How to Prevent Rust on Bicycle Frames and Rims
How to prevent rust on bicycle frames and rims
A bicycle journey is one of the most experiences in your lifetime. It gives you a sense of freedom as you ride on your bike with the wind brushing across your face during the early morning hours.
However, you can enjoy this only if your bike is in good condition. When bikes are kept in the open for a long time, they get exposed to rust, especially on the frames and rims.
When the frames and rims of your bicycle start getting rusty, the ride starts getting very bumpy. While it is easy to clean the rust with simple household ingredients, it is more important to keep your bicycles from rusting in the first place.
In this article, we will tell you a few simple but powerful tips on how you can keep your bicycle frames and rims free from rust.
It is important that you give a lot of importance to the prevention of rust because it becomes difficult for you to remove rust when it has spread all over the vehicle.
Are you expecting monsoon season in your country? If yes, it is all the more important to keep your cycles rust-free. Check out our post on bike tents.
The moisture in the air and the overall dampness can damage your bicycles to a great extent when they are not maintained well. Rust and mold may start to get accommodated on the frames of your cycle during this time. Therefore, these tips will help you to protect your cycle from potential damages.
Check for already affected parts, if any
Before preventing your bicycle from further damages from rest, you need to first check its current condition. Are there already any rust-related damages on the cycle? If yes, it needs to be cleaned right away.
Even if rust is formed on a very small part o the cycle, it can easily spread to other parts in no time. Hence, you need to wipe off the existing rust particles completely with sandpaper or a steel woolen pad to get rid of the damages before proceeding to the next step.
Apply a coating to the affected areas
Once you have removed all previous traces of rust, you need to apply a new coating on your cycle. You don’t have to invest in any costly painting for this purpose. A coating made from your very own nail polish is good enough to protect your cycle.
When you apply a new coating, it will prevent your cycle from getting exposed to air, dust, and other foreign particles in the atmosphere. When these particles mix with the cycle’s metal (iron), it leads to a process known as oxidation.
This process leads to rust formation in your cycles. A simple nail polish coating can prevent your bicycle from serious rust damages in the future.
Reduce damage due to exposure
When you own a bicycle, you might already know that some parts of your cycle are more prone to damage than the other parts. The frames, rims, brake wires, gears, and the cycle chains are some parts where you will usually notice a lot of damage related to rust formation.
The easiest way to protect these areas from rust is to apply grease with protective properties on these exposed parts. When these protected layers are exposed to air & dust, rust due to the oxidation process is controlled to a large extent.
Care for your cycle at the time of parking
Most of the time, many people spend a lot on protective waxes and polishes, but they fail to take care of the simple steps while keeping their cycles rust-free.
One of the most effective ways of protecting your cycles from rust is to take care of them while parking. You need to park your bike in well-sheltered areas that are dry and free from dust, dampness, and mold.
However, if, due to unavoidable circumstances, you have to park your cycle in the open areas, you have to ensure that you apply a protective coating on them.
During the monsoon, you can also cover your cycle properly with a rain cover to prevent moisture from getting inside the metal. During the other seasons, you can apply a protective coating of nail polish or WD40 on your cycles to avoid the oxidation process, when you park your vehicle in open spaces.
Simple ways to get rid of rust on your bicycles
The only best way you can get rid of rust is to avoid it in the first place. However, it is not possible to keep your cycle rust-free at all times.
If you do find rust in certain parts of your cycle after trying your best, please don’t panic. You can get rid of them easily with some ingredients that you use in your kitchen. Here are some effective ways in which you can remove rust from your cycles.
Use baking soda for getting off early stages of rust
Keep monitoring your cycle regularly to watch out for early signs of rust. It is easy to get rid of rust in this stage because it assumes alarming proportions when it spreads to other parts. A simple remedy to get rid of rust is explained here:
- Take a broad bowl and mix equal parts of baking soda and water in it.
- Mix the contents well so that you get a very thick paste. Baking soda contains properties that work well in getting rid of rust, dirt, and grime.
- You can add a few drops of lemon juice to this mixture if you want a more effective rust-removal paste.
- Apply the paste in generous doses on the rust-affected areas of your cycle directly.
- Ensure you use a brush to apply the paste to avoid the mess on your hands. Since baking soda and lemon juice contain acidic properties, it may create an itching sensation in your hands, if you have sensitive skin.
- Allow the paste to settle down on the rusty areas for about 15 minutes. This will give enough time for the paste to act on the rust and break it off the rust particles.
- After 15 minutes, scrub off the paste using a steel wool pad or a good-quality plastic scrubber. You will notice that the rust breaks easily and comes off your cycle with a lot of force. Don’t have scrubbing pads? Don’t worry, you can substitute them with old toothbrushes.
- If there are traces of baking soda still left on the rust particles, leave them on for about 10 more minutes before you wipe off the paste completely with a soft microfiber cloth.
You can keep repeating this process until you get rid of the rust stains completely. You have to keep your bicycles dry always to avoid further rusting.
Vinegar is a great solution for tough rust stains
When you don’t identify rust in the early stages, you might have to deal with some tough stains in the long run.
When rust has spread to many areas of your cycle, it becomes difficult for you to clean the stains with baking powder. This is why you need a powerful acidic substance.
What better acidic ingredient than vinegar to solve this purpose? Here is how you can use this solution for removing rust on your cycles:
- Add white vinegar and a few spoons of baking powder in a spray bottle. It is highly recommended that you take white vinegar because it is highly acidic and is very effective in removing rust. While you can apply the solution directly to the rust-affected areas, it is best to use a spray bottle if you want to spread the solution uniformly.
- Shake the spray bottle well and apply it on the rusty areas evenly. If you are applying directly, always pour the solution on tinfoil first. Use the tinfoil to apply the solution to the cycle. Later, this foil can be used for scrubbing purposes as well.
- If rust has spread on the removable parts of your cycle, you need to remove those parts and soak them in a tub containing the mixture of vinegar and baking soda for about 10 minutes before you wash the parts thoroughly.
- Let the mixture remain on your cycle parts for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, it is important that you use a hose to wash off your vehicle thoroughly because the acidic properties of vinegar will continue to corrode the metal if not washed well.
After cleaning your cycle well, ensure that you wipe it off well with an alcohol-soaked cloth to absorb all the moisture. Your cycle needs to be kept 100% dry after this wash, to prevent it from further rusting.
However, when the rusts are very stubborn, they cannot be washed off with baking soda and vinegar. You have to clean them with professional chemical-based cleaners that are available in the hardware stores.
Ensure that you don’t try out creative things when using these cleaners. These are already highly acidic; therefore, mixing them with household ingredients will only make them more acidic and dangerous than they already are.
In short, as long as you keep your cycles dry and well-protected from air, moisture, and dirt, you can prevent rusting formation on their frames and rims,