I’ve learned a thing or two about bike maintenance over the years of riding and maintaining my bicycle. One of the most crucial lessons I’ve picked up is how to keep a bike chain from rusting. Trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than a rusty chain ruining a perfect ride. It’s not just about the annoying creaking sound it makes, but a rusty chain can also significantly reduce your bike’s performance.
But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. In this article, I’ll share my personal tips and tricks to prevent your bike chain from falling victim to rust. From the right cleaning techniques to the best anti-rust products, I’ll guide you through the process.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the world of bike maintenance. As my grandpa used to say – a well-maintained bike chain isn’t just about a smooth ride, it’s a testament to your love for cycling.
Let’s keep that chain shining, shall we?
How to Prevent The Bike Chain from Rusting?
Let’s look at what strategies you can use to protect your bike chain from rusting.
Remove The Water
Rain can wash the lubricant off your chain and cause it to rust. A water-displacing spray can’t replace the bike chain lube, but it can be an excellent first step in protecting your chain from rust.
When you get home from a rainy ride, try the following:
- Put a sheet of newspaper between the bottom of the chain and the rear wheel to keep the grease from running off the rims.
- Spray it on the chain as it leaves gear by turning the cranks backwards.
- Let it sit for a few seconds before wiping off the excess with a kitchen towel by pulling the chain through.
Put newspaper under your bike when you store it to soak up spills.
Protect The Bike From The Elements
Since moisture promotes rust and corrosion, it’s not a good idea to store your bike outside where dew, rain, or snow might accumulate, even if you cover it. Moisture gets under the cover and stays there longer because it can’t evaporate as easily.
An optimal storage method is a shaded garage or shed. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the opportunity to store our bikes this way. Remember that there’s still moisture, so check your bike regularly for signs of rust.
Keep The Chain Clean
Lubrication and protective storage are essential. But even the simple cleaning of your bicycle chain can work wonders.
Every time before you put your bike in the stand, take a towel and clean the chain of any dirt it might’ve picked up on the road. It only takes a few minutes, but it’ll extend the life of your chain.
Since it’s an excellent cleaner, you can also use WD40 for bike chains if you don’t have cleaning oil on hand. Just be sure to wipe down your bike chain after using WD40 and apply a new coat of another lubricating oil, as the WD40 will dry out the chain.
Read more: Can You Use WD40 On A Bike Chain?
Keep It Dry
Rust, also known as iron oxide, is formed when iron and oxygen react. Water and moisture play an essential role in rusting.
Keeping your bike dry is one of the best ways to protect it from rust. If you’ve just returned from a wet day’s ride or have pedaled through mud, spend some time drying the entire bike before putting it into storage.
A wet bike is much more susceptible to rust. After a long ride, you can not wait to hop in the shower, and cleaning your bicycle is the last thing on your mind. But take the time to dry it out before putting it in storage.
Get Protection for Your Chain
Anything that protects the chain from rain will help prevent corrosion. Even if it’s only half a cover, a chain guard can protect the chain from dust and water.
If you can’t protect your bike from the elements while riding, fenders and body covers will help limit the damage.
Buying a chain guard isn’t expensive, but it can pay off by reducing repair costs and extending the life of your bike.
Get Rust Resistant Chain
If you don’t have the ability or the will to maintain your chain, you should invest in one that’s less prone to corrosion.
No matter how carefully you care for your chain, it’ll eventually wear out. We commonly refer to this as stretching. Nickel-plated chains are much less prone to corrosion and may be the ideal choice for you if you rarely lube your bike. They’re available at most local bike stores.
Read more: How Can You Fix a Rusty Bike Chain?
How Often Should You Lubricate?
As crucial as lubrication is, you don’t need to do it more often than once a month or before 100 kilometers, whichever comes first. Excessive lubrication can also damage your bike’s chain.
Read more: How Often Should I Lube My Bike Chain?
In this journey, we’ve explored the ins and outs of how to prevent bike chains from rusting. We’ve learned that it’s not just about the right cleaning techniques or the best anti-rust products, but also about the love and care we put into our bikes.
From removing water after a rainy ride to protecting our bikes from the elements, every step counts. We’ve discovered the importance of keeping our chains clean and dry, and how a simple chain guard can make a world of difference. We’ve also delved into the option of investing in a rust-resistant chain for those of us who may not have the time for regular maintenance.
But remember, as much as we love our bikes, they’re not just about the ride. They’re a testament to our passion for cycling. So, let’s continue to keep our chains shining and our rides smooth. After all, a well-maintained bike chain isn’t just about preventing rust, it’s about ensuring the longevity of our beloved two-wheeled companions.
So, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, this article has given you valuable insights on how to prevent bike chains from rusting.
They say that every bit of effort you put into maintaining your bike today will pay off in the long run. Happy cycling!