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Austro Daimler/Puch smoked chrome polishing

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Austro Daimler/Puch smoked chrome polishing

Old 06-05-20, 05:39 PM
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Austro Daimler/Puch smoked chrome polishing

i bought a bike with a smoked chrome frame online today and was wondering if anyone had any experience shining up that finish. is it clear coated or can it be treated as if it is regular standard chrome?
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Old 06-05-20, 06:25 PM
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There were 2 finishes that Puch and A-D used for the "Vent Noir and Vent Noir II" series frames, I belive the "not II" was a satin black paint where the "II" had the dark tinted chrome plating. IIRC this is not the same as regular chrome-plating (that's often a 'triple layer " with first copper, then nickel and finally shiny chromium) but is something called HARD Chrome. Don't think it has sub-layers between the plating and the 531 steel, but not sure, and said that it's more durable than your "usual chrome". Whatever, I'd just try some Simichrome or Autosol on a clean rag and buff out with another cloth. Do not think they (A-D/Puch/Steyr) clear-coated the hard chrome but possible that some PO did.The good news is that neither of those polishes are abrasive so low risk for scratching any post-market clear, and likewise safe for the chrome too (tho it's supposedly much harder to scratch anyway

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Old 06-06-20, 05:23 AM
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I don't know if A-D was the same as my Giant-built Schwinn Sierra in black chrome. It has a tinted clear coat over a normal chrome base, so if you are too aggressive with the polishing, the tinted part will come off.
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Old 06-06-20, 08:29 AM
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Proceed with caution. My Ciocc used a tinted lacquer, that is fragile. Would do a small test section first.
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Old 06-06-20, 11:37 AM
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ordered some semichrome and i'll test it on the inside of the fork blade to see how it goes when the bike gets here. thanks for everyone responding. don
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Old 06-06-20, 11:57 AM
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I don't think the OEM "hard chrome" that A-D used for Vent Noir II had any lacquer over it, the "tint" was IN the actual chrome, not over it. But never had that or any frame with the same finish (I did have an A-D Inter 10, a fine bike but painted) but some motorcycle products over the years supposedly used "hard chrome" plating like many front fork tubes.Never seen a one of those (and SOME have a colored hue) that were clear-coated. ALWAYS good practice to test first, so your plan is sound!
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Old 06-06-20, 12:06 PM
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My Vent Noir used to be smoked but the previous owner buffed it off to combat rust damage. Looks like a regular chrome bike now.


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Old 06-06-20, 12:10 PM
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WELL...if that's typical^ then I stand corrected: must be that the "smoked tint" is something applied over the top of un-tinted chrome, and if so appears can be removed without ruining the decals, too! I live and learn!
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Old 06-06-20, 12:21 PM
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All decals on mine were replaced except the head badge and made in Austria sticker on seat post. Some more pics in my Flickr.

https://flickr.com/photos/77502424@N...57633258586628
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Old 06-06-20, 12:53 PM
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that bike is a beauty. i have a mid 70's AD Vent Noir with a flat black painted finish that i bought when i was stationed in NH, but the new addition is an 80's vintage AD/Puch AD-SLE with the smoked chrome that is the same as the Vent Noir II . i think from what I've read that Puch had absorbed AD by that time period and was interchanging frames between models around then, with the major difference being components and decals.
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Old 06-06-20, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
that bike is a beauty. i have a mid 70's AD Vent Noir with a flat black painted finish that i bought when i was stationed in NH, but the new addition is an 80's vintage AD/Puch AD-SLE with the smoked chrome that is the same as the Vent Noir II . i think from what I've read that Puch had absorbed AD by that time period and was interchanging frames between models around then, with the major difference being components and decals.
Not sure if I have this all correct, but IIUC, AD was always under Puch. Puch came into the US market using the AD name as it was considered a big challenge to market a bike in the US called "Puch" . Eventually, the Puch branding was combined with the AD graphics and in later years the AD branding (Originally an Austrian car brand) dissapeared from the bikes all together.
As for the "smoked" chrome finish, it's prettier much the same as the "Cromavelato" finish process used by Italian bike companies in the 70's and 80's.....
and had the same fragile chracteristics.
These "tinted clearcoat over chrome finishes are so fragile that finding a bike with it still mostly in hood condition is quite a rarity. So proceed with a lot of caution when cleaninv/maintaining it.
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Old 06-06-20, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Not sure if I have this all correct, but IIUC, AD was always under Puch. Puch came into the US market using the AD name as it was considered a big challenge to market a bike in the US called "Puch" . Eventually, the Puch branding was combined with the AD graphics and in later years the AD branding (Originally an Austrian car brand) dissapeared from the bikes all together.
As for the "smoked" chrome finish, it's prettier much the same as the "Cromavelato" finish process used by Italian bike companies in the 70's and 80's.....
and had the same fragile chracteristics.
These "tinted clearcoat over chrome finishes are so fragile that finding a bike with it still mostly in hood condition is quite a rarity. So proceed with a lot of caution when cleaninv/maintaining it.
the caution light will be lit...
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Old 06-06-20, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bogester View Post
My Vent Noir used to be smoked but the previous owner buffed it off to combat rust damage. Looks like a regular chrome bike now.


guest you can't really call it a Vent Noir anymore! Vent D’argent ...
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Old 06-06-20, 04:37 PM
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well, i found this bit of info on a website that goes into detail about the history the Steyr-Daimler-Puch company. "And instead of being painted as most other bikes are, the Vent Noir II's entire frame and fork were chemically treated with a hard anodizing process producing a durable dark golden greenish brown color described as "Smoked Chrome" in the literature. Rarely have I seen such an elegant frame tubing treatment; photos can not do it justice as the finish of the frame appears to take on subtle tone changes reflecting varying times of day and differing surroundings while joint (lug) areas appear almost iridescent.
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Old 06-06-20, 09:48 PM
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I would take this with a grain of salt: "...entire frame and fork were chemically treated with a hard anodizing process..." because tho technically you CAN do something akin to aluminum anodising on steel (and mainly to stainless) in practical terms it's nearly never done. If you dip normal carbon steel into the acid bath anode/cathode set-up used for aluminum electro-anodizing, you'll get a rusted mess.Seems from what I read the definitive answer as to what A-D used (hard chrome, standard chrome, top coated with lacquer AKA cromovelato or what kind of tinted clear) has not been nailed down, yet. Maybe you are the guy to give us the last word on this subject, cocoabeachcrab!
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Old 06-07-20, 07:16 AM
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heh-heh, i wouldn't rely on me being the final word on anything! I've been communicating with a fellow on ebay who is selling a vent noir II with the smokey chrome finish who says he's been riding his for awhile, and he said to use a cleaning/ polishing wax and not a chrome polish. so we shall see wuzzup when my bike arrives.
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Old 06-07-20, 08:15 AM
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I'd bet that a retro-style bike with an Austro-Daimler head-badge would sell really well to hipsters. After all, the men of the Dual Monarchy were clearly the inspiration for today's hipsters.

Austro-Hungarian approves of your Austro-Daimler.


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Old 06-07-20, 08:59 AM
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(now looking for a fake moustache to glue to the headtube...)
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Old 06-07-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
(now looking for a fake moustache to glue to the headtube...)
Oh, cool an Uber bike!

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Old 06-07-20, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Oh, cool an Uber bike!

actually the mustache was a Lyft thing (and originally it was a big fluffy pink plush item that got wired onto the grills of those unfortunate cars, and dragged thru the elements until filthy), but soon enough they will merge and be "uberlyft", you read it here first!

Upon reflection I'm going to back-pedal and say "plan for the worst case" so let's say you come to find this is just another cromovelato finish with delicate tinted lacquer over chrome. In this case I'd agree the Simichrome polish not gonna be useful. What I'd try is to clean with a soft cloth and depending on the type of dirt maybe mild detergent and water OR WD40 (yes, a useful cleaner for sticky, greasy dirt). then dry and use a NON-cleaner paste or liquid wax. Why non-cleaner? Because the "cleaner" is an abrasive. The only brand I am aware of for AUTO wax that is non-cleaner is one from Mothers that's (mainly) carnuba and hard to find. But if you want try a mild funiture wax that by definition has no abrasives (LOTS of fine furniture is finished with lacquer). There are several and most all should have a solvent which (like WD40) will do no harm to cured lacquer. I'd rely on Liberon clear/neutral paste wax , known to use a very mild solvent. Best of Luck!

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Old 06-07-20, 03:17 PM
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thanks again!
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