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  1. #151
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    Has anyone ever used car wax on their raw aluminum? Would it make a brushed finish look more polished? I suppose it would protect from oxidation as well.

  2. #152
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    Your answer is no.

  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Has anyone ever used car wax on their raw aluminum? Would it make a brushed finish look more polished? I suppose it would protect from oxidation as well.
    I have. It will immediately take the shine away from polished aluminum, so its not going to make brushed aluminum look polished. It will help with oxidation though.
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  4. #154
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    I used wax. Once. It just dirtied the bike up quicker and made it harder to clean.

  5. #155
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    More red
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_20110715_132639.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_20110715_132704.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_20110715_132739.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_20110715_133153.jpg  

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  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    I have. It will immediately take the shine away from polished aluminum, so its not going to make brushed aluminum look polished. It will help with oxidation though.
    It won't take the shine away from polished Al if you use it like you do on a car. Whip it on, let if dry a little and buff it off with micro fiber. I use an auto detailer to help protect my bikes, just not on the brake discs or pads.

  7. #157
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    Got tired of my Leader frame having leader wrote on it in 9 different locations.
    The powder coat was thick and hard to get off, if I was to do it again I'd take it to have it stripped somewhere. But good old regular aircraft stripper got the job done.

  8. #158
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    Good work! Looks great.

  9. #159
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    This is my six year old Kona. It too way too long to remove the paint. I used some Nitromors to get down to the primer, and then a mixture of coarse sandpaper, steel wool and wire brushes to remove the rest. While I was at it, I also replaced the stem and handlebars.

    A couple of weeks ago, I converted it to a 1x9, put a new 36T chainring up front and added an N-Gear jump stop to the seat post as well.

    This is my commuter bike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_2463.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_2464.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-img_2465.jpg  


  10. #160
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    even though it makes it smell a bit funny and feel oily, WD-40 makes anything shine

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by block_xc View Post
    even though it makes it smell a bit funny and feel oily, WD-40 makes anything shine
    Someone told me they put vegetable oil on their titanium frame for the same reason, and also on their stainless refrigerator to prevent fingerprints.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Someone told me they put vegetable oil on their titanium frame for the same reason, and also on their stainless refrigerator to prevent fingerprints.
    When my polished aluminum gets a wipe down (which is rare), I'll shoot some silicone spray into a cotton shop rag and wipe it down. Shines up nicely and mud just falls off later.

  13. #163
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    aways wanted a polished GT, something like a Zaskar or RTS. but as they are a bit dated my short travel force will have to do.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let's see your raw aluminium!-force.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-force1.jpg  

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    Let's see your raw aluminium!-force3.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-raw.jpg  


  14. #164
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    ^^^ Fantastic job on the polishing!

  15. #165
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    here is my polished idrive.




  16. #166
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    Photos of my updated 2005 GT Aggressor. Still loving the raw aluminum. Absolutely no regrets about stripping off the paint.

    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/gt/664880d1325988943-gt-frame-build-up-2005-aggressor-img_8066.jpg" />
    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/gt/664884d1325988943-gt-frame-build-up-2005-aggressor-img_8072.jpg" />
    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/gt/664887d1325988982-gt-frame-build-up-2005-aggressor-img_8078.jpg" />

  17. #167
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    Guys, I love the look and think I will do this to my 2010 Trek 4300, as I hate its current green color. One concern I have is oxidation and maintenance. How quickly does the raw aluminium start to look bad? When it does, I assume you just use a Scotchbrite pad on it? I guess I should think hard about adding any decals as that probably would make that more difficult. I will probably do it with a more brushed look instead of highly polished.

  18. #168
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    Brushed will look good longer. Use Mothers.

  19. #169
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    How long does it stay nice? How often do you do yours?

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    How long does it stay nice? How often do you do yours?
    The last time I polished mine was last spring (2011). Recent photos a couple of posts above. I don't even wipe the dirt/dust off of it anymore. I'll knock off chunks of mud, though.

  21. #171
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    Mine are polished and once every 6 months will keep it looking like new. That's whats cool about a raw finish, it's easy to make it look like new again.
    Last edited by Mountain Cycle Shawn; 01-19-2012 at 12:38 PM.

  22. #172
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    i dont think i have polished mine since i put it all together a couple years ago, lol. still looks good, granted, it probably is covered in dust right now since it has been sitting since fall.

  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by subyrally View Post
    i dont think i have polished mine since i put it all together a couple years ago, lol. still looks good, granted, it probably is covered in dust right now since it has been sitting since fall.
    Wow, that looks awesome for not polishing for a couple of years. Are the pictures recent or taken right after you did it?

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    The last time I polished mine was last spring (2011). Recent photos a couple of posts above. I don't even wipe the dirt/dust off of it anymore. I'll knock off chunks of mud, though.
    Did you polish yours with Mothers or only do steel wool?

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    Sorry to be a thread hog guys, but I'm really interested in doing this. Anyway, where did you guys find decals/stickers? I did an Ebay search for Trek decals and found nothing. Although it probably is a bit of a pain to polish in the future with stickers, it does look nicer with something on the frame. I am also encouraged by the fact that many folks seem to being going for quite some time before the frame needs subsequent polishing because of oxidation.

  26. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    Did you polish yours with Mothers or only do steel wool?
    I polished with Mother's after giving it a fine brushed look. I can't say enough good things about the raw aluminum. You'll never worry about scratching the paint again.


    The original frame:

    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/gt/603739d1300566606-gt-frame-build-up-2005-aggressor-p1010557a.jpg" />

    Stripped and brushed:

    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/gt/604825d1301020829-gt-frame-build-up-2005-aggressor-p1010573a.jpg" />

    Polished up:

    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/gt/605121d1301168796-gt-frame-build-up-2005-aggressor-p1010575a.jpg" />


    Regarding the stickers... You'll want to search for vinyl decals. Like this:
    Trek Bicycles Decal Vinyl Bumper Window Sticker | eBay

  27. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    Wow, that looks awesome for not polishing for a couple of years. Are the pictures recent or taken right after you did it?
    judging by some of the parts that are still on the bike in those pics, id say that was within a couple weeks of polishing since i changed a few parts shortly after. i have better brakes and a lighter stem on it now.

  28. #178
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    If you really wanna make is shine, wet sand it with some fine grit wet sand paper, then hit it with mothers, and finally clear coat it to prevent oxidation of the bare aluminum.

    I love the look of raw aluminum frames.

  29. #179
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    Clear coating can really make a mess. And it doesn't adhere well to highly polished Al.

  30. #180
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    Sorry, I think I meant powder coat. I can't remember if you can do clear powder coat, but i think you can. It cost more, but your frame would be bullet proof.

    Your right though, It took me a couple of times to figure out clear coating with paint. You have to use good paint, be patient, and wet sand (I hate this step), and wet sand (I hate this step) and wet sand (I hate this step)the clear coat after its cured. I have had good results though. But it is a pain. I feel that on raw aluminum it wouldn't show the imperfections as much. Black is really a pain. Took me hours to get that right.

  31. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doughnut Spaghetti View Post
    Sorry, I think I meant powder coat. I can't remember if you can do clear powder coat, but i think you can. It cost more, but your frame would be bullet proof.

    Your right though, It took me a couple of times to figure out clear coating with paint. You have to use good paint, be patient, and wet sand (I hate this step), and wet sand (I hate this step) and wet sand (I hate this step)the clear coat after its cured. I have had good results though. But it is a pain. I feel that on raw aluminum it wouldn't show the imperfections as much. Black is really a pain. Took me hours to get that right.
    I love wet sanding, no dust.

  32. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    I love wet sanding, no dust.
    This is true

  33. #183
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    That is awesome .... how do I do that?

  34. #184
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    Went with a raw look

    I didnt want to deal with having to polish the thing all the time or have to clear coat it. I was able to save 87 grams off the frame weight in paint.
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  35. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    I didnt want to deal with having to polish the thing all the time or have to clear coat it. I was able to save 87 grams off the frame weight in paint.
    That's nice! Let see it built up.

  36. #186
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    Would love to but I'm waiting on a new headset.

  37. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoh1924 View Post
    That is awesome .... how do I do that?
    Use some type of paint stripper (read and follow the directions carefully) to remove the paint from the bike frame. "Aircraft Stripper" in a spray can seems to get the best results.

    Sand and/or use steel wool in finer grades until you have a nice "brushed" look and all of the paint has been removed.

    Buy a small jar of "Mother's Aluminum Polish" and scrap cotton cloths (old t-shirts) and polish the frame.

    All done!

  38. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    I didnt want to deal with having to polish the thing all the time or have to clear coat it. I was able to save 87 grams off the frame weight in paint.
    Very nice job! I think I like the brushed look more than I do the polished look. Next one I do I'll leave brushed, also...

  39. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    I didnt want to deal with having to polish the thing all the time or have to clear coat it. I was able to save 87 grams off the frame weight in paint.
    This looks perfect to me and is exactly what I want. I also prefer it to the highly polished look and you don't have as much "maintenance" hassle. Can you tell me exactly what your process was? What grades of steal wool did you use, etc.?

  40. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    Use some type of paint stripper (read and follow the directions carefully) to remove the paint from the bike frame. "Aircraft Stripper" in a spray can seems to get the best results.

    Sand and/or use steel wool in finer grades until you have a nice "brushed" look and all of the paint has been removed.

    Buy a small jar of "Mother's Aluminum Polish" and scrap cotton cloths (old t-shirts) and polish the frame.

    All done!
    To get it polished, you won't be able to go from steel wool brushed straight to Mothers. You can rub till it catches on fire with mothers at that point before it polishes up. After going over with 0000 steel wool, you'll need to wet sand with paper. Soak the paper in water over night. Start at 500 grit and work your way up to 2000 grit. Wear gloves and don't get the Al on your skin. Then polish with Mothers. Then you'll have this:

  41. #191
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    Here is what I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    This looks perfect to me and is exactly what I want. I also prefer it to the highly polished look and you don't have as much "maintenance" hassle. Can you tell me exactly what your process was? What grades of steal wool did you use, etc.?
    I started with a can of Klean gel stripper that I got at Home Depot. Brushed it on and let is sit until the paint started to peal up. Then I pressure washed it and recoated it with more stripper. It took several applications to get all the paint off. Some areas came right off, others required some elbow grease. I ended up using the entire can. I then used a wire wheel brush on my drill to get spots on the welds and cracks and crevices that the stripper wouldnt remove. I then buffed the whole thing with scotchbrite pads and finished it with fine steel wool.
    Last edited by craigstr; 01-22-2012 at 07:45 AM.

  42. #192
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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let's see your raw aluminium!-100_3549.jpg  

    Let's see your raw aluminium!-100_3535.jpg  


  43. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    Sorry to be a thread hog guys, but I'm really interested in doing this. Anyway, where did you guys find decals/stickers?
    A while back when I used to race bmx my dad re-finished a set of forks and handlebars for me. I was a little upset that I lost the decals so I sent an email to the company that made the parts. They ended up sending me a bunch of new stickers for free.

  44. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorTC View Post
    A while back when I used to race bmx my dad re-finished a set of forks and handlebars for me. I was a little upset that I lost the decals so I sent an email to the company that made the parts. They ended up sending me a bunch of new stickers for free.
    Trek says right on their website that they don't have decals avialible. I did find some on Ebay, but now I'm thinking about just keeping it bare. Stickers would probably look great if they are applied right. If you do a bad job applying them, it would mess up the whole look.

  45. #195
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    Vinyl Lettering | Custom Vinyl Lettering - These guys do custom lettering at a good price. But after all that work, why give someone else free advertisement?

  46. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    Stickers would probably look great if they are applied right. If you do a bad job applying them, it would mess up the whole look.
    I worried about the same thing until I found out how you could make your own vinyl application fluid out of dish soap and water. It worked like a champ.

    I was able to gently move the decals around until I had them lined up just how I wanted them. Once everything dried I pulled off the backing and the decals have stayed on without issue.

    If you're interested, details and pics here...

  47. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    I worried about the same thing until I found out how you could make your own vinyl application fluid out of dish soap and water. It worked like a champ.

    I was able to gently move the decals around until I had them lined up just how I wanted them. Once everything dried I pulled off the backing and the decals have stayed on without issue.

    If you're interested, details and pics here...
    Marpilli,

    That does look pretty cool. You did a good job. BTW, is that a Lizard Skin carbon chainstay protector on there? I was think about adding one of those. Do you like it?

  48. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    Marpilli,

    That does look pretty cool. You did a good job. BTW, is that a Lizard Skin carbon chainstay protector on there? I was think about adding one of those. Do you like it?
    Thank you. It's just some generic carbon chain stay protector. Once I realized it didn't have much coverage I just wrapped the chain stay with gorilla tape instead. Looks good to me and it was cheap.

  49. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdj View Post
    Trek says right on their website that they don't have decals avialible. I did find some on Ebay, but now I'm thinking about just keeping it bare. Stickers would probably look great if they are applied right. If you do a bad job applying them, it would mess up the whole look.
    Go to your local sign shop. They will be able to make stickers for you. My guy makes stuff for me all the time and it's cheap.

  50. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    To get it polished, you won't be able to go from steel wool brushed straight to Mothers. You can rub till it catches on fire with mothers at that point before it polishes up. After going over with 0000 steel wool, you'll need to wet sand with paper. Soak the paper in water over night. Start at 500 grit and work your way up to 2000 grit. Wear gloves and don't get the Al on your skin. Then polish with Mothers.
    Oh my that is nice.
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