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Light rust on spokes, what should I do?

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Light rust on spokes, what should I do?

Old 10-02-12, 09:03 AM
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Sexy_Lugs
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Light rust on spokes, what should I do?

Hello all,

After taking my bike out of storage (a few years…) I have noticed that there is a very light hint of rust on some of the spokes. None of them are serious but it has raised my eye brow. It is a very low count spoked wheel. Do you guys think it would be a good idea to replace them, or try and scrub them down, lube them up and truck on?

Thank you!
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Old 10-02-12, 09:08 AM
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Very fine steel wool with soft strokes - sometimes even a cloth is all you need. Your call whether to use a little light oil on the cloth. It may just be surface rust that identifies the spots of impurities in the lower grade stainless steel used in some entry and mid-range spokes.

Besides obvious eating into the material by rust - you won't really know what happens until you ride the wheels.

Gotta ask though, how was the bike stored?

=8-)
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Old 10-02-12, 09:23 AM
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It was stored in a bike container. I might just try a light steel wool and see if that takes it off. They are not high tech shimano wheels by any means but they are also not walmart specials.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:18 AM
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stainless steel is not Iron free.. Monel which is, is not able to be drawn into wire that has high tensile strength, and it is softer..

I found it fine [Gibson Mona-steel] as a wire wound around strings ,
mandolin G & D, ( it's a coil around a carbon steel wire, for adding mass )
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Old 10-02-12, 10:40 AM
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If the spokes are stainless steel, you might be seeing the effects of tool transfer on the wire. This is fairly common, and since it's only the transferred material that's rusting, the problem is self limiting. Clean it off with scotchbrite or stainless steel wool or ignore it, your option.

OTOH, if you have plated or galvanized steel spokes, you're nest off leaving it alone, except to apply an oil or wax film to prevent more rust. Cleaning the rust off abrasively will remove more of the plating, worsening the situation in the future.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
OTOH, if you have plated or galvanized steel spokes, you're nest off leaving it alone, except to apply an oil or wax film to prevent more rust. Cleaning the rust off abrasively will remove more of the plating, worsening the situation in the future.
+1.......................benign neglect can be your best option sometimes.

There's a kid at the bike kitchen who has taken his bike apart and "fixed" it..
so many times that he finally managed to create something that requires repair.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:59 AM
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Nevrdull is very effective at corrosion removal and it is non-abrasive.
http://www.nevrdull.com/
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Old 10-02-12, 12:24 PM
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Use the steel wool as mrrabbit suggested, then use a cloth impregnated with some isopropanol or ethanol to remove as much loose rust as possible. Then cover the (still somewhat rusty) spokes with a thin layer of Hammerite. Hammerite adheres to rusty surfaces and "uses" them as primer. The way I apply the very thin layer of Hammerite is by using my nitrile-gloved fingers as a brush. One drop of Hammerite should cover six to eight spokes (yes, we're talking really thin layers).

Of course, I use sliver Hammerite, so it's basically invisible on the spokes.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by adamhenry View Post
Nevrdull is very effective at corrosion removal and it is non-abrasive.
http://www.nevrdull.com/
+1 for Nevrdull, it also leaves a thin waxy layer behind after you buff it off which may help prevent further rusting.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:47 PM
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Wipe em down with a Scotch-brite pad with a little oil on it and ride them.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:56 PM
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Rather than steel wool, consider aluminum foil, which is harder than rust but softer than the steel.
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Old 10-02-12, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
Use the steel wool as mrrabbit suggested, then use a cloth impregnated with some isopropanol or ethanol to remove as much loose rust as possible. Then cover the (still somewhat rusty) spokes with a thin layer of Hammerite. Hammerite adheres to rusty surfaces and "uses" them as primer. The way I apply the very thin layer of Hammerite is by using my nitrile-gloved fingers as a brush. One drop of Hammerite should cover six to eight spokes (yes, we're talking really thin layers).

Of course, I use sliver Hammerite, so it's basically invisible on the spokes.
Hammerite is a good product, but it's made in the UK and it's not easy to find in the US. I get my painting supplies online from tcpglobal.com in San Diego and they have it.

The hammer finish made by Rustolium is not the same thing.
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Old 10-03-12, 12:54 AM
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Thank you all for the responses! I will see what is local as far as a product for after I attempt to take the rust off.

You guys rock, and with wheels we roll.
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Old 10-03-12, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Rather than steel wool, consider aluminum foil, which is harder than rust but softer than the steel.
This is definitely a very good tip.

In any case, at the end wipe down the spokes with a rag with a little bit of isopropanol or ethanol, to remove every trace of rust dust, before covering with Hammerite (or other passivation layer).
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