Rust is a judgment call. Minor surface rust doesn't matter but be aware that rust means less steel holding the chain together. As such deeper rust on plates compromises strength, so replace a chain if the rust seems to have penetrated so some depth.
BTW- the depth of rust issue is more important on the thinner chains used for 9s and 10s. These have thinner plates to begin with, so have less they can afford to lose to rust.
to clean it good - soak in some coke, rinse, then mineral spirits (naval jelly works great, but coke is cheap and you can drink some -preferably w/ rum, while you wait )
just spirits wont get rid of all the rust - any left over can act as an abrasive
Have you checked it for wear (measured it)? After a year of frequent riding, it may have stretched to the point where it may start causing your cassette and rings to wear. Chains are cheap compared to replacing those parts.
^^^ yeah, a year is a long time - depending on how much you ride
Also, lube your chain more often - esp. if it's gonna be on "the car rack all winter".
I commute nearly every day of the year (by bike of course) and ride in some harsh conditions (granted, no salt allowed here in Cali), and My chain/s have zero rust - I clean and lube often - Bar oil is the best IMO and inexpensive to boot :thumbsup:
Damned rust never sleeps. What's the best way to keep it off the drivetrain/chain? Our bikes are stored on an enclosed (but damp) balcony and it seems like no matter how often I clean and lube, the links will get sticky/stiff from rust within a day or two of not riding.
Does a coke bath eat all the rust off? (I've been using spirits but the rust stays) It's easy to get off the outside plates but I can't scrub/get at the insides and links.
Which type of lubes protect the best from rust? I'm using a teflon based lube right now and it doesn't seem to inhibit the surface rust in the least bit.
The chains are due to be replaced soon anyway, which chains are best at fighting rust? Stainless? Coated? Any recomendations?
If you are having problems with rusty chains, the best thing to use is Boeshield T-9 lube. It is designed to remove and inhibit corrosion and was originally developed by Boeing for use in aerospace and marine environments, which are alot more challenging situations for dealing with corrosion than bicycle riding. The T-9 liquid will penetrate the chain thoroughly, dissolve rust and leave a waxy coating on your chain that will not readily wash off once dried. You put the stuff on, cycle your cranks about 30 times, let it dry overnight, and go and ride. After finishing your ride, you wipe the chain down and the rust will come off. No need to relube for a good while afterwards, although you may want to wipe the chain down after each ride to remove more of the dissolved corrosion. T-9 also is great for fixing stiff links. Put it on, let it dry overnight, flex the link a bit and go ride. Problem solved.
I also find that the XTR level Shimano chains are considerably more rust resistant than lower level chains, although they will rust if exposed to consistent wet conditions. However, using T-9 on my XTR chains, I haven't had any rust problems.
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