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DIY: Pimp your bars!

Dec 12, 2007 at 13:52
by Janne Aspinen  
Maybe you have, hmm, let's say beated Husselfelts on your bike. How you can
make 'em look better with budget? One answer is paint. Why not?
Another answer is to put some nice sticker on 'em! That's propably
the easiest way to do it. But, the hardest and most time consuming way to solve
this problem is polishing. This article is here to give you an idea, what is
one way to do it.To complete this task you will need the following items:
-Metal item to be polished. (I choosed Truvativ Husselfelt '05 OS handlebar)
-Sandpaper (I used: 80, 180, 400, 800 and 1200) (Costs something like 1 euro or $ per sheet)
-Water (For water sand paper (800 and 1200))
-Metal Polishing Compound (I used: Unipol, ~7 euros or $)
-Cloth (for cleaning and polishing. I used some soft disposable polishing cloths, but for example old T-shirt will do fine)

Step 1:

Clean all kind of dirt from the bars.

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Step 2:

This step is the most time consuming step. You have to sand all paints off, so there will be only bare metal left. It took something like 30 minutes to sand one half of the bars.

The idea in sanding is: you start from coarse (rough) grit sizes (big grits) and increase it little by little to fine grit sizes (very small grits). If you don't use enough different grit sizes, you have to do excess work. It's very time consuming to try sand off big scratches with
very fine paper.

Notice: You have to be careful when sanding. Not all bike parts are suitable for sanding. I'm not sure, is it
even good idea to sand my Husselfelts, but I decided to do so anyway.

You can also first use some kind of chemical paint remover like Nitro Mors. But be aware, that they doesn't bite
to annodized surfaces, like my Husselfelt. I had no choice but to use brutal force.

Ok, let's cut the bs: Take big enough piece of sandpaper with grit size 80. I used sandpaper intended for metal,
so one sheet will last very long. Actually I cutted one 120mm x 70mm piece and it lasted as long as I needed it.
You maybe want to clean bars with cloth every now and then.

Unsecure image, only https images allowed: decided to polish only one half of the bars.

Step 3:

Get paper with grit size 180. Sand down all scratches off made by 80 paper.

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Step 4:

Get paper with grit size 400. Sand down all scratches off made by 180 paper.

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Step 5:

Get paper with grit size 800. Sand down all scratches off made by 400 paper. My grit sizes 800 and 1200 were water sand paper. The idea in wet sand paper is that water washes off small metal pieces from the paper. Grit size is so fine, that it would not bite that well without water. There are also pretty fine papers, which are not water sand papers, you can use them too. I have seen them all the way to grit size 1000.

I took bucket of water and dipped the water sand paper piece in there every time, when water on handlebar was starting to dry. So keep the sanded surface wet. Check results every now and then by wiping all dirty water off from the surface with paper or cloth.

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Step 6:

Get paper with grit size 1200. Sand down all scratches off made by 800 paper. It's pretty hard to see difference in 800 and 1200 scratches, but if you look closely you can see it. Good lights are helpful here. When you are done, clean your bars.

Step 7:

In this step we are polishing the bars. I have this kind of polishing compound, you might have different kind. This polishing is very easy to use. You just simply put some compound on surface of the item to be cleaned and start polishing it with a cloth. At first the compound turns black when it reacts with the polishing and then just keep on polishing and it will clear up and make the surface to be nice and shiny. This step shows have done your sanding properly. If so, the result will be mirror-like shine.

Step 8:

Clean all excess polishing compound and be amazed by the results!

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Step 9:

Leave comments and maybe a link to your own polished stuff. I would love to see your results.

It took me about 2 hours of labour to polish one half of the bars.

EDIT (13 December, 2007): There was simple reason why I polished bars only halfway.
Unsecure image, only https images allowed: of the pictures:
-Front zoom
-Rear zoom

Any questions? Give me a shout!

Direct link to this article:


Author Info:
air2k avatar

Member since Jul 9, 2006
6 articles

  • 1 0
 "But be aware, that they doesn't bite
to annodized surfaces, like my Husselfelt. I had no choice but to use brutal force."
With anodized surfaces you can use the same stuff that is used to open drains(some kind of acid). It save a lot of time and energy...
  • 0 0
 Yeah. I tried this method to my Husselfelt stem and it does quite a nice job. I used This brand. Unofortunetly all drain cleaners doesn't work to anodization.
  • 1 0
 Tietääkö kukaan mistä tota Nitro Mors:sia saisi ostettua? Löytyisköhän ihan rautakaupasta, vai pitääkö jostain "erikoisliikkeestä" mennä kyselemään? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Pitaisi saada iha normi marketeistakin.
  • 1 0
 Okei, ja kiitos todella paljon.
  • 1 1
 Erikoisen näköinen toi tanko puoliksi kiillotettuna ja puoliksi tarroilla peitettynäSmile Hieno on!Vähä erilaistaSmile
  • 0 0
 Awesome tutorial mate! Love the way your bars turned out! I might polish my old cranks after reading this.

Keep those DIY articles coming! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 hey man thanks for this im doing it to my bars now
  • 2 0
 you are my idol !!! that give me some idea's ... Wink
  • 0 0
 Thank you for everyone. Nice to hear your comments. Smile

Please let me know how your polishing projects went by sending links to your project pictures.
  • 1 0
 Tomorow I am going to buy somme sand paper and i will do my holzfeller crank
  • 1 0
 Thank you very much, i was looking everywhere for this i was looking to do a similar polishing to my bar, thanks man!
  • 1 0
 im doing my spare bars atm its a lot of hard work but easier if sandpapers wet good tutorial aswell dude
  • 1 0
 That looks so dang COOL thanks heaps! I think I'm gonna try this out
  • 0 0
 Post photo then. Wink
  • 0 0
 Photos available here.

I'll keep the pics coming as the project progresses
  • 1 0
 I finished my frame. Thanks for the tutorial
  • 0 0
 nice job, try the levers though oh my god were they hard to do. specialy since i just used a buffing wheel
  • 0 0
 cool man....maybe ill do my bars. check my album to see a fully polished giant stp.
  • 0 0
 Actually, could you polish it and then anodize for some other colour + polish efect?
  • 1 0
 I ha ve finish pilishing my crank
  • 0 0
 Looking pretty good. Although little bit more sanding wouldn't hurt. Smile
  • 1 0
 ye i know I will finish it today the details
  • 0 0
 go see my finish product!!----------------------------->
  • 0 0
 thats a nice job you done
the bars are lookin pretty coolBig Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • 0 0
  • 1 0
 Looks pretty sweet!

im thinking of polishing my rims like this, but i heard that the aluminium oxidizes, do you think adding a clear coat would sort this at all??
  • 0 1
 siisti, mullakin taitaa olla vanha hussefeltti jossain jos vaikka kokeilis.
  • 0 0
 brilliant dude, will give it a try.
  • 0 0
 wouldn't it rust faster when it is polish?
  • 2 0
 If left raw, eventually aluminum will start to oxidize. You can either polish it again to remove the oxidization or just spray some clear to coat to protect it from the elements.
  • 0 0
 im goin to have a go at that thanks for the info Wink
  • 0 0
 I'm going to start sanding my bars as soon as I get sand paper
  • 0 0
 that looks sick i want to do that to my bars!
  • 0 0
 im doing this to my cranks fo sho...
  • 0 0
 dude that looks so sick

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