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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:49 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:06 pm
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Location: Vienna, Austria
Looking through eBay it's clear that a lot of folks are polishing up their Campagnolo items. As a Campagnolo purist I'm not convinced that these items are enhanced much by this process. I've seen some nasty examples of NR cranks polished within an inch of their lives with the lovely crisp angles rounded off so badly that the flutes aren't even parallel any more plus seatposts which can't possibly be their original diameter any more. Granted, it's a way of giving a new lease of life to an old worn item and I'm sure there's a market for it amongst the beardy weirdy hipster community but is there a danger that the decision to 'shine' it up is coming too eagerly amongst some sellers. I fear the whole package of an eBay ad featuring superb moody photographs and shiny things is too much for buyers to resist all at the detriment of some fine Italian components. Needless to say, I've never done it to my stuff but like silver cutlery, isn't there then a need to keep this stuff polished in order to maintain it's gleam?

So, really, is a bit of heel rub on a crank really that unsightly?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
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I think it depends on whether the components were originally anodised. Mirror polishing requires removing anodising. This destroys a protective layer, and makes the part different from how is was originally designed to look. If the part wasn't orginally anodised (e.g. campagnolo seatposts, I think), polishing is a less severe treatment.

In general, I try to distinguish between signs of use and signs of abuse when I restore a bike. I would class stuff like shoe rub as wear from normal use. Zig-zagged seat posts, scratches to stems from being rested on the ground etc are signs of abuse to me and I try to remove them.

Johnny


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:12 am
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
I must say I'm not the hugest fan of it , and I assume it must have been really ugly before !


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:00 pm
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I've done it. And complete with moody photographs I admit! But I'm with you on the need for it being scant if the part was originally anodised, and in good condition. I'd only do it to something particularly scruffy. Which, as mentioned, does raise suspicion of the parts condition previously, especially the cranks that were prone to cracking at the arm and spider.

As for the rounding out of the edges of older Campagnolo cranks I think it's rather horrid. And what's happened to the flutes on some renders them like a bump rather than a nice recess.

However you polish I expect you'll always get some rounding, but as I've never been in a hurry, so I've always polished by hand with paper and a small block. It maintains the shape of the crankset and takes off as little metal as possible. You can also feel what you are doing more, or maybe I just imagine that.

In terms of needing to keep polishing. To some extent this is true. Although I find the one cranks I polised and rode only needed it very occasionally. Otherwise, just a wipe over when cleaning the bike to keep it looking fine.

I don't bother doing it now, as it's so tedious to do by hand. I'll happily polish non-anodised parts to spruce them up. But overall I'd rather something keeps it's original condition where possible. Seems silly to do a faithful restoration and then fundamentally change something. Saying that, I just got an old 151 BCD Strada crank I want to use, and it's very, very scruffy and really needs some love... so never say never!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:03 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:33 pm
Posts: 208
Location: NW Kent
If something had a nice velvety anodised finish, over polishing looks wrong. Not bad, just wrong.

If you have ever tried to remove the anodised finish on a 70 Campag crank, you will realise that it pretty fecking hard. A lot harder than a polished aluminium finish so losing that protection is just madness. I'd take a scuffed anodised part than an overbuffed shiny one anyday. Aren't we supposed to love the patina? 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:58 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
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Location: Norn Iron
my 2p's worth -

As with everything, it is a matter of balance and what you trying to achieve. If it is an old badly marked item, what are your options - buy an NOS one or refurb the original. Buying is easier, but restoring, IMO, is more satisfying. If restoration involves a mirror polish, so be it, although i know nothing about it, i presume anodisation cannot be re-done easily. I have only read about ways to remove it.

Patina obviously has a place, but if you were honest, would you not prefer a bike to look as it was bought and then you could develop your own patina! My Rapide has got scores and scrapes - patina perhaps, and i can tell you where/when every score happened - so the patina is mine. I would have loved the bike restored back to its' completely OE condition but it is senseless.

Mirror polishing obviously has its' place and it may be the 'unfortunate' outcome of a refurb but it definitely has its' place.

Richard


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Location: Worcs
Although I'm biased, I think it looks massively more pleasing to the eye than dulled, scratched and scuffed parts, and on the right day...the effect is just stunning. That said - it suits the late eighties/nineties C Record era components far better than the earlier stuff.

Everything I've polished has been in original form, dull, jaded and really tatty....well past its cosmetic best. I can't honestly see how I've done anything other than enhance it.

Regardless of opinion, I guess any sort of tinkering game like old cars, bikes and this will always attract a huge degree of customisation. Keeps us out of trouble hey?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:19 pm 
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tarloone wrote:
Keeps us out of trouble hey?


+1 :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:34 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:33 pm
Posts: 208
Location: NW Kent
Robbied196 wrote:
Keeps us out of trouble hey?



Better to be guilty of buffing some 70's capag seatpost, than being found buffing one's secretary... :twisted:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:49 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:22 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Warks
I think there are 2 reasons to polish:
1. to give a bit of life back to a marked part, seat posts and stems and possibly scratched up cranks. (I usually find Autosol works enough without resorting to drastic measures).

In this case, it's possible to polish to a degree where despite the removal of anodising required to remove the marks, one can decide upon a satin finish.
2. To get a totally outrageous mirror finish, which the components never had...desirable as a 'fashion' look by some but a matter of taste as it was never like that originally.

i came across the same thing in classic car days when you'd find a 1960s brake servo chromed and the old pipes replaced with aeroquip hoses or highly polished copper pipes. Attractive in it's own way but inappropriate in another.


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