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Rusty chain after 6 months?

aldricaldric Posts: 161
edited February 2011 in Commuting general
I bought my bike about 6 months ago and it has always been kept inside. I did use it during the winter and washed it using a degreaser etc every couple of weeks.

I haven't been using it over the last month, however before putting it away I noticed that the chain, and rear cog and very outside of the chain ring are all looking like the are suffereing from a bit of rust.

Prior to putting it away I washed it and then lubed it using:

Finish Line Dry Lubricant 4oz Bottle

I got my bike out today and the chain is even worse, definately looks like it is suffering from rust.

What did I do wrong? Should I have been using wet lubricant?

What can I do to sort it out from now on? Is it possible to remove the rust? I didn't expect this after only 6 months.



  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Chains can rust overnight, especially if they're damp or get road salt on them. The good news is that a little rust doesn't do any harm. My advice would be to give it a good clean, make sure you dry it thoroughly (I like to leave mine outside for a couple of hours on a dry day after washing) and relube. If you're not planning to ride it for a while then spraying your drive-train with a water displacer like GT-85 before lubing will help to keep further rust at bay. Just be careful not to get it on your braking surfaces.

    You'll probably never get it pristine, but it'll look OK, and assuming you've not got any stuck links it won't affect the way it rides. Plus replacing a chain is easy and cheap so if the worst comes to the worst, it's not really that big a deal.
  • MoodymanMoodyman Posts: 158
    Listen to Rhext
  • aldricaldric Posts: 161
    Thanks for the advice. I will give it another good clean tonight as I am going for a ride tomorrow...

    I did ride it in all conditions in the winter, there would have been a lot of road salt invovled as there were a lot of cold mornings up here in Scotland. Although the coldest I went out in was -7.

    Is it ok to use the Finish Line Dry Lubricant 4oz for the lube?
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    It'll do, but I tend to find that wet lube is better for winter use. If I were you I'd order a bottle, use the dry lube until it arrives, and in summer, but as soon as the weather takes a turn for the worse, use the wet lube. Your chain won't tend to stay as clean with wet lube, but it won't rust quite so quickly either.
  • aldricaldric Posts: 161
    Thanks, advice regarding the lube again noted.

    Just washed the chain etc and the rear cog looks much better already. I can't see the chain due to the light now, but it does appear to be better.

    Using an old white t-shirt to dry the chain after the wash and after lubing there does still seem to be a lot of brown residue left on the rag. I will repeat the proess later in the week.
  • bunterbunter Posts: 327
    Dry lubes are ok for the summer but even then need frequent reapplication as they will get washed off easily in the rain. They are pretty ineffective in the winter or wet weather IME and would need to be applied pretty much before every ride, which gets expensive. Lots of dry/wax lubes seem to be designed with really dry & dusty environments in mind (I live in Lancs so this obviously does not apply to me). I tried rock & roll extreme last summer, which got washed off in the rain on the bike rack on top of the car - arrived on holiday with a rusty chain!

    You should be able to remove surface rust completely by giving it a thorough degrease and scrub in hot water (take the chain off). Spray on loads of WD40 or GT85 to displace out all the water. Let this evaporate off as much as possible (hang the chain up to drip for a while). Then you can lube with finish line wet which should do you proud. Comma spray grease is a cheap alternative (you can spray on loads and wipe the chain clean) but is much stickier/messier.
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