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How to clean vintage bike frame & components?

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How to clean vintage bike frame & components?

Old 04-14-19, 06:32 PM
  #26  
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here's a little secret weapon on cleaning greasy stuff - Scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleanser ! works miracles.

you can replace the nipples only - not the spokes - but if the spokes are rusty they are not stainless - so you are probably into rebuilding the wheels. take a spoke out and measure the length.

Most shops are not willing to do restoration work of this type - even at shop labor rates it's not worth their time. So it's up to you. Nice project !

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Old 04-20-19, 02:00 PM
  #27  
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UPDATES:

1) I decided to buy new wheels & freewheel. I'd love to keep the Mallard hubs and the original freewheel but they are a mated pair and if anything happened the tools to fix or remove them are hard to come by and to buy a new set of very similar period-looking wheels, was about the same price and having a shop build new ones with the old hubs. I'm going to keep the hubs for now - who knows maybe down the road I'll have a little more $$ and can have them rebuilt to use. It's not a huge deal.

2) Some pics of the cleaning so far

-hoods:
This is how they came to me on the bike:


Here's how they look now:


And here's after polishing one of the levers, for comparison's sake:


-Crank:
Before


After:






-Stem
Before:


After:


More + a question in the next post
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Old 04-20-19, 02:08 PM
  #28  
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Front derailleur:


The rear derailleur didn't come quite as clean as I was hoping, but it's magnitudes better. I didn't snap a pic yet.

So I'm on to the frame now and herein lies my next query...

I used the methods suggested to clean the chrome parts of the front fork of the rust spots, but now it seems to have left with just areas where the chrome is just gone. I'm assuming there really isn't anything to be done about this? The rust is gone, but the chrome has been damaged and it just is what it is now?

Front sides look ok:


It's the back sides I'm concerned about



Thoughts or recommendations?
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Old 04-20-19, 03:04 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post

. I'm assuming there really isn't anything to be done about this? The rust is gone, but the chrome has been damaged and it just is what it is now?

Front sides look ok:


It's the back sides I'm concerned about



Thoughts or recommendations?
You are correct !

Periodically wax it and ride it like you stole it !
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Old 04-20-19, 08:45 PM
  #30  
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I also need a new 5 speed freewheel. Suggestions?
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Old 04-20-19, 10:09 PM
  #31  
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You could do 2 things for the back of the fork, polish the steel or a little silver paint. Polishing the steel leaves it open to the weather and potential rust later. Painting, covers the steel and prevents rust later. best is to polish the steel a bit and than a light coat of silver paint. There is also a chrome paint out there that looks ok.
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Old 04-21-19, 12:09 PM
  #32  
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When I am doing a rest on a bike the first thing I do is strip it down to the frame. Then I do the following:

Take all the shiny bits and throw them in a container of white vinegar( 5-6 bucks a gallon at safeway)

Wipe the frame and fork down with wd40 or mineral spirits

Get some rags and q tips and dig into all the nooks and crannies

using a brass cleaning brush and mineral spirits scrub all the grease off the chainrings and freewheel

If there is rust in the paint I coat the rusted areas with naval jelly then after 1/2 hr wash it off . If there ia crusted rust sometimes I rub the rust lightly with 1000 grit wet/ dry


This does not appear to harm the paint , just the rust.

using white polishing compound, rub out the frame and fork ( this will remove lots of marks and dirt that regular cleaning won't)

When I have the frame squeaky clean I often will Clear coat it with Rustoleum clear enamel or lacquer depending on the underlying paint type. If you aren't sure which type was used you can do a test . I usually use the fork steer tube if it is painted. This will make the paint really pop, bringing out the original color

Next, take all the shiny bits out of the vinegar and clean. Most if not all the rust will just wipe off. A brass brush followed with some metal polish should make them sparkle.

If you want to go to the next level get a polishing wheel ( I have one mounted on a grinder) and buff everything up .

With everything cleaned and polished , reassemble.




If you have any rubber parts such as grips, hoods or on old 3 speeds a rear reflector, judicious use of some acetone can make them bright white again . Be careful though as it will actually dissolve the rubber . A little will clean them , too much will ruin them.

Note
Chrome fork ends are often clear coated at the factory. You can remove the lacquer coating by wiping them down with Acetone and a scotch brite pad. Be sure to mask off the paint before you do this as acetone will also wipe off paint and decals

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Old 05-12-19, 04:02 PM
  #33  
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Polishing the Steel would in fact lesson the rust and corrosion..
I would suggest polishing as best you can then spray clear coat on it after de-greasing... Less waxing but still regularly way your bike
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Old 05-16-19, 08:02 PM
  #34  
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Wow I am going to try the suggestions from all of you to try and bring back my 1972 Astra tour de France. I am the original owner and have just recently gotten back into bikes. This bike was an off shoot of Motobecane and is worthless to anyone else but to me it is priceless and requires a full restoration however because I have looked for decals and have been unsuccessful as of this writing, I will attempt to clean it and do all the mechanical s and ride it until I can get the decals then fully restore it. As soon as I am permitted I will post pictures
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Old 05-17-19, 07:43 AM
  #35  
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Could you not use the freewheel that's on the original rear wheel?
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Old 05-17-19, 09:25 AM
  #36  
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I just discovered a great product for cleaning grease off my bike. It is StarStuk ACR citrus adhesive cleaner /remover.

I had some in the shop for cleaning contact cement residue from formica projects and sprayed a little on a Raleigh frame to help remove an old sticker. I noticed it dissolves grease really well so sprayed it on a greasy chainring/crank I had on the bench and it dissolved the grease like magic. I wiped off the part and sprayed it once more and even more grease just dissolved.

I am looking at the can and see it is made by 3M, one of my favorite companies.
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Old 05-17-19, 02:18 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Could you not use the freewheel that's on the original rear wheel?
What's this in reference to?
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Old 05-17-19, 04:10 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
What's this in reference to?
I think in response to your question about free wheels, btw this SunRace on Amazon should do the trick or if you are near a bike co-op you might find used one and more vintage cheaper. You will need a FW puller if you ever want to get it off again, they list one in the frequently bought together section. Be aware they are a number of different "standards" out there for FW pullers. I think I have about 8 different models floating around my tool box.
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Old 05-17-19, 06:44 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
Good advice all, I will add that its best to avoid Simple Green, it can and will pit aluminum surfaces. I understand that even the new formulation that claims to be safe for aluminum isn't up to snuff and can cause some pitting, There was an A/D issued for aircraft owners and A/P mechanics back in around 2000-2002 that warned, and then forbid its use. A line maintenance Master Chief for a Naval Training Airwing said that BuAir had forbid its use completely, at that time (Early 2003.)

One of our regulars @randyjawa, has a fantastic web site for anyone wanting to delve into C&V bikes, My Ten Speeds, he has some great tips on cleaning and disassembly, as well as restoration work. Great site that I use as a reference regularly, and a pretty good guy as well!!!

Bill
I've had spilled simple green eat the paint off stuff if left long enough. I've also heard that WD40 is acidic enough to etch surfaces. I believe that was a firearm concern. Never-the-less, my initial processing of a bike involves spraying with Simple Green, wiping with a "cleansing wipe", hosed off with water, dried in the sun for a bit and then liberally soaked down with WD40 from a hand pump bottle. I havent noticed any damage to aluminum parts, but most of the stuff I deal with would need a round of Mothers polish anyway.
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