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How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside? – GearBikeReview

Written by Cobie Brown
Last Update: August 16, 2023

Rust is most probably the biggest threat to your bike and it’s component. It can absolutely destroy the bike over time. That’s why knowing about why a bike rusts and how you can keep your bike from rusting outside is really important.

Rust occurs when oxygen form the environment reacts with the metal, destroying the molecular integrity. You can use oil, paint, tent, tarp, or other protective materials so that oxygen, mostly in the form of water, doesn’t come in contact with your bike.

This article will discuss on the best ways you can protect your bike from rusting outside. We’ll also talk about how you can remove rust from your bike. Let’s get right into it.

Why Does a Bike Rust?

Why Does a Bike Rust

Most of the parts of a bike are made with metals. For example, bike frames, chains and cables.

Though aluminum, carbon or titanium bike frames are hard to become rusty, their chains are mostly made with steel.

Mainly, when metal comes in contact with moistures (Rain, snow or air), they corrode.

Eventually, corrosion eats away the metal and makes them weak.

Reasons for corrosion

  1. Heat and Sunlight weakens the colors and brittles the plastics exposing the metal body.
  2. If you don’t lubricate your chain, you directly expose them to moisturizer and other elements of the environment
  3. You let them remain wet for enough period of time to get corrode

How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside

1. Keep It Dry

As mentioned earlier, moisture and metal produce rust.

Suppose you ride on a rainy day or in a snowy area. After coming back home, wipe away the water thoroughly from the bike and then park.

I know you may find it hazardous for your everyday riding but we will insist on following this method to increase the lifespan and quality of riding.

2. Storing Criteria

a) Indoor is your best option

Yes, instead of choosing an open space for parking, go for a closed area. Maybe a garage.

Why? Because they will decrease the exposure to moisture, sunlight and dust.  

b) How to maintain a bike on outdoor storage

Now the problem is, indoor is not available for everyone. But don’t worry! We have a solution to that as well.

Build a shed if you’ve a yard

How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside - Build a shed for bike

Let’s assume you’ve a yard.

So just build or buy a shed (Metal or plastic). We will recommend you to purchase a plastic shade because they are more effective to battle outdoor elements.

Purchase a bike tent

How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside - Purchase a bike tent

If you do not have open space or limited space, they are your life saviors.

Bike cover will also do the job

How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside - Use Bike cover

High quality covers are an ideal option for long term storage.

They are made with waterproof and durable materials to protect from UV rays, dust and moisture.

Tarp is useful

How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside - Use Bike Tarp

They will set you back around $20 and don’t worry they won’t tear down soon.

Do not forget to buy a seat cover

How to Keep a Bike From Rusting Outside - Bike Seat cover

They will serve the same purposes for example protecting from UV rays

3. Seal your bike

They eventually start fading away (Mostly after five years) exposing the body to rays and moistures.

examine them closely and if needed then seal the bike again. 

4. Lube the Chain, cables and brake

Lubricants are a layer of protection because they prevent outside components from attacking directly.

On top of that, regular lubrication increases the workability of the parts for optimum output.

In case you forget, cleaning them is the first step before lubricating. 

Effects of Rusts on bicycle

1) Weak frame/chain can wear out sooner. Rust decreases the lifespan of a bike.

2) When your cable is affected they will reduce the ability to brake.

3) Rusty bikes are dangerous to ride on, especially when you are racing or riding on a single track.

4) If you need to replace the frame or chain or the bike then they will cost you money.

5) You may face difficulty removing or replacing bike parts if the nuts and bolts are corroded.

How to Remove Rust?

  1. Use baking soda paste (50 percent water and 50 percent baking soda) on minor rust. Apply the paste, wait for 10 to 20 min then Scrub them
  2. Spray with Vinegar or coca cola, wait for 10 to 15 minutes then scrub the rust away
  3. You may also add baking soda with vinegar and the rest of the processes are same
  4. WD-40 is a chemical and you can use them to vanish the rust but do not forget to lubricate your chain after cleaning them with WD-40
  5. Bike chain oil works great to remove the rust on chain
  6. Use chemical rust remover but remember to wash your bike afterwards

When to switch a bike instead of removing rusts?

You already know the effect of rust on a bike.

If your metal part is already eaten enough that it won’t be able to take the load of riding then you should replace the parts or the bike.


1. How do you rust proof a bike?

Ans. You can apply rust proof chemicals on your bike. Besides lube the chain, brake and cables regularly. Last, monitor your bike seals and if they are fading apply a sealing coat again.

2. Will rust ruin my bike?

Ans. Yes, they will ruin your bike eventually because they eat away the metals.

parts of your bike will wear and tear down because they will be unable to bear the load of riding.

3. Should I replace my bike chain if it’s rusty?

Ans. If it’s only surface rust then removing them will work.  but if they are severely corroded and you can notice degradation of metals and warping then we will advise you to replace them.

About the author

Cobie Brown

Born and grew up in Colorado, I chose to work in the field of what I liked most, biking. I’ve been working as a full time mechanic in the cycling industry for over 13 years. I started BMXing when I was just a 6-year-old kid and got hooked from the very first day. Then I started riding and not a single day went by since then that I didn’t touch my bike.

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