Tech Rusty Chain

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
650
640
123
Bad news. I went to look at my bike this morning and there were lots of rust spots on my chain. Yesterday, I did my first proper ride in wet conditions. The bike was really mucky when I got back and I gave it a good clean. I then left the bike to dry but didn’t reapply any lube (the obvious mistake with hindsight).

I’ve cleaned the chain with degreaser and liberally reoiled it but there are still spot of rust between the links, etc. Is there anything I can do to get the chain close to new again? The internet says I can still use the chain, but what do you all think?

Real bummer this as I’d got into what I thought was good practice with just lubing the rollers (and avoiding the dreaded rookie oil slick tattoo down my leg). I’m not sure if it would have saved me if I’d put more on before yesterday’s ride🤔

Any and all advice about how to get this straightened up greatly appreciated!
 

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
515
569
113
63
I'm not sure whether this is good as a long-term solution, but I used alfoil dipped in Coca-Cola to scrub rust off my chain and it worked perfectly (as it also did on my stainless steel seat post, where I used the method first).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gok and stu_kawagoe

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
3,958
2,217
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Your chain will be fine to use. To remove the surface rust, rub at the spots with increasing abrasive violence until they're gone (and then re-lube). A stiff toothbrush might be enough. Chain might never look perfect again, but should probably improve a lot. Don't ever use rust remover - that will mess up the pins and rollers big-time.

Good on you for getting out in the rain and muck!
 

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
650
640
123
I'm not sure whether this is good as a long-term solution, but I used alfoil dipped in Coca-Cola to scrub rust off my chain and it worked perfectly (as it also did on my stainless steel seat post, where I used the method first).
Thanks @Kangaeroo! I just saw a video using that method. I think I’ll need to remove the chain to do to a proper job so I guess it’s time to buy a chain cutter and master links.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
650
640
123
Your chain will be fine to use. To remove the surface rust, rub at the spots with increasing abrasive violence until they're gone (and then re-lube). A stiff toothbrush might be enough. Chain might never look perfect again, but should probably improve a lot. Don't ever use rust remover - that will mess up the pins and rollers big-time.

Good on you for getting out in the rain and muck!
Cheers for the advice, Mike. I’ve got the majority off already with the degreaser and an abrasive brush (the chain looked positively sick this morning🤢) so I’ll wait a few days until I get the chain cutter before giving it another proper go with the chain off the bike.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
868
572
123
42
Yup, quick links are great, cleaning your chain has never been so easy. I recommend you get chain link pliers, too, then.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo