Monday, September 21

Bikes are Like Cars Only Littler

Way back when, I used to "show" my Jaguars, especially Felix. I'd get serious about detailing the car about a week before a show. It'd start with washing, which combined with the basic glaze and wax, took most of the first day. Various other items followed, including waxing the windshield with carnauba wax. For those that have never entered councours d'elegance - it's great if you are a masochist. Where else do you pay people to tell you how lousy your car is?

Well, the principle is exactly the same for detailing a bike. If you want your ancient steed or newer mount to look its best, learn a little detailing magic. Check out an auto detailing book from your library - almost ALL of it will apply to a bike.

NEVER let anybody in your family throw out an old toothbrush again! They're great for cleaning hubs, and chains, and all sorts of other items your fingers are too big to get into. Buy Simple Green in the giant economy size at Costco. Heck, you can use it on your car, too. Go to Pep Boys and look through the potions & lotions department. Got some faded rubber? Back to Black will make it look new. Got some bolts that want to rust? Meguiars has a host of products that will help. I favor Final Inspection myself. Those tires look dowdy? Just a smidge of tire shine on the sidewall, carefully wiped off will make them sharp.

Best of all, instead of a week, you can have your bike looking like something Mary Poppins would approve of ("practically perfect in every way") in just a day or two instead of a week. Bikes ARE different!

NOTE: The picture at left was my skewer "before." The picture at right was the same skewer after the paint pen took its first swipe. Now it looks "done." The Ritchie pedals also look pretty sweet now.

Give me a few days and I could even make Frankenbike pretty enough that a thief would take a second look - hmm, we could carry this detailing thing too far!


Big Oak said...

I washed my bike off a week ago with dilute Simple Green and a toothbrush. It's still nice and shiny (no rain since then). Thanks for the tips about rusty items. I'll try the car aisle for potions to renew my latest project.

Rantwick said...

I sweat all that stuff when building a bike, but typically it is all downhill from there... rusty bolts will get my attention, but just about everything else I chalk up to "character". Good thing I'm not showing my bike anywhere.

Chandra said...

Lots of great tips to make one's car/bike look great! I used to detail my cars. I don't do that anymore. These days, I simply let mother nature give'em a wash, every so often.
Peace :)

Rat Trap Press said...

I need to do some touching up. I'll be sure to run over to Pep Boys and check out those paint pens.

Steve A said...

Paint pens are best found at Wally World, along with those tiny bottles of enamel paint. Just in black, you can get gloss, semi gloss, and flat. Get Meguiars at Pep Boys. Final Inspection and Waterless Car Wash are two favorites. The right kind of brush can make cleaning up spokes a snap as well.

I have black, red, and white paint pens which cover most needs. You can also get paint pens custom mixed but that's spendy.

Bike Lemming said...

I've used nail polish to fill in chips and scratches...

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