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Thread: rusty spokes

  1. #1
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    rusty spokes

    Any suggestions on removing rust from spokes on this old old Trek I am trying to set up for my son to have at camp? Should I just use some emery paper and then some light oil?

  2. #2
    Your mom
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    Steel wool is what I usually use.

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    Thanks I didn't think of that one.

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    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    There are paints that contain a zinc compound, which actually transform the rust into a protecting layer.

    Not available in backwards countries like mine, but definitely buyable in the USA and Canada.

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    Senior Member oldroads's Avatar
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    Use bronze wool instead of steel wool if the spokes are chrome.
    Steel wool will score the chrome. Bronze wool is softer.
    Trust me on this, I've been cleaning rust off of bicycles for a couple decades.
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    i use sos pads. have cleaned many bikes with them and they work great. the soap in them seems to remove rust quite well. john

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    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldroads
    Use bronze wool instead of steel wool if the spokes are chrome.
    Steel wool will score the chrome.
    That's interesting, considering that chrome is harder than steel (it's the hardest metal, not counting tungsten or depleted uranium).

    Not saying your advice isn't sound, it's just odd.

  8. #8
    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    That's interesting, considering that chrome is harder than steel (it's the hardest metal, not counting tungsten or depleted uranium).

    Not saying your advice isn't sound, it's just odd.
    Ok, if no one else is going to ask, I will. What's a wroomwroomoops?

  9. #9
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redirekib
    Ok, if no one else is going to ask, I will. What's a wroomwroomoops?
    It's a nickname, used by a bikeforums.net patron, nicknamed wroomwroomoops on bikeforums.net.

  10. #10
    Destroyer of Worlds kyledr's Avatar
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    Bronze wool is softer than really soft steel wool (000 or 0000)? Regardless, I haven't had trouble using steel wool on real chrome. I don't know about some platings that might look like chrome.

    For spokes, scotch brite is stronger than 000 steel wool, but 000 steel wool will also work. It's just a matter of how fast you need to do it.

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    Older spokes were typically either cadimium or zinc plated. I don't know of anythat were really chrome plated. Scotch Brite pads should do a good cleaning job and not damage the surface.

    Current good quality spokes are stainless steel but, if you had those, you wouldn't be posting about rust.

  12. #12
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Older spokes were typically either cadimium or zinc plated. I don't know of anythat were really chrome plated.
    Good point. Now that you mention it, I have never seen chrome plated spokes, either. Not on cycles anyway.

    So, I guess chrome maintains the crown of the hardest metal after all.

  13. #13
    aspiring Old Wart Sluggo's Avatar
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    There are indeed chrome-plated spokes out there. Zinc (galvanized) spokes don't really rust generally, they just turn dark gray as the zinc oxidizes. Chrome plating can come off in chunks, leaving naked, rusting steel. The paint option is probably the best in that case -- rubbing off the rust and flaking chrome with steel wool or whatever just leaves more naked steel.

  14. #14
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sluggo
    Zinc (galvanized) spokes don't really rust generally, they just turn dark gray as the zinc oxidizes.
    +1 to that. I've got a twenty-odd year old wheelset with galvanized spokes, at this point they're the ugliest wheels you'd ever want to see. The spokes are the color of a twenty-odd year old chain-link fence. Very dull, very grey-

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