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Hub Polishing

Old 02-07-17, 12:12 PM
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primo123
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Hub Polishing

Without painstakingly doing it by hand a MM at a time, is there a special trick you all use to clean and polish a hub WITHOUT dismantling the spokes and wheels?
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Old 02-07-17, 12:18 PM
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You can put some polish on a long rag, loop the rag over the hub, and then grab the rag by the ends through the spokes. Rub back & forth, rotate wheel, repeat. This won't get you all the ay up the hub flanges, but it's a good start.
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Old 02-07-17, 12:28 PM
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Reason I ask is I've been look at the website "Johns Bicycle Restorations" He shows the before and after hub polishing and it looks perfect. I just wondered how he could get in such a small space and polish!
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Old 02-07-17, 01:51 PM
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I've never done it, but I wonder if you could get a buffing ball with a long shaft in there?
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Old 02-07-17, 01:58 PM
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I have used a toothbrush to reach the spoke heads and get around the spoke crossings. They don't really polish up but do get nice and clean. Rag over the hub body always works. reach through the large opening to get to the hub with a rag and fingers.

Yes it is a PITA! Second worst is rims with 48 spokes (Tandem).
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Old 02-07-17, 02:03 PM
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Old 02-07-17, 02:03 PM
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I used a heavy string made out of cotton. Worked pretty good. I keep a pipe cleaner looped around each hub, weighted with a nut. Keeps the hubs nice and shiny.
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Old 02-07-17, 02:05 PM
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There is a newer style Dremel mini buffing wheel that works quite well for polishing tight spaces. I haven't used one for hubs but I have used them for similar apps.

Dremel 423 EZ Lock
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Old 02-07-17, 02:07 PM
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Pretty much the way SJX426, is the way I do it, too. And yes, it's a PITA.
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Old 02-07-17, 02:10 PM
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I use a rag and "floss" with it. If I want to get in the cracks between hub and spoke, I might use a toothbrush, but I don't think I've done that many times.
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Old 02-07-17, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by primo123 View Post
Reason I ask is I've been look at the website "Johns Bicycle Restorations" He shows the before and after hub polishing and it looks perfect. I just wondered how he could get in such a small space and polish!
I love that blog. You could try sending John an email and see if he responds. He has a donate button on his blog so you can compensate him for his time.
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Old 02-07-17, 02:40 PM
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None that I've found. I start with dry 0000-grade steel wool, inside and outside the hub, then a buff with super-fine wet-or-dry sandpaper, then 0000-grade steel wool with WD-40 on it, then move on to polishing compound on a toothbrush, then a final run with Meguiars cleaner wax. Takes about 3 hours a hub. While I'm at it, I sand and polish every spoke, another hour or so. I guess it's all about patience.
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Old 02-07-17, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kcblair View Post
Pretty much the way SJX426, is the way I do it, too. And yes, it's a PITA.
+1
90% is plenty good enough for me. I am not showing my bikes and they have a habit of getting dirty again anyway.
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Old 02-07-17, 02:47 PM
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What about (just a wild idea) assemble with oversized ball bearings and 'lubricate' with polishing compound, then tighten the cones a wee bit more than normal and spin the axle with a drill?

Having written it out it sounds a little sketchy, but it might make a positive difference, right?
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Old 02-07-17, 02:51 PM
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Search the net for "hub shiners", click "images" and you'll get plenty of ideas, and can make your own.

Once you have the idea, any weighted cloth or leather strip will work fine. If the hubs, are really bad, you can speed up the process using some metal polish.
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Old 02-07-17, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
What about (just a wild idea) assemble with oversized ball bearings and 'lubricate' with polishing compound, then tighten the cones a wee bit more than normal and spin the axle with a drill?

Having written it out it sounds a little sketchy, but it might make a positive difference, right?

I'm guessing that you only read the thread title.
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Old 02-07-17, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I'm guessing that you only read the thread title.


Seems a little dangerous otherwise, don't it??
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Old 02-07-17, 04:27 PM
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Toothbrush and Mothers...dip scrub rinse
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Old 02-07-17, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I'm guessing that you only read the thread title.
Sadly, no. I read the whole thread before posting and only now getting the idea that you all are talking about polishing the outside of the hub (I think -still not sure), which is just something that I would never in a million years consider doing... remove the patina? What's the point of riding if not make your bike look used ?
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Old 02-07-17, 05:57 PM
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Great post. I have a grimy wheelset on an older Trek 400 that is next in line. Thanks for the current tips and future suggestions!
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Old 02-07-17, 07:22 PM
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Haven't tried it yet, but am saving used heads from my electric toothbrush for applications like this. Back and forth vibratory motion, so not real polishing, but may work OK.
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Old 02-07-17, 07:29 PM
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Thank you all for the pointers. I\ am going to try the toothbrush and polish method, followed up by a hub polisher.
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Old 02-07-17, 08:44 PM
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I did fail to mention that I use Mothers metal polish and a soft bristle toothbrush. I don't always do every one but those that need it.
Before:
[IMG]P1020426, on Flickr[/IMG]

After:
[IMG]P1030669, on Flickr[/IMG]

Not perfect but good enough until I find more time.

As purchased:
[IMG]1972 Bottecchia Giro D'italia 60cm, on Flickr[/IMG]

After clean up:
[IMG]P1030662, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 02-08-17, 11:13 AM
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+ Toothbrush
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Old 02-08-17, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Those are the rare moments I regret having no kids who'll do it for a nickel.
A nickel?! How about food on the table and a roof over your head? Now get back to work!

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