First off, please excuse me if I don't know all the names of the bike parts yet or maybe ask some daft questions!
I'm new on this site having just found a renewed passion for biking, so I was very pleased to have picked up a 1995 (so says my local bike shop) Marin Indian Fire Trail for £250 on eBay.
I used to have an IFT when they were quite new but have been off the scene for many years now. My original bike was the one with the purple graphics and forks but I don't exactly remember what year it was. 1993 maybe?
The IFT I picked up recently is still a fantastic ride and nice and lightweight, but it's been sitting around for a while and isn't quite how I'd like it, especially having seen some amazing restorations on this site.
It's got some Suntour SR shocks on it which my local bike shop says are on their last legs (they're pitted/scored horizontally to about 2cms above the bit of the shock that travels) and otherwise is standard from what I remember, running Deore XT bits and bobs. Oh, it also has a FSA head and an Easton EA30 cross-bar.
I first off want to get the aluminium back up to a good look (concourse if I could!) but need some advice. I've so far taken off one of the very manky condition IFT graphics - which I will replace later with vinyl if need be - and have started on bits of the frame with Autosol metal polish. It's certainly brightened up a bit, but is bloody hard work and still isn't producing what I'm after.
Is there a better polish to use (Mother's Metal Polish for example)?
Is there somewhere that professionally does aluminium frame restorations to maximum effect? I'm in Surrey if it helps.
Regarding the above, should I get it media blasted or take to it with a compound machine?
Should I give up and throw it in a hedge?