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I have a silver/grey painted FSA tempo crankset with some scratches and fading, I wanted to know how I would go about re painting, e.g. would I need to sand back down to bare metal or just sand off the rough stuff then spray it, I have no idea.

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    Is your crankset really painted? Aluminium is often just anodised.
    – Michael
    Aug 13, 2021 at 8:36
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    Would a photo help as I don't know
    – Asher
    Aug 13, 2021 at 8:40
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    A clear and well-lit photo would help a lot. Use edit to add one.
    – Criggie
    Aug 13, 2021 at 8:51
  • Is it this ? shop.fullspeedahead.com/en/cranksets/road/… The colour listed is "neutral" not silver or grey, so perhaps yours has been painted already ?
    – Criggie
    Aug 13, 2021 at 8:51
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    Be aware that any rattle-can spray paint you get from some big-box hardware store will likely not be anywhere near as durable as the original finish. It'll be a lot softer, it will scratch easily, it will likely rub off on your shoes, and it might not adhere all that well and wind up peeling and flaking off. It might look good for a while, but it will probably wind up looking a lot worse in a fairly short time. Something from an auto-parts store would likely be more durable. Aug 13, 2021 at 11:15

2 Answers 2

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Looks like some kind of shiny Chrome finish on the crank arms and spider, where the chainrings themselves have a matt grey finish.

You have several options:

  • Light sand/scuff and then paint with several thin coats of paint. Best done by removing pedals and then take crank off the bike, and drop the chainrings to prevent overpainting. Do a light sand between coats, and finish with a clearcoat. It might last a month to a year before needing re-doing.
  • A polish, using cutting compound and several grades of sandpaper. This will give a brushed aluminium look and will also hide scratches. Might be easier using a buffing/polishing wheel. Should last a long time.
  • Electroplating - Not one I've tried, but its possible to lay a coat of colour/protective layer on top using electricity and a sacrificial anode. You absolutely have to do the polishing step first though, all the scratches will show up otherwise.
  • Do Nothing. Cranks appear to work fine, just ride the bike. If you have time to look at your cranks while riding, then you could be riding harder.
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I'd polish the crankset with a metal polishing compound and subsequently adjust the cleat position on shoe so that shoes don't rub the cranks, and use clothes that don't touch the cranks when riding the bike.

Polish gives the most fatigue resistant surface. In contrast to anodizing, that is an ideal surface for fatigue cracks to appear and grow, polishing is something that not only prevents fatigue cracks from initiating, but also gives early warning about possible fatigue cracks if inspected often with a flashlight because a fatigue cracks can be easily seen from a fully polished mirror shine surface.

Polishing also makes the crankset look better than any other option.

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  • Thanks for all the answers, and what about restoring the words painted on FSA TEMPO, can I get stickers for it somewhere?
    – Asher
    Aug 14, 2021 at 19:54

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