I have a nice pair of bright red handle grips on my bicycle. I’ve had them for awhile, and they’re still in great shape, except that they are really dark with crud, a combination of chain grease and road grime. I just tried cleaning them with a scrub sponge and some comet, but that didn’t quite do it.
The consistency of the rubber is almost as if it were not quite solidified – like a really gooey art gum eraser. The grime seems like it has bonded with the rubber, i.e., not staining it, but tenaciously attached. If I scrape it with a thumbnail, there is clearly a foreign layer, but it pulls the rubber off with it.
I’m thinking maybe acetone would clean them, but I don’t want to ruin the, uh, grippiness of the rubber. I don’t have any fancy stuff around like rubber cement thinner or carburetor cleaner. Does anybody have a suggestion?
I’ve decided this is the year my bike stops looking like crap!