Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the July Giveaway for a brand new 26" Thruster® Street Style BMX Cruiser Bicycle

New product launch: WIN an innovative aeroe Spider Rear Rack


Rust on the handlebar
#1
Hello.
My dear commuter bike has gotten rust over the winter. How can I get rid of this? There is rust also on the fork. Thanks #blessed

   
  Reply
#2
Remove the fork to sand it down for repainting. Or at least remove the wheel. Put new handlebars on it. Handle bars are not very expensive so don't waste your time trying to clean the rust off. When you get it all done, use a spray polish on the whole bike to protect it, and polish it once a month if the bike is in a damp location. I favor spray polish over wax because it gets into all the little nooks and crannies.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply
#3
(06-04-2020, 04:59 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  Remove the fork to sand it down for repainting. Or at least remove the wheel. Put new handlebars on it. Handle bars are not very expensive so don't waste your time trying to clean the rust off. When you get it all done, use a spray polish on the whole bike to protect it, and polish it once a month if the bike is in a damp location. I favor spray polish over wax because it gets into all the little nooks and crannies.

Thank you for the info.
Isn't it easier and cheaper to clean the handlebar instead of getting a new one? How do I know what handlebar to get? Wink If I still decide to go with cleaning .. what liquids should I use?
  Reply
#4
(06-08-2020, 05:07 AM)Megster Wrote:  
(06-04-2020, 04:59 PM)CharleyFarley Wrote:  Remove the fork to sand it down for repainting. Or at least remove the wheel. Put new handlebars on it. Handle bars are not very expensive so don't waste your time trying to clean the rust off. When you get it all done, use a spray polish on the whole bike to protect it, and polish it once a month if the bike is in a damp location. I favor spray polish over wax because it gets into all the little nooks and crannies.

Thank you for the info.
Isn't it easier and cheaper to clean the handlebar instead of getting a new one? How do I know what handlebar to get? Wink If I still decide to go with cleaning .. what liquids should I use?
You would need to sand the rust right out. Bear in mind that rust pits the steel, so even after you sand it out, some will still remain to eventually surface, again. But assume you've thoroughly cleaned it all off, what will you finish the bare steel with? It would need to be coated with a good metal primer, lightly sanded with 400 grit paper and then top coated. Regular enamel or cellulose paint won't stand up to wear and tear as will professionally finished handlebars. It's a lot of work to clean and repaint the bars. Replacing them with new ones would be so much quicker and would look better than something hand-painted.

If you still decide to paint your bars, bear in mind that when it comes to putting them back on the bike, when you put the brake levers and other stuff back on, it will tend to gouge the paint. You can try and see how it goes but if it was mine, I wouldn't be happy with it. I did paint the bars on a bike that I got for free. I sanded the rusty bars down and painted them with black Rustoleum paint, made for metal. I did it because it's a spare bike that sits in a shed for other family members to use if they want to. It's a bike that I couldn't sell after I put a new gear shift and cable on it, and serviced the bike.

Bicycle Warehouse sells handlebars
Bicycle Warehouse

So does Amazon
Amazon handlebars
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
  Reply
#5
Thank you so much : )))
  Reply
#6
(06-03-2020, 10:41 AM)Megster Wrote:  Hello.
My dear commuter bike has gotten rust over the winter. How can I get rid of this? There is rust also on the fork. Thanks #blessed

Hi Megster,

I am not against Charley's recommendations (I've done those myself also), but I have used various products for restoration purposes, all fairly inexpensive, readily available to buy, quick to use, and very little clean-up after use. All cheaper and quicker than buying and installing a new bar (removal/reinstallation of grips, brake levers and/or shifters, if applicable).
Since I work on various bikes from the '30s-present with various surfaces, I keep all of them handy; plus they work great for other uses, auto, woodworking, tools, etc.
First would be various grades of steel wool (coarse, medium, fine [000, 0000 grade]), bronze wool (coarse, fine), and "Soft Scrub" light abrasive cream cleaner (or similar product). The bronze wool might be the hardest to find (hardware, paint supply, and/or marine supply stores), and more expensive; I use it very conservatively since it is best for "softer" metal cleaning, burnishing (aluminum, copper, brass, etc.). It can certainly be used on steel; chromed or not. Also, good for glass without scratching it. Lastly is sandpaper (various grits 200 to 800, and "crocus" cloth).
Unless surface is heavily pitted, you should get by with the cream cleaner and/or medium grade steel wool. Heavier rust with some pitting may require coarse steel wool. You can use WD40 to treat rust since it has solvents that can help dissolve rust, displace moisture, and act as a sealant to further oxidation. Vinegar will also dissolve rust (acetic acid, as well as other acids), use baking soda to neutralize the acid; it usually is done for heavier rust/oxidation where a part can be dipped/soaked with vinegar/acid for hours. None of the abrasive products should cause any noticeable scratching on chromed surfaces, and using them would help to prep the surface if painting/coating was still needed. I use a small amount of alcohol to remove any residue if you plan on painting/urethane/clear coating, but I wouldn't worry about painting unless you live in a high humidity/salty environment, or if bike is continually exposed to the elements. I would not use the cream cleaner or steel wool on aluminum bike parts, as it will certainly put fine scratches into the surface unless you don't care about it having a "brushed" finish look. Nothing wrong with that, but I work on some very old/expensive/rare parts that often have anodized finishes which would be damaged from these abrasive products on softer surfaces. When in doubt use the least abrasive product first whether steel wool or even sand paper. If you keep the affected surfaces clean and dry between use, you would probably not have to paint or coat them. I use some very light oil (generally not "3in1" oil, veggie based and gets "gummy") like sewing machine oil, WD40, etc., and wipe down exposed/unpainted metal surfaces with a small amount on a paper towel or rag after cleaning giving the surface protection from general moisture damage (rust on steel/chrome or oxidation on other metals) whether there had or had not been rust or oxidation previously. Wipe off and repeat occasionally depending on use/conditions. You can always paint/coat the surfaces, or replace the part if the condition persists or gets worse. Assuming your fork is chromed (photo doesn't show it well), it would only take me about 5-15 minutes depending on level of rust to complete both bar and fork. You will find that once you have these cleaning products they will last for awhile due to the small amounts required to do the job. Remember, a new bar is just as likely to rust if exposed to the same conditions; regardless, I would still use a little oil on a new bar to help preserve it. Unfortunately, new product chroming is not what it once was, and it does not hold up like that of decades ago; plus, it's more expensive and can add weight to the bike so manufacturers "cut corners" with its use. I have used the same products and techniques on classic autos, musical instruments, tools, etc. You can purchase metal cleaners/polishes that are supposed to leave a "protective" film on the surfaces similar to car wax. I have used car wax for the same purpose as the oil wipe down; cheap, uses very little, does no harm. Experiment with products as to how hard you need to "scrub"/clean to avoid potential damage when in doubt about any surface, and start with a small amount of product (usually all you will need anyways) on an area not readily visible (bottom of bar, inside of fork, etc.)
Good luck,
Jesper

https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-6693.html

PS. Photos of near 50 year old bike l just finished that had rust on chrome surfaces, and oxidation on aluminum surfaces. Used fine (000) steel wool to clean (very carefully on aluminum!) all unpainted metals. Original parts, but didn't look as good to start with.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
(06-03-2020, 10:41 AM)Megster Wrote:  Hello.
My dear commuter bike has gotten rust over the winter. How can I get rid of this? There is rust also on the fork. Thanks #blessed

Addendum: Since I could not clearly see your bar from my device and I am now getting a better look at it; is it painted steel or "naked" brushed steel with a clear coat on it? It does not appear to be chromed. Is your fork finished in the same manner also? Although the rust does not seem to be extremely bad or the bar heavily pitted by it; if you use an abrasive except maybe the "000" or finer steel wool (I wouldn't use bronze wool on a painted surface like that), you will more than likely remove some of the paint/clear coat in non-rusted areas, as well as in areas where there is some rust. I still doubt that you would have to do a "do-it-yourself professional" repaint of the parts if the rust comes off with a "mild" to "medium" level of cleaning. If you are able to easily remove the rust and clean the parts with alcohol to remove any residue; a two-in-one primer/top coat paint will take care of it in a quick and basic manner ("Rustoleum" or similar paint product). You would more than likely have plenty of paint in one spray can to give it multiple coats and/or spray it again if the rust starts to "come through" again after a period of time. As Charley stated, proper prep for painting would be to get rid of all the rust which would essentially give you bare metal parts (if not chromed) since newer paint jobs (as well as chroming) on most mid to lower end bikes is not done to a very high level of quality; if you follow Charley's advice you will most likely end up with a better protective paint job than what the manufacturer put on it. If you are indeed just trying to "spruce it up" and protect it you can save a fair amount of time and money by just doing a simple, but thorough cleaning; and then a spray can job of a couple coats. I don't know what you are using the bike for, but if it is casual cruising then a simple paint job is going to be effective for awhile given proper care/storage. If you are mountain biking or using it for other more adventurous pursuits, then a good proper paint job per Charley's recommendations would be the way to go. It all depends on what you want. By the way, painting small diameter round objects can be somewhat of a pain in the butt to make it look good. Usually best to start on the least visible side, removing any excess dripping/paint flow that goes to the most visible side. Paint the "good" side last and you don't have to see that excess which will flow to the bottom of the handle bar (inside of the fork) although it can be cleaned up also; there really isn't a need unless you are trying to achieve a "professional" look. If you are doing multiple coats it becomes that much more important when trying to get a good result. I also bake my parts in the oven if they'll fit to cure some paints; that is going to an extreme in most cases! I am certainly not a painter, and I tend to have my bikes done professionally, or leave them "as is" because the value is better when left with original paint and decals for older/collectible bikes. It is sometimes best to practice on a small/short piece of tubing to get an idea of the paint flow and coverage, how far to spray from the object, etc. Doing the fork is the hardest job since you can either spray both "legs" of the fork at the same time, or mask on off and do them separately; it just depends on how finicky you are and how proficient your technique is. If this job (fork and bar) was to be done professionally, whether sprayed, powder coated, or dipped it could cost half or more of the total cost of the bike just to give you an idea (removal of parts/prep/paint, etc.); not a cheap way to go unless it is a collectible and you are truly restoring it. I would advise that you take care of any other spots on the main frame and painted parts of the bike to avoid any excessive rust forming later on if a concern; I use nail polish quite regularly as "touch-up" paint since there are so many colors and it is fairly easy to get a decent match and not as expensive as regular touch-up paint (I pay about a $1 a bottle, or go to the thrift shop and if lucky find some for 25 cents (make sure it's still good!); and you can get the "clear/top coat" nail polish also.

That is definitely all I've got on the subject; hope you are satisfied with your final outcome!

Take care,
Jesper

A '30s bike I'm preparing to work on:
   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply


Forum Jump:

[-]
10 Latest Posts
budget speedometer
Today 02:44 AM
26" Thruster® Street Style BMX | July 20...
Yesterday 06:40 PM
Post a photo for aeroe Spider Rear Rack
Yesterday 01:33 PM
Biking inUtah
Yesterday 10:25 AM
Requested question
07-13-2020 11:20 PM
Ceramic Oversize Pulley
07-13-2020 11:07 PM
RD Alignment
07-13-2020 03:40 PM
2020 road cycling season
07-13-2020 02:55 PM
Taylor Phinney retires
07-13-2020 02:54 PM
Axle is clunky/not spinning smoothly, is...
07-13-2020 12:06 PM

[-]
Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Jesper
78 posts
no avatar 2. CharleyFarley
24 posts
no avatar 3. Papa Dom
10 posts
no avatar 4. Painkiller
8 posts
no avatar 5. Sagan97
7 posts