Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Polish for Older Campagnolo Cranks & Brakes?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Polish for Older Campagnolo Cranks & Brakes?

Old 07-28-20, 02:58 PM
  #1  
tNuvolari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 134

Bikes: 1986 Torpado Beta, 2006 Wilier Triestina Izoard

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Polish for Older Campagnolo Cranks & Brakes?

I've seen the usual Campy alloy finish problems on nearly all older Campy parts but has anyone found a way to remove and/or polish? I just don't want to spend needless dollars on polish that only makes things worse so any wisdom on experience with this issue is greatly appreciated.

An example, which isn't too bad but the only pic I could find right now:

tNuvolari is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 03:09 PM
  #2  
malcala622 
Senior Member
 
malcala622's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Pico Rivera, CA
Posts: 3,771

Bikes: '88 Bianchi Krono... '83 Basso Gap...'03 Lemond

Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1066 Post(s)
Liked 813 Times in 510 Posts
I use Mothers Mag and Aluminum polish. Small can goes for around $7. Use a microfiber cloth and a separate one to wipe clean.
__________________
'88 Bianchi Krono... '83 Basso Gap... '03 Lemond Tete


malcala622 is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 04:04 PM
  #3  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,847

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2688 Post(s)
Liked 1,396 Times in 867 Posts
Campagnolo's brakes and cranks are anodized. You may need to remove the anodizing (lye or oven cleaner; nasty stuff) before polishing.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 04:19 PM
  #4  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,403

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 637 Post(s)
Liked 770 Times in 435 Posts
Sodium hydroxide (lye; NaOH) will also work to strip anodizing and at least you know what it is, compared to oven cleaner, which who knows. Use like 10% w/v solution. It gets hot when you dissolve it. BE CAREFUL AND WEAR SAFETY GLASSES; IT WILL EAT YOUR EYES. You can get it on your skin for a few seconds before the burn starts.. Neutralize it with vinegar and you can pour it all down the sink, as it's nothing more than harmless sodium acetate, which is found in potato chips, and some aluminum oxide, which is found everywhere aluminum is found.

I work in a biochemistry lab and do this somewhat often. The finish it leaves will be easier to polish than if you abrasively remove the anodizing. If I decide to use abrasive to remove anodizing, I do that with a scotch brite wheel. One reason to go for abrasive is if the original has a clear-coat over it.

Unfortunately, no matter what you do, you'll probably end up having to remove all the anodizing if you want to polish out those little dings, and then you'll lose the Campy logo. I'd leave them as-is, or maybe try a light rubbing with Mothers polish as mentioned earlier. It might make the dings less visible and won't remove the anodizing unless you work at it for hours.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is online now  
Old 07-28-20, 04:52 PM
  #5  
tNuvolari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 134

Bikes: 1986 Torpado Beta, 2006 Wilier Triestina Izoard

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
The marks are NOT divots, dings or any other kind of damage to the surface of the metal that I can feel.

And the other part of this thread that I forgot to mention was about cleaning/polishing the scratch marks that end up on the crank arms over time. I assume that has a better chance of being removed than the oxidation or whatever it is on the brake calipers.

I'm specifically wondering if anyone has actually done this to remove any type of marks on Campy parts? I really don't want polish recommendations unless you've used them successfully on Campy parts. And I don't want to strip the metal and/or perform metallurgic processes unless you have a method to turn Campy aluminum into gold; then I'm all ears!

I appreciate the suggestions but I"m just looking for easy peasy, 5 minute solutions, if they exist at all. Obviously, I can live with the marks but if there is a way to clean them up at all, I'm interested.

Thanks to all....
tNuvolari is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 05:08 PM
  #6  
P!N20
Senior Member
 
P!N20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,519
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
Liked 812 Times in 444 Posts
Originally Posted by tNuvolari View Post
I"m just looking for easy peasy, 5 minute solutions, if they exist at all. Obviously
There isn't any. I had similar corrosion marks on a seat post which I decided to grind out - I would have been there for weeks sanding.
P!N20 is online now  
Likes For P!N20:
Old 07-28-20, 05:13 PM
  #7  
jeirvine 
Senior Member
 
jeirvine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bethesda/Baltimore MD
Posts: 3,725

Bikes: '72 Moto Grand Record, '72 Gitane tandem, '72 Raleigh Super Course, '73 Raleigh Gran Sport, '73 and '76 Colnagos Super, '76 Fiorelli Coppi, '78 Raleigh SBDU Team Pro, '78 Trek 930, '81 Holdsworth Special 650B, '86 Masi GC, '87 Panasonic DX5000

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 670 Post(s)
Liked 277 Times in 163 Posts
Only Campagnolo parts that aren't anodized are hubs, at least through C-Record. They polish up nicely. As others have said, anodized parts like cranks and brakes can't be truly polished without removing the anodization. I have had some luck removing very minor blemishes from anodized parts with either fine bronze wool and a little WD40, or Magic Erasor. But that won't remove real scratches, and rub too hard and you lose some anodization and it looks worse.

Short answer: enjoy the patina!
__________________
The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy
jeirvine is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 05:24 PM
  #8  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 10,920

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 187 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 968 Times in 587 Posts
Yes, the entire piece (alloy) will have to be addressed, if you wish to polish out those spots of oxidation.

I use Extra Strength "Eazy Off" and do so with great care. Disassembly the calipers. Brush some EZoff on a piece and give it a little while to work (we are talking a minute or less - left on too long, the caustic in the EZoff will attack and eat the aluminum. With that in mind, use the EZoff, wait and then scrub with a plastic brush (tooth brush is one choice, but I use a really soft brass brush). Rinse with cool water thoroughly and look at the result. It will take a few passes to get all of the anodizing off.

Once the anodized coating is gone, use very fine wet and dry sand paper to polish the piece to a mirror finish. Start with #600 and work up to #1500 or finer. You will see the result materialize, as you work.

Good luck, should you wish to try.
__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 05:38 PM
  #9  
Moe Zhoost
Half way there
 
Moe Zhoost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 2,494

Bikes: Many, and the list changes frequently

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 812 Post(s)
Liked 597 Times in 355 Posts
Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Only Campagnolo parts that aren't anodized are hubs, at least through C-Record.
I have 2 Campy seat posts (SR and 50th Ann.) that are not anodized.
Moe Zhoost is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 05:45 PM
  #10  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 10,920

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 187 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 968 Times in 587 Posts
Regarding post #8 , the Campagnolo emblem will not disappear with the EZoff. The emblem will have to be sanded off with the wet and dry paper.
__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 06:25 PM
  #11  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,287

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2312 Post(s)
Liked 563 Times in 404 Posts
If you remove the anodizing, it's a fair amount of work repolish them up again to a full shine, and from then on they will need to be regularly polished. Pretty big commitment.

For small scuffs like that, usually a small dab of metal polish on a rag will remove the dirt and surface oxidation, and make the scuffs and scratches less visible. Don't carried away; a quick rub is enough. I like simichrome. Some people like Mothers. Even a mild polishing compound like Meguiars #17 will do the trick.

Beyond that, my advice is don't worry about it too much. It's just honest wear.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 07:06 PM
  #12  
Last ride 76 
1/2 as far in 2x the time
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Northern Bergen County, NJ
Posts: 1,935

Bikes: Yes, Please.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Liked 281 Times in 219 Posts
Originally Posted by tNuvolari View Post
The marks are NOT divots, dings or any other kind of damage to the surface of the metal that I can feel.

And the other part of this thread that I forgot to mention was about cleaning/polishing the scratch marks that end up on the crank arms over time. I assume that has a better chance of being removed than the oxidation or whatever it is on the brake calipers.

I'm specifically wondering if anyone has actually done this to remove any type of marks on Campy parts? I really don't want polish recommendations unless you've used them successfully on Campy parts. And I don't want to strip the metal and/or perform metallurgic processes unless you have a method to turn Campy aluminum into gold; then I'm all ears!

I appreciate the suggestions but I"m just looking for easy peasy, 5 minute solutions, if they exist at all. Obviously, I can live with the marks but if there is a way to clean them up at all, I'm interested.

Thanks to all....
Short answer as OP requests... No.
__________________
I seem to have lost what little mind I had left before this all started.
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 07:13 PM
  #13  
Last ride 76 
1/2 as far in 2x the time
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Northern Bergen County, NJ
Posts: 1,935

Bikes: Yes, Please.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Liked 281 Times in 219 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Campagnolo's brakes and cranks are anodized. You may need to remove the anodizing (lye or oven cleaner; nasty stuff) before polishing.
Unless you are removing something simply deposited on top of the anodized layer, nothing will make any difference until you remove it, in my experience.
__________________
I seem to have lost what little mind I had left before this all started.
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 07:23 PM
  #14  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,287

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2312 Post(s)
Liked 563 Times in 404 Posts
Originally Posted by tNuvolari View Post
The marks are NOT divots, dings or any other kind of damage to the surface of the metal that I can feel.
Anodizing is only like .0002" thick, are something like that. You aren't going to be able to feel where the anodizing has been worn or scraped off, which is what those spots are.

LIke I said, a very mild polish cleaner will quickly improve the appearance, by cleaning up and polishing the little spots. Anodizing is much harder than bare metal and polish generally will not affect the anodizing at all, if you don't go ape at it. IOW, be careful not to be so vigorous that you cut through the anodizing.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 04:35 AM
  #15  
Last ride 76 
1/2 as far in 2x the time
 
Last ride 76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Northern Bergen County, NJ
Posts: 1,935

Bikes: Yes, Please.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Liked 281 Times in 219 Posts
Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Anodizing is only like .0002" thick, are something like that. You aren't going to be able to feel where the anodizing has been worn or scraped off, which is what those spots are.

LIke I said, a very mild polish cleaner will quickly improve the appearance, by cleaning up and polishing the little spots. Anodizing is much harder than bare metal and polish generally will not affect the anodizing at all, if you don't go ape at it. IOW, be careful not to be so vigorous that you cut through the anodizing.
I have not been impressed by my own efforts, using Mother's in this situation. Any particular tips, or are you positing a small incremental improvement?
__________________
I seem to have lost what little mind I had left before this all started.
Last ride 76 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 05:08 AM
  #16  
plonz 
Senior Member
 
plonz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Western MI
Posts: 2,437
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 531 Post(s)
Liked 182 Times in 132 Posts
Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
If you remove the anodizing, it's a fair amount of work repolish them up again to a full shine, and from then on they will need to be regularly polished. Pretty big commitment.
The upkeep was my main concern when I polished my first pieces. For me, it turned out not to be that big of a deal. It may be a bigger challenge if the bike is left out in the elements. For my weekend warriors that are kept in the basement, a quick brush up with Blue Magic or Simichrome 1x per year keeps them shiny.

This was born as a gray tricolor caliper. I’ve never had them off the bike to re-polish and they still gleam after 3 years.

plonz is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 05:25 AM
  #17  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 4,639

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1903 Post(s)
Liked 2,146 Times in 1,200 Posts
Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Only Campagnolo parts that aren't anodized are hubs.
And seatposts. And down tube shifters. And probably pedals. And NR front derailleurs?? And Victory/Triomphe derailleurs. They polish really easily.

I file rash from NR rear derailleurs with good results without removing the finish first.

I often file rash from brake levers without removing their anodization. It's not perfect, but the results usually look better than leaving the rash.

Last edited by SurferRosa; 07-29-20 at 05:43 AM.
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 07-29-20, 05:45 AM
  #18  
SJX426 
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 8,109

Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
Liked 801 Times in 493 Posts
Based on your criteria the answer is no.

Not limited to Campy parts. I don't really like the style of the DA of this vintage and the removed anodization doesn't help.
P1030625 , on Flickr
__________________
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.
SJX426 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 07:29 AM
  #19  
branko_76 
Senior Member
 
branko_76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,328

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .....Raleigh "Super GP"...... ........................................

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 522 Post(s)
Liked 419 Times in 269 Posts
My layman understanding of polishing metal is that it's the process of removing protruding particals from the surface to provide a smooth finish. If the discolored spots are removed, the anodizing may go with it. I personally don't like the look of anodizing, so I would take those calipers to a buffing wheel and get them to show their true colors much like plonz did (see post #16 )
branko_76 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 09:47 AM
  #20  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,287

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2312 Post(s)
Liked 563 Times in 404 Posts
Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
I have not been impressed by my own efforts, using Mother's in this situation. Any particular tips, or are you positing a small incremental improvement?
It is just an incremental improvement. The damage is done and the anodization is gone on those spots, and no amount of polish is going to put it back. It's like paint that's been chipped off. All that a small amount of polish does here is clean up the dirt and oxidation, and make them less visible. In some case, and I suspect here, it can make it look a lot better, but it isn't going to look brand new ever again. This won't work on a large bare spot like the kind on crankarms caused by wear from the strap.

I haven't tried Mothers but assume it's similar to other metal polishes.

The OP asked for 30 second fixes. That's really the only one.

Removing the anodizing and going for full polish is about the only way to make them look 'new' again, but the look is completely different than the silky satin of anodized parts. I like the look of polished bare aluminum too, and was mostly pointing out that it is different. Where I live, polished parts take about 6 months to oxidize to milky nickel, but as @plonz pointed out, it isn't that hard to buff them up again to a full shine once this happens. Before the mid 70s or so, the vast majority of bike parts were bare polished aluminum and had to be repolished periodically. Anodizing 'fixed' that problem.

If you wanted to go all in, they could be taken to a plater and re-anodized.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 07-29-20 at 09:50 AM.
Salamandrine is offline  
Likes For Salamandrine:
Old 07-29-20, 10:55 AM
  #21  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 10,920

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 187 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 968 Times in 587 Posts
If you remove the anodizing, it's a fair amount of work repolish them up again to a full shine, and from then on they will need to be regularly polished. Pretty big commitment.
Polished to a high mirror shine, years ago. Wipe em off, now and again, but not to much more attention to keep the appearance good enough for me...


Once polished, the alloy will oxidize or tarnish. I wax the piece, once polished and that's about it. But keep in mind, they do need to be cleaned now and again, and sometimes cleaning, now and again, can be pretty darn difficult without disassembly. These Campy/Legnano hubs were polished a couple of years ago. The will be a pain to keep sparkly...
__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 09:20 PM
  #22  
tNuvolari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 134

Bikes: 1986 Torpado Beta, 2006 Wilier Triestina Izoard

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Polished to a high mirror shine, years ago. Wipe em off, now and again, but not to much more attention to keep the appearance good enough for me...


Ha, old Torpado! That's what I have but an 80's version. I have a build thread here:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...-shifting.html

Sorry if I sounded unappreciative earlier; I've enjoyed all the info on metals and anodization in this thread so thanks to all for that. I do like the bare aluminum but I'm also about to replace my front caliper for a Ciamillo Zero Gravity that's arriving shortly. I needed more front power in the braking dept so thought I'd try a more modern design. We'll see!

I was just curious as my crank is also in need of some love. But I'm also looking to replace that with 10 speed 53/39 chainrings and shorter 170mm arms and carbon cranks and maybe ultra torque BB....It's a slippery slope!

And then I'll have all these components looking for a retro frame.....
tNuvolari is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 12:22 PM
  #23  
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,969
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 390 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 129 Posts
In the interest of "less time spent, if acceptable results are achieved = more time to waste doing something else more interesting": I've always polished anodized stuff with Simichrome after washing, and it does a good job unless there's real obvious physical damage; in which case go to "remove anodization and polish with fine-grit wet-or-dry sandpapers and rubbing compound, then polishing compound to flatten and raise the gleam". I have no sophisticated wheels and such, so it's all manual labor.
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 01:15 PM
  #24  
jackbombay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 969
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 447 Post(s)
Liked 425 Times in 256 Posts
Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I’ve never had them off the bike to re-polish and they still gleam after 3 years.
Yep, I put a couple cats of carnauba wax on aluminum parts that I polish to give them a bit more protection too.
jackbombay is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.