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Shiney, shiney spokes

Old 05-28-20, 08:46 AM
  #1  
TakingMyTime
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Shiney, shiney spokes

I've searched and read all the threads regarding each member's preferred method of polishing a spoke. That part of the equation I have no problem with. What I would like to know is if there is one manufacturer that might produce spokes with a higher luster than another manufacturer? I like shiney, shiney spokes.

Thanks,
TMT
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Old 05-28-20, 09:01 AM
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I haven't noticed much difference between mfrs. And I'm sure that there are some Asian suppliers that have highly polished spokes of not-so-good steel. There's an aphorism in machining to the effect "You can't polish a dog t__d.". So I'd go for higher quality spokes from a mfr of good reputation. But someone here may know of spokes that are good, AND shiney.

Keep in mind, the spokes will start shiney but will be dulled after you ride the bike in the rain, or dust. You'll need to clean and repolish those spokes regularly or they'll look just like regular plebeian spokes.

Initially, you could polish spokes using a buffing wheel. You'd need a good way to hold the spokes or the wheel will shoot them into the wall. Putting them in a vibratory polisher is another path, but that might result in bent spokes. After installation, you could put a small buffing wheel on a Dremel tool and dress the wheel with polishing compound. Make sure you clean the polish off, though.

If you are willing to put in the time, one very good polishing product is called Simichrome. I've heard of people using a shoe lace with Simichrome (or aluminum polish) to polish spokes.
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Old 05-28-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Keep in mind, the spokes will start shiney but will be dulled after you ride the bike in the rain, or dust. You'll need to clean and repolish those spokes regularly or they'll look just like regular plebeian spokes.

If you are willing to put in the time, one very good polishing product is called Simichrome. I've heard of people using a shoe lace with Simichrome (or aluminum polish) to polish spokes.
I do polish my spokes approximately after every 3rd ride. I have no problem removing the wheel and sitting on my shop stool while I spend an hour getting the complete wheel, including spokes, looking "just right". It's sort of a meditation thing for me.
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Old 05-28-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I do polish my spokes approximately after every 3rd ride. I have no problem removing the wheel and sitting on my shop stool while I spend an hour getting the complete wheel, including spokes, looking "just right". It's sort of a meditation thing for me.
It's the kind of thing that makes me put you on my ignore list.
Do something useful for somebody instead.
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Old 05-28-20, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
It's the kind of thing that makes me put you on my ignore list.
Do something useful for somebody instead.
I know we are all bored now but I hope I never get THAT bored.
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Old 05-28-20, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I've searched and read all the threads regarding each member's preferred method of polishing a spoke. That part of the equation I have no problem with. What I would like to know is if there is one manufacturer that might produce spokes with a higher luster than another manufacturer? I like shiney, shiney spokes.

Thanks,
TMT
There are three levels for polish for stainless steel spokes:

no polish
semi-polished
polished

CN and Wheelsmith by default do polished.

But I've had CN do semi-polish for me in the past.

Sapim and DT are semi-polish.

I've had old OHIO spokes that were no polish...good spokes too.

=8-|
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Old 05-28-20, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
It's the kind of thing that makes me put you on my ignore list.

Do something useful for somebody instead.
Now, now, Bill. Everyone handles the stresses of life differently, and right now is especially stressful. I do know some bicycle restoration people that will invest enormous amounts of time and effort to ensure that the rim they are using is polished and anodized as per original. Some people will do meditation for an hour or so. Perhaps polishing spokes is like meditation for the OP. The philospher Eric Hoffer took jobs as a longshoreman, apparently feeling that this improved his philosophizing.

The OP gets to spend his time the way he wants - not to live up to someone else's idea of propriety. I've spend time polishing hubs before I relaced them myself. Wouldn't do it every third ride though, but that's me.
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Old 05-28-20, 11:48 AM
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I think the "polish every third ride" was a joke. Had me going for a minute
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Old 05-28-20, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
There are three levels for polish for stainless steel spokes:

no polish
semi-polished
polished
Thanks, that was the kind of info I was inquiring about.
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Old 05-28-20, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Now, now, Bill. Everyone handles the stresses of life differently, and right now is especially stressful. I do know some bicycle restoration people that will invest enormous amounts of time and effort to ensure that the rim they are using is polished and anodized as per original. Some people will do meditation for an hour or so. Perhaps polishing spokes is like meditation for the OP. The philospher Eric Hoffer took jobs as a longshoreman, apparently feeling that this improved his philosophizing.

The OP gets to spend his time the way he wants - not to live up to someone else's idea of propriety. I've spend time polishing hubs before I relaced them myself. Wouldn't do it every third ride though, but that's me.
Well, you'd been close to joining the list too.
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Old 05-28-20, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think the "polish every third ride" was a joke. Had me going for a minute
After every third ride. Doesn't everyone?
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Old 05-28-20, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
It's the kind of thing that makes me put you on my ignore list.
Do something useful for somebody instead.
Oh, please.

He IS doing something useful for someone...himself.
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Old 05-28-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Oh, please.

He IS doing something useful for someone...himself.
You be careful now, rccardr! You'll be joining me on the ignore list.

One of the nice things about being on the ignore list is that you can ignore it: there's virtually no effect on your life. None. Nada.
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Old 05-28-20, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think the "polish every third ride" was a joke. Had me going for a minute
Or, maybe its "Zen and the Art of Bicycle Spoke Polishing". I'd rather be getting the spokes dirty by riding them than polishing them but...
It could be that the OP is bored and being a bit of a jerk taking up people's time, but regarding polishing spokes... I know people who are actually like that.

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Old 05-28-20, 01:51 PM
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Are the spokes on lowrider bikes extra shiny or is it just the rest of the bike?
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Old 05-28-20, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I do polish my spokes approximately after every 3rd ride.
I'm sure there's a 12 step program for that.
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Old 05-28-20, 05:39 PM
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I would never have thought that such a simple question would have registered such a range of responses. Yes, I realize some were sarcastic and some were humorous. And I'm sure some of you probably do think I'm nuts.

I take great pride in ownership. I enjoy sitting in the garage, cleaning, lubing and maintaining my bikes. They are not just objects to admire, I ride them too. This month looks like it will round out at about 500 miles.

Don't let my shiny, shiny spokes blind you, (and I finally spelled Shiny) correctly,
TMT
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Old 05-28-20, 05:42 PM
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I've never felt like intentionally wearing down a thin bit of metal that's keeping me suspended off the ground.
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Old 05-29-20, 06:06 AM
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The measure of bike esthetics should ALWAYS be: How does is look when you are riding it. If you can see your spokes when riding, you are not going fast enough.
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Old 05-29-20, 07:31 AM
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A friend of mine used to wax his spokes. I guess there are levels of OCD.
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Old 05-29-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
A friend of mine used to wax his spokes. I guess there are levels of OCD.
That's probably something you would want to do if you were making a trophy bike.
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Old 05-29-20, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
A friend of mine used to wax his spokes. I guess there are levels of OCD.
I've never considered my obsession with my bikes to be OCD, but I do see how others could interpret it that way. Just so that some of you can rest easy... I'm not sitting in my garage all day worshiping "my pretty". I have a life. If you were to average it out I probably spend 1 hour a day working on our bikes (there are 6 of them).
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Old 05-29-20, 08:24 AM
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https://images.app.goo.gl/e8fesdm6PTHSoDLD9

I posted about lowriders up thread and nobody mentioned anything. I wasn't joking. Are low rider spokes special? I really don't know.

If they are something special, can you get them in 29x mm?

My favorite color we're my Ti Dye spokes in the late 90s. Cross 3 with a twist on Mavic 517's and White Hubs. I miss those days sometimes.
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Old 05-29-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
A friend of mine used to wax his spokes. I guess there are levels of OCD.
Apropos of nothing, I worked with a gal in California a long while back. She worked at the next desk. She was young and pretty, and a lot of guys asked her out. She'd say no by telling them "Oh, gee, not Saturday, sorry. I have to wax my lizard". There were a lot of guys I saw walking away from her desk with a very puzzled look.

Again, completely off topic. Your friend waxing spokes reminded me of Cathy waxing her lizard.
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Old 05-29-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gearbasher View Post
A friend of mine used to wax his spokes. I guess there are levels of OCD.
Oh, no! You've let the cat out of the bag! We are now going to have extended threads regarding 1) the optimal spoke wax, and 2) the optimal method of removing dirt and spoke wax* before reapplying a new, clean coat.

*Hint: its a three-step process involving gasoline, degreaser, and isopropyl alcohol.
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