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  1. #1
    Senior Member muzpuf's Avatar
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    polished vintage campagnolo

    I will take a polished finish over that cheap anodized finish any day

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    polished vintage campagnolo

    I remember getting Simichrome polish from the bike shop when I was a kid. Tried it out on my bike and thought it was cool. The high polished look is the "in" thing now I guess.

    The dull aluminum and anodized finish would be more true to a vintage bike. Back in the day, the way to tell a good bike from a cheap bike was the good bike had dull finished alloy parts. The cheap bike had shiny chrome steel.

    Styles change. I like to polish my bikes up. But more to get rid of the build up of crud from years of neglect.

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    I think Campagnolo had it right way back, raw aluminum hubs and anodized almost everywhere else.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Drillium Dude's Avatar
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    For something to show, polished. For riding? Keep the anodizing!

    I've had the devil of a time keeping my crankset and seatpost looking even halfway decent in the year I've been out here on DG. Sweat, if it's not removed immediately from polished alloy, begins the nasty corrosive process. I've almost given up hope these cranks will ever look pretty again.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    Nice topic! I am conflicted about this one. If a part is damaged and can be "repaired" with a file and polish, is it better than leaving it in its damages state? I am thinking of brake levers and RD's that seam to get the road rash alot and cranks that are scuffed up. If a label is partly removed from the item from wear already, why not remove it a modify to the bling?

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    buy Simichrome polish by the case .

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    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    SJX426 sent me this link. Looks like it might be good stuff for protecting polished aluminum.
    Sharkhide
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    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    ^Thanks for the tip. Looks like Sharkhide may be worth a try.

    "Cheap anodized finish" on Campagnolo parts? I respectfully disagree, especially with respect to the C-record era parts. I'm not a fan of some of the darker grey anodizing, but the Campy grey has always struck me as beautifully elegant. It helps protect the parts, makes upkeep easier, and has a lovely luster to it. I like shiny, too, but I wouldn't remove the anodizing on a like-new Campagnolo part and consider it an improvement in most cases.

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    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Polished components most times do look much nicer than their original anodized counterparts, but then we do have to realize that anodizing does have good purpose, as they provide a tough shield for the aluminum surfaces from the elements that keeps them from corroding (That's why anodizing is so tough to remove, unless you use lye based chemicals).
    One will have to remember that once you remove the anodizing and polish out the component, you will most likely have to keep polishing it regularly, if one will keep that nice mirror finish on it, especially if you ride a lot in wet weather.....

  10. #10
    Senior Member muzpuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    Polished components most times do look much nicer than their original anodized counterparts, but then we do have to realize that anodizing does have good purpose, as they provide a tough shield for the aluminum surfaces from the elements that keeps them from corroding (That's why anodizing is so tough to remove, unless you use lye based chemicals).
    One will have to remember that once you remove the anodizing and polish out the component, you will most likely have to keep polishing it regularly, if one will keep that nice mirror finish on it, especially if you ride a lot in wet weather.....
    you are "sorta" correct hubs, seatposts, shifters, front derailleurs, and even older cinelli stems were never anodized and have held up fine over the years ..... in many cases anodizing is used to hide imperfections in the metal to make parts look nice without that extra step ............if you look real close under the finish on older cranks you can see the metal is rough black marks pock marks shading issues all hidden by anodizing
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  11. #11
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    I have to say my Stronglight 93 crank rarely needs to be polished and it looks good for a very long time. Campy hubs do well too.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Don't ever let them get wet, avoid touching them and most of all, don't sweat on them and you'll have no trouble maintaining a mirror polish on bike parts. Most of my vintage road bikes are seventies French, so the parts were never anodized. I've also stripped and polished a lot of Italian and Japanese parts. It helps that I live in California.

    I do the initial polishing with a spiral cotton buffing wheel and compound and Mother's and hit the parts once in a great while with Nevr-Dull wadding.
    Last edited by Grand Bois; 03-13-14 at 06:08 PM.

  13. #13
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    I Guess it's a personal thing, but I like the polished look.
    You do have to be prepared for more maintenance to keep them looking their best!


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzpuf View Post
    you are "sorta" correct hubs, seatposts, shifters, front derailleurs, and even older cinelli stems were never anodized and have held up fine over the years ..... in many cases anodizing is used to hide imperfections in the metal to make parts look nice without that extra step ............if you look real close under the finish on older cranks you can see the metal is rough black marks pock marks shading issues all hidden by anodizing
    That's not really correct, true anodizing does not hide surface flaws. I know because I've prepped a lot of parts for anodizing and anything I've missed in prep is glaringly obvious once anodized. When you see older Campy parts with pitting, black spotting, etc. that is oxidation happening under the ano. Usually parts that were used in the wet a lot or from costal climates. Anodizing helps, but is not impervious to wet.

    Now some of the later 80's and 90's surface coatings I've removed from parts can really hide some very rough surfaces underneath. Some of this anodizing (if it is even anodizing) is more like paint.

    I think Campy did a beautiful job on most of their ano work. You can really appreciate it when you try to have it replicated. It's not easy. I still like polished finishes as well.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis View Post
    That's not really correct, true anodizing does not hide surface flaws. I know because I've prepped a lot of parts for anodizing and anything I've missed in prep is glaringly obvious once anodized...I think Campy did a beautiful job on most of their ano work. You can really appreciate it when you try to have it replicated.
    +1 (not that Otis's comments need a +1 from me). I just had a small anodizing job done for the first time, and this is exactly what I was told by the anodizing shop. In my case, I had some simple black anodizing done--and it did nothing to mask the imperfections. I was told that the shinier I delivered the part, the glossier the ano'd finish would be. I'm curious though: How would you go about prepping a part for anodizing if you did wish to mimic the original finish of an anodized C-Record part? I've been able to get a decent satin finish (sans anodizing) by polishing to a shine and then lightly scuffing the surface with a scotchbrite pad, but I've found this finish has not held up nearly as well as a typical mirror polish. Any other tricks of the trade?

  16. #16
    Ride Fast and Ride Safe! gioscinelli's Avatar
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    Campagnolo has the best anodizing, but over time scratches, scuffs and oxidation sets in. I bought a set of Record c cranks that had surface scratches and minor scuffs. After removing the anodizing, sealing the area the cranks look marvelous, IMO!

    Before:
    Attachment 368702Attachment 368703

    After:
    Attachment 368704Attachment 368705
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gioscinelli View Post
    After removing the anodizing, sealing the area the cranks look marvelous, IMO!
    This thread is great as I'm cleaning up the Campy parts on my Raleigh Pro - good info. You say you sealed the area after removing the anodizing. How did you seal the area? I do have some spider webbing (oxidation?) on some of the anodized surfaces. How do I treat those? Remove completely and start over or patch some how (clear coat, clear nail polish, etc....)

    How about on places, as asked earlier, where there is road rash like on brake levers and RD? I've dressed the rash a bit to remove what was gouged up above the surface with a very fine file and 500 emery paper. Leave it as now or seal somehow?

    thanks.

  18. #18
    Ride Fast and Ride Safe! gioscinelli's Avatar
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    After removing the anodizing I apply "Dupont Teflon Car Wax Sealer and Mothers Sealer & Glaze. This gives the area that formerly was anodize protection and easier to clean after going through area's of corrosive salt and water, then I apply the same sealers, which keep the area protected and retains the luster. As for scuffs, a very fine sand paper with patience will help, but won't remove all of the scuff marks, just smooth out the roughness. I would not recommend using a file, too abrasive and will leave file marks. Removing the affective oxidation will help restore some of the beauty, not all, but is better than seeing the spider marks and dulness
    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
    This thread is great as I'm cleaning up the Campy parts on my Raleigh Pro - good info. You say you sealed the area after removing the anodizing. How did you seal the area? I do have some spider webbing (oxidation?) on some of the anodized surfaces. How do I treat those? Remove completely and start over or patch some how (clear coat, clear nail polish, etc....)

    How about on places, as asked earlier, where there is road rash like on brake levers and RD? I've dressed the rash a bit to remove what was gouged up above the surface with a very fine file and 500 emery paper. Leave it as now or seal somehow?

    thanks.
    85 Gios Professional - 95 Cinelli SC -06 Colnago C50

  19. #19
    Senior Member muzpuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gioscinelli View Post
    After removing the anodizing I apply "Dupont Teflon Car Wax Sealer and Mothers Sealer & Glaze. This gives the area that formerly was anodize protection and easier to clean after going through area's of corrosive salt and water, then I apply the same sealers, which keep the area protected and retains the luster. As for scuffs, a very fine sand paper with patience will help, but won't remove all of the scuff marks, just smooth out the roughness. I would not recommend using a file, too abrasive and will leave file marks. Removing the affective oxidation will help restore some of the beauty, not all, but is better than seeing the spider marks and dulness
    agreed I always use liquid glass car wax .....and from time to time take my bike into the self-serve car wash to wash and wax my bike ( just avoid direct nozzle sprays at bearing areas) but a nice thick coat of that wax keeps my bike all lemon fresh
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  20. #20
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Another potential option. Bought a bottle of this a year ago at West Marine, but haven't tested it extensively or anything.
    Rupp Marine Aluma Guard Spray - Melton International Tackle

    Edit: Just looked up the price of the Sharkhide stuff. Yikes. Not in my budget.
    Last edited by rootboy; 03-14-14 at 10:42 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Aluminum can also be chrome plated. I have a Campy record triple that someone in England had chromed. I'm not sure I care for the way it looks, But I don't have to do anything to keep it shiny.

    Last edited by Grand Bois; 03-14-14 at 05:43 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    Polished components most times do look much nicer than their original anodized counterparts, but then we do have to realize that anodizing does have good purpose, as they provide a tough shield for the aluminum surfaces from the elements that keeps them from corroding (That's why anodizing is so tough to remove, unless you use lye based chemicals).
    One will have to remember that once you remove the anodizing and polish out the component, you will most likely have to keep polishing it regularly, if one will keep that nice mirror finish on it, especially if you ride a lot in wet weather.....
    you would think that it is a tough shield but it scratches so easily and campagnolo hubs are not anodized but yet they clean up nicely

    P1650095.jpg

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gioscinelli View Post
    As for scuffs, a very fine sand paper with patience will help, but won't remove all of the scuff marks, just smooth out the roughness. I would not recommend using a file, too abrasive and will leave file marks.
    Thanks for the recos. I understand about file marks - the file I'm talking about is very fine (probably finer than 220 grit paper) so it leaves a nice surface that 320 paper or finer will finish off. I do just smooth out the roughness - like on brake levers where I want the lever smooth again or on the RD where I don't want spooge collecting.

  24. #24
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    Ok, memory fart from my vintage Volkswagen days. Seems to me I remember some VW trim being anodized with a polished looking finish. Maybe they called it "Bright dipped"? Do any of you guys remember this? I also remember a guy who you could send your parts to to have this finish redone. He advertised in Hemmings. He wouldn't tell me the secret, though.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
    Ok, memory fart from my vintage Volkswagen days. Seems to me I remember some VW trim being anodized with a polished looking finish. Maybe they called it "Bright dipped"? Do any of you guys remember this? I also remember a guy who you could send your parts to to have this finish redone. He advertised in Hemmings. He wouldn't tell me the secret, though.
    Yes, "bright dipped" is the process to get the "polished anodized" look, It's a nasty one requiring acid baths before the ano. There are shops that still do it, but I've had bad experiences with the ones I've tried.

    But supplying the parts very highly polished, and a shop that understands the look you want can still get those results by short dip times and careful work without bright-dipping. What they can't compensate for without bright-dip is the different compounds of alloy, which affects the final color quite a bit. So it's not always what you want.

    My local guy will not bright-dip, but he does such good clean work I'd rather do extra prep work on my end and have him do the work to get that look, than send it to a shop out of the area that can bright-dip but loses parts in the tank, and sends parts back with drip marks and fingerprints on them.

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