Oxide + Bicycle: ???
September 23, 2008 1:20 PM   Subscribe

I washed my bicycle and foolishly left it to dry in the sun. Now, the exposed metal has started to oxidize. Is there anything I can do? I know it's still dirty, I haven't finished yet.
posted by Memo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
Car polish with carnauba wax. Apply, let dry, buff, polish - repeat 2-3x. You can get the polish either in the same color as the bike or clear. Your choice. It won't be perfect but it will stop the oxidation and it will look and feel tons better.
posted by watercarrier at 1:29 PM on September 23, 2008

Maybe tape the bar ends when you're done.
posted by mecran01 at 1:33 PM on September 23, 2008

For the chrome parts that are pitted - sand down the rust gently - This tutorial will show you -
posted by watercarrier at 1:59 PM on September 23, 2008

Bikes shouldn't oxidize like that. Extremely cheap chrome does but it shouldn't do that. Do as watercarrier suggests but you should paint the frame and put a seal coat on top of that.
posted by JJ86 at 2:04 PM on September 23, 2008

To remove the rust, try a cleaning car wax -- which is different than normal wax. A Magic Eraser might also to the trick, as would a light metal polish, or even toothpaste. Mother's might make a polish also.

A couple different preventative routes to go: coat with WD-40 or any kind of preventative oil, maybe even Pedro's. Or simply clear coat the frame. That's what I would do, as the oil route will attract and retain dirt like a bear.
posted by luckypozzo at 6:23 PM on September 23, 2008

coat with WD-40 or any kind of preventative oil

WD-40 is primarily a solvent and only barely has oil in it. It is also not meant for contact for skin (even though some dunderheads think it cures arthritis!). It would be a very poor choice for handlebars.
posted by srboisvert at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2008

3M Scotchbrite pad or similar. Lemon Pledge or any cheap furniure polish. Easy.
posted by fixedgear at 2:08 PM on September 25, 2008

By 'exposed metal' you're specifically talking about rusted steel covered in silver paint here. If you wanted to take a couple of pounds of weight off the bike you could upgrade to an aluminum stem, handlebar, and bar ends. They won't rust like this. They can still oxidize a bit, but it'll merely appear whitish- and won't continue to corrode deep into the metal like rust will. You may be able to get what we called "take-offs" very cheap at a shop- bars and stems that came on good bicycles, but ones that customers still wanted to upgrade with lighter/different parts.
posted by wzcx at 9:08 AM on October 1, 2008

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