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44 votes

Bicycle left outside for over a year. Possible to save?

You don't have pictures of the bike, but honestly, theres not much you need to worry about. Pump up the tires and make sure they hold air. Check that the brakes work (may need new pads, cables). Add a ...
Batman's user avatar
  • 46.3k
24 votes

Bicycle left outside for over a year. Possible to save?

A chain left outside for a long period, unless freshly oiled beforehand (or in a desert), will be ruined. The rest is worth checking over by someone experienced, but the bike can probably be saved by ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.5k
20 votes
Accepted

What caused all my chain links to become stiff after a month in a tent despite having been cleaned and lubed beforehand?

Even though there may not have been direct contact with water, there is water in the air. In a tent, the constant cycle of heating and cooling through the day and night, and the relative differences ...
Gary.Ray's user avatar
  • 16.4k
18 votes

14 "Trashed" bikes acquired for free. Worth repairing and reselling? What do I look for?

From having maintained cheap bikes using other bikes as parts donors, even dismantling some to provide parts for others you're likely to need to buy some bits like chains and cables. They're cheap but ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.5k
16 votes

14 "Trashed" bikes acquired for free. Worth repairing and reselling? What do I look for?

This is pretty much how I started. First of all: If the bikes are cheap-ish with cheap-ish components, you will never even make a minimum wage. But that need not stop you. First, on a cheap bike if ...
Burki's user avatar
  • 1,692
15 votes
Accepted

Rusting trailer hitch

It's just a little surface rust so it's essentially a cosmetic problem at the moment. Assuming you want to keep the hitch on the bike all the time (that is after all the point of it) then I suggest ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.5k
13 votes

What caused all my chain links to become stiff after a month in a tent despite having been cleaned and lubed beforehand?

As you know living in the UK, we are an island that is prone to high humidity and damp overcast weather. When left outside anything that is remotely damp (you cleaned your chain and its virtually ...
Andy P's user avatar
  • 18.3k
11 votes
Accepted

Protecting bicycle from sea/salty water

Rust on a cassette or even a chain is quite normal in this kind of surroundings is quite inevitable. Also it has little impact other than visual. More frequent wiping and greasing of the chain is one ...
Carel's user avatar
  • 8,329
11 votes
Accepted

Should I cover my bicycle overnight while bikepacking?

As Daniel indicates - overnight moisture on a well maintained bike isn't a concern. A little rain won't hurt. Others may disagree but I wouldn't get a cover. But, depending on how much rain there is ...
David D's user avatar
  • 22.3k
11 votes
Accepted

Rusty chain and back cassette – Replace or repair?

As long as the crank arms, chain and freewheel turn freely and all as one. Without clunk's, slipping or sticking at any point there should be no need to replace any of it. The surface rust will not ...
David's user avatar
  • 290
11 votes
Accepted

Best drivechain for beach, seaside, coastal, winter, generally salty environment?

As someone who lives on a peninsular and services bikes, I'll throw in my oar, though there's probably overlap with other answers. My own bike has a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub, gates belt drive and ...
Noise's user avatar
  • 14.6k
11 votes
Accepted

How can I remove rust from a bicycle?

Presuming you intend to ride this bike - start by checking the bike over closely. You do not want to get part-way through a restore and find some part is broken/missing and is hard to find. Old ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
10 votes

Bicycle left outside for over a year. Possible to save?

Is this the same bicycle that got knocked by a car? Considering that it has an aluminum frame, I suggest you should carefully check it for cracks. They can actually be easier to spot now that dirt and ...
jpa's user avatar
  • 1,847
10 votes
Accepted

(How) should I wax my cassette along with my chains?

The point of waxing is not to rustproof but to lubricate the chain's internals where they articulate. The rest of the wax flakes off quickly. So this wouldn't have the desired effect.
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Will grooves on seatpost cause rusting inside frame?

The best thing to do is apply a thin layer of grease to the inside of the seat tube and the outside of the post (only the part of the post inside the seat tube needs grease) and set the seat height ...
David D's user avatar
  • 22.3k
10 votes

My chainstays have been eaten by rust, can something be done?

The only thing that can be done to save the frame is to have patches welded over the holes. You would need the expertise of a professional welder to get it done properly so that the frame is made ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
10 votes

Is an overhanging roof shelter enough to safely leave bike outside?

A roof is better than no roof, but not as good as an enclosed space because wind can blow through bring dust and dirt and moisture. Sunlight is also a source of slow continuous damage. For years I ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
9 votes
Accepted

Is this bike salvageable?

It might be salvageable but the cost of: new chain ($10) new tires and tubes ($25) rear cluster (maybe; $20) new brake cables and pads ($10) new derailleur cables ($10) which is the minimal repair, ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 29.3k
9 votes

14 "Trashed" bikes acquired for free. Worth repairing and reselling? What do I look for?

I'll note here that in many areas there are groups that refurbish used bikes and donate them to groups which in turn give them to disadvantaged people. I was in a group like this until about 2 years ...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Are you supposed to paint the spoke nipples?

No, you are not supposed to paint spoke nipples. Painting them could create a very hard to break joint between the nipple and its spoke, making eventual spoke tension adjustments hard to do. Paint can ...
olliebulle's user avatar
  • 4,159
9 votes
Accepted

How can I fix this rust on spokes?

Interesting problem - the rim appears to be decent quality, with eyeletted spoke holes. The wheel is let down by poorly-chromed/finished spokes. Cleanup options: Do nothing. Spokes are adequate as-...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
8 votes
Accepted

Freeing stiff nipples?

I agree with Daniel’s comment, I’ve had success with using vice grips to hold spokes myself. Be careful not to use excessive force to prevent crushing the spoke. It may help to add a small “flag” made ...
MaplePanda's user avatar
  • 16.3k
8 votes

My chainstays have been eaten by rust, can something be done?

To be clear, I would not recommend riding that frame as-is. The clamps of the kickstand probably added rigidity, by removing it the bike will be weaker. If one or both chainstays part then handling ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
8 votes

Consultation needed! To repair or throw out?

Based on the photos you might not need any parts at all. The chain looks pretty awful, and is likely siezed up, but a good clean is required to see if it needs replacing. I've had some ugly chains ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
8 votes

Best drivechain for beach, seaside, coastal, winter, generally salty environment?

Get yourself a good quality Dutch bike, with internal hub gear, a fully enclosed chain and good quality other components. That way the chain and gears are not open to the salt and the rest should ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,810
8 votes

14 "Trashed" bikes acquired for free. Worth repairing and reselling? What do I look for?

What should I look for? How bad/ fixable is rust? How can I best determine what is worth repairing and what should be trashed? When you evaluate a bike you are really getting enough information to ...
David D's user avatar
  • 22.3k
8 votes

Are you supposed to paint the spoke nipples?

Painting over rust is a cosmetic coverup at best. You can remove rust mechanically and then protect, but paint will almost certainly get in the threads which will cause frustration later. There are ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
7 votes
Accepted

Chains and casette are rusty

A great rule of thumb is "Dry lube for dry conditions, wet lube for wet conditions". A bit of surface rust on an otherwise well maintained cassette and chain is only a cosmetic problem. If this is a ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 51.7k
7 votes
Accepted

My fork stem is rusted - should I replace the forks?

The corrosion can be removed from the steerer with no problems. If the corrosion was bad and extended into where the top headset bearing sits, there might be a problem as the steerer would not fit ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
7 votes

Should I cover my bicycle overnight while bikepacking?

The bike will be fine as is. I have personally never bothered to cover, or do much maintenance to touring bikes (beyond wiping and lubing the chain occasionally). If a bike was so delicate that a ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.7k

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