It's springtime, which means grabbing your old bike and...finding it out it's rusty. Here's what to watch out for.
The squeak of a rusty bike chain is one of my pet peeves – and those who hose down that same rusty chain with WD-40 are another. You'll be surprised how easily you can resuscitate a stiff, rusty chain using only chain lube and a rag. Drip a drop of lubricant on each chain link until the whole chain glistens. Loosen up stiff chain links by grasping the chain and flexing it laterally while applying thumb pressure to each stuck chain link. As the chain starts to flex again, spin the cranks while passing it through the rag, thus distributing oil into each chain link while pushing out dirt and dissolving some of the stuck-on rust. Repeat the lube and rag treatment until the chain spins freely again. (As with other steel bike parts, you can use steel wool and some elbow grease to easily buff off surface rust.)