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Old 10-11-11, 09:43 PM   #1
jacos5
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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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Old 10-11-11, 09:54 PM   #2
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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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Old 10-11-11, 10:09 PM   #3
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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.
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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Old 10-11-11, 10:31 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-12-11, 05:18 AM   #5
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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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Old 10-12-11, 06:07 AM   #6
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A dremel with a polishing tip. Followed up by lube of some variety.
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Old 10-12-11, 08:32 AM   #7
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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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Old 10-12-11, 09:06 AM   #8
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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?
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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Old 10-12-11, 09:08 AM   #9
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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.
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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.
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Old 10-12-11, 09:23 AM   #10
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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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Old 10-12-11, 10:33 AM   #11
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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]
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Old 10-12-11, 10:44 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:50 AM   #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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Old 10-12-11, 03:00 PM   #14
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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]
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?
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Old 10-12-11, 03:05 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-12-11, 03:29 PM   #16
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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
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Old 10-12-11, 03:36 PM   #17
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No. The hub is made for one or the other.
Ah, Alrighty. Thank you.
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Old 10-12-11, 03:37 PM   #18
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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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