How long have you used your bike? Does it still look good or a bit withering? Normally, after a long time in use, almost all bikes have to face up with the status of rusting. Some metal parts of a bicycle which are easy to oxidize are the frame, chain, rims, gears, spokes, and handlebars.
If you have never really paid attention to the rust on your bike, now it’s time. Bike corrosion not only terribly affects your bike appearance but also seriously weakens all its functions.
So, it is necessary that you know how to remove rust from bikes to maintain their perfect look as well as keep them with you longer. In this article, I will show you some tips to get rid of a rusty bike.
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The Importance Of Rust Removal From Bikes
There are 2 main reasons why rust removal is really important to your bike.
In terms of looks, corrosion damages the surface of your bike, making it scraped and ugly. It is obvious that a shining bike without rust is more attractive and you will be more confident as well as comfortable when riding it, as when you are wearing tidy and beautiful clothes.
In terms of function, when your bike is rusty, it means that its metal parts have been corroded. The corrosion makes the metal more fragile and reduces the ability of weight withstanding. This will shorten the life-span of your bike. Moreover, in one way or another, riding a rusty bike may push you into danger.
How To Remove Rust From Bike Frame
The frame is the largest part of a bike and it also represents a bike’s appearance. When the bike frame rusts, it is easily recognized and your bike’s looks will be ruined. But don’t worry, I will give you very simple ways to return your bike frame a shining look.
Step 1: Clean the frame surface
It is the very first step you must do before applying any other tips to remove rust. Use water and specialized soap to clean the bike frame to wash away all dust, then wipe it with a dry rug. If you don’t have specialized soap, use any soap you have at home, it is still fine. The only purpose of this step is to have a clean surface so all rust removal techniques after that will be more efficient.
Step 2: Ready to remove rust
I am not going to challenge you with unpopular or expensive chemical substances. All you need is some white vinegar or Coca-Cola. They are all available worldwide at a very low cost.
This kind of sparkling soft drink is very well known so if you can’t get that, which is quite surprising. I think there are only two countries in the world that don’t sell it. About white vinegar, look for it in your mom’s kitchen or any grocery store.
After getting one of those ingredients, you also need a little container to put the fluid into and some aluminum foil or an old toothbrush. Rip off some of your foil, fold up a little bit, let the shiniest side face outwards. Dip it into the soft drink bowl and then simply a case of rubbing it onto the frame part where the rust is.
The level of rust will determine how much elbow grease, or how much effort you’re gonna have to put into it. But you will see straight away that the rust comes off very easily. So just keep going and soon it will come off nicely.
To learn more about this how to remove rust from your bicycle , please watch this review video:
How To Remove Rust From Bike Chain
Removing rust from the bike chain must be one of the most struggling processes but take it easy, everything is possible.
Step 1: Peel all dust and muddy soil off the bike chain
Firstly, grab the pedal and spin it clockwise and vice versa until all dirt peels off. An old toothbrush always comes in handy. Use it to clean every single link. That will ensure that all stubborn stains are knocked out and the rust is in the best condition to be cleansed.
Step 2: Ready to remove rust
Water alone will not properly clean your chain. Various chemicals or ingredients that you have lying around at home might do the job, to some extent.
Using lime to clean your bike chain may be the cheapest way to help you save money. Besides, it is very environmentally friendly as well. Pour lime juice into a little container, get any piece of cloth that you think is highly absorbent and washable. Dip it into the lime juice then wipe the chain until all the rust disappears.
If your bike chain is in a terrible rusty status, take it off the bike and soak all the chain into the lime juice. Leave it to sit for a couple of minutes until you see the whole chain shining as the sun shines after the rain.
If you don’t have time to clean your bike chain with lime, cleaning chemicals will show you an immediate and outstanding result. Of course, it is much more expensive than lime juice. There are many different kinds of rust removal chemicals with very high acidity that can wash away all stubborn stains on your bike chain.
With spray chemicals, you should keep the chemical 20-30cm away from the chain then spray it evenly on the surface. Leave the chemical to sit at the recommended time of the manufacture then wipe it with a dry rug.
With liquid chemicals, you might have to dilute them following the instructions for use on the packing. After that, soak the bike chain into the diluted chemical, wait for a certain time until it is totally polished.
To learn more about this how to remove rust from a motorcycle bike chain , please watch this review video:
How To Remove Rust From Bike Rims
Step 1: Disassemble and clean
It must be a cumbersome process because you have to take wheels apart, pop the tires off and separate them from the rims. Like other processes, always remember to clean the rims before using rust removal techniques. With the rims, you can do the job easily by putting them under the running water tap and use a towel to wipe around at the same time.
Step 2: Ready to remove rust
I will give you 2 efficient ways to get rid of rusty rims, either is a piece of cake.
Lime juice with baking soda
If you are into making cakes, baking soda must be an indispensable ingredient in your kitchen. But did you know that it is not only useful for baking but also for keeping your house clean, including your bike. Baking soda is available in grocery stores and supermarkets at a very low cost.
Mix lime juice with baking soda in the ratio of 1:2, dip a sponge into the mixture then rub it around the rims. There might be some stubborn rust stains on rims, what you should do is to leave the mixture on them for about 15-30 minutes then they will be removed easily.
You can use 2 kinds of chemicals which I mentioned above to remove rust from bike rims. However, with the round structure of rims, I recommend you should use liquid chemicals then soak rims into it. Soaking is more efficient than spraying because when the chemical can reach all the ins and outs.
In order to save the chemical, you should get a circle container that fits the rim size. Or if you can’t find a big enough container, use whatever you have and soak the rims partially.
A short guide to how to remove rust from a chrome bicycle rim or bike rim can be found right here:
How To Remove Rust From Bike Brakes
There are various types of brakes depending on your bike type, such as rod-actuated brake, caliper brake, hydraulic rim brake, disc brake, V brake, and so on. No matter what type of brakes your bike is facilitated, more and less they all have metal parts that can oxidize.
Brakes are very important parts of a bike or any other vehicle because they help us to control our speed, which directly affects our safety when riding. Therefore, keeping the bike brakes look new and clean will make them operate properly and protect you from unexpected accidents.
Because metal parts of brakes are quite small, an old toothbrush is one of the most suitable tools to remove rust from them. Always clean the surface of all metal parts first, then dip the toothbrush into lime juice, Coca Cola, the mixture of lime juice and baking soda, or any other metal rescue chemicals then hardly rub them until all rust vanishes.
It only takes some minutes to clean bike brakes so do it regularly to protect your bike as well as yourself.
How To Remove Rust From Bike Handlebars
You may plead that your bike chain or rims are rusty because they are placed in hard-to-see positions. It is acceptable. But there is no reason for you to leave your bike handlebars rusty. You face them every single day so clean them as the way you clean your face.
If your bike handlebars are slightly eroded, all you need to remove rust from them are some water and aluminum foil. Roll the aluminum foil into a ball then dip it into the water. Rub it on the areas where you can see the rust. Take a rag and wipe off the water. If you still see some stains left, keep rubbing until the handlebars look better.
If vinegar, Coca Cola or lime juice is available, use them instead of water. Polish the handlebars as the technique you use to remove rust from the bike frame. If they are corroded terribly, use cleaning chemicals or the mixture of lime juice and baking soda.
Common Methods To Remove Rust From Bikes
Rub the surface with metal cleaning tools
Rubbing metal on another rusty metal surface is a simple way to remove rust. Of all, aluminum is a relatively soft material which makes aluminum foil a great choice to scrape away the rust. The aluminum is softer than the chromium so it’s able to easily rub away the iron oxide without leaving any scratches on the chromium surface.
It’s been suggested that you could use steel wool instead of aluminum foil but steel is a much harder metal than aluminum, it’s a lot more likely to leave scratches on the bike surface. So, I recommend sticking with the aluminum foil.
Use acid to remove rust
If you don’t want to have to rub your bike with aluminum foil again and again because it takes too much time and effort, use acid. Rust removal is easier with the support of acid. All you need to do is to leave acid on the rusty surface for a while, then wipe it off. There will be no mark of rust left.
You can get acid from natural ingredients like lime juice or vinegar, or use specialized chemicals for heavy rusty bike parts.
Some parts of your bike are made of steel only, some are also steel but plated with chromium. The chromium is stable and unreactive. But the underneath steel reacts very easily when exposed to oxygen and forms rust.
When your bike gets wet, all metal parts will be eroded at a faster rate because water contains oxygen. Therefore, keeping your bike dry and clean is the best way to protect it. Of all the tips I’ve recommended, pick one which you think is the best way to remove rust from your bike, because it really depends on your bike status and yourself.
What is the fastest way to remove rust from a bike?
If you don’t have time, the fastest way for rust removal from your bike is to soak all rusty parts into acid liquid and wait for a certain time from 15-30 minutes. Then take them out, use a clean rug to wipe the left acid off them. Your bike will have a totally new appearance.
How long does it take to fully remove rust from a bike?
It actually depends on how rusty your bike is, but generally, it takes about 60 minutes for full rust removal. I will show you a tip to save your time. With all disassembled bike parts, you should soak them all in acid liquid at the same time. Meanwhile waiting, use a toothbrush or aluminum foil to rub other parts.
Can I clean rust from a bike without looking at the instructions?
Of course, you can. All the tips that I give you in this article are very simple and easy to remember. I believe that you can remember them all after one-time reading. Then get ready and confident to clean your rusty bike without looking at the instructions.