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Finding the right cleaner for the job

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Finding the right cleaner for the job

Old 03-06-17, 01:23 PM
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francophile 
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Finding the right cleaner for the job

[pics of finished project on page 2]

Wanted to share a little anecdote while I have 5 minutes.

I'm a firm believer in "the right tool for the job". I recently picked up this Motobecane Grand Touring on the cheap, but it'd been in storage for a couple of decades (barn find).





Notice the thick coat of who knows what on it. None of my usual go-to items would do anything to it - dish soap/water, PB Blaster, Goo Gone, mineral spirits, only buffing compound worked, but the thought of buffing every stop and guide on the bike was daunting.

I rarely use Simple Green for anything. Check out the chainstay comparison after 30 seconds with Simple Green on a towel... still needs some work and I'll never get the stains out around the headset, but it'll still look sharp after some elbow grease.



Last edited by francophile; 05-19-17 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 03-06-17, 01:33 PM
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impressive.
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Old 03-06-17, 04:25 PM
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Very nice. I cannot wait to see the bike when it's all clean and lubed.

I find Simple Green to be one of the most versatile cleaners.

Dennis
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Old 03-06-17, 05:21 PM
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Might consider a toothbrush and Sinple Green. Gets it to those hard to reach places.

Nice find !
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Old 03-07-17, 12:43 AM
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WD-40 and 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper is worth a shot, too, for deep-seated grunge. Especially if you plan to follow up with rubbing compound, glaze and wax.
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Old 03-07-17, 01:25 PM
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I would have gone to the rubbing/polishing compound before trying Simple Green but that's impressive and a reminder to try them all (and WD40 is on the list too). You might want to track down Frank-the-welder's post in the archives about his restoration of a similar era Grand Record that had a lot of crackling/checking in the original paint. His came out very nice, your's looks like it will too and maybe easier!
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Old 03-07-17, 05:39 PM
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On bikes like that I spray the whole bike with Challenger, by Reliable Products, and rinse with a garden hose. Cuts thru all the dirt and grime.
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Old 03-08-17, 08:04 AM
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Beware Simple Green on the foil decals. But you already knew that.

That's a very 'clean' Moto, apart from the dirt.
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Old 03-08-17, 08:10 AM
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WD-40 can take gunk off when others fail.
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Old 03-11-17, 07:27 PM
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Well, there was actually a bike buried under all that gunk. Managed to sneak in 90 minutes with a toothbrush, some water and Simple Green while watching the kids today. It was laid on thick.



And the end result, although still needs some fine tuning (click for huge pic):

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Old 03-11-17, 07:39 PM
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Try a Sonicare next time you change the brush head with the old one, maybe put the handle in a ziplock to protect it from the cleaner, which could be any of the aforementioned products. One of my favorites being Turtle wax rust remover.


Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Might consider a toothbrush and Sinple Green. Gets it to those hard to reach places.

Nice find !
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Old 03-12-17, 08:56 AM
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Me likey!
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Old 03-12-17, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Me likey!
For the $25 I paid you'd need to shoot me if I complained
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Old 03-12-17, 12:39 PM
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This will become a nice bike when you are done. Does it fill a spot in the stable?

Fantastic price to acquire it but you have put the work into it!
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Old 03-18-17, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
This will become a nice bike when you are done. Does it fill a spot in the stable?

Fantastic price to acquire it but you have put the work into it!
It does fill a spot, I like to have options and so I try to keep two touring bikes in the stable at all times. I'd been looking for a Grand Jubilé or Grand Touring in my size to replace one I should've never sold a few years back and compliment my Italvega Gran Turismo.

French touring frames w/Reynolds or Vitus tubing in my size have been and far between lately. The guy selling this one buys storage lockers and was selling a horde of bikes for $25/ea or $200 for all, it's 1020 tubing, but I can suffer w/it . There was what looked like a dark blue/chrome Windsor Carrera in the pile also for $25 which would've flipped nicely for a sizable profit, but I missed it by a few days.
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Old 03-18-17, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
It does fill a spot, I like to have options and so I try to keep two touring bikes in the stable at all times. I'd been looking for a Grand Jubilé or Grand Touring in my size to replace one I should've never sold a few years back and compliment my Italvega Gran Turismo.

French touring frames w/Reynolds or Vitus tubing in my size have been and far between lately. The guy selling this one buys storage lockers and was selling a horde of bikes for $25/ea or $200 for all, it's 1020 tubing, but I can suffer w/it . There was what looked like a dark blue/chrome Windsor Carrera in the pile also for $25 which would've flipped nicely for a sizable profit, but I missed it by a few days.
I'm a firm believer in Simple Green. It's non-corrosive and does a great job cleaning. I use it for cleaning my bike chains regularly, and was advised to do so by a well known local LBS who uses it as well.

You find these old retro bikes suitable for touring? I just picked up a full original 79 Univega Gran Turismo that I've been cleaning up. I need to do cable and housing in the next couple weeks, but should be good.
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Old 03-18-17, 02:23 PM
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@francophile That's good to read. It does make a bike a keeper or long term member when it has a purpose to fill. I am in that predicament right now with my 77 Schwinn Le Tour II taking a place that my Dawes Galaxy held.

A horde of bikes is a great thing then. Wish they would gather around here!

Look forward to seeing it if you have a build thread.
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Old 03-18-17, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post

Look forward to seeing it if you have a build thread.
I have a gaggle of pictures in my phone right now waiting to be put up and a sad lack of time to manage

Originally Posted by NZier View Post
You find these old retro bikes suitable for touring? I just picked up a full original 79 Univega Gran Turismo that I've been cleaning up. I need to do cable and housing in the next couple weeks, but should be good.
"Touring" is a stretch, I'm in the heart of the city. I will say, they're damn comfy on the trail and make good work-mules for hauling, despite the lack of cantis. Needless to say, I'm not doing any cross-cities or cross-country treks on them.

You should post pics of your Gran Turismo. @3speedslow has my favorite color Lawee bike, brown (I need to check his build thread on it). Here's a pic of my Gran Turismo, I suck with picture taking, so I'm borrowing from the BF'er that sold it to me. It's a hair on the small-ish side for me, but I make it work

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Old 03-18-17, 05:58 PM
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I had one that was worse.

This was after washing with dish soap and simple green. The fork was really bad with embedded crud, the simple green wouldn't get it out.



Rubbing compound brought it back to life.

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Old 03-18-17, 07:17 PM
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Great job on the cleanup. As a Johnny Come lately to the discussion i was going to recommend this Melaleuca product. It is the best and most gentle to painted surfaces cleaner I have ever used. Melaleuca oil is the key ingredient.

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Old 03-19-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I had one that was worse.

This was after washing with dish soap and simple green. The fork was really bad with embedded crud, the simple green wouldn't get it out.
Good to see and excellent work! I just picked up a white pearlescent mid-80s Schwinn Super Sport on the cheap (full Shimano 600, Tenax tubing) and it has tons of blemishes in the paint - I think it may be worse than yours. I'm still neck-deep in the Moto so I haven't had time to work on it. I'll take pics later. Hoping similar treatment will work on that one!
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Old 03-19-17, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by OrangeOkie View Post
Great job on the cleanup. As a Johnny Come lately to the discussion i was going to recommend this Melaleuca product. It is the best and most gentle to painted surfaces cleaner I have ever used. Melaleuca oil is the key ingredient.

I'd be happy just to find something that would remove the brownish orange grease staining from paint around the BB/HS/hubs/etc, but I always understood this was an actual chemical change/chemical stain and impossible to rid of. Curious if this product may help with that? Don't get me wrong: I consider it "patina" and plan to leave it intact on this Moto.

Believe it or not, this bike was actually white when originally sold, French manuf'ers were clearcoating with something back in the 70s which yellowed significantly with time. Anyone that's ever owned one and taken brass wool (for example) to the chrome on a fork knows it, it hazes up the clearcoat - the fork crown on this one was brassy in color until the clear coating came off, it yellowed that much, I assume due to grease seeping out of the headset.
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Old 03-20-17, 01:53 PM
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Ok, here you go. Got this the other day, not cleaned up yet, got more important projects from last year in the queue to finish, a couple of BF'ers helped with parts and facilitation and I promised to get those done sooner than later.

This is technically my size, I was expecting a tank, noticed how light it was, noticed it was Tenax, thought, "Damn, this is a sleeper. I think I'll clean it up and give it a spin!"

Looks good from a distance (first pic), but when you get up close (second pic), you see what moist basement time can do. Those may be rust stains in the paint, but seems superficial, little spot rubbed out with some patience and PB blaster on the tip of a rag. Hope it comes close to your results!





Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I had one that was worse.

This was after washing with dish soap and simple green. The fork was really bad with embedded crud, the simple green wouldn't get it out.



Rubbing compound brought it back to life.

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Old 04-25-17, 11:09 AM
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Sneak peek of what's up with this one... haven't had a lot of time to work on it, still helping a friend with a Trek he salvaged. But finally had time to clean the tape/bar/stem, wax the whole thing, repack it all, and polish out the alloy bits.

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Old 04-25-17, 12:04 PM
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Is that a super sport I spy?! Those are great riding bikes. Take that with a grain of salt as I am an official Tenax Schwinn junky. Nice snag. Keep us posted!
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