1) rechrome (what I REALLY want to do) 2) paint the lugwork a contrasting color (perhaps bright metallic silver?) 3) make it look good and resell it hoping to get one with decent chrome as a keeper.

I can deal with bad paint, a few tiny dings, even a slightly tweaked (fixable of course) frame/fork, but I can't fix bad chrome.

If I pursue option 1, do you guys have any recommendations for reasonable, decent chrome work? I know its going to be expensive

I know its supposed to be all about the ride, but chrome is SOOO cool! Thanks!
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Old 11-17-10, 04:29 PM   #2
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I've heard that chrome ain't what it used to be. Nothing is like that old English chrome anyway, but now it's even worse. I wouldn't waste my time with rechroming. Too bad about the whole of the English countryside being poisoned, but that limey chrome was worth it.

If you can deal with a repaint, which you just bought, then might as well just repaint the whole thing anyway.

Personally, me, I would never be caught dead riding a bike without chrome lugs. I'd keep looking.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:31 PM   #3
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Chrome is not cheap in most locales. Check your area for platers and look for the ones who do good motorcycle work. Bikers (vs cyclists) are really picky about their chrome work. Then find out if they have ever done bicycles. Bear in mind they will not do any real prep or frame repair, so either you do it or send it to a reputable frame shop to have it done. If the latter, then you should give them the opportunity to do the plating. I was lucky. The frame I chose to do had no dings in it. The local plater did an outstanding job...for $150.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:42 PM   #4
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I was quoted 320.00 of prep polish and chrome recently by a company in Stockton, there are not so many plating shops around anymore. It would have to be pretty special to drop that kind of coin, and might need a heat treat too so it does not get brittle.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:44 PM   #5
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I stopped by Spectrum Cycles after I picked up the frame. The chromer they use can only do the whole frame and it'll set me back about $700. Not gonna happen

And Sciencemonster, I agree about the chrome lugs. All of my bikes have painted lugs and all I want is a bike with CHROME LUGS. end rant....

Thanks for the input guys
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Old 11-17-10, 04:46 PM   #6
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sounds like a sublet markup there...
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Old 11-17-10, 04:48 PM   #7
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sounds like a sublet markup there...
not at all
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Old 11-17-10, 05:10 PM   #8
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You might look through Cyclart's pricelist to get an idea of their prices for chroming certain areas. Not cheap, but good reference material. http://www.cyclart.com/orderguide.html

If you're fairly handy and don't give up easily you could refinish things yourself. It'll entail stripping the original chrome (probably), sanding and polishing things, doing it up with one of those Caswell kits, and probably sanding and polishing some more. And if the finished product enrages you things will be no worse off than now - paint for everything.

None of your options are particularly good but I'm all for making the best of such situations.
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Old 11-18-10, 08:39 AM   #9
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Some time ago I was contemplating having a set of wheels for my Porsche powdercoatd. I visited the shop that did most of the work for the company I worked for to see what colors they offered; I wanted a particular silver. The shop's owner showed me samples of Cardinal
colors and they offered a chrome powder that really caught my eye.

This may not be an option for you, but you could check in your area and see if you can find a shop offering the chrome powder and check it out. Just a thought. I've included a link to the cardinal color chart showing the chrome powder; it looks much closer to actual chrome when seen in person.

http://www.cardinalpaint.com/product...cid=2&cctid=12

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Old 11-18-10, 08:51 AM   #10
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I saw a new Fuji in a bike store a few months ago, and was admiring the chrome lugs. The salesman told me it was paint. I could barely believe it, it was that convincing.

I say paint the bike any way you like, and get the best rattlecan chrome for the lugs. Do a nice job, but the priority is to get the bike on the road. In a few years, if you are absolutely in love with this bike and have convinced yourself you'll never find a ride so sweet or a better fit and no other Raleigh International will do, &c, then go see the chromer.
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Old 11-18-10, 08:20 PM   #11
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I saw a new Fuji in a bike store a few months ago, and was admiring the chrome lugs. The salesman told me it was paint. I could barely believe it, it was that convincing.

I say paint the bike any way you like, and get the best rattlecan chrome for the lugs. Do a nice job, but the priority is to get the bike on the road. In a few years, if you are absolutely in love with this bike and have convinced yourself you'll never find a ride so sweet or a better fit and no other Raleigh International will do, &c, then go see the chromer.
I had a vision in the shower this morning.... Metallic British Racing Green w/ Metallic Gold lugs w/ red pinstriping. Basically everything that was chromed will be metallic gold (or gold leaf if I can figure it out!). I think it'll look very acceptable....

Rudi, you're right, it needs to get on the road!
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Old 11-18-10, 08:27 PM   #12
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Take a look at Antipodes' PX10 with copper leafed lugs. You can also get silver and gold leaf, both real and fake.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...highlight=leaf
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Old 11-18-10, 09:43 PM   #13
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The reason Chrome shops tell you they have to chrome the whole frame is that is has to be submerged in the solution tanks. The only prep work (polishing of the base Metal) that has to be done is where you want it to shine. Also the quality of chroming has a lot to due with the cost. Simple Flash Chrome would be the Cheapest. Triple Chrome plating is more expensive.
When I was a teenager I spent a few summers working in a plating shop, they also did multi color anodizing and gold plate.

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Old 11-18-10, 10:01 PM   #14
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Take a look at Antipodes' PX10 with copper leafed lugs. You can also get silver and gold leaf, both real and fake.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...highlight=leaf
sweet



I'll definitely be interested in how you do this...I've got a Schwinn Sports Tourer with trashed chrome on the lugs showing up tomorrow.
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Old 11-18-10, 10:11 PM   #15
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You can also just polish the bare metal till it shines like chrome. I've never done it, but the examples I've seen on the web look pretty good.
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Old 11-18-10, 10:17 PM   #16
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how do you protect it once you've done that?
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Old 11-19-10, 06:11 AM   #17
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The local plater did an outstanding job...for $150.
So who's your local plater?
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Old 11-19-10, 06:48 AM   #18
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how do you protect it once you've done that?
Simple clear coat. My Peugeot has a chromed frame that is partially painted over. All the exposed chrome was clear-coated with the rest of the bike.
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Old 11-19-10, 07:12 AM   #19
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Please take a god look at the Chome plating process. From my past history with plating, chrome does not like to stick to bare metals. The parts that I was dealing with were flashed with copper ( because copper plates to almost anything and makes a great base for plating), then a thin coat of nickel for durability and then finally a chrome plating. This may explain some of the cost. You will also have to pay for masking certain areas and internal threads for three plating processes.
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Old 11-19-10, 07:27 AM   #20
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I'll definitely be interested in how you do this...I've got a Schwinn Sports Tourer with trashed chrome on the lugs showing up tomorrow.
Google "leafing".
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Old 11-19-10, 02:49 PM   #21
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You can also just polish the bare metal till it shines like chrome. I've never done it, but the examples I've seen on the web look pretty good.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post11306762

My buddy did the polishing since I was mostly too chicken. Simichrome and dremel with a cloth polishing bit. It would have been much easier if the headset was removed, but it worked out. Clearcoat(s) & regular turtle wax keeps the rust away.

Also when removing the paint, it probably best to use the finest sandpaper you can use. We made the mistake of using a slightly coarse grit. Still turned out very well, but it's more "industrial" than smooth chrome.
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Old 11-19-10, 03:43 PM   #22
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Google "leafing".
remember this: real gold (expensive and price is going up) does not tarnish, anything fake "composite" or real silver or copper will...so it has to be protected with some kind of varnish. Professional gilders who do outdoor work know what to use. And just as with plating, the leaf is extremely thin (especially real gold) so surface prep is crucial.
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Old 11-19-10, 04:02 PM   #23
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Real gold won't tarnish, but you'd still want to protect it with a clear coat. I've seen some nice effects done on street rods with "antique gold".

I spent a fortune on chrome for my '56 Ford pickup and then I moved to a house on the beach. I waxed the chrome contantly, but the rust eventually won. It was heartbreaking.

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Old 11-19-10, 08:31 PM   #24
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Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'll just end up attempting to polish the chrome as best I can and go from there. The green px-10 w/ gold lugs is gorgeous!
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