shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

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Brucey
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shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby Brucey » 13 Jan 2021, 10:57am

aluminium cranks can be polished, polished then anodised, anodised (different colours are possible) or painted.

I prefer simple polished cranks, because all the others start to look shabby after a while, and there is not that much you can do about it.

Image
Campagnolo cranks; the worst-looking marks are where the anodising has worn off

More modern campagnolo cranks (in silver finished aluminium) are typically anodised too. Most new cranksets which are silver coloured (metal) are anodised rather than just polished. At least anodising is harder wearing than paint is;

Image

Dark coloured finishes on cranks can soon end up looking like the ones above.

One way of addressing worn anodising (or paint) on cranks is to strip it all off and to polish the whole crank instead. But it is an awful lot of work.

Obviously it is best if nothing rubs on the cranks, but to some extent this seems inevitable. What have other folk concluded about this?

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mig
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby mig » 13 Jan 2021, 11:51am

i have never liked black chainsets, rings, rear mechs etc for the same reasons. a little 'patina' is okay but, as you say, cranks soon suffer very much with bad wear in these cases.

i once had a spare track 48T ring that i used on a fixed commuter many years ago. i always thought that it made the bike look dull even when new and worse still as the colour wears from the teeth in use. i got some use out of it but swapped it for a silver one well before it wore out.

another thing that ruins the look of a bike for me - curved or shaped seat stays - but that's another matter!

ps. the campagnolo cranks in your picture. i had a set on a bike many years ago and they did some real miles until , one day, i felt a clunk and the right hand pedal was stuck to the bottom of my shoe (look delta cleats.) a really clean break straight across removing the 'eye' part. 5 miles of left leg only pedalling later i arrived home. :roll:

robc02
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby robc02 » 13 Jan 2021, 11:58am

Generally I prefer plain anodised finishes due to their durability. Small marks are often not too obvious in the way they would be with a coloured anodised or painted finish.

However, after a lot of use damage can begin to show and look pretty bad - as seen on the old Campag cranks above. At that point I have normally relegated stuff to hack bike duty so am not that bothered, but I can see the appeal of a polished finish here and also for those restoring older equipment.

When I started cycling most aluminium parts were polished and quickly became tarnished. I have no yearning to go back to the polishing routine that was needed to keep stuff looking good!

It is possible to anodise parts at home. I haven't tried this, mainly due to the nasty chemical involved. Has anyone had a go?

PH
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby PH » 13 Jan 2021, 1:11pm

I like polished stuff, I'd have happily bought some polished cranks last year, but when I looked the few options available were all in the boutique category with prices to match. I could strip and polish a set, I looked at what's involved and decided I didn't want them that much. I meant to try some Helicopter tape on the black ones I bought, though I've left that too late to preserve the pristine look. I'm not keen on silver anodised, it doesn't keep the shine, even if it had it originally, I dislike the dull silver more than the wear marks.

nsew
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby nsew » 13 Jan 2021, 1:45pm

Shimano’s cold forged anodised Dura Ace / XT of the late 80s/90s were the business. These are 1990 XT with at least 10,000 miles in them.
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gregoryoftours
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby gregoryoftours » 13 Jan 2021, 3:15pm

Some Mtb ers in particular put helicopter tape on their cranks which I guess could work. Some of the more recent xt cranks are concave on the outer surface, I've wondered if it's partly to preserve the nice logo. Ok a lot of bikes I prefer the look of black cranks but yes it does look worse when it wears.

hoogerbooger
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby hoogerbooger » 13 Jan 2021, 3:32pm

For the reasons pointed out I just don't get why anyone would want to buy parts finished in any other colour than the metal below. I know some like black components but I've always presumed it must be a cost saving to the manufacturers that they've marketed pretty effectively....to the point it's often hard to find silver anodized or polished versions.

hamster
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby hamster » 13 Jan 2021, 3:55pm

Agreed that the finish of Shimano stuff has gone steadily downhill - since 1995ish the high polish and anodizing was largely replaced with cheap paint. This is worst on the MTB groupsets which tend to feature for touring bikes.

Brucey's Deore cranks have poor paint compared to the black M560/563 Deore LX of around 1992-95 which had a decent thick coat.

mattsccm
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby mattsccm » 13 Jan 2021, 6:35pm

I am of the view that the only black on a bike should be the tyre tread and maybe the brake blocks. Shiny silver all the way for metal bits. Once stuff gets scabby, as in the pic above. I polish it up. If it gets a bit dull a fee minutes with some Autosol sorts it out.

hamish
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby hamish » 13 Jan 2021, 10:10pm

mattsccm wrote:I am of the view that the only black on a bike should be the tyre tread and maybe the brake blocks. Shiny silver all the way for metal bits. Once stuff gets scabby, as in the pic above. I polish it up. If it gets a bit dull a fee minutes with some Autosol sorts it out.


I had a 'silver' Rohloff. It went kind of dull after a while. The one I have now is anodized black. It still looks like new. Black stuff is sometime good.

PH
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby PH » 13 Jan 2021, 10:17pm

hamish wrote: I had a 'silver' Rohloff. It went kind of dull after a while. The one I have now is anodized black. It still looks like new. Black stuff is sometime good.

An older silver Rohloff or a more recent one? The older were polished the more recent anodised, I don't know when they changed. My 2003 hub is polished and half an hour with some Silvo about once a year and it shines like new. When an anodised hub (Or anything else) starts looking dull, that's it. When I bought another this year I chose black over silver, but I'd rather have had polished.

AndyA
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby AndyA » 13 Jan 2021, 10:20pm

hamish wrote:
mattsccm wrote:I am of the view that the only black on a bike should be the tyre tread and maybe the brake blocks. Shiny silver all the way for metal bits. Once stuff gets scabby, as in the pic above. I polish it up. If it gets a bit dull a fee minutes with some Autosol sorts it out.


I had a 'silver' Rohloff. It went kind of dull after a while. The one I have now is anodized black. It still looks like new. Black stuff is sometime good.


Early silver Rohloffs were polished but not anodized and tended to corrode. Which is a shame, they cost the same!

Brucey
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2021, 7:30am

from my own collection of bits and pieces;

Image01997b.jpg
campagnolo crank with worn anodising


every tiny scratch on the anodised surface is there for ever.

Image01999.jpg
Shimano Deore DX crank, with polished finish


Before Deore XT existed, the best shimano MTB kit was Deore DX, and the DX cranks were polished not anodised. Needless to say they can be repolished ad infinitum.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Valbrona
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby Valbrona » 14 Jan 2021, 9:46am

A lot of rubbing and then you have to do something about it in terms of re-positioning the foot.

But, and as we all known, you get rubbing with even the most well set-up arrangement, especially in the case of heel-in cyclists like myself.
I should coco.

Brucey
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Re: shabby cranks: painted vs anodised vs polished

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2021, 11:13am

one observation I would make is that in parts which are anodised, cracking is also more likely to be seen. I think that this may be because the slightest breach in the anodised layer is less likely to be passive, corrosion-wise. This may mean that nascent cracks, before they have much of a true geometric stress concentration, can behave much as if they do.

So older shimano cranksets are an interesting case in point; they appear to be made using the same raw forgings but either anodised or not. It probably isn't a coincidence that the only breakages I have seen (eg at the LH square taper socket) have been in the anodised versions.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~