I recently found a bicycle abandoned on the side of the road while on an after work ride. It sat amongst cheap particle board furniture and used plastic storage bins, beneath a sign that simply read “Free”. It wasn’t in the best shape, showing spot rust across the paint and with brake cables dangling from the body with zip ties. But it was a Fuji, it had that ‘80s road bike look that I love, a beautiful green paint, and an unbeatable price. So with only two and a half miles left on my ride home, and unwilling to risk that someone else would pick this lonely bike up, I pedaled home pushing the new-old bike with one hand, like a dad would after biking his kid to work, and then pushing his bike home.
When I got home, I knew that I had a bit of a project. I’ll have to replace the shift cables, I’ll have to adjust the brakes, but my first concern was just getting the bike decent enough looking. Thankfully I have a few things in my quiver to do just that, including Maxima SC1 High Gloss Coating.
I started off by washing the bike with water and a scrub brush to get the grime off. Then I sprayed it with a bike cleaner that I let sit for a few minutes before scrubbing that off as well. The chain and drivetrain got degreaser and a scrub, but then I turned to the SC1. This is often referred to as “new bike in a can”. While I can’t say that what I got at the end of the process was a new bike, it was certainly far better then what I had limped home.
SC1 is a high gloss coating that works on plastic, vinyl, rubber, and even carbon fiber. While my cleaning process got most of the muck and grime off my bike, it didn’t leave the bike looking great. It looked flat, old, cheap. So I sprayed almost the entirety of it with the easy to use can.
The fact that it is safe to use with so many materials means that you can shamelessly coat your bike in it, which is exactly what I wanted to do. I coated the bike, all of it, then let it sit for 60 seconds. After that, you have two options.
If your bike is new, or in good condition, whether it be a matte paint bike or a shiny bike, you can buff the SC1 off with a clean cloth to give it a beautiful clean shine. It will look as if your bike just came out of that local bike shop you bought it from. However, if, like me, your bike is far from showroom quality, you can leave the spray on.
Leaving the spray on still gives your bike a nice sheen, which eliminated the “side of the road” aesthetic that the bike had, but more importantly it also protects your bike. Most of the surface rust on the paint likely came from chipped paint, wetness, mud and grime. In order to keep that from getting worse, SC1 actually creates a water-resistant protective barrier that helps shed the mud and crud that comes up off the road.
I now have a wonderful around town bike. It is not quite perfect, it is not quite beautiful, but it looks so much better than when I found it. With the protection of Maxima SC1 I get the gloss look that makes my bike appear as if it did not come from the garbage, and I get the protection to keep it out of the garbage for years to come.