One of the most frustrating sights for any rider has to be rust. Trust me; I’m aware that riding up a hill after a three hour ride, having the misfortune to be caught in a hail storm (ouch), or having a new flat tire when you’re eight miles from home are also terrible scenarios.
However, the sight of rust almost feels as if you’re looking down at a gob of snot that you accidentally let loose while you were fighting a cold (eww). Yes, it’s a low feeling and many of us have been there. Rust is not only painful to look at, it can also be dangerous if left unchecked for too long.
Luckily there are numerous ways to safely remove rust before your bike is lost! Not only is that great news for the emotional attachment you have with your bicycle, it’s also financially wise to use various tactics if you ever find the slightest bit of rust on your bike. New bicycles can run from $300, $400, $500 and up, especially if you are interested in buying a top end model. This doesn’t include the value you could have gotten out of your bike if it had not rusted.
Why Rust Is Bad
As mentioned earlier, rust is awful to look at. You develop an emotional attachment with a bike, and seeing it rusted can cause stomach discomfort. Unfortunately, there are far greater problems caused by rust. For example, rust can cause your brakes to seize, which could result in a serious injury. If you’ve never experienced uncooperative brakes, consider yourself sun-kissed – broken brakes are simply terrifying!
Your brakes may also possibly start squeaking as a result of a build up of rust or dirt. IF this has happened to you, check out our guide on how to stop your bike brakes squeaking.
Rust can also cause your wheels to become disfigured. This is also another huge safety concern you should be aware of. Rust around wheels can cause spokes to become loose or break, directly putting the integrity of your wheel at risk. For example, if your bike runs over a pothole or over tough terrain, your wheel could bend resulting in an accident. This would certainly not only make your trip home frustrating, but painful as well.
If it’s at all possible, make sure your bike is kept in a dry area where it isn’t exposed to the elements.
How To Get Rid Of Bike Rust
Precisely why you came to this article! Thankfully, there are a number of creative ways you can remove rust from your bike. One of the most intriguing ways to do so is by using carbonated beverages. Coca-Cola is often referred to as the go to “drink” to use in order to safely remove rust from a bicycle. Interestingly enough, my father once told me stories of using the popular “soft drink” to remove acid from a car battery…
…Yes, people still drink that stuff!
To use a carbonated beverage all you need to do is purchase a six pack, pour it on the rusted areas of your bike, wait a few minutes, and wipe off the rusted area. And if you care about the integrity of your organs, you will immediately discard the unused cola down a drain or give it to someone you really don’t like. Jokes aside, crumpled aluminium foil is also an effective way to remove a rust spot so you might want to hold onto the cans for a little longer.
Others use lime juice (or another form of citric acid), steel wool, and paper towels to remove rust spots. If it comes down to it, you might have to use paint to touch up the areas where you removed the annoying rust as shown in the video below. Other techniques include using salt, potatoes (really), and vinegar to remove rust.
Rust Be Gone
Using these exotic, unorthodox, and slightly unbelievable techniques will remove rust spots from your bike. Use these techniques in order to save your favorite bikes from doom and your bank account from a rather large expense.
Treat your bike with care fellow riders!