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Need Your Tricks on cleaning Chainring nuts and bolts

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Need Your Tricks on cleaning Chainring nuts and bolts

Old 05-02-22, 06:58 PM
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Need Your Tricks on cleaning Chainring nuts and bolts

I'm exasperated with wearing my finger tips down to nubs trying to clean out rusty rust gunk from the hex holes of bolts and inner threads on nuts that hold chainrings on... it seems a forever C&V issue, and I haven't come up with any really nifty tricks to make things go smoother. My go-2 method is soaking in rust remover (namely white vinegar), but there always seems to be ample crud stuck in there, even if the rust remover has done it's job. And, the go-2 scrubber is a cotton swab (cheapy q-tip knockoffs), backed up with the occasional tooth pick for the corners. The cotton swabs seem slightly undersize for the job, whereas two of them are slightly oversized for the job. Please share your superior knowledge with this tired, numb-fingered, novice....
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Old 05-02-22, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle
I'm exasperated with wearing my finger tips down to nubs trying to clean out rusty rust gunk from the hex holes of bolts and inner threads on nuts that hold chainrings on...
Aluminum chainring bolts?
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Old 05-02-22, 07:09 PM
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For me, soak in WD40 first, then clean or soak with simple green, if rust after, then soak in Krudcutter, but only for an hour or 2, if left overnight in Krudcutter, it will start removing the chrome.
Tim
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Old 05-02-22, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Aluminum chainring bolts?
No... usually, they are chromed steel ones. Mostly Sugino brand, but, almost all of them seem lighter chromed in the hex holes, leaving Mr. Rust an open invitation to set up shop.
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Old 05-02-22, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73
For me, soak in WD40 first, then clean or soak with simple green, if rust after, then soak in Krudcutter, but only for an hour or 2, if left overnight in Krudcutter, it will start removing the chrome.
Tim
Similar here except I use Evaporust instead of Krudcutter.

If i’m out of WD40 and not in a hurry, I throw the hardware in a jelly jar with Dawn and hot water and swirl around for a few minutes and re-swirl whenever I pass by over the next day or 2. (Small jar in kitchen works for me.) Evaporust if needed.
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Old 05-02-22, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle
No... usually, they are chromed steel ones. Mostly Sugino brand, but, almost all of them seem lighter chromed in the hex holes, leaving Mr. Rust an open invitation to set up shop.
My suggestion was to swap out the steel bolts for aluminum (or titanium). Will save you a lot of elbow grease, they’re not that expensive and you could save a few grams. They’re such inauspicious parts you’ll never notice the different material used.
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Old 05-02-22, 08:43 PM
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Soak in Evaporust
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Old 05-02-22, 08:50 PM
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No bike of mine has ever had a toothpick taken to it for any form of maintenance. If it won't come off with a damp rag, it stays where it is.
I take it you are talking about gunk accumulating only in the hex holes of the bolts as a cosmetic issue, not on the threads which I prevent by always greasing before assembly.
I've never had bolts rust out, even on my winter commuter bikes from when I was working. Chains, yes.
Are chainring bolts not stainless steel? I assumed they were from the zero amount of trouble I've had with them.

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Old 05-02-22, 09:01 PM
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5-10 min in naval jelly.

I use two small containers of it. Makes it easier to conserve as much as possible. I like to reuse it and avoid pouring it down the drain.
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Old 05-03-22, 01:06 AM
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My favorite thing for cleaning inside tiny hollow spaces is a .177 caliber nylon bore brush.
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Old 05-03-22, 07:35 AM
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Small diameter brass brush on a Dremel tool. Insert completely into bolt hole and run at a couple thou RPM.
Cleans AND polishes, does not remove enough material to be an issue.
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Old 05-03-22, 04:20 PM
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I think I have an old gun cleaning kit around here somewhere, with tiny (like .177 caliber or maybe .22).... now where did that end up? Thanks everyone for the ideas.
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Old 05-03-22, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1
I take it you are talking about gunk accumulating only in the hex holes of the bolts as a cosmetic issue, not on the threads which I prevent by always greasing before assembly....
Are chainring bolts not stainless steel? I assumed they were from the zero amount of trouble I've had with them.
Yeah, the accumulation is a combination of general crud, with a fair percentage of rust. Most of the bolts & nuts I've come into have been mostly just plain ol' steel, most of them chromed.
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Old 05-03-22, 05:01 PM
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I usually start with a light oil, like 3-in-1 brand, with brass wool -- you can squish that into some tiny shapes whenever you need. The oil does a good job of softening up accumulated gunk, Then, a soak in Evaporust, rinse, and a drip of the light oil again, or a light coating of grease.
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Old 05-03-22, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1
Are chainring bolts not stainless steel? I assumed they were from the zero amount of trouble I've had with them.
Top end ones are alloy. If you prefer stainless steel, they are available from eBay for between $5 - $10 per set of five bolts. This is the easiest/cheapest fix for the rust problem.
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Old 05-04-22, 05:12 PM
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I use a cheap stainless steel straw cleaning brush from Bed Bath and Beyond that costs about $6. I cut the cleaning brush down and put it in a drill, and then use Quick Glo to clean the insides of the chainring bolts. The Quick Glo has a rust inhibitor built in so the rust is knocked down, use a cheap spray lacquer clear to recoat the steel to prevent further rust. HTH Smiles, MH
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Old 05-04-22, 05:45 PM
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Here’s my winter invention to clean some Campy bolts…. It’s my fish tank aerator, a yogurt jar and PB Blaster. Left overnight, it worked miracles…. The empty iPad box was just to quiet things down.


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