newbie question about rust
My wife and I have cannondale adventure 1000 bicycles. We bought them last summer. During the winter we stored them in the patio. Unfortunately, they were exposed to the elements. While all the aluminum parts, including the frame, are rust free, many of the screws or bolts used on the bikes are rusted. Should these all be replaced? I was going to take the bikes in for a tune up but wanted to get some advice beforehand. Thanks a lot!
You can try adding a light coat of oil to the bolts. Not only does that protect from rust, but it also means they won't get locked in place and need to be broken off. If any are locked you can get penetrating oil and let it soak in for a few hours before you try to loosen them.
Originally Posted by mcrx
It depends on how badly rusted they are and what they fasten.
If you're taking them in anyway, ask the mechanic. Most of them will probably be fine with a run through the parts washer or just a simple lubrication. The fasteners themselves are pretty cheap, but the work associated with replacing them may not be. If these fasteners require adjustments to be made after their removal and replacement, such as bolts that hold cables onto derailleurs or brakes, it may be (relatively) expensive to have a mechanic do this for you, as more work has to be done that just swapping out the part.
If you do try to do it yourself, only use solvent lubricants like WD-40 or 3-in-1 to loosen fasteners. Then clean them and whatever else was exposed to them with degreaser. Get the rust off the parts with steel wool, a green scrubbie, or a good stiff brush. For chromed parts, there is special chrome polish. Lots of bike shops carry this. Depending on the fastener, you may wish to use bicycle grease or beeswax when you put them back together. For parts that move, like the chain, derailleurs, and pulleys, clean, degrease, and use a bicycle-specific lubricant--not motor oil, auto grease, or solvent lubricants. There are many brands to choose from, and many opinions on the subject. A search here will reveal more argument than you ever imagined possible about the best lubricant to use for different components in different conditions.
In general, its not a good idea to leave your bikes outside, especially for extended periods of time with no maintenance.
If you know what the bolt does, you can remove it, wipe off the rust with an oily rag and coat the thread with grease. I usually coat the heads of bolts with wax to protect them, it is less messy. Most of my bolts are stainless steel, which survives well outdoors. I have left steel-framed bikes outdoors for 2 years with no ill effects.
If you don't know what the bolt does, then find out or take it to a mechanic. You dont want to reduce your working bikes to a pile of parts.
You should also check that the seatpost and stem have not siezed to the frame. A coat of grease (or anti-sieze) will prevent this.