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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-26-08, 04:02 PM   #1
dave.lloyd
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Fie! Rust after road salt. :-(

We've been having tons of ice here in STL, which means road salt. I guess that the salt has finally taken its toll because I now notice some rust spots on my Shimano M520 clipless pedals (both on the cages and the spindle) and on the BB spindle (where you bolt the cranks to if my terminology isn't correct).

I was thinking of attacking this stuff with some WD-40 and a green scotch brite followed up by degreaser, lube in the appropriate spots and maybe something like paste wax or Boeshield on the parts that don't need lube.

Does anyone have some other suggestions for dealing with the rust?
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Old 02-26-08, 04:23 PM   #2
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Naval jelly is a great rust remover
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Old 02-26-08, 04:31 PM   #3
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Vinegar works fast and easy
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Old 02-26-08, 05:31 PM   #4
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Wait until the roads are dry, and then remove the rust. After the rust removal, get some grease on a rag and rub the previously affected areas. Let sit for a while [or not]. Rub off any excess. Done!

You could also switch to M540 pedals, which seem to have better seals and axles. Similarly, XT BB spindles appear a bit more rust-resistant.
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Old 02-26-08, 05:35 PM   #5
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I haven't noticed the pedals having problems, but maybe they will after a while. I think that my next pedals will be the "campus" style pedal with clipless one side and flat on the other.

I think that my main problem is the surface rust. So, brass brush, green scotchbrite then? I'll snag some Naval jelly from the auto parts store (I ride by a great locally owned one every night).

Thanks for the tips! I figured others in the commuting forum would have had to deal with this issue, too.
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Old 02-26-08, 07:10 PM   #6
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You could also switch to M540 pedals, which seem to have better seals and axles. Similarly, XT BB spindles appear a bit more rust-resistant.
I've used M747 and M585 pedals daily for seven or eight winters of commuting, and have never had a noticeable amount of rust. They seem to last forever.

The cleats get rusty sometimes.
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Old 02-26-08, 07:34 PM   #7
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Most of the components on my bike are pretty rusty. I don't really care. They work OK so what's the big deal? I keep the working surfaces lubricated and loose.
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Old 02-26-08, 07:44 PM   #8
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WD-40 and a scrub brush or scotch brite pad should do it for minor surface rust. You can grease everything, but ultimately the bike also needs a good rinse or wipe down after every salty winter ride. It sounds like overkill, but I highly recommend it. The salt and icy weather last winter cost me a frame, corroded a hole straight through the chainstay. That was with lots of grease, not enough washing.

I can't believe the amount of salt they throw on the roads in STL. It doesn't fully wash away for months!
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Old 02-26-08, 07:52 PM   #9
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Vinegar works fast and easy
+1 vinegar and a toothbrush... plus it's not horrible for the environment
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Old 02-26-08, 09:58 PM   #10
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Most of the components on my bike are pretty rusty. I don't really care. They work OK so what's the big deal? I keep the working surfaces lubricated and loose.
Because, while I might let our transportation appliance (minivan) go without washing for the entire winter, I have a far more personal relationship with my bike. It's good to me, so I love it. If one of the kids gets a boo-boo, I kiss it better, so why not try to remove the rust?

Discosaurus, thanks for the tip! I don't know if it's been as nasty in Rolla, but I swear that this is the worst winter weather I've seen in ages this season. The crappiest part about STL is that they salt the bejezus out of everything, but do nothing to the side streets so I'm most likely to hit nasty icy ruts (after the 8 inches a month ago, I nearly wiped out on one of those) or other stuff I can go down on within 100 yards of my house.

My frame is Al (I know, steel is real, but the bike is great otherwise) so I'm not too worried about rust through, except on the fork which is steel. In fact, between fenders, mudflaps, skirt guards, and a full chaincase, the bike stays remarkably crap free. The only place I notice any schmutz is a big snow turd that bulds up right behind the bottom bracket in front of and underneath the kickstand.

Unfortunately, I don't have a really good place to bring the bike in and clean it when I get home (original 110 year old quartersawn oak hardwood everywhere, no tile or vinyl). Plus, with two toddlers I have other more pressing needs when I get home from work. I may just try WD40 and re-lube the exposed stuff once a week and figure on replacing the BB and pedals some time in the future if they get nasty.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:53 AM   #11
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I just want to know what the heck Fie! is?
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Old 02-27-08, 09:24 AM   #12
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My M520 pedals are rusty too... I've just learned to live with it. WD-40 does help to ward off the rust. But use caution not to spray it near the spindle seal. You'll wash grit and solvent past the seal and into the pedal, and then you'll trash the bearings if you don't overhaul the pedal. I've accidentally washed grit into my pedals a couple of times with WD-40 and have had to dissassemble and regrease each time.
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Old 02-27-08, 11:19 AM   #13
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I just want to know what the heck Fie! is?
They are the brothers of Fee, Fo, and Fum, whoever they are.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:16 PM   #14
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They are the brothers of Fee, Fo, and Fum, whoever they are.
Ah, yes - the British hematologists...
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