How To Remove Rust From Bike ? – 9 Tips You Should Know

Rusty bike wheel and cassette

After many hours of trying to gather the best tips and advice on how to take care of a rusty bike and prevent it from happening.

Check out our top 9 tips for fighting rust!

Tip #1: “Water is the enemy of mechanics”

A friend’s mechanic grandfather used to repeat these words over and over again: “Water is the enemy of mechanics”. It must be said that our ancestor was experienced.

No water means no rust. To avoid the appearance of rust on your bikes, avoid putting them in contact with water, especially when cleaning. A little hot water, a little soap and elbow grease will be much less invasive than a high-pressure washing machine. Your bike will thank you for it and the rust will stay away from your beautiful bike.

Tip #2: Dry your bike.

Let’s face it, a bike isn’t meant to stay in the living room. During use or during cleaning, it will inevitably be in contact with water. If you don’t want rust to set in, you must dry it before storing it! From the frame to the wheels, everything has to go. Arm yourself with a rag and wipe off as much as you can, paying particular attention to the cassette and chain, which are the most susceptible to rust. 

Pro Tip: You can use a compressor to dry your bike, especially the most inaccessible parts. Your bearings will thank you.

Compressor on the floor
Very useful for those who are lucky enough to have one at home

Tip #3: Bike storage tip.

To prevent all forms of corrosion, your bike should be stored in a dry place, away from moisture. Otherwise, it’s guaranteed to rust.

Don’t put it under a tarp: condensation can occur!

Tip #4: Aluminum, you will cherish

Using an aluminum frame and parts is definitely the best solution if rust is your worst nightmare. No need for maintenance, aluminum does not rust!

Tip #5: Paint: the first protection

On a frame or steel parts, paint or varnish is the only protection against rust. If you damage the paint, the steel will be exposed and may rust. To prevent this from happening, regularly inspect your frame for paint chips. If you find a chip, protect it as soon as possible with paint or varnish.

Tip: Nail polish is very useful for this, just choose the color of the bike and you’ll see nothing.

Tip #6: A great classic: WD40

A mechanic’s favorite product, WD40 has more than one trick up its sleeve. To prevent rust, you can spray it all over your bike! Wipe with a clean cloth, let it dry and your bike will be protected. Plus it will shine, what else? 

WD40 is very practical for cleaning and getting rust off a bike, but remember that it should not be used as a lubricant on your bike chain.

Tip #7: Use bike grease

Grease is very effective in fighting rust. Once applied to your bike, it will protect it effectively. Disadvantage: not necessarily ideal for the frame or parts in contact with the rider.

On the other hand, it is the best way to protect the spokes of your wheels!

Rusty bike spokes
Yes Sir, I don’t want to see that

Tip #8: How to remove rust from transmission?

Don’t panic, if you ride regularly, the rust is probably superficial. To remove it, clean your transmission with a wire brush then oil your chain and spray your cassette with WD40. The friction of the chain will remove the rest.

Be careful! If your transmission is rusty, it’s because you don’t maintain it or that you don’t follow the previous advice. Indeed, it must be constantly oiled to ensure its optimal operation. The oil film protects it from rust.

Tip #9: What about the bike frame?

If your frame is rusty, it’s more annoying. The first thing to do is to check the depth of the rust. If the rust is superficial, nothing serious. Sand the rusted area with very fine sandpaper until all the rust is removed, then apply rust inhibitor. Once the rust remover is dry, you can repaint or re-varnish the area.

However, if the rust is perforating, your bike is ruined. The structure is damaged and cannot be repaired, as the rust will always return. Don’t try any DIY projects like welding the rust holes. Your frame is dead and needs to go in the trash for your safety!

What’s next?

Careful maintenance is essential if you want to keep your bike in good condition. There is no secret to avoiding rust, you must maintain your bike regularly. It is not possible to stop rust. Once it has appeared, it cannot be completely eradicated. The preventive method remains the most effective by acting early if a possible rust spot is detected. In any case, make sure you don’t use a rusty bike, you don’t want to take the risk of getting hurt !

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