How to remove rust from a bike chain & drivetrain?
In this blog post, we’ll talk you through why some bike chains rust, what you can do to treat it and how you can prevent corrosion on your chain and drivetrain to keep your ride operating smoothly.
Why do some bike chains rust?
Corrosion is all too common on bikes if not properly prevented, especially ones made from metals that haven’t already been treated. Simply put, rust thrives in humid and wet conditions where metals can react to oxygen and water, a process known as oxidisation. Left in a damp, humid area such as a garage or bike lock-up, exposed to the elements over the wetter months is a sure-fire way to gain some unwanted rust. Not a problem though, Muc-Off is here to help!
How can you prevent further rust?
By carefully treating the existing rust and then forming a protective anti-corrosive barrier, you can protect your chain for years to come. After this part is done, you'll want to find a dry place with very little moisture in the air to store your bike in, or invest in a dry bag to store your bike when not in use.
What you'll need
- Bio Drivetrain Cleaner or Bio Chain Cleaner
- 3x Premium Brush Kit (includes Claw Brush, Detailing Brush & Soft Wash Brush)
- Luxury Microfibre Cloth
- Disc Brake Covers (if you have Disc Brakes)
- Wire Brush
- Pressure Washer (or a hosepipe/bucket of water)
How to remove rust from your chain & drivetrain
CLEAN THE CHAIN & DRIVETRAIN
- STEP 1: Give the bottle of degreaser a good shake if using the aerosol, and spray either Bio Drivetrain Cleaner or Bio Chain Cleaner onto the chain & drivetrain. Take a look at our full chain cleaning range.
- STEP 2: Leave for up to 1 minute and agitate the chain & drivetrain using the Detailing Brush & Claw Brush. If you are using a chain cleaning device such as the Chain Doc or X-3 Dirty Chain Machine, unscrew the trigger sprayer and fill the device with the formula. By thoroughly cleaning your chain, you’ll be able to clearly see the areas affected by rust, treating it properly without anything else getting in your way.
- STEP 3: After agitation thoroughly rinse off with the Muc-Off Pressure washer (or hosepipe) making sure all of the formula has been removed, along with any debris and remaining old chain oil.
RUST TREATMENT & PROTECTION
- STEP 4: Apply MO-94 to the chain, making sure you don’t get any on your disc brakes if you have them. If you do, we recommend inserting our Disc Brake Covers before spraying. After 3-4 minutes of application of MO-94, lightly use the detailing brush on any areas affected by rust. This part you need to be especially careful with, as you'll want to remove any light rust without also scratching and damaging your chain & drivetrain. You may first want to try the detailing brush included in the 3x Premium Brush Kit before using a wire brush. If you use a wire brush, we recommend gently testing on a small area before tackling all of the rust. Repeat the process until the rust has been removed.
- STEP 5: At this point should now be left with a sparkling clean chain. Next up we recommend wiping away any excess MO-94 with the Microfibre Cloth before applying your lube of choice. If you live in an area or region with lots of rain or humidity, we recommend using either our Wet Weather Lube or C3 Wet Lube. Both include anti-corrosion inhibitors which will help prevent and break down any remaining rust whilst riding the bike.
So there you have it. Your chain should now be rust-free and glistening, ready for many more seasons of riding. If you found this useful, check out HCB-1, which is designed to form a tough barrier against harsh conditions. Suitable for metalwork, electrical components and most rigid plastic trim.