You’ve probably owned a bike in your life. It’s not uncommon for it to look tired and shabby. A little bit of rust can appear at random, causing concern.
There are many reasons why bikes might rust, from condensation in storage to sweating during rides.
Most bike rust is just superficial surface rust. It is easy to get rid of bike rust. There are many ways to maintain your bike. Keep the frame and other components clean. You can spend a lot on your bike, especially with today’s roads bikes. So you want it to look great and retain its value in the event you decide to sell it. How do you remove rust from your bike’s frame?
You can actually find many items that you can use in your everyday household to help remove the rust. Let’s look at them.
Above all else: Don’t hurt the bike!
This should be obvious, but it is important to take care not to damage your bike’s frame or other components. It is not worth damaging the bike’s finish or scratching surface rust. Use any products as directed. Be gentle.
For Chains, Use Only Bike Chain Oil
First, oil your chain with a bicycle chain lube. If it is only the chain that is rusty, you can try to give it a good oiling. A combination of oil and a bit of wiping with a cloth, followed by some riding, can be enough to remove any surface rust.
To oil your chain, be patient. Apply a little bit to each link and then wipe it with a cloth. It will take time to do this on all the chain. A lot of people believe that oiling a chain can be done by simply spraying oil on it and riding. It is important to keep your chain lubricated but not soaked. This requires a little bit of detail.
You can also find chain lubes that are less oily but more like a paste or wax. These are great options for indoor work because they don’t contain oily drips. In the same Lube Article, we summarize bike chain wax and paste.
If you have chain rust, this is the first thing to do.
WD-40 is a multi-purpose chemical that works well on bikes with rust. WD-40 is primarily a cleaner and less a lubricant. It is great for removing surface rust from metal parts. It is important to remember that you should still lubricate the chain with a traditional chain lube.
Baking soda is the best way to remove rust from bikes. Baking soda is the best method to remove rust from bikes. It is mild and doesn’t cause any damage if it is done correctly. Baking soda is a great way to remove rust quickly. If you continue to use this method, your bike will return to its original condition. Here are some ways to use baking soda to remove minor or severe rust from your bike.
Mixing Baking Sugar and Water
- Mix equal amounts of baking soda and water in one bowl. There is no right or wrong amount, so you can just mix it up. You can add more baking soda to your bike if it is covered with rust.
- Continue to mix the ingredients until you have a thick paste.
- If you have more baking soda or water than you think you will need, keep it close at hand. To increase the strength of your baking soda paste (for very serious rusting), you can add a little lemon juice.
- Use the Paste
Apply the baking soda paste to the areas that are rusted. Use a spatula, a sponge or brush to apply the paste directly to the affected areas. For maximum effectiveness, leave the paste on for at least 15 minutes. Keep the paste on for at least 10-15 minutes to allow it to set properly.
- Discard the Baking Soda
The baking soda should be thick enough that it covers all rusted areas. It must be properly coated without dripping onto your floor or bike.
Use a sponge or scrub pad to clean the baking soda off the bike. A toothbrush or plastic scrubber can also be used. You will see the rust begin to come off as you scrub. If there is no change in the appearance of your bike, you can add more baking soda or lemon water to make it better.
To prevent rusting, dry your bike completely after you have finished. To prevent any rusting, you should store your bike in dry conditions.
Vinegar or Coca Cola
Vinegar can do wonders for metal. This image shows the contrast between the rusted and clean surface.
Vinegar or coca cola are another way to remove rust on your bike. Vinegar or coca cola can be used to remove rust from your bike because they have an acetic strength that will break down the rust. Here are some methods vinegar and coca cola can be used to remove rust on your bike.
- Spraying your Bike
Grab some gloves and a spray bottle. Add some vinegar/coca-cola to it. You can adjust the amount of vinegar/coca cola to suit your bike’s size and the extent of rust. Spray the vinegar/cocacola on the rusty areas, then scrub it off with a toothbrush or similar tool. Spray bottles are great because you can quickly add more solution to the bottle as needed. Spray more solution if the rust doesn’t come off.
- Baking Soda
Add a little baking soda to the spray bottle if you still have rusty spots after cleaning. This will help to react with the vinegar/coca-cola to create a stronger solution to remove the rust from your bicycle. You should not add too much baking soda to the solution as it could cause damage to your bike. Spray the solution over the rusty areas and scrub away.
- Soak Bike Parts
You can also soak the rusty parts of your bike in vinegar or coca cola to remove it. This will require more than spraying and scrubbing. After 10 minutes of soaking, rinse the bike with water. You can ruin your bike if the solution remains on the bike for too long. Wash your bike thoroughly.
Chemical Rust Removal
A powerful chemical rust removal product is the third option. Many people will find the other home-based methods above sufficient. This method is recommended if you have trouble removing rust from your bike or want to create a well-stocked garage. This method should not be mixed with any other products. Here are some tips on how to use a chemical corrosion remover you can buy at most hardware and department stores.
- Safety First
Chemicals can be dangerous when you are working with them. Before handling chemical rust removal solutions, always wear gloves and glasses. Before handling the chemical rust remover, make sure you read the instructions. If it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, rinse it immediately and get medical attention. Make sure to use the remover in an open area with lots of airflow.
Use a brush to apply the remover to the rusted areas. You may need to let the remover sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire hour, depending on what it is. Some removers require that you leave the solution on for at least 24 hours. It is important that you read all instructions so that you don’t cause damage to your bike. You want stronger results and quicker results so make sure you choose a highly potent remover.
Once the recommended time is up, wipe off the chemical rust remover from your bike with a cloth. You should still be wearing gloves. After washing your bike with warm water, dry it thoroughly. Your bike should be stored in a dry place.
Preventing Rust from Bikes
A pound of prevention is better than a pound cure. You can prevent rust from developing on your bike by taking steps to prevent it. There are usually several suspects when it comes to bike surface rust. Each can be tackled to keep your bike rust-free.
Keep Your Bike Indoors
It is great to store your bike in a climate-controlled place like your garage or entryway. Keep it out of direct sunlight and in a shed. It takes just a little bit of precipitation to cause the bike’s surface rust to appear on worn areas very quickly.
Always wipe your bike down after rain
You can use an old rag to give your bike a thorough clean if you have to ride in the rain or on roads that were still slick after a storm. Make sure your bike is dry. Pay attention to any shiny parts, such as the brake components or chain.
Keep your bike oiled
Bike oil should always be within reach of every bike owner. Regularly giving your bike a good lubrication should be a habitual. You can oil your bike with triflow cycling oil.
Watch out for your own sweat
Sometimes it is the water that drips off your body that causes rust. This is especially true around your head, stem and handlebar areas where sweat tends to drip. This can be especially problematic if you’re using an indoor bicycle trainer. A towel can be placed over the bike’s stem to absorb salty sweat.
After you have taken it to the store, clean your bike
Highways can be dangerous. Your vehicle and others will pick up a lot of salt, gravel and grime. You should clean your bike rack after you have taken a long ride on it. You should do this even more if your trunk-based carrier, such as the Saris Bones has a tendency to leave your bike exposed to the elements.
These are the best ways to remove rust from your bike. These methods will ensure that your bike is back to its original shine so you can have a smooth ride. We want to see your bike shine like a diamond on the road.