Removing Surface Chain Rust

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Excuse: “My chain is rusted”

If you need a reminder to keep your chain clean, you can purchase this poster on Amazon.

If you need a reminder to keep your chain clean, you can purchase this poster on Amazon.

Winter biking is great, but it can mean salty snow slush on your chain and gears. If the salty water sits, you can quickly end up with a rusty chain. Let it sit too long and it could eat through your chain, leaving it weak. To prevent that, be sure to Rinse Your Chain after you bike during the winter (you can also ride a junky bike during the winter to avoid having to replace expensive parts).

Of course, if you do see some surface rust starting to crop up on your chain, no need to panic. Here’s a quick way to clean up your chain before the rust does too much damage. (You can see the big difference a quick cleaning makes in the pictures below from my Boda Boda.)

Supplies Needed:

  • WD-40
  • Wire Brush
  • Rag/Towel/Old Sock
  • Chain Lubricant

1. Hold a section of the chain with a rag and spray it with WD-40. Note: Many sources say not to use WD-40 as a chain lubricant, but it does do a good job of stripping gunk off and getting your chain back to square one.

2. Use a wire brush to gently scrub each side of the chain.

3. Take the towel and wipe off the chain. Spray and brush until the chain moves freely without grinding.

4. Lubricate the chain with chain grease (don’t use the WD-40 for this).

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