I love to tinker with bike components, as seen with my vintage bike restorations. In my Yo Eddy! resto documentation, I stripped the faded Syncros post and polished it up to a mirror-like finish. It matched the Suntour XC Pro parts kit perfectly. So when it came around to me building up my Black Cat rigid 29er, I wanted to do something different. An homage of sorts to my love of vintage mountain bikes. When I saw this post on the Kona blog, I knew it was time to try it out.
While I’m not quite ready to talk about the bike itself, my latest bike hack is something I thought you’d all enjoy. Black MTB components are so prevalent these days, and while that aesthetic works for this era of plastic motorcycles, what about modern steel bikes with a vintage aesthetic? I don’t vibe with all-black components and am always trying to mix it up with my modern projects.
My Black Cat has a mix of black and silver anodized parts, but this latest hack raised the bar for me. Read on below for how to strip your dropper stanchion to a lovely, polished silver.
Process: Stripping a Dropper Post Stanchion
Much of this process is identical to the post I made about stripping the Syncros post, so you should read that first: Restoring a Classic MTB Part 02: Tutorial – How to Remove Anodizing and Polish Bicycle Components the Easy Way
There is a caveat. As discussed in the above-linked article, removing anodizing is removing material. Polishing aluminum also removes material, so be extremely light-handed here. I coated the stanchion with oven cleaner and let it sit for exactly 20 minutes. Then I wiped it with a scotch brite pad. I do not recommend sanding the stanchion as you will remove even more material. Does it matter? I don’t know, but let’s play it safe here. Then, once it’s stripped, I polished it with Mother’s polish, using the same technique as the Syncros post from my Yo Eddy!
Some people have said this is bad because stripping the anodizing decreases the overall diameter of the post. I measured the stanchion before and after this process, and my digital calipers noted no such difference. Also, this is a mechanical system. There’s no fluid like in a suspension fork, so the seals merely wipe the post as it goes up and down; they are not holding back liquid. Those same seals will make up for any micron difference in diameter anyway. TL;DR, don’t overthink it!
Which Dropper to Use?
This should be obvious now, but I should point out that doing this will likely void your warranty. I also recommend using a dropper post that has parts available for service. I used a Wolf Tooth Resolve dropper since they uphold the Right to Rebuilt mantra.
Wolf Tooth has every single part for this dropper for sale on its website. I selected the correct diameter post and stanchion length from their website. In my case, that was a 30.9ø and 200mm of travel. Also, knowing that sometimes proprietary tools were required, I watched Wolf Tooth’s rebuild/service video and ensured I had all the necessary tools.
It took +/- 30 minutes to strip the stanchion, polish it, and another 30 minutes to swap it out. The dropper works just as it should, and I’ll watch the stanchion to ensure the finish lasts. Even if it doesn’t work out, I still have the original stanchion I can swap back in.
By the time I document this Black Cat, I will have had a lot of time on the post, so stay tuned!
Got questions/concerns/comments? Drop them below, and I’ll get to them!