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Rust on the Chain

2711 Views 34 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  ridesideways
So I made a bit of a mistake this winter... I live in Washington and unfortunately my bike got exposed to a lot of moisture and rain (despite the trusty ol' cover). I am a college student and didn’t have a place to store it.

So now I am left with an improvement in the weather but some rust on my chain. Its on at least half of the links. I really don’t want to replace it because it only has 1000 miles on it. I am wondering if the rust is a problem that I can ignore and keep on using chain grease. Should I replace it? Looking for anybody’s thoughts here. Thanks!
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Are we talking surface rust, or a TON of rust, to where the chain has grown in size? If that's the case, a new chain is not that expensive. Plus, if you are worried about the chain's condition, you can always replace it anyway.

Someone back me up on this, but wouldn't WD-40 work as well as a good general purpose rust-eliminator? I tend to use the stuff for just about anything... and it's really good about cleaning surface rust, and keeping it from coming back.
Hey thanks guys.

I do know that WD-40 breaks down grease, which is what keeps those o-rings lubed up. I don't want to put WD-40 on the chain because I don't want anything to get into the o-rings that will damage them.

As for the chain growing, I think that it is only surface rust. The chain doesn't seem to have lost any flexibility.

I know I can buy a new chain (and I already have a chain breaker tool). I just wanted to get some more miles out of this bad boy if possible.

Always remember, safety is paramount! If you think there's any risk involved in riding on that chain, get a new one right away! Plus, it's a helluva lot easier to get a new chain than it is to replace your sprockets... if you wear on those prematurely you have an entirely NEW situation on your hands.

My money is on a new chain... just because of the o-ring issue if nothing else. I know there are cleaners out there that are safe for rubber, but it almost seems like less of a hassle to replace. Why risk it?
Maybe thats what I needed to hear. The only thing is that I'm on a pretty tight budget these days (living the college 'dream'). If I didn't have that to consider, I'd be in the local shop today geting a new one. That being said, I'm always under the impression that safety should come first... Just now always easy to pay for it.
I hear ya there. If you've taken the MSA course, you will know that they stress safety heavily... over anything else. For a good reason, too. I got to experience firsthand what happens when something goes wrong with your bike!

I wouldn't anticipate that surface rust will trash your bike, especially if it's just through the winter. A good lube will probably do the trick for now, I think they usually have some that is a good cleaner type too. Main concern would be uneven wear on the sprocket and too much friction, especially if the rust is building up.
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