How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside

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Whether you’re using a mountain bike or a road commuting bike, you need to maintain it and prevent it from rusting and other external issues.

On any bike, especially on the rims and brakes, rust can develop quickly. If you’re looking for the best way to remove the stains, read our practical tip.

Remove rust on the bike: prevention

To prevent rust from developing, you should protect your bike with a protective layer.

  • As a protective layer, you can use Vaseline. Rub the unpainted parts such as the spokes, spoke nipples, and rims with it if you leave your bike longer in wet or damp conditions. A popular product is for example the bicycle petroleum jelly from Atlantic.
  • If the paintwork is damaged, you should definitely repair these places, so that the metal underneath can not rust. Often, when buying a bicycle, matching paint pens are included.
  • Once the rust has been removed, be sure to treat or over-paint the parts. Otherwise, new rust forms quickly.

Remove rust on the bike: The home remedies

Against rust, there are a variety of home remedies that you can apply.

  • Stubborn rust can be sanded down with a steel brush or sandpaper. For less affected areas also steel wool from the supermarket is sufficient.
  • You can unscrew small parts and soak them in cola for about 24 hours. The acid in it dissolves the rust. Then rinse the parts with water and dry them. Attention: Moving parts such as bearings, chains, or Bowden cables lose their lubricity.
  • Parts that you cannot unscrew can be rubbed in with cola. Use a crumpled piece of aluminum foil for this. So you can sand the rust.
  • Instead of cola, you can also use citric acid or tartaric acid. These are available in drugstores.
  • A very effective anti-rust agent is 20% phosphoric acid. You get these, for example, in hardware stores. Apply the acid with a brush to the affected areas until the rust has dissolved. Then rinse the areas with water thoroughly and dry them.

The right care of your bike

Effective Bike Care: You can do some small care on your own bike yourself. If you do not want to make this effort or have repairs done, it is best to return your bike to a bicycle repair shop in good time before the trip starts. Keep in mind that many garages often have busy hours and longer waiting times, especially in the spring.

  • Coats and tire pressure
  • Chain care
  • The brake
  • The lighting system and reflectors

Coats and tire pressure

Check the tire pressure before departure. An adapted tire pressure contributes significantly to the improvement of the driving performance of the wheel. You should also take a closer look at the condition of the coats. An already very worn coat should be replaced before the trip to avoid annoying mishaps.

Chain care

At the latest after each rain outing, you should clean the chain with an old cloth and grease it again. Only regular chain care protects the chain from rust. It is best to take a small bottle of oil with you on the journey.

The brake

Brake cables and brake pads must always be checked before a bike ride. If the brake pads no longer have enough pads, they must be replaced.

The lighting system and reflectors

The functionality of the lighting system must be flawless. Defective light bulbs and cables need to be replaced. Also, make sure that all reflectors are still present: A white front and a red reflector at the back must be attached to the front. In the spokes and on the pedals two yellow reflectors are prescribed.

Clean bicycle chain and care properly

Cleaning the bike chain is easy and done in a few simple steps. We’ll tell you how to do it and how to get a heavily soiled chain clean again.

Clean bicycle chain regularly

As temperatures rise in the spring, it’s time to get your bike ready for the summer. The bike chain is probably the part of the bike that deserves the most attention.

You should clean them at least once a year. It will only be exhausting if the bicycle chain has not been cleaned for a long time.

As for almost everything, there are no special cleaning agents for bicycle chains. These promise cleaning and oiling in one step. Basically, you must first remove the solidified oil and dirt before you can apply a new protective film to the bicycle chain. This is how you proceed:

  1. Over time, solidified lubricant, dust, and dirt will form black deposits and sticky lumps. First, you have to free your bike chain from these residues.
  2. In most cases, mechanical cleaning of the bicycle chain is sufficient. For this, you can use a cloth or an old toothbrush. A fat-dissolving agent is not necessary.
  3. Run the chain through a clean cloth. Change the spot on the cloth until no black abrasion is visible.

Remove stubborn dirt

If the contamination is too strong, you can use a degreasing agent to make your job easier. There are some things to keep in mind:

  • Detergents also dissolve the lubricants between the chain links if used too much. To lubricate these again, you would have to disassemble the bicycle chain and reassemble. Use degreasing agents therefore sparingly and only with very heavy soiling.
  • Heavy soiling or traces of rust can be dissolved by using a cleansing lubricant. Apply this directly on a cloth and rub the chain with it. It should act briefly. Then you let the chain run through a clean cloth again until it is completely clean.
  • Commercially available cleaners and lubricants (such as WD-40) are usually produced on the basis of mineral oils. If you have such an agent, be sure to use it sparingly and follow the instructions for proper disposal.

After cleaning, apply lubricant

When cleaning the bicycle chain loses these large parts of its protective film. This must now be renewed so that the chain remains protected against the effects of weathering in the future. There are two different products for this: oil and wax. They differ in the application.

  • Chain oil is applied to the inside of the chain as it spreads slowly.
  • Wax is slightly fluid due to added solvents and therefore comes on the outside of the chain.
  • In both variants, you give one drop each on each individual chain roll. Then you turn the pedals and distribute the lubricant on the chainrings.
  • After applying the lubricant, wipe the excess oil off the outside of the chain by running it through a clean cloth.

Do not use other lubricating oils for your bicycle chain. This applies to common multifunctional oils and heavy motor oils. Likewise, you should do without home remedies such as Vaseline or coconut oil.

These have lost nothing on the bike chain as they form a sticky film on the outside of the chain. There, the dirt can collect more easily. This will unnecessarily complicate your next cleaning.

Clean the bike – no philosophy question

Remove rust on the bike: There are many excuses to be traveling on a dirty bike. At the very front, the dirt is a protective film, the paint is spared, followed by camouflage reasons. Dirt is an anti-theft device, so what visually degenerate steals no one.

No matter how many excuses are put into the race, they mask a problem, which can also become a safety issue, rust. Removing rust on the bike is not only a question of beauty, because, in addition to the optics, rust also attacks the substance.

A bicycle frame that is gnawed by the rust can quickly become a significant security risk. Both for the cyclist and bystanders who are involved in a fall because the frame has become unstable and yielded.

In a test, you should distinguish whether the rust only gnaws at the surface or already produces holes. Are such holes in the frame, fingers away from cycling.

But it does not have to come that far. Easy care and timely rust removal extend the joy of a fully functional wire essential. Removing rust on the bike is therefore not a real problem.

Bike Cleaning Tips That Work

First, the bike is thoroughly rid of the dirt. There are two reasons. The dirt keeps moisture and this, in turn, sponsors the rust. So dirt does not protect, it is a breeding ground for rust.

On the other hand, thorough pre-cleaning is necessary because only then the rust spots are clearly visible. Both where there is rust on the wheel, but also what progress has achieved the destruction.

It is best to rinse the bike with a gentle stream of water. Do not set the pressure too high, otherwise, the paint will be handled too hard.

Soak the whole so that the encrusted dirt softens and is easier to remove. For this, you use a sponge or a soft dish brush. Scrub with it and leave nothing. If you can see that the dirt will be persistent, you can also fall back on chemistry. In the trade, there are special bicycle cleaners with which the wheel can be pretreated.

Finally, finish the cleaning process with a rinse and clean the wheel dry.

Now comes the optical control to remove rust on the bike.

Remove rust on the bike – That’s how it’s done

If an optical control, which only slight surface rust threatens the wheel, helps simple means. The areas concerned are sprayed or brushed with normal oil. You can work that overnight, like longer. Then you can easily remove the softened rust with a cloth.

Then, so that the effort has paid off, apply for rust protection. The trade holds different polishes ready for it, which act as a protective film. Apply evenly with a dry cloth or a sprayer, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

You should protect the chain with chain grease. Oil is also suitable, but washes much faster.

However, that was just the simple way to remove rust on the bike. If the rust penetrated significantly deeper, more must be done.

Here you have to approach with a wire head and sandpaper. Mount the wire head on a cordless screwdriver or a drill and carefully remove the rust.

Do not forget to put on a pair of glasses, the worn rust flies through the room at a good speed. An alternative to the wire head is also special abrasive fleece or abrasive wool.

Then work with sandpaper. Rust converter is then applied to the thus prepared areas. You can act according to the manufacturer’s information. Next step, you apply anti-rust primer.

As the name implies, this serves to prevent new rust attacks. Usually, you have to apply this primer several times. Then, all treated areas are sanded smooth, then you can apply the paint of your choice with the spray can.

Wrap Up

Regular cleaning of your bike is worth it. Always do an optical check and look for spots of rust. Rust does not keep quiet, it works. Therefore consistently remove.

By regularly applying rust preventatives you can keep the stress with this troublemaker clearly within limits.

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