How to Remove Rust from Bike Spokes?

If your bike has been sitting out for a long time then it has developed rust in the metallic parts; such as the spokes. Perhaps, the humid conditions in the area are causing the nasty discoloration on the carbon-steel spokes of your bike. So, you will know from this article how to remove rust from bike spokes.

Rust can be deteriorating the bike which can damage it within days. You should take the necessary measures to get rid of rust as soon as you see discoloration or any minor sign of it. Oxidation of carbon-steel plated with zinc or chrome in presence of moisture causes rust to occur.

However, only older models with carbon-steel rims or spokes are prone to rust. Newer models are made of stainless steel and do not rust at all.

This article will help you in removing rust easily from the spokes of your bike and what you will need for that.

Tools and Materials:

All you will need to take the rust off your bike easily are as follows:

  • Anti-rust spray
  • Bucket
  • Clean cloth
  • Brush or steel wool 
  • Soft Cloth
  • Wearing cloth
  • Gloves
  • Goggle
  • Mask, etc.

How to Remove Rust from Bike Spokes – Step by Step

The following steps will allow you to clean up any discoloration caused by the oxidation of carbon steel.

 01. Use Anti-Rust Spray

You need to start by applying a thin layer of anti-rust spray. Here, we recommend using WD40 specialist penetrant spray. After applying the spray all around the spokes of your bike, let the liquid solution sit on the rust-affected area for at least 30 seconds. You will then, scrub it off with steel wool or any abrasive sponge available.

Be cautious while using the anti-rust spray since it is hard to breathe in. It is a very harsh liquid. So, it is better to avoid ingestion of any sort. In this case, it is better to wear gloves, goggles, and a mask for safety purposes.

 02. Using a tin foil or aluminum foil as a backup scrubber

It is a DIY project that you can use to make an abrasive scrubber to take off the rust from an affected area. For this, you will need a one-foot tin of aluminum foil. You will crumple it as tight as you can to make a dense ball. This will serve as an alternative to steel wool.

 03. Mix Soap and Warm water

Add 3-4 drops of dish soap to a cup of lukewarm water. The hot water will be able to work effectively against the rust. If you use cold water, it will react in the opposite. Dish soap is more concentrated compared to bar soap or hash soap. You can also use lemon and oil which are highly corrosive against rust.

 04. Scrub Solution on the rust-affected areas

Use the tin foil or aluminum foil scrubber that you made in the previous step dip the scrubber or spray the liquid solution you made and scrub it gently. If you see the rust coming off, you can now use a little more pressure to scrub it off. Be careful while scrubbing because you may scratch the spokes or some rust cracks may worsen due to too much friction.

 05. Rinse off the liquid mixture

Leaving the remnants of the mixture will allow the spokes to corrode more or collect debris. In this case, you can either use a garden hose to wash out the soapy mixture or you can fill a bowl of clean water and rub the spokes gently to wash off the mixture.

 06. Dry the bike spokes with a microfiber cloth

Use a microfiber cloth to dry off the bike spokes. Don’t forget to dry off the areas of the bike that got wet during the process. To speed up the drying process you can also use floor fans.

 How To Keep A Bike From Rusting Outside?


 Are rusty spokes dangerous?

The spooked wheels of a bicycle are always at a high tension because of the spokes. This high tension remains even when you are not riding the bike. The spokes are pulling at the hub and side to side to distribute your weight equally as you move around.

However, the intensity of the danger is measured depending on which part of the spoke has rusted. If the spoke has rusted towards the length of the thread, then you can replace it if you want to. Nevertheless, if it is rusted towards the elbow or head of the spoke, then you must replace it otherwise it might be risky for you to ride the bike.

 Final Verdict

Trust me, none like to cruise around the town with a rusty old bike. You might not have enough money to buy a cool new bike but you can use these steps to make your old one cooler. Removing the rust will increase the lifespan of the bike and also prevent many injuries that may come forth.

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