Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FH-M650, Part 2

In a previous post I extolled the virtues of the Shimano Deore DX rear hub, the FM-M650. It's spaced at 135mm, but set up for 7-speed; so it has low dish. It can take Hyperglide or Uniglide hubs, so you can have good friction shifting. For really excellent friction shifting, it will accept 6-speed Uniglide hubs. And as a value, it's incredible: I got a set including a front hub and really nice skewers for $25.

Of course I am a fierce enemy of anodizing. In some applications I have practical reasons. In parts where the anodized part is likely to be rubbed (like cranks), rubbed-off anodizing can spoil its look. Hubs aren't going to be rubbed. I stripped the anodizing on this hub for almost entirely aesthetic reasons. (The result is shown above; the anodized original, behind, is out of focus, unfortunately!)

But I think it looks really nice. It goes from being a very pedestrian part to looking as attractive as something from Mavic or Campagnolo. I did this while watching Canada play Norway in Olympic hockey last night. I sanded with 80/320/600/1500 grit sandpaper, and then polished and polished and polished.

The date-stamp engraved on the non-driveside flange is OK (November 1990). I would say this hub is now looking better than "OK"!


Unknown said...

How do you strip anodizing? The hub has been transformed!

AH said...

In this case I just sanded it off. I used emery paper first (80 grit) and then sanded the hub smooth with 220, 400, 600, and 1500 grit. Then I polished using Simichrome. The polishing process is very important: the longer you go, the shinier it gets. Think of Simichrome as a very fine grit sandpaper.

The other way of stripping anodizing is chemically. Lye is harsh but can work well--EasyOff oven cleaner will sometimes do the job. But with some anodizing it leaves things black and gross, and then you need to sand anyway! There are commercially available anodizing removal chemicals that presumably don't turn things black... I'll try them sometime!