Bicycle Rust

thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
1,895
2
Beach Cities, CA
So, the title pretty much says it. The bike is about 1.5 years old. It's a hybrid bike, I forgot who the manufacturer is. I bought it from Sports Authority and also an extended warranty, however they said they couldn't remove or do anything about the rust since it wasn't "normal wear and tear." The rust basically basically got in there because it was left outside. Anyway, I want to start using it again and would like to have be nice and shiny. The chain also has rust.

I bought CLR (Calcium, Lime, Rust) thanks to the many commercials I've seen through the years, but I've yet to use it. I just want to see if there's any other options I can consider/use before I try the CLR. And also if the CLR can actually guarantee that it would restore to how it was, even the chain.

Thanks!
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,080
9,275
Detroit
Really, really bad. Probably close to a year's worth of rust. What do you mean by "convert the rust"?
"Really, really bad" doesn't exactly describe it. Can you post a photo?

SEM Products:

6950( ) - RUST-MORT

Product Description
RUST-MORT converts rust to a black or grayish, hard, insoluble, protective coating. Useful in autobody, marine, industrial, farm and home applications.
 

thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
1,895
2
Beach Cities, CA
"Really, really bad" doesn't exactly describe it. Can you post a photo?

Yes, definitely. I'll try to, with my flash and DSLR. But it's really dark out right now. So if I can't get a good image to show how it actually looks, it'll have to wait until morning. (FYI, not home right now, but will be in a couple hours)
 

Firestar

macrumors 68020
Sep 30, 2010
2,150
5
221B Baker Street.
You can't get it back to the original iron, if that's what it was in the first place. The chemical reaction that occurs between iron and oxygen to make iron oxide (i.e. rust) is irreversible.

CLR shouldn't be able to restore it, just prevent it from rusting further, I think.
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
I'd like to direct you to BikeForums. Start a thread in the "Bicycle Mechanics" subforum and you will get much more help than you will here. I can be found there under the username "AlphaDogg". It would help to include a picture in the OP of the thread.

Btw: I'd recommend replacing all the cabling, the chain, and anything else that is rusted-use oxalic acid.

FWIW, I ride a hybrid bike from Sports Authority, but have modded it to fit my needs. Keep it indoors and it will be problem free. My bike stays indoors and the only rain it sees is when I get caught in the rain during a ride. If I ride it to school and it starts to rain, I'll bring it inside.
 
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AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
Get a new chain--approx $20. New cabling--approx $20 (plus v-brake noodles which cost about $2 apiece). Oxalic acid on the rest. Don't let it get into the bearings. It will mess them up and your bike will make horrible sounds. It is NOT recommended to use old rusty cables. You could get into a crash because they have seized, rendering your brakes useless. Also ill-advised to do anything to remove rust from a chain because whatever you use will get in and destroy the o-rings that are there to hold the lube in place.

If you buy everything you need and take it to Sports Authority, they should install it for you. I assume the bike is a 21 speed. If this is correct, I'll get you appropriate links for what you need.

Edit: Regardless if you have a 21 or 24 speed bike, you will need this chain, this cable set, and these v-brake noodles.

If you don't believe me, go on bikeforums and ask their opinions. They will say the exact same thing I did.

Edit 2: Also, if possible try to replace all hardware (screws, nuts, bolts etc...) with stainless steel hardware... That is if the existing hardware has not already seized to the aluminum frame due to galvanic corrosion. That way it will never rust. INSTALL ALL NEW PARTS THAT NEED TO BE THREADED ON WITH GREASE ON THE THREADS. GREASE=A THICK PASTE. LUBRICANT=A THIN FLUID.
 
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thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
1,895
2
Beach Cities, CA
Get a new chain--approx $20. New cabling--approx $20 (plus v-brake noodles which cost about $2 apiece). Oxalic acid on the rest. Don't let it get into the bearings. It will mess them up and your bike will make horrible sounds. It is NOT recommended to use old rusty cables. You could get into a crash because they have seized, rendering your brakes useless. Also ill-advised to do anything to remove rust from a chain because whatever you use will get in and destroy the o-rings that are there to hold the lube in place.

If you buy everything you need and take it to Sports Authority, they should install it for you. I assume the bike is a 21 speed. If this is correct, I'll get you appropriate links for what you need.

Edit: Regardless if you have a 21 or 24 speed bike, you will need this chain, this cable set, and these v-brake noodles.

If you don't believe me, go on bikeforums and ask their opinions. They will say the exact same thing I did.

Edit 2: Also, if possible try to replace all hardware (screws, nuts, bolts etc...) with stainless steel hardware... That is if the existing hardware has not already seized to the aluminum frame due to galvanic corrosion. That way it will never rust. INSTALL ALL NEW PARTS THAT NEED TO BE THREADED ON WITH GREASE ON THE THREADS. GREASE=A THICK PASTE. LUBRICANT=A THIN FLUID.
Great, thanks for the advice! Looks like I may have to just bring it in to Sports Authority to buy new things and have them replace it. I thought that originally, but I thought it could be done easier. Hopefully it won't cost too much. Plus, I do get a free "tune-up" every year; it's time that I use that.
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
Great, thanks for the advice! Looks like I may have to just bring it in to Sports Authority to buy new things and have them replace it. I thought that originally, but I thought it could be done easier. Hopefully it won't cost too much. Plus, I do get a free "tune-up" every year; it's time that I use that.
Sports Authority is not a bike shop. In my experience, they do not stock ANY parts that I need. They need to "call their supplier and order the part" every time I need something fixed. They should at least stock chains, but no. I snapped a chain after 1000 miles on the stock one and Sports Authority didn't have any replacements in stock. I ended up going to a LBS (local bike shop) and buying a SRAM chain (same one I linked you to) and having them install it. MAKE SURE AS HELL THAT SPORTS AUTHORITY TRIMS DOWN THE NEW CHAIN TO THE SAME LENGTH AS THE OLD ONE. Chains are not just one size fits all. Different length chainstays, different sized chainrings, different sized derailleurs all change the length of chain needed on a bike. Buy everything that I linked you to and it will be fine. No shop besides a hardware store or a science supply store would have any oxalic acid, so Sports Authority would not be able to remove rust from any fittings.

Edit: If Sports Authority quotes you a price to replace the chain, cables, and v-brake noodles, just go to a real bike shop. They will stock everything you need (and a lot of things you don't, but will immediately want) and be able to install it within a week. Cable and chain replacement (not including parts) should be no more than $30 labor. If they charge you more than that, tell you another shop quoted you $30 and they should reduce down the cost. Try to go to a locally owned shop, not a chain like Performance Bicycle or Trek/S-Works shops. If they ask what you would like replaced, tell them exactly what I told you; chain, brake and shifter cables, and v-brake noodles. They may recommend other things you need, because there may be damage that you can't see (such as dry headset bearings, etc..) Issues such as those would be considered normal use, so Sports Authority should do it free. I got Sports Authority to replace my rear wheel because I told them that a "real" bike shop told me it was ruined (truth).
 
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thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
1,895
2
Beach Cities, CA
Sports Authority is not a bike shop. In my experience, they do not stock ANY parts that I need. They need to "call their supplier and order the part" every time I need something fixed. They should at least stock chains, but no. I snapped a chain after 1000 miles on the stock one and Sports Authority didn't have any replacements in stock. I ended up going to a LBS (local bike shop) and buying a SRAM chain (same one I linked you to) and having them install it. MAKE SURE AS HELL THAT SPORTS AUTHORITY TRIMS DOWN THE NEW CHAIN TO THE SAME LENGTH AS THE OLD ONE. Chains are not just one size fits all. Different length chainstays, different sized chainrings, different sized derailleurs all change the length of chain needed on a bike. Buy everything that I linked you to and it will be fine. No shop besides a hardware store or a science supply store would have any oxalic acid, so Sports Authority would not be able to remove rust from any fittings.

Edit: If Sports Authority quotes you a price to replace the chain, cables, and v-brake noodles, just go to a real bike shop. They will stock everything you need (and a lot of things you don't, but will immediately want) and be able to install it within a week. Cable and chain replacement (not including parts) should be no more than $30 labor. If they charge you more than that, tell you another shop quoted you $30 and they should reduce down the cost. Try to go to a locally owned shop, not a chain like Performance Bicycle or Trek/S-Works shops. If they ask what you would like replaced, tell them exactly what I told you; chain, brake and shifter cables, and v-brake noodles. They may recommend other things you need, because there may be damage that you can't see (such as dry headset bearings, etc..) Issues such as those would be considered normal use, so Sports Authority should do it free. I got Sports Authority to replace my rear wheel because I told them that a "real" bike shop told me it was ruined (truth).
You know what? I never thought of that option! Thanks again for all the help. There's actually a local bike shop here in Redondo Beach, it's about a mile away. I guess I should have know there would be since I do live in the beach cities. Anyway, do you suggest that I just go ahead and have them fix it instead of Sports Authority? I just went to their website and it seems like they repair pretty much any bike. Just wondering if I brought the quoted price to Sports Authority if they would do anything about it. It's just a pain to load the bike in and out of my car. And oh yeah, the bike shop's name is Corbin's Redondo Beach Bicycles (http://www.redondobicycle.com).

Thanks again for all the help and advice.
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
You know what? I never thought of that option! Thanks again for all the help. There's actually a local bike shop here in Redondo Beach, it's about a mile away. I guess I should have know there would be since I do live in the beach cities. Anyway, do you suggest that I just go ahead and have them fix it instead of Sports Authority? I just went to their website and it seems like they repair pretty much any bike. Just wondering if I brought the quoted price to Sports Authority if they would do anything about it. It's just a pain to load the bike in and out of my car. And oh yeah, the bike shop's name is Corbin's Redondo Beach Bicycles (http://www.redondobicycle.com).

Thanks again for all the help and advice.
In my experience, Sports Authority's warranty is only good for parts. It has already saved me $60 on the rear wheel. I need my front wheel replaced because I crashed into a pole. I trued it so it is rideable, but I need Sports Authority to replace it because the spoke tension is very uneven. I'd say go ahead and take it to your LBS. Get a relationship with them. It should all be under $75 for repairs. They may even have some spare hardware to replace the rusted fender strut.

Edit: I really want to get a picture of my bike in here.

Day I bought it at Sports Authority:


As it stands now:


I replaced my tires, flipped my stem (to lower handlebars), swapped saddle, added a rack, bought different bar ends, wrapped bar ends in bar tape, got new grips, replaced cables with white ones (installed after picture was taken), added cyclometer, added iPhone mount, added handheld pump and bottle cage, bought clipless pedals, etc...
 
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Gonzo3333

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
544
0
Chicago, IL
I think the only thing you need to buy is a new chain. The rust on the cable shielding is ok. As an extra safe measure replace all of the cables just in case there is some rust that has weakened the cables. Basically, bring your bike in for a tune up by somebody that knows what they are doing.

Whops!!

Don't mind me, I was lazy and did not read the entire post. I prefer books with pictures, not words.
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
I think the only thing you need to buy is a new chain. The rust on the cable shielding is ok. As an extra safe measure replace all of the cables just in case there is some rust that has weakened the cables. Basically, bring your bike in for a tune up by somebody that knows what they are doing.

Whops!!

Don't mind me, I was lazy and did not read the entire post. I prefer books with pictures, not words.
Whenever a bike is left out in the rain for an extended period of time, it is recommended to replace the cables. And since the cable housings (black parts of the cables) get worn on the inside from the repeated moving action of the inner cable, it is also recommended to replace them at the same time.

Edit: Plus, if your cables are not weakened, it is still a good idea to replace them because they are so cheap. I think it should be done every other year.
 
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thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
1,895
2
Beach Cities, CA
Ever get your bike fixed?
Hey there - Not yet, not really in the way you have been describing it. I have just been cleaning it real well with some car chrome wheel cleaners and CLR spray for the time being. I have called the place and of course they need to see the bike before they can give me any price on the repair. My car right now, well, is full of boxes from I don't even know what. Plus, I'll probably just wait to do everything you mentioned in the next several weeks when I get my tax refund. After all, I did claim it as a deduction. :)

Thanks again.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,119
3,758
IOKWARDI
My bikes have Magura hydraulic brakes, which are very sweet. If you have to leave you bike out in the salt spray, hydraulics are the safest way to go. A bit pricey, though. There are other brands, but I think Magura is the only one that makes rim as well as disc brakes.
 
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