Don’t Let Bike Rust Slow Your Roll!

Bike rust should be a concern for all cyclists, whether they bike to work, ride competitively or just occasionally hop on for recreation. A decent bike will run you anywhere from a few hundred bucks up to more than $8,000, with the average being about $1,000, according to Consumer Reports. Keeping rust at bay is essential part of bike maintenance, important not just to keep the bike looking nice but also in safe, working condition. Zerust offers effective, long-lasting rust protection for bicycles in the form of bicycle covers.bike rust

All modern bikes are composed of some form of metal, typically some combination of steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber. There are pros and cons to each element, and every bikers needs will be slightly different (i.e., some need a lighter bike, some are looking for a ride with greater bulk).

As noted in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, steel rusts when it comes in contact with water and oxygen – and even faster in or around salty water. Steel is often the most preferable of bike frames because it is so durable (and can even be bent back into shape and re-welded, unlike aluminum frames). Aluminum does not rust, but it can be prone to corrosion.Titanium is one of the most resistant, thanks to its passive oxide film, but it’s not totally immune and can be susceptible to crevice attack and pitting at higher temperatures. Carbon fiber generally won’t rust or corrode, but it also tends to be brittle, meaning if any component breaks, cyclists may be better off tossing it and buying a new bike altogether, as any fixes are likely to be unreliable. Even then, most bikes are made with a mix of materials, so cyclists with all types of bikes must be mindful of bike rust. 

Bicycles are Vulnerable to Rust

Rust can be a slow or fast process, depending on exposure to the elements, particularly sunlight and humidity. Bolts may seize if you have dissimilar metals together, causing them to corrode and get stuck. The bearings may also begin seizing and congealing or breaking down. Cables can start to corrode when the steel inside gets oxide on it, which translates a lot of drag when the rider is reducing their shifting or braking.

Components that may be especially susceptible to bike rust include:

  • Handlebars;
  • Brake levers;
  • Frame (including cross bar, chain stay, down tube and fork);
  • Rim;
  • Drive chain;
  • Pedals;
  • Spokes;
  • Fenders.

Chains in particular may be at risk, with serious cyclists preferring chains that are well-lubed for a smoother ride. However, this practice is known to make that component more susceptible to rust. Rust can also happen anytime the bike gets wet. If that happens, a bicycle mechanic may need to use a chain breaker to remove and replace the chain, which can be a difficult, tedious and expensive process. Some bikers assume a small amount of rust is inevitable if they are going to have their bike outside in the elements. Bike rust covers help prevent bike rust from forming in the first place, especially when you routinely store your bicycle inside one after each use.

Zerust Bike Cover Protects Your Investment

A typical bike cover will generally keep a bike safe from an accumulation of dust or fading due to the sun. However, it won’t necessarily keep out the dangerous moisture that results in rust, especially if the bike is put away wet.

With both zipped and non-zipped versions, the Zerust bike cover doesn’t just cover the bike (which would leave it vulnerable to the electro-chemical reactions that cause rust and corrosion). These covers contain an odorless, non-toxic vapor that coats your bike, shielding it from the exposure to moisture that can be a high rust risk.

Some biker bloggers will recommend occasionally spraying a little WD-40 on the frame. That’s unlikely to hurt, but the problem is WD40 doesn’t last very long. Applying lubricating oil before each ride can also prevent rust, but it’s also likely to leave your chain black with dirt and grit. Zerust bicycle covers are far less messy, and last for up to five years and can be used for seasonal or daily storage.

Contact Zerust for information on bicycle covers and bike rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Ways to Remove Rust From Bike Chains, AZCentral.com

More Blog Entries:

Spring is the Time to Carpe Diem on Car Rust Prevention, May 30, 2018, Zerust Bicycle Cover Rust Prevention Blog

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