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Old 24 Jan 2006
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Best method of rust prevention?

After a couple of weeks of riding on salted / icy roads in Europe & the UK, I have noticed my chain, sprockets and frame are starting to rust very quickly. Being used to warm rust-free climates, this is definately a new experience for me.....

Aside from cleaning the bike after every ride and storing it out of the weather, does anyone have any tips for removing and preventing rust?

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Old 24 Jan 2006
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Are you sure that the rust you see is actually from the frame and not rust deposits that come from parts you change regularily anywys, like brakes, shocks, etc? Many people have for instance mistaken rust on their wheels to be rusty rims, when in fact, the visible rust is residue from the brakes which has fallen down on the rims.

To prevent rust, all steel must be sealed from the elements by paint or some other type of metal sealer! All rust that already has occured should be treated as early as possible, though I wouldn't bother too much with the sprockets as these wear out faster than the rust will eat them up anyways (though rust accelerates ware). Remember, even if you have removed rust and repainted, etc, don't expect the job to last. Rust is like cancer on a bike, it just keeps coming back no matter how well you treat it. Only way to be close to really sure is to hot galvanize it, which is way overkill and expensive, and doesn't provide 100% certainty either. There are rust sealer type of paints that you can brush on real thick, but it is ugly as hell and should not be necessary. Keep your bike clean and waxed, give it a coat paint sealer, lubricate your chain and sprockets properly, and repair all rust as it appears, and your bike will last a loooooong time. Ideally, a bike should be waxed 4 times a year or more for a year round bike, and two times for a summers only bike (beginning and end of season).

Generally, when you see a spot of rust, bubbeling paint etc, the affected area is usually much greater. The visible rust is usually only 5-10% of the true mess that is covered underneath the paint. Sand down these areas, dry with a lint cloth, treat it with acid primer, prime it, paint it and seal the paint with a clear coat. Remember that primers don't offer rust protection as they are pourous and will allow moisture to seep in. The same usually goes for the color coat in a two stage paint system, with only the final clear coat offering the protection you need. Most rattlecans you purchase are also pourous. Go to a pro shop and have them mix up the really good stuff in a rattlecan. When repairing rust, remember also that the moisture from your skin touching bare metal is enough for rust to start down the line. keep everything dry. Ideally you should remove rust and have the paint job completly done in the same day, this to prevent moisture from the atmosphere attacking the metal (even through primer).

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 24 January 2006).]
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Old 24 Jan 2006
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Are you using a good quality chain wax? - that should prevent rusting chain and sprockets, but rusting frame...? I would be inclined to spray that with chain wax as well, best done when bike is as dry as possible -so as not to trap any moisture. I use wax and chain spray oil, the wax coats the sprockets and chain, and the oil lubricates it. try not to leave your bike in an enclosed space (or a fitted cover) when it's wet. Let some air round it. As a large lump of metal, your bike will cool more than the surroundings, and attract condensation over the cold nights, and can be quite wet in the morning.
Welcome to Europian weather.
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Old 25 Jan 2006
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Thanks for the tips.
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Old 28 Jan 2006
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Hi Matt,
For rust prevention of the engine etc. good old fashioned oilyness goes a long way. WD40 seems to help a bit although has to be done quite often as it dissapears quick. A good going over greasing bolt heads and nuts etc. seems to help. If you have chrome plated steel rims or other parts you might find surface rust on these. This is not nessecarily bad. Chrome is porous and so the steel rusts 'through' the chrome. The rust can often be removed succesfully with steel wool. Then coat with a protective polish.
Matt (I have an Enfield, it's a constant battle!)


[This message has been edited by Matt Cartney (edited 28 January 2006).]


*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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