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Can I Re-Anodize My Rims?-Here’s what you need to know

When rims become old and lose their original color, then they are anodized again due to which they regain their color and look fully new, but there are two types of anodizing of rims, light and hard anodizing of rims, mostly anodizing is a temporary method because, after a few months, anodized rims again start losing their color and these become old, it is a light method and it is also cheaper, but hard anodizing of rims is rare and it is a permanent method, the color of the rims does not change for many years, but it is a little bit difficult because the mixture used for hard anodizing is very strong and acidic and time-consuming, even hard acids are not available in shops and stores.

Re-anodizing of rims is usually done to increase the lifespan of the rims and give them a new life with a decorative and adorable look, it also increases the durability of the rims and makes them rustproof. but it is not an easier process, if we go deeper then you have to find or buy many expensive things which include car battery with both positive and negative leads, strong acids, tubs and cans to fill water, titanium wires and the color which you are going to anodize your rim. instead of these things this process also requires a high level of skills of the person who is going to re-anodize bike rims, even a single mistake would fail you and the rims do not look new because of laziness.

Re-anodizing of rims does not hide the dents and cracks of the rims and bent areas, all of these scratches would remain visible, anodizing is usually done if you want to change or replace the company name of the rim with a branded industry, it becomes much easier and you to sell your bike at higher prices by changing and replacing the previous brand name, it is a hidden trick of the rims due to which 0ld used rims are replaced and changed into fully new things, re anodizing is not limited just for the rims, you can anodize any aluminum or steel part of your bike according to your own desire.

Dye Method:

Re-anodizing of rims is totally dependent on the dyeing method because you are changing the previous color with a new one, that’s the reason anodizing of rims does not make any sense if you are using this process for expensive bike wheels, dye method would give a temporary color to rims which even does not match with the original color of the rims as new wheelsets are shipped from the company.

Hard Anodizing For Bike Rims:

In the past soft polished color rims were widely available in the rims, but as time passed everything moved towards the attraction, and nowadays wheels, hubs, spokes and all the other parts of the bike have a hard anodizing coating, which gives a much more attractive look and also it is long-lasting coating with increases durability as compared to the normal light anodizing color of the rims.

The theory behind the hard anodizing coating is that these would not use the dye method and other temporary colors for coating the wheels, and also the diameter of the thin anodizing dye coating is smaller and weaker as compared to the hard anodizing coatings which play a major role in their durability and increase their life span on the surface of the rims.

For those wheels which have a thinner diameter on braking areas, using the hard anodizing method on these wheels would cause a big difference as compared to those wheels which lack hard coatings. almost after a year when the rims and braking areas are removed and rubbed thoroughly, you can further recoat with the same hard anodizing process, it further increases the durability of the rim to perform better and smooth.

Noe disc brakes are installed in every bike wheelset, but in the past rim brakes were more common, and these were the pas of the rim brakes which continuously rubbed with the wheels and scratches all the coating due to which wheels lost all their aesthetic functionings, but disc brakes had different routing and tracks than rim brakes, it is the reason hard anodizing is more popular and is common in every bike wheels in these days.

Why Re-anodizing Of Wheels is common Among Riders?

Usually, riders do not like wheel colors, and they want to replace them with their own desired colors or the color that should match exactly with the bike frame, and the other reason is that re-anodizing of wheels increases the durability of the rims.

How To Remove Previous Anodizing Coating For Re-Anodizing Of Rims?

Anodizing coatings on the rims are not their original and genuine color companies but these are artificial coatings and they can easily be removed with cleaners, brushes, and other products. the previous coating is removed when it becomes old, the reason is that it destroys all the look and beauty of the rims and the wheels look junky.

oven cleaners are used for the removal of the previous rim coatings, but before applying you have to cover and hide all the sedges of the spoke nipples of the rim, but if it’s hard to cover the nipples then simply lube them so that the threads of the nipples do not damage or destroy form the oven cleaner. this process is nasty and liquid-proof gloves are also necessary.

This oven cleaner method would not permanently remove rim coating thoroughly, you have to further use sandpaper or sanding method for the complete removal and make the rim neat and clean. after that, you can re-anodize the bike rim with a new oxidation layer and new color of your own desire which will further cover the rim thoroughly and save wheels from rusting and dirty terrains.

acids used for the removal of the previous anodize of bike rims are given below:

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Potassium Hydroxide

It is time consuming and difficult process but you have to stay tuned and never be disappointed because removing the previous coating is a lot of difficult process. if you do not have an oven cleaner and you are thinking you can do this job without the oven cleaner by just sandpaper and sanding process, then stop, you are not right, it is impossible to remove the anodize coating with just sandpapers(oven cleaner is necessary)

How Re-Anodizing Is Not Better For Bike Rims?

Anodizing is a thick layer of different colors and dyes, even these are not good for wheels, because the natural genuine color of the rim shines much better than these coatings, and also if you have installed rim brakes on your wheels, then these thick coatings are not smooth and pads do not easily rub on the sidewalls of the rims, if you have coated or anodized your rim, then you have to upgrade rim brake to disc brakes.

The other disadvantage is that this thick coating loses its stickiness after a few months and a few places on the rim surfaces become naked and the inner rim metal surface comes in contact with the brakes, which constantly starts eating and rubbing these naked surfaces of the rim, the artificial anodize coating of the rim has less lifespan as compared to the original rim coatings.

How Many Times Re-Anodizing Is possible?

You can repeat the anodizing process several times for bike rims and other materials for which you want to anodize until the roughness and shaded areas would completely become new and shiny with the new coating of the anodizing, using more than two to three times is not a major problem.

Which Products And Acids Are Used FOr Re-Anodizing Of Bike Rims?

There are many products that are used for the re-anodizing of the metals, which are dishwashing detergents, vinegar, acetone isopropyl alcohol, and alcohol. but these are not the exact products that can give a hard coating, all of these products are used for light, cosmetic aluminum layers, and thick and long-lasting products are acids which are sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and nitric acid. these three acids would have a noticeable result and these are mainly used for anodizing and re-anodizing bike wheels and other metal and steel products.

Is Re-Anodizing Method Compatible With All Metals?

The most compatible and reactive metals of bike rims that are highly used for anodizing purposes are aluminum and titanium, if your rim has carbon fiber wheelsets, then avoid anodizing method due to the heat intensity and non-compatible acids, which will destroy the plastic fiber rims.

Without these two metals, you can apply an anodizing process to all the other metals but these are more common and widely used.


Anodizing and hard coating of bike wheels and other metals which you are going to do is temporary, it is not a genuine color, it removes earlier, also the process is much complicated and complex, even the silver and black colored anodize rims are also temporary and if you are changing rim color from silver to black or black to silver color, this is is compatible but it is much harder and needs skills. Anodizing process is not expensive, it is a cheaper process, that’s why these are on a temporary basis.