Rust, otherwise known as iron oxide, can be unattractive and if not kept at bay can cause immeasurable damage to metals. Having some minor rust on your bike isn’t necessarily the end of the world, but it is something you will want to keep your eyes on and treat asap. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can help protect your bike from rust.
Keep your bike away from moisture
One of the key elements of rust forming is moisture. So, keeping your bike away from moisture and as dry as possible is one of the best ways to prevent rust.
If you have been on a wet bike ride and/or rode through some puddles, we highly recommend you spend a little time drying your bike off before storing it away.
A simple wipe down with a towel or a microfibre cloth will help make quick work of it. Be sure not to miss any nooks and crannies as this is where the rust will thrive.
Make sure your bike is lubricated
Another easy way to prevent rust from forming is by using a lubricant. Not only does it keep your bike in tip-top shape, but it also creates a barrier from moisture and oxygen. Therefore, rust is unable to develop.
Make sure you apply it to all areas of the bike including the derailleur, the chain, nuts, bolts – basically any exposed metal.
We recommend using a product such as Transyl. Transyl is a lubricating, deep penetrating, self-spreading liquid with exceptional ‘wetting’, spreading and climbing properties. It can reach the most hard to reach areas and is perfect for lubricating hard to reach metal parts.
Developed for over 75 years, Transyl is a multi-purpose problem solver. It can be used on all surfaces and does not contain caustic or acidic substances and so does not damage paint.
Use a cover if you store your bike outside
We understand that it’s not always possible to store your bike inside away from moisture. However, leaving it outside exposed to the elements will increase the chances of rust forming 10-fold.
Depending on the climate of the area you live will depend on how quickly your bike will suffer from corrosion. If you live in an area that sees a lot of rain, snow, sea air, or high humidity, there’s a good chance your bike will rust quickly if left outside.
If you have no choice but to leave your bike outside, we highly recommend you invest in a bike cover or tarp. Remember to purchase one that is big enough to cover the entire bike sufficiently.
Another bonus is that if you use it in the summer months, it will keep the sun off your bike too which causes fading and discolouration of your plastic parts. If this has already happened, you can quickly and easily restore your faded plastics with a product such as Polytrol – our colour restorer for dull or faded surfaces.
Keep your bike clean
Keeping your bike free of dirt, soil and mud will help protect your bike from rust. If your bike is getting mucky after riding, take the time to wipe it down.
We recommend giving your bike a good clean every 25-30 rides or so and a deep clean twice a year. Take a look at our previous blog post, “How to clean a bike” for further information on the subject.
How to remove rust
Unfortunately, sometimes the best intentions don’t come to fruition and rust can still appear on our bikes. If you notice it early enough, most rust can be removed completely.
How to remove rust on my bike
There are 2 ways in which you can do this:
- Using a steel wool pad, sandpaper, or a bristle brush to remove the rust.
- Using the baking soda method (more on this below)
We recommend starting by trying to remove the rust via the first method. However, if the rust is all over the bike and not just in one localised area, you may prefer to use the second method.
The baking soda method
- Mix baking soda and water in a bowl in equal 50/50 parts until it thickens into a paste.
- Completely cover the rusted area with the paste, and leave it to work for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, take a stiff brush or toothbrush and scrub at the affected area.
- Leave it again for a further 15 minutes.
- After this time you can wipe away the paste.
So there we have it! We hope you found this post interesting and have learned how to protect your bike from rust.
If you have any other advice or top tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!