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Wheel rim clean-up

Old 03-16-19, 05:52 PM
  #1  
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Wheel rim clean-up

I love my tubular wheelset, but the rims are showing gaps, I guess where the anodizing has worn off. Any tips for polishing them to make the appearance more uniform? The rims are Mavic GP4s.

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Old 03-16-19, 06:05 PM
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No way to really clean it, other than maybe sanding off what is left on the brake tracks so you have it all silver just like they machined the tracks with later rims. The whole idea of anodizing the whole rim dark was just a bad idea on the part of rim makers, back in the 80's.
The uneven wear pattern on the sidewalls was just something we have to live with....
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Old 03-16-19, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
No way to really clean it, other than maybe sanding off what is left on the brake tracks so you have it all silver just like they machined the tracks with later rims. The whole idea of anodizing the whole rim dark was just a bad idea on the part of rim makers, back in the 80's.
The uneven wear pattern on the sidewalls was just something we have to live with....
Yeah. Kinda what I was thinking. The tires have a little life left in them. Guess I'll wait until it's time to replace them and then sand off the anodizing. Just don't want to compromise the rims.
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Old 03-16-19, 07:21 PM
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My '86 Miyata 710 has dark anodized rims as well.. They've worn the sides to a near-uniform silver in the 30+ years since. Do I miss the dark look? not at all. I prefer polished silver anyway...

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Old 03-16-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
My '86 Miyata 710 has dark anodized rims as well.. They've worn the sides to a near-uniform silver in the 30+ years since. Do I miss the dark look? not at all. I prefer polished silver anyway...

Your rims look great, but I don't think I'll last another 30 years to wear mine in!
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Old 03-16-19, 08:49 PM
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I don't think they look bad, honestly.
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Old 03-16-19, 09:38 PM
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I've gone out riding in wet trail conditions to hasten the complete abrasion of rim surfaces, even adding some wet dirt to the rim sides and then braking while the rim is wet. It can go pretty quickly this way and the braking surface is left very uniform.
This rim suffered from uneven wear of the clear anodizing, which caused braking pulsation.




Not to worry, the bike cleaned up just fine (though in all honesty this is probably a "before" photo ).


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Old 03-16-19, 09:55 PM
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Try using fine steel wool and dishwashing soap to clean your rims, which is less abrasive than the steel wool you'd buy to scrub your pans. This also helps remove those unwanted water spots.
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Old 03-16-19, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nollo9871 View Post
Try using fine steel wool and dishwashing soap to clean your rims, which is less abrasive than the steel wool you'd buy to scrub your pans. This also helps remove those unwanted water spots.
Steel wool is surprisingly ineffective at removing anodizing, I've used steel wool to remove logos from anodized stems and the anodizing itself shrugged off the steel wool attack without any hint that it was used. I believe that the O.P. wishes to remove what is left of the anodizing.
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Old 03-17-19, 04:55 AM
  #10  
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Steel wool will have NO effect of the anodized surface.

Anodizing is composed of Aluminum Oxide which is chemically and structurally the same as the Aluminum Oxide abrasive grit on sandpaper, sanding cloth and in grinding wheels.

The Knoop Hardness scale is used to measure very hard materials. Aluminum Oxide has a Knoop Hardness of ~2000.

Silicon Carbide the other common material used for sanding and grinding has a Knoop Hardness of ~2600. It's black or dark gray-green.

The crystals have sharp corners that break down in use to expose more sharp edges. It's used in applications that require a sharp grit that doesn't load up as much as Aluminum Oxide products do when used on soft materials like aluminum and other non-ferrous metals, wood, plastic etc. Also some hard materials.

Wet or Dry Silicon Carbide paper is available in a wide array of grit sizes. I'd start with 100 grit and concentrate on the anodized portions of the rim surface only. Use lots of water to flush away the swarf. It's going to be a lot of work.

BTW, as a comparison, the Knoop Hardness of Diamond ranges from 5000 to 10000. Vickers Hardness is another scale for testing hard materials.

@horatio I'd leave the rims go. The wear is testimony to years of pain!

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Old 03-17-19, 05:37 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
@horatio I'd leave the rims go. The wear is testimony to years of pain!

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So, I should wear them like a badge of honor?
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Old 03-17-19, 06:23 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Steel wool will have NO effect of the anodized surface.

Anodizing is composed of Aluminum Oxide which is chemically and structurally the same as the Aluminum Oxide abrasive grit on sandpaper, sanding cloth and in grinding wheels.

The Knoop Hardness scale is used to measure very hard materials. Aluminum Oxide has a Knoop Hardness of ~2000.

Silicon Carbide the other common material used for sanding and grinding has a Knoop Hardness of ~2600. It's black or dark gray-green.

The crystals have sharp corners that break down in use to expose more sharp edges. It's used in applications that require a sharp grit that doesn't load up as much as Aluminum Oxide products do when used on soft materials like aluminum and other non-ferrous metals, wood, plastic etc. Also some hard materials.

Wet or Dry Silicon Carbide paper is available in a wide array of grit sizes. I'd start with 100 grit and concentrate on the anodized portions of the rim surface only. Use lots of water to flush away the swarf. It's going to be a lot of work.

BTW, as a comparison, the Knoop Hardness of Diamond ranges from 5000 to 10000. Vickers Hardness is another scale for testing hard materials.

@horatio I'd leave the rims go. The wear is testimony to years of pain!

verktyg
This is taking the thread a bit off topic, but I am trying to clean up my first set of tubular rims. I was afraid of using something too abrasive for fear of damaging the rims. Sounds as if that is an unnecessary worry. Will steel wool take off the old dried glue? Is something else better? Iíve tried acetone and moneral spirits and neither have worked all that well.
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Old 03-17-19, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I've gone out riding in wet trail conditions to hasten the complete abrasion of rim surfaces, even adding some wet dirt to the rim sides and then braking while the rim is wet. It can go pretty quickly this way and the braking surface is left very uniform.
The old Modolo "sinterized" brake pads can do this as well.
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Old 03-17-19, 08:27 AM
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I'm with @verktyg on this one....."The wear is testimony to years of pain!". It clearly demonstrates your bike is a rider, not a closet queen /wall hanger. I've got the same wear showing up on a set of Mavic Open 4CD's and I'm happy with it!

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Old 03-17-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The old Modolo "sinterized" brake pads can do this as well.
They must have had a quality-control issue, since my Sinterized pads repeatedly melted onto the Anodized sides of both MA40 and CTL370 rims.

Very frustrating, needed constant cleaning of the rims using wet Scotchbrite between the pad and rim as the bike was rolled forward with the brakes applied.

I coudn't throw those pads far enough away!

The wear pattern looks ok and indeed testifies to the rims getting a serious amount of use, though the rear rim looks like it gets most of the wear unless it is replaced more often than the front (as it often is).
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Old 03-17-19, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
So, I should wear them like a badge of honor?
Also, depending on which way you look at them, they kinda sorta look tie-dyed, don't they? ✌️😁✌️
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Old 03-18-19, 03:46 AM
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Removing Rim Cement

Originally Posted by Shrevvy View Post
This is taking the thread a bit off topic, but I am trying to clean up my first set of tubular rims. I was afraid of using something too abrasive for fear of damaging the rims. Sounds as if that is an unnecessary worry. Will steel wool take off the old dried glue? Is something else better? Iíve tried acetone and moneral spirits and neither have worked all that well.
I saw a new product at a LBS last fall. It was about a 3" or 4" wheel that you mount on a drill or air grinder. It was supposed to work well. I'll check back with the LBS to see what the results were.

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