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  1. #1
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    What can I use to get rid of some rust?

    My Cassette is rusted pretty nasty, and instead of switching it out (I do not have the tools to do so) I'm gonna try and get the cassette to the best physical shape possible. Now I've already used some bike spray cleaner intended for cassettes, chains, and disc brake rotors and that has seemed to smoothen the spin. But just wondering if there is anything else I can use. This is my first time restoring a bike, done for the sole purpose of learning more about bike components and what I can do to fix them. So any suggestions will be appreciated. I'm considering using lime-a-way for this.

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    If you're talking about rust on the outside of the sprockets, just ignore it. It's like rust on railroad tracks. The chain will clean and polish the areas that count, and what the chain doesn't clean up doesn't matter anyway. Use a oil/paraffin lube like LPS-3 to coat the cassette to prevent further rusting, or do nothing and let the excess lube coming off the chain for that job.

    If the cassette is loose sprockets and spacers, and you care about looks, put a sheet of fine sand paper on a table and gently rub each sprocket in circles to clean it up.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    If you're talking about rust on the outside of the sprockets, just ignore it. It's like rust on railroad tracks. The chain will clean and polish the areas that count, and what the chain doesn't clean up doesn't matter anyway. Use a oil/paraffin lube like LPS-3 to coat the cassette to prevent further rusting, or do nothing and let the excess lube coming off the chain for that job.

    If the cassette is loose sprockets and spacers, and you care about looks, put a sheet of fine sand paper on a table and gently rub each sprocket in circles to clean it up.
    So Lime-away might not be such a great idea? I suppose looks aren't that important but I wouldn't mind it looking a bit nicer. Good post though, I honestly thought the current rust would affect performance somehow.

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    Not sure Limeaway would do much. When I work on cars, Navel Jelly (available at any hardware store in the paint dept), very fine ("00") steel wool, and elbow grease work pretty good on surface rust. A chrome polish on a rag and alot of elbow grease can also get rid of some surface rust. I think elbow grease is the main ingredient. Just soaking in distilled vinegar for a day or so can get rid of a lot of rust (many rust convertor products are just acid based). It won't leave a shiny finish though.

  5. #5
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    The best stuff I've found for surface rust is Nevr Dull. A little goes a long way.


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  6. #6
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    A dremel with a polishing tip. Followed up by lube of some variety.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    I would seriously consider getting/borrowing the tools to remove it and disassemble it to do it right, if you really want the rust cleaned off. It's going to be a bear to do all together. Where R U located? Maybe there is a member close with the right tools?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gforeman View Post
    I would seriously consider getting/borrowing the tools to remove it and disassemble it to do it right, if you really want the rust cleaned off. It's going to be a bear to do all together. Where R U located? Maybe there is a member close with the right tools?
    I'm located in deeeeep south texas. Not too many riders out here. At least I don't think I know any of them. But the freewheel locking mechanism (not sure what it's called) doesn't look very similar to the current ones. The bike is a Raleigh Capri, maybe mid-late 90s. It only has two holes on each side to unlock it. Not a bunch like the current ones seem to have. So I'm not even sure where to get those at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lhorn View Post
    Not sure Limeaway would do much. When I work on cars, Navel Jelly (available at any hardware store in the paint dept), very fine ("00") steel wool, and elbow grease work pretty good on surface rust. A chrome polish on a rag and alot of elbow grease can also get rid of some surface rust. I think elbow grease is the main ingredient. Just soaking in distilled vinegar for a day or so can get rid of a lot of rust (many rust convertor products are just acid based). It won't leave a shiny finish though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    The best stuff I've found for surface rust is Nevr Dull. A little goes a long way.


    I'll look into the Navel Jelly and Never Dull, sicne those are the ones I'm probably most familiar with. After I go through the process should I oil up the cassette? Or is there anything in particular I should do?

    I appreciate all the replies.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacos5 View Post
    The bike is a Raleigh Capri, maybe mid-late 90s. It only has two holes on each side to unlock it. Not a bunch like the current ones seem to have. So I'm not even sure where to get those at.
    Maybe like one of these?
    http://www.parktool.com/category/freewheel-cassette

    You would also need the chain whip
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  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    next replacement cassette, (you will need to replace it , due to wear and tear)
    get one that is plated, and, keep the drivetrain clean and lightly oiled.

    [OP may think their freewheel is a cassette, A common error]

  12. #12
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    First you must figure out if you have a cassette or freewheel. These are NOT the same: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

    If you have a cassette, you can probably take all the sprockets apart and clean them up individually. If you have a freewheel you can do the same, but it's a huge pain and really not worth it. Best thing to do would be to just hit it with a wire brush. Don't soak it in lime away or some other weird cleaner. I can't imagine that'd be too good for the bearings.

    As others have said, a little surface rust on the gears is not a big issue. I wouldn't worry about it.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  13. #13
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    As others have noted, if you can obtain the tools to get the cassette off the wheel, then you can do a much better job of de-rusting. My favorite way to de-rust ferrous metals is electrolysis using a car battery charger. It's a method that lots of folks who restore old cars or tools use. You'll get a zillion hits if you google for that, but here's one example: http://www.fergusonenthusiasts.com/r...%20Charger.pdf

    If you in fact have a freewheel, then you might not want to remove this rust this way because it involves immersion in water, so then you would need to disassemble the freewheel to clean and relube that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    next replacement cassette, (you will need to replace it , due to wear and tear)
    get one that is plated, and, keep the drivetrain clean and lightly oiled.

    [OP may think their freewheel is a cassette, A common error]
    You are correct. I had not realized there was any difference. If I buy a new one can I get a cassette instead of a freewheel? As long as they're the same speed intended for the bike?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacos5 View Post
    You are correct. I had not realized there was any difference. If I buy a new one can I get a cassette instead of a freewheel? As long as they're the same speed intended for the bike?
    No. The hub is made for one or the other.

  16. #16
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacos5 View Post
    If I buy a new one can I get a cassette instead of a freewheel? As long as they're the same speed intended for the bike?
    No. See the link in my post above.

    Again: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    No. The hub is made for one or the other.
    Ah, Alrighty. Thank you.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    No. See the link in my post above.

    Again: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
    Sorry, missed that. Very helpful link though, thank you.

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