SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
CRANKALICIOUS METALLIQUE MIRROR FINISH METAL POLISH
Crankalicious Mirror Finish Metal Polish is a high quality polish for buffing up the bare metal parts of your bike. With Eroica compliant Campagnolo and a hotch potch of components hailing from the 1940s among the guinea pigs, I’ve been very pleased with the results. Bear in mind, though, you cannot fairly exact a silk purse form a sow's ear.
Despite assurances of PH neutrality, water based and non-acid calming any initial jitters, I found it hard to marry this and the guidelines, which talk in terms of it being fatal if swallowed or otherwise ingested through the airways. Crankalicious tell me it’s a mix of micro abrasives within a solvent container, blended with a chemical cleaning agent.
Many bike specific potions aren’t tolerant of extreme temperatures and the metallique must not be allowed to freeze, so store under the stairs, or similarly suitable place during winter.
Like most things, add common sense, disposable/examination gloves, well ventilated areas, wash off any splashes immediately and chances are, you’ll swerve lengthy explanations in casualty.
It’s reassuring economical - as you’d hope, given the ticket price. That said; it’s worth treating rust/oxidisation with a chemical formula and suitably stiff brush first. Crankalicious suggest using 0000 grade steel wool for really, dull/careworn surfaces. Michael says an old tooth/nail brush, dipped in a hot paste of cheap, washing up powder is also great for purging white fur and orange taint. Works particularly well on scabby stems, spanked cranks and 1980s Honda motorcycle engine cases apparently…
Whip components, such as cranks and contact points off and give them a good sudsy bucket scrub to strip any greasy/oily residue first. Similarly, the meatalique isn’t designed for anodized, or painted finishes. Isolated and accidental drops haven’t left their calling cards in my Carlton’s blue stove enameled paintwork but I was quick to dismiss them.
Double check their parentage beforehand, to avoid distress. Assuming everything’s clean and dry, shake the metalique vigorously for thirty seconds or so, then deliver in short blasts. For best results and minimal wastage, spray into a clean rag and then work liberally into the component(s).
Allow the metallique to haze (as you might a polymer wax, or household metal polish) but don’t let it cake on before buffing to a sheen with your other, soft, lint-free cloth(s). There’s something very rewarding about watching the filmy grot lift and the sheen materialize. Depending on their condition and the grade of metals used, repeated coats may be necessary.
With the good lady, Lurcher and son out on other missions, I spread newspaper over the kitchen table and polished in comfort. Talking of which, though ventilation is advisable, it lacked the potent punch of some chemical polishes I’ve used in the past.
Given their condition, I was expecting some sustained and vigorous effort. Crankalicious state that pitted and dulled surfaces are well within the metallique’s scope. With this in mind, the long neglected Charter-Lea post, Compe stem and GB bars came first. These cleaned up well but remained dull. Given their early post war vintage, I settled for a clean, uniform but satin effect.
Minor scuffing was also dismissed during this phase but anything deeper calls for physical sanding and possibly re-plating. Alternatively, blasted clean and then given a chrome effect powder coat rebirth-Michael’s preference.
My late 70’s Carlton was in much better shape. Rings and derailleur cages were treated in situ, hence the minor overspill but having degreased the rings with some old school solvent, given second helpings, the Campagnolo electroplated and polished alloy surfaces sported a mirror finish.
Higher quality metals will always scrub up well, even with both standard waddings. However, it’s worth remembering these, rather like paint cutting compounds remove tiny microns of oxidation and parent paintwork/metal. Therefore, it’s worth treating these surfaces to a decent quality polymer wax to lock the sheen in.
Bottom line, overall performance is good and better than I was expecting, especially given the case studies. £10 is relatively expensive but still in line with some very effective and justly popular automotive pastes. Their format is also easier to apply in situ, with less chance of unwanted contamination.
All chemical potions have their limits-there comes a point where mechanical polishing, or similar restoration is necessary. Flaking electroplate on or badly pitted alloy being prime examples.
Nonetheless, if you are looking at doing the occasional deep clean before taking the protective wax route, the metallique will produce good results and work out very economical in the longer run.
Verdict 3.5/5 Effective polish for moderately tainted metals but not necessarily superior to some iconic, automotive brands.
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