I have some rust on my front forks. This question tells me how to deal with it, but I'd like to know whether it will be impacting the structural integrity of the forks.

enter image description here

I'm planning on going touring (on-road) and therefore loading the forks with a low-riders and panniers. If I clean this off and re-seal/paint over it, will my forks still be structurally sound?

The bike is a Dawes Super Galaxy, probably from the late 80s.

  • 2
    Hard to tell from the picture exactly how deep the rust extends, you may get a better idea after cleaning it off and seeing how much metal was lost Oct 26 '20 at 15:40
  • 1
    While I agree its hard to be certain, looks superficial surface rust to me. If in doubt, take it to a bike shop.
    – mattnz
    Oct 26 '20 at 19:19
  • 1
    (QR levers go to the left side!)
    – Carel
    Oct 27 '20 at 9:20
  • @Carel Why? It doesn't seem to matter: bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/75642/31076
    – thosphor
    Mar 17 at 8:51

Consider using rust converter before repainting the said area. From the picture, the rust doesn't look to be that bad since pinholes haven't formed and the surface is smooth.

Sand the rusted area down and apply a bit of rust converter. For primer, you could use epoxy which works better and is a lot better for wet conditions. Polyurethane paint also works well for steel bikes exposed to harsh elements.


The rust seems to have a relatively smooth surface, no pitting, no flaking. It looks like surface-only rust. Personally, I would clean and repaint, taking the risk.

Depending on your tour (close to civilization or not) or if you want to be careful, check out your local bike shop -- they might have an old fork somewhere that will fit your bike and cost less than 20$.

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