Bike chains can get rusty over time, and this is something that you want to take care of before it becomes a bigger problem. Rust on your bike chain not only lowers the lifespan of your chain but also damages the teeth and makes shifting difficult. In this article, we will discuss how to remove rust from bike chains in order to keep them running smoothly for years!
What is the rust?
Rust is a natural occurring chemical reaction that can happen on your bike chain. The moisture in the air reacts with metal like iron and steel to form rust.
How does it occur?
The most common way for rust to get onto your bike chain is from rain or water getting into the nooks and crannies of the links, then being trapped there until it dries out, which allows it to start corroding away at your chain (which has been shown by some studies). This problem mainly occurs when you live near saltwater because salty water can cause corrosion far more quickly than fresh water alone!
The rust that you see on your bike chain is actually a form of corrosion. What causes this? The answer lies in the metal itself, which can be iron or steel with a coating (i.e., nickel plate) to prevent it from corroding all other metals and objects around them.
How do you identify it?
The most common signs of rust are brown spots on the outside of your links while also seeing some orange-colored debris in between them (that’s what makes up the rust). You might be able to remove these by using a non-abrasive brush (we recommend this one) or just wiping off any excess dirt from your chain before applying oil for easier application!
This is usually enough for smaller amounts of corrosion but if there’s more than two or three brown spots that have accumulated, you’ll need to take additional steps.
The first thing to do is to remove the chain from the bike
Firstly you must determine if your chain has a missinglink or not.
If your chain has a missinglink, one way of removing it is by using pliers (if you have an open link) or with the help of another person. Grab each side and squeeze them together until they snap apart. This process can be quite difficult but if done correctly, should remove quickly without any additional problems!
You can also use wd40 to make the lock easier to remove.
If you haven’t found the missinglink, you can remove it by using a quick release with a tool.
Also, if you do not have a missinglink, we recommend that you buy one in order to make it easier to work with the chain in the future.
Now that you have removed the chain you can start cleaning it.
Here are a six different ways to clean the chain from rust and grime!
The easiest and best method is to use a rust remover. These products, commonly available at hardware stores or home goods store in your area, are typically used to remove rust from any metal surface.
You can follow the instructions that come with this product for best results!
This is a common way to remove rust from a chain as it serves as an excellent cleaner. The best thing about this method is that you don’t need special tools or materials, and you can use what you have on hand. Choose a suitable solvent.
We recommend this one
Then pour some into a small soaking bowl and put the chain in there for a while. When you see that the chain is clean take it out. then rinse the chain in clean solvent and wipe well with a dry rag. And leave it on paper towels in the fresh air to let it finally dry.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
You may have heard these two things used together when making recipes like cookies, but they also work together to remove rust from your chain! First you need to mix a one-toothpick amount of baking soda with water in order for it to form a paste. After doing so, use this mixture on the outer links and leave them be while the sunshine does its job and removes any lingering dirt or oxidation.
This spray works well when removing grime like grease or oil because it has a strong solvent base that can dissolve these materials before breaking down into hydrogen gas which evaporates instantly (leaving no residue!). Spray some onto both sides of your bike chain until covered then wipe off excess material afterward using paper towels.
Repeat as necessary until all grime is removed!
If you’re in need of a quick fix, this is one way to remove rust from your chain! All you have to do is get some toothpaste onto your fingers and rub it into the metal until clean. Rinse off any grime afterward before letting air dry.
Lemon Juice&Egg Whites
These two ingredients work great for removing surface dirt as well as oxidization (i.e., rust) while not doing anything too serious or damaging to the material itself! Simply take an egg white and mix with lemon juice at a ratio of five parts water: one part lemon juice using a cup then use this mixture on both sides of your bike chain to wipe away all corrosion that’s present.
You can also use these methods to clean your bike’s sprockets if it rust.
If there is too much rust, we recommend removing them for convenience.
To remove the chainring you need to unscrew the bolt and then use a special puller.
To clean the cassette, you will just have to remove the wheel.
After all the operations, you can put all the components back in place and check that the bike is working properly.
If everything works perfectly, be sure to lubricate the chain.
If you do not want to remove the chain, follow these steps:
- Place the bike upside down
- Take a rag and apply any of the above remedies to it
- Place the rag on the chain.
- Start to pedal slowly.
- This way you keep on wiping until the chain is clean.
Also don’t forget to apply lubricant to the chain at the end.
How do I prevent it?
The best way to avoid rust is by using an oil or wax lubricant for your bike chain.
We prefer this one here.
This will help create a protective layer over the metal and keep water away so that corrosion doesn’t happen! The second step in prevention would be storing your chain out of direct sunlight since UV rays can also cause oxidation (although not as quickly).
What are some common questions about removing rust from bike chains?
- Is there anything else I should know before starting my project? -Yes: don’t forget to take your bike into a clean and dry area. If you do this in an outdoor environment, it’s very likely that the weather will change while you’re working on your chain which could lead to rust later!
- Can I use any household materials? -No: never use anything abrasive for cleaning because this can damage the metal of your chain which leads to more corrosion.
- What if my chains are really rusty or black? -If they’ve reached those stages then we recommend taking them to a professional so they can help remove all surface corrosion from underneath as well. This should be done before oiling up again otherwise the excess moisture will just come back!
We hope these tips have helped you in your quest for an effective way to remove rust from bike chains!