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Record crank got some kind of nasty etching...(7 posts)

Record crank got some kind of nasty etching...lonefrontranger
Oct 25, 2001 7:16 PM
This might be a good one for grzy. None of the so-called engineers at work could figure this out (it's a science lab though, not a metal shop).

My brand new (less than 2 month's riding) Campy Record crank has some sort of nasty-looking etch marks on the spider. I've tried quite a few things - washing with various detergents, degreaser, metal polish, Dremel tool with buffing head - nothing is taking this stuff off. The shiny parts are merely getting a little shinier. It almost looks like it got hit with acid of some kind. The double-aught sandpaper the shop monkey recommended will be an absolute last resort.

Consensus from the shop is that I probably rode on a dirt road that had been sprayed with "conditioner", which in their description is a fairly corrosive salty substance the local road crews use to keep the dust down. I can't imagine people would want to put this on the roads to chew up their cars, but who knows.

I'd really like to polish these up nice again. If I can't restore the polish, I will be forced to relegate it to the 'cross bike in favor of the '02 Record carbon :)

TIA for any thoughts.
re: Record crank got some kind of nasty etching...CT1
Oct 26, 2001 2:35 PM
Try some Happich Semichrome polish. This stuff is pretty good as a general purpose metal polish. I've used it to get out some pretty ugly looking corrosion. I think you should be able to find this stuff at better auto parts stores.

Good LUCK!! :-) Oh, if that doesn't work.... sounds like a good excuse to get the Carbon Record crankset... ;-)

ride on
re: Record crank got some kind of nasty etching...Ken
Oct 26, 2001 8:47 PM
Same thing on my Record Cranks only the striations are on the left crankarm just above the pedal hole facing the bikeframe. I didn't really notice the striations at first because I was so excited about riding my new bike. After a while I decided to clean up the striations thinking at first that they were scuff marks made by something rubber. After using detergents, paint thinner and kerosene I noticed that they were no way coming off. To this day I don't know how the striations got there or how to make them disappear.

Something interesting of note. When I received delivery of the bike the pedal holes were taped over with some heavy duty fibre tape. The fibre in the tape runs parralell to each other and lies lengthwise in relation to the tape. Taking the tape off the cranks I noticed the striation patterns on the crank matched the pattern of the fibre tape. I can send you an email showing the striations on my cranks for you to compare if you want.

Thanks, this is much more widespread...lonefrontranger
Oct 27, 2001 5:28 AM
The cranks were pristine from the mfgr - I built the bike myself. It happened about a month or so after I got the bike. It definitely looks like a liquid corrosive of some kind got splashed on the cranks. It's all over the whole spider and down both crankarms. The funny thing is that my frame at the BB shows no sign of the stuff. I haven't really checked out the front mech, but the description of "road conditioner" the shop guys gave me was pretty accurate. They should know, they've lived in Colorado a lot longer than I have.

It's really ticking me off, 'cos the whole point of getting Record is for that pretty mirror crankset, oh, well...
polishing options....C-40
Oct 27, 2001 3:04 PM
If mild polishes like Semichrome or Mother's don't do the trick, the anodize finish has been damaged. There is no cost effective way to restore it. The alternative is to completely remove the anodize and polish the bare aluminum. The anodize can be sanded off using 400 grit sandpaper, but it's a pretty slow process. A professional shop would use a coarse compound and buff it off quickly.

The bare aluminum can then be polished easily with a buffing wheel mounted in a drill, using a coarse compound first, followed by a fine compound. Polishing materials are available at places like Home Depot or Try a web search on metal polishing. Detailed polishing info can be found pretty easily.
yes, you are absolutely correct...lonefrontranger
Oct 27, 2001 7:46 PM
The anodize is toast, and the metal polish didn't work. My boyfriend, for various reasons, has many, many grades of sandpaper all the way down to "jeweler's cloth". I can also get some good buffing compound from my mom, who does cloisonne jewelry on the side. She told me the stuff she uses on her copper jewelry won't harm the aluminum. My project for the next few nights is to remove all the anodize and polish it back out. It's working, but it is a slow process. Plus, without the clear anodize protectant, which I have NO way of re-creating, I imagine it will quickly become dull and oxidized-looking.

The worst part is I have absolutely no idea what caused this (only some pretty vague theories), so I don't know how to avoid it happening again.

Sigh, it will make a good crankset for the new 'cross bike. I'm just massively ticked that my brand new Record crank is all *** up.
possible causejacques
Oct 28, 2001 2:58 AM
Years ago I etched a Campy crankset with my own sweat. Rode rollers and wiped the top tube, stem and fork after each session. Never even looked at the cranks.