Can You Ride A Bike With A Rusty Chain?

If somehow you are in a situation where your bike or you are planning to use a bike that has a rusty chain, it does leave you to wonder if the bike is safe to use. It does highlight how important it is regularly lubricant and regularly inspects the bike chain. It can be cheaper than having to buy a new chain. So, can you ride a bike with a rusty chain?

For starters, a rusty chain is not a good sign. You can cycle with a rusty chain as long as the bike chain is not too rusty in as not completely rusted, as the chain is not more than 30% rusted. And that the crank arms and freewheel can turn freely. Also cycling with a rusty chain will make you work harder and it can be bad for the bike overall.

In this post, we will go through can you ride a bike with a rusty chain. Let’s get started!

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Can You Ride A Bike With A Rusty Chain?

You can cycle with a rusty chain as long as the bike chain is not too rusty meaning not more than 30% rusted. And that the crank arms and freewheel can turn freely. Also cycling with a rusty chain will make you work harder and it can be bad for the bike overall.

Again, a dirty and rusty chain makes you work harder and is bad for the bike. Since most bike chains are often exposed to grime and the elements, it doesn’t take much for a good chain to go bad. Chains need to be lubricated from time to time but don’t just dump oil onto a dirty chain.

Do Rusty Bike Chains Need To Be Replaced?

This is more a judgment call but if the rust is a minor surface rush it can be scrubbed off. The thing about rust is that it compromises the strength of the steel in the chain. So if the rust is more than a minor surface rush and goes deeper into the chain so it is safer to buy a new chain if the rust goes in too deep making the chain weaker.

What Happens When A Bike Chain Rusted?

The chain is a crucial component of a bike but when the chain is exposed to water, over time it causes a chemical reaction to occur via a process known as oxidation. Which ultimately changes the metal on the change to rust. This compromises the strength of the steel in the chain.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Rust From A Bicycle Chain?

You can try to clean the rust off the chain with WD-40 or other chain lubricant and scrub the rust off. Now if the chain is heavily rusted it may be worth replacing it. Remember that WD-40 is a terrible chain lubricant so you need to use a proper chain lubricant.

How Do You Fix A Rusty Bike Chain?

Before trying to fix a rusty bike chain you need to make sure that the chain is not too rusty as it would be better to just replace the chain. Too rusty meaning that it is a minor surface rush.

Let’s get started fixing a rusty bike chain.

Getting Setup

  • Starting off you need to place your bike on a bike stand as this will make sure that it does not move. You need to verify that it is the correct length should be.
  • Alternatively, if you do not have a bike stand you can flip your bike upside down on its saddle and handlebars. You can put a cloth on the ground to protect the saddle and handlebars.

Clean The Chain

  • First, you need to degrease the chain. You need to use a bike degreaser where you can add the degreaser to the chain.

Scrub The Chain

  • If there is still rust on your chain you will need to scrub the chain with a steel wool pad. Scrub the individual spots of rust and apply some WD-40 to help remove the rust.
  • Now that the rust is removed you can rinse and dry the chain.

Finish Up

  • Finally, apply lubricant to the chain. You need to test that everything is working properly. If the testing results are negative, don’t hesitate to repeat the previous steps until you have been the chain working properly.
  • Double-check that your chain is working properly before you go out biking.

Wrapping Up

Finally, a rusty chain is not a good sign. You can cycle with a rusty chain as long as the bike chain is not too rusty in as not completely rusted meaning the chain is not more than 30% rusted. And that the crank arms and freewheel can turn freely. Also cycling with a rusty chain will make you work harder and it can be bad for the bike overall.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on can you ride a bike with a rusty chain was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Can You Ride A Bike With A Rusty Chain