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Chain has no wear but evenly rusted

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Chain has no wear but evenly rusted

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Old 02-10-19, 05:22 PM
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Darth Lefty 
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Chain has no wear but evenly rusted

Iím looking at this bike that was in storage under a cover for five years. It was barely used before that. So itís had a few years of condensation and grime. And the chain is rusted, but barely worn. Itís a recumbent, so itís three chains worth of 9 speed to replace, about sixty bucks. Do I try to save it?
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Old 02-10-19, 05:24 PM
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Old 02-10-19, 06:09 PM
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Pitch it. It's not "worn" but the exterior is pitted and damaged. Spend the $60 on new ones.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:09 PM
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I wouldn't consider using it.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:42 PM
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Every chain in use in Chicago in winter would be pitched weekly or more often if that chain were dead. Put some oil on it. Minor surface rust and nothing more.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:43 PM
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Better planning next time

Next time if you dont want it to rust leave a generous coating of oil on it

or take the chain off and store it in a coffee can with oil in it... you might try soaking it immersed in oil now?

Maybe a Recumbent specialist store can sell you chain by the foot, they buy 100 foot bulk rolls...







.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-10-19 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:03 PM
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Try soaking in oxalic acid or evaporust then lube it. If the chain rides and shifts well, you are good.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:15 PM
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Meh, if you want to use it, put a heavy wet lube like Phil Wood tenacious oil or the green Finish Line wet lube on it and ride the fire out of it. Functionally, it's fine. If you want it to look pretty, just invest 15-20 bucks and replace it.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:09 PM
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Looks fine to me.

Some oil, wipe it with a rag, & ride it. It will look like any other chain next week.

If there was a problem, it would show up as stiff links, but that's unlikely.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:38 PM
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One issue with rusted chains is that rust takes up space, so measuring for wear without running the chain a bit to "wear down" the surface rust is worthless as an indicator for how much wear was present prior to the rust.

Second is that running that rusted chain to wear off the surface rust will, of course since rust is abrasive, cause more wear Andy
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Old 02-10-19, 09:58 PM
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I have frequently just oiled rusty chains well and sent them off. But the rust pictured looks pretty nasty. I would be inclined to toss those.
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Old 02-10-19, 10:43 PM
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I would replace it.
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Old 02-11-19, 12:30 AM
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The nut holding the rack is rusty-

replace it as well?
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Old 02-11-19, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Maybe a Recumbent specialist store can sell you chain by the foot, they buy 100 foot bulk rolls...
.
Yep: https://t-cycle.com/collections/chain-in-bulk
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Old 02-11-19, 01:17 AM
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Want to save this chain on the cheap? Take it off and soak it say overnight in a pan with a quart of (the cheapest) 10W30. Wipe it down and put it on. Ride it say 100 miles. Remove it and wipe it down really well. Clean up the chainrings and cassette. Lube or clean and lube to your usual standards and ride the heck out if it, wiping it down and relubing a little more often than you usually.

I'll bet you that there is a lot of life in that chain and if you do what I suggest the rest of the bike (and drivetrain) will do just fine. For a few hundred miles, you bike will get to wear the name "Rust Bucket" proudly.

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Old 02-11-19, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
One issue with rusted chains is that rust takes up space, so measuring for wear without running the chain a bit to "wear down" the surface rust is worthless as an indicator for how much wear was present prior to the rust.

Second is that running that rusted chain to wear off the surface rust will, of course since rust is abrasive, cause more wear Andy


This is exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Looks fine to me.

Some oil, wipe it with a rag, & ride it. It will look like any other chain next week.

If there was a problem, it would show up as stiff links, but that's unlikely.
I would do similar and wipe and redo after the first few rides. Some people treat bike chains like jewelry and they would have a different opinion.

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Old 02-11-19, 08:33 AM
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Removing the rust before using would be wise. The cheapest acid to do that with is muriatic, sold at home depot and many other places. Klean Strip etch and prep contains phosphoric acid that removes rust and leaves a rust preventive coating.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:15 AM
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I'd take a light wire brush, or wire wheel on a drill then oil it up clean, and re-lube.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:45 AM
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I'd say it's hard to tell if it's salvageable or not. You can get more than enough EvapoRust to soak your chain for $10, cheaper than $60 for a new chain though and you'll have plenty left over for other projects. Oxalic acid a little cheaper and white vinegar also works well if you have some on hand but monitor it every hour as it can dissolve some plating's. First I would just try lubing it with motor oil as it has some detergents that would help a little more than some other lubes, ride the oiled chain awhile and if the chain loosens up clean and lube with your favorite lube.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:58 AM
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You could try oiling it up and going for a ride, but...

I did something similar with a chain that hadn't been used for a while. It looked good and was working just fine for two and a half days of vacation riding. Then one of the chain plates cracked, and a bunch more showed signs of incipient failure. Worst part was, my sister-in-law was riding my wife's bike when it happened. As you might guess, I heard about that.

I'd get a new chain.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:25 AM
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I'd replace it.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:48 AM
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If you are concerned, Coca-cola is cheap. Give it a soak overnight. Then hit it with a good rinse. Barring any stuck links or other abnormalities after inspection, I'd say lube it. Run it. Save the $60 for rotted/dry rubber. I wouldn't be concerned.

Last edited by base2; 02-12-19 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-11-19, 12:30 PM
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If all the links are free and fine i'd soak it in metal rescue over night, or 2 days, surprising how clean it turns out, nice metal finish, rinse it with water, blow dry {compressed air** then a drop of oil on each link once it's installed back on the bike, then turn the crank with one hand and hold the chain with the other smearing the oil on all surfaces

that's what i do anyway {never bought a chain**
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Old 02-11-19, 12:38 PM
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What happens if you break a chain on a recumbent? I'd think you'd just spin your legs around and look a little dumber than normal for a second.

Go ahead and ride it; the advice you're getting against is probably biased it because it is informed by what happens when a chain breaks on a regular bike. Plus, the chain is probably fine, structurally. I'd guess it's the kind of surface oxidation that is routinely gets cleaned off bike chains that see lots more useful service. And recumbent chains don't bear the weight of the rider, so it's under less stress to begin with.
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