Chain rusted over 5 days

tangled_metal
tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
edited May 2014 in Workshop
I bought a Specialized crosstrail August last year for family rides, touring and commuting. Everything great until last Saturday when I noticed the chain had rusted over a 5 day holiday. We'd ridden a few days in the rain and the bikes did get left uncovered occasionally. My partner's bike is over 4 years old and taken a beating. It was in the same place as my bike but no rust.
Should I take it back to Evans? Are they likely to replace the chain foc?
It's a good bike, sport disc model, it should have a good stainless steel chain. So why discolour or rust over a single, wet week? BTW the part rusted is the part where the "pin"joining the links together is. The bit to go between the teeth on the chain rings.
Any suggestions?

Comments

  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,845
    oil it, it'll be fine
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Not unexpected after a ride in rain especially if it was on dirty roads as grit helps remove the lube. You need to re-lube after the rise to avoid this. I've neglected mine several times after a ride and ended up with a few spots of rust when I came back to it a day or two later. In a period of just a few days the rust is purely cosmetic. Re-lube and it will be fine. I doubt it'll even be visible especially if you give the chain a scrub before you lube it. Nothing unusual about this or substandard about the chain.
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Cheers. Noobie question but I use a general bike oil dribbled onto the chain every so often. Is this right?
    BTW why didn't my partner's bike suffer the same rust effect? Was subject to the same rides, same conditions in the same places. Hers is over 4 years old, had a battering over the years too. My ancient road bike has never done that neither. I just can't understand why one bike suffers from this and others don't.
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Cheers. Noobie question but I use a general bike oil dribbled onto the chain every so often. Is this right?
    BTW why didn't my partner's bike suffer the same rust effect? Was subject to the same rides, same conditions in the same places. Hers is over 4 years old, had a battering over the years too. My ancient road bike has never done that neither. I just can't understand why one bike suffers from this and others don't.
    No idea!
    Could be as simple as the way the spray was coming off the tyres and hitting the chain on that particular bike, could be chain material (BTW: more tendency to rust does not necessarily mean it's a lower quality chain. Corrosion resistance and strength are not the same thing)

    General purpose oil should do fine but avoid light penetrating oils like WD40. You can also buy specific chain lubes including "wet weather" ones which are quite thick and resistant to beinf washed off by rain. Not essential and they tend to gather more dust and grit due to being more viscous and sticky but an option if you want to lube and forget.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    So you bought a bicycle last August and last week you found a bit of rust in the chain and therefore you want to return it and get a new chain free of charge. This also happened after you rode it for 5 days in the rain not cleaning, re-oiling, drying or covering up the bike when not in use.

    Seriously?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • lapavoni10
    lapavoni10 Posts: 146
    If the other bike is older, you probably have a good caking of oil and solidified oil on the chain. Even if you give the chain a squirt of gt85 after a wet ride it will at least keep rust at bay and stop things seizing.
    Regular cleaning and oiling makes everything perform better...even the missus.
  • Ouija
    Ouija Posts: 1,386
    Had this happen on a new bike once. It was just a cheap chain. Having gone through many SRAM chains over the years, there really is a difference between their entry level chains and their more expensive units, with the cheaper ones more prone to rust if you don't start oiling them from new.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Cheaper chains tend to have no surface coating so are more prone to rust. As already suggested, an older chain would probably have accumulated a surface film of lubricant, which would protect it to some extent.

    I use plain old 3-in-1 oil. Wipe the chain down about once a week and apply a small drop to each pin / roller. Spin the cranks to work it in, then wipe off to remove any excess and also leave a thin film on the side plates.

    After a wet ride I always take a couple of minutes to wipe the chain as dry as I can and relube it. I have occasionally been too knackered to bother, and see rust appearing in 48 hours, so I'm not surprised by what happened to your chain considering it's treatment.

    So I'd echo the advice above; just lubricate the thing and ride it. If you want a shiny chain, be prepared to spend some money on one of the dearer, plated / treated ones.
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    So you bought a bicycle last August and last week you found a bit of rust in the chain and therefore you want to return it and get a new chain free of charge. This also happened after you rode it for 5 days in the rain not cleaning, re-oiling, drying or covering up the bike when not in use.

    Seriously?

    +1

    I didnt want to be the first one to bring this up!

    give it a clean with GT85 or something, let it all dry and then relube.

    if the other bike has not be cleaned properly for the past 4 years chances are the chain is rusty its just hidden under other dirt!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    My 9 speed KMC chain was showing some rust, I'd been out in the rain and the lube (Fenwicks Stealth Road Lube) and clearly worn off. Its just surface rust, so a little wipe with a rag & GT85 soon cleaned it all up, re-lubed and off I went.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • dee4life2005
    dee4life2005 Posts: 773
    I regularly clean / lube my chain but after a wet ride if I don't dry it it will be showing signs of surface rust in around 24 hours. It'll just be surface rust you have, so lube and ride and it should disappear pretty quickly.
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    So you bought a bicycle last August and last week you found a bit of rust in the chain and therefore you want to return it and get a new chain free of charge. This also happened after you rode it for 5 days in the rain not cleaning, re-oiling, drying or covering up the bike when not in use.

    Seriously?
    Well It was a 5 day trip but the rust appeared the day after a wet ride. The bike has been oiled and maintained apart from being stored in a dry brick built shed between end of September and about March. Basically I used it a bit last year and did general maintenance then and this year since getting back on it. Just because I haven't listed maintenance doesn't mean I don't look after my bike.
    As far as this goes it seems I've obviously been lucky all my life without ever coming across this before. I only asked because my cycling experience does not extend to rapid rusting. Coming from a materials engineering background to me it seemed a material that rusted this quick might not be the best for the job. It's good to hear it is not uncommon a situation. My idea was a simple, soft brush to clean it off then oil it again. Good to know that's along the lines of your recommendations, but if this keeps happening is it possible worse damage than surface rust can happen.
    My old road bike got wet rides from day one and was cleaned and oiled infrequently. It never had this issue even days when it was chained up for a day in the rain a few times. No layers of oil on the chain but still no surface rust. This I can't understand unless modern bikes are using inferior parts to that made 25 years ago.
    A friend once explained why my old bike freewheeled better than a modern bike of the equivalent quality now or better. He had a theory relating to the hub bearings were made better because they weren't cartridge type but individual ball bearings in a race. I think I got that right as he's a bike nerd who goes right into the nitty gritty of dimensions of parts to the "thou" or mm with tolerances, etc.
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    So you bought a bicycle last August and last week you found a bit of rust in the chain and therefore you want to return it and get a new chain free of charge. This also happened after you rode it for 5 days in the rain not cleaning, re-oiling, drying or covering up the bike when not in use.

    Seriously?
    Well It was a 5 day trip but the rust appeared the day after a wet ride. The bike has been oiled and maintained apart from being stored in a dry brick built shed between end of September and about March. Basically I used it a bit last year and did general maintenance then and this year since getting back on it. Just because I haven't listed maintenance doesn't mean I don't look after my bike.
    As far as this goes it seems I've obviously been lucky all my life without ever coming across this before. I only asked because my cycling experience does not extend to rapid rusting. Coming from a materials engineering background to me it seemed a material that rusted this quick might not be the best for the job. It's good to hear it is not uncommon a situation. My idea was a simple, soft brush to clean it off then oil it again. Good to know that's along the lines of your recommendations, but if this keeps happening is it possible worse damage than surface rust can happen.
    My old road bike got wet rides from day one and was cleaned and oiled infrequently. It never had this issue even days when it was chained up for a day in the rain a few times. No layers of oil on the chain but still no surface rust. This I can't understand unless modern bikes are using inferior parts to that made 25 years ago.
    A friend once explained why my old bike freewheeled better than a modern bike of the equivalent quality now or better. He had a theory relating to the hub bearings were made better because they weren't cartridge type but individual ball bearings in a race. I think I got that right as he's a bike nerd who goes right into the nitty gritty of dimensions of parts to the "thou" or mm with tolerances, etc.
    If you have a materials or engineering background you should have a good understanding of this already but rust does not mean inferior unless your sole criteria is corrosion resistance as I previously explained. A perfectly good chain may be susceptible to corrosion if left unprotected. Unless it's prolonged exposure there'll be no problem. The fact that other chains did or did not react similarly under similar circumstances is irrelevant. Clearly either the circumstances were not really the same or the chain construction was different. Not necessarily either better or worse, but different. There is no problem here. Look for stainless chains in future if it bothers you (stainless steel isn't necessarily a better material for chains, it may or may not be as strong, it may be unnecessarily expensive, but it will be more corrosion resistant)
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    The chain needs cleaning regularly, like every 1 to 2 weeks. All that's needed is one of those chain cleaning machines, degreaser, a stiff brush for the cassette, chainrings and the jockey wheels (a scrape with a screwdriver for the latter if needed).

    A bit of rust isn't a problem.

    Then let it dry and apply chain lube (only on the inside, obviously). There are loads on the market. I've tried most, currently using the Finish Line Ceramic wet lube, which seems pretty good.
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    The chain needs cleaning regularly, like every 1 to 2 weeks.
    Why?
    Lots of people seem to do it this often but it's certainly not necessary in most cases. Obviously how regularly you might want to clean and/or lube the chain is dependent on how much you ride per week, road and weather conditions, type of lube you use, etc. I've often left mine uncleaned for a couple of months in decent conditions with just the addition of a few drops of lube and the wipe of a cloth every few rides.
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    Ai_1 wrote:
    The chain needs cleaning regularly, like every 1 to 2 weeks.
    Why?
    Lots of people seem to do it this often but it's certainly not necessary in most cases. Obviously how regularly you might want to clean and/or lube the chain is dependent on how much you ride per week, road and weather conditions, type of lube you use, etc. I've often left mine uncleaned for a couple of months in decent conditions with just the addition of a few drops of lube and the wipe of a cloth every few rides.

    Just find it rides better when everything is cleaned and lubed.

    1 to 2 weeks, or every few hundred km, works for me. YMMV.