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Old 09-29-11, 02:12 PM   #1
Benjamin_E29
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Surface rust on chain

Hey guys. I keep getting surface rust on my chain links. Its the red flaky kind of rust that you can scratch off. There isn't any rust or corrosion of any kind occuring on the chain pins and my chain runs pretty darn quiet. The chain is lubricated with White Lightning wax based lube. The rust is pretty annoying but since its not on the moving parts of the chain, is it okay?
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Old 09-29-11, 02:20 PM   #2
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Never gotten the problem, if you leave the bike outside that could be your problem.
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Old 09-29-11, 02:51 PM   #3
Benjamin_E29
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Nah I store my bike in the garage and I wipe down my chain after every ride.
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Old 09-30-11, 09:03 AM   #4
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You won't like the solution if you like your White Lightning, but try using oil for lubing the chain. Wax-based lubes (like WL) fall off the outside of the chain -- that's why they're so clean -- but that means you've got bare metal touching the air. The film an oil (or "wet") lube leaves on a chain protects the chain from rust. You can wipe it down until it's almost dry, and what's left will still protect the chain, and hopefully won't attract too much dust.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:19 AM   #5
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If the chain runs well, it's just an issue of aesthetics ?

Do you clean you chain with some sort of non toxic cleaner/degreaser
like the citrus based products or simple green ? Because those
can leave acidic deposits that will accelerate oxidative corrosion.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:42 AM   #6
Benjamin_E29
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So would it be acceptable if I used my wax-based lube on the moving parts of the chain and ran over the rest of it with an oily rag?
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Old 09-30-11, 11:49 AM   #7
Benjamin_E29
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
If the chain runs well, it's just an issue of aesthetics ?

Do you clean you chain with some sort of non toxic cleaner/degreaser
like the citrus based products or simple green ? Because those
can leave acidic deposits that will accelerate oxidative corrosion.
That's what I'm saying, the links all still move freely and the chain runs fairly quietly.

Come to think of it I did last wash my drivetrain with dish soap and water. That not did work out too well so I've since switched to a bona fide degreaser. I'm in the process of cleaning/re-oiling my chain now, we'll see if the problem stops.

Last edited by Benjamin_E29; 09-30-11 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 09-30-11, 01:10 PM   #8
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Your chain is likely made from an inferior metal, I'd just get a new one. If you're on a budget just keep a nice coating of oil or grease on it. Also make sure that the rust isn't coming off another part and sticking to the chain.
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Old 09-30-11, 01:17 PM   #9
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Yes, when i used to clean my chain with soapy water, it did have a film of rust on it the next day, more or less. Found that oiling the chain after the wash would stop this. It was a SRAM951 chain, and the plates seemed to rust very easily. Now i wash my chain in methelated spirits; am still not sure if this is right, but its been ok so far, then i wait for the spirit to dissolve, go dry, and then oil it.
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Old 09-30-11, 08:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SumoMuffin View Post
Your chain is likely made from an inferior metal, I'd just get a new one. If you're on a budget just keep a nice coating of oil or grease on it. Also make sure that the rust isn't coming off another part and sticking to the chain.
It's a Shimano 9 speed. All I know is it's stock. I'm afraid the rust might spread to my rear derailleur. It just seems like such a waste to get rid of an otherwise perfectly good chain with less than 500 miles on it.

Here's a thought. If I spray the entire chain with a dry silicone lubricant, will it still protect the steel without attracting dirt?
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