Rust on Bike Disc Brakes? (Must Know Things)

Rust on Bike Disc Brakes

Rust in your bike disc brake can be disturbing. However, depending on the stringency of the bike disc rust, you can get rid of the rust in the disk brake with no difficulties.

Rust naturally appears when your disc brakes come in contact with moisture constantly.

However, your disk brakes will deteriorate if you do not get rid of them. This article will find out how to remove rust in bike disc brakes. 

Rusting on your bike disk brakes is often a result of lack of bike usage, accumulation of dust and debris in a bike, and exposing your bike to moisture for a while. You can keep the rust away from your bike by maintaining it. You can also remove rust in your bike by using vinegar, aluminum foil, or chemical cleaning agents.         

What Causes Rust on Bike Disk Brakes?

Rust on Bike Disc Brakes

As a bike rider, you must maintain your bike. You might live in a humid or cold environment, and this might be a factor that affects the rust build-up in your bike disc brake.

Therefore, you should constantly clean and service your bike to prevent rust. Below are some causes of bike disc rust build-up:

#1. Lack of Usage

When you leave your bike in a shed or unattended for a long time, it will rust from lack of use. This will cause it to become less efficient, unlike its previous state before the rust builds up.

To remedy this, constantly ride your bike to remove the rust. Riding your bike long enough will cause the disc brake pad to remove the rust in the bike disc brake. 

#2. Accumulated Dust or Debris

This results from not maintaining your bicycle. Debris or dust is also a factor that causes your bike disc brakes to rust.

Cycling your bike in humid or muddy terrains can attract debris to your disc brake. If you do not ride your bike of debris, it can accumulate and cause rust build-up in your brakes.

This will cause your bike disc brake to corrode if you do not take care to eliminate the dust and rust build-up. 

#3. Moisture

Moisture is one of the prominent causes of rust. This occurs when storing your bike in a humid environment or outside a shelter on a rainy day overnight.

To prevent this, keep your bike in a cool shed away from moisture and water.

In addition, you can remedy your rust-coated bike disc brakes and constantly dry clean your bike to keep it free from moisture. 

Is It Normal for Disc Brakes to Rust? 

It is natural for your disc brake to rust, though you should not overlook it. It can result from letting rain or wet debris dry on your bike brake disc for longer than necessary.

If you do not attend to the bike brake and dry the moisture, the surface of the brake disk will gradually chip off and potentially cause harm to you and your bike.

The rust coating your bike is because of the moisture inside your brake for a long time. However, if you are constantly riding your bike, you may not have any issues with rust in your disk brake.

This is because, during frequent cycling, constant contact with the disc brake pad during frequent cycling will eliminate the surface rust. 

However, the lack of using your bike for a long time will leave rust chips on your bike disc brake, which might require replacement.     

How To Get Rid of Rust on Bike Disc Brakes

It is advisable to prevent rust before it gets out of hand and becomes irreparable.

However, if you notice rust coatings in your bike disc brakes, you can take corrective measures to remove the rust in your bike.

Below are some ways to get rid of disc brake rust:

#1. Ride Your Bike

This is the easiest method of removing rust from your disc brake by riding your bike for some time.

The disk brake pad from your bike motion might clean the disk brake rust effectively, depending on the severity of the rust in your disc brake.

Using your bike constantly is essential for keeping your bike from rusting. 

#2. Aluminum Foil

If riding your bike did not obliterate the rust, you could use an aluminum foil. To use an aluminum foil to remove the rust in your disc brake, ball up a piece of aluminum foil.

Then, slowly rub the rust spot on the bike brake with the small foil ball. 

This may take your time and energy, but it has less cost and is harmless to your bike. You might also need to place a tarp under your bike, as the foil and rust will leave a mess.

In addition, the tarp under your bike will make cleaning less messy.

#3. Disc Brake Cleaners

Brake cleaners are a more straightforward solution to remove your bike rust. You can get these cleaners in maintenance stores. Disc cleaners also help in removing debris and dust.

It does not leave residual stains after cleaning, and constant use of these disc brake cleaners can increase the lifespan of your brakes.

Ensure you do not purchase a car disc brake cleaner as it leaves oil residue on the bike disc brakes.

There are other alternatives to disc brake cleaners you can use to clean off the rust from your bike disc brake:

  • Pure Acetone – this has to be 100 percent acetone. Do not use a nail polish remover as it is unpure and has a distinct odor. Acetone can remove rust, leaving no residue.
  • Isopropyl alcohol – This is also effective in cleaning disc brake rust. You can pour it into a spray bottle and use it to remove the rust on the disc brake. 

#4. Vinegar

Vinegar is also a good rust cleaning agent. For example, use white vinegar to remove rust from your disc brake:

  • Get a spray bottle and pour the vinegar into the bottle. White vinegar has more acidity than other cleaning agents, making it more efficient. In addition, you can evenly coat the surface of the rust spot with spray bottles. 
  • Add half a spoonful of baking powder to the mixture for more effect. Next, spray the white vinegar on the rust spot on the disc brake. You can also apply the vinegar with aluminum foil if there is no spray bottle.
  • Use clean water to rinse the vinegar solution on your disc brake after 10 to 15 minutes. However, vinegar can also erode your bike disc brake, so use running water to rinse your bike well.
  • Thoroughly dry the bike. Dip a rag in denatured alcohol and use it to clean any water traces before storing it. Stash your bike in a dry and relaxed environment to prevent further rust.

#5. Baking Soda

This method of rust removal is preferable for removing light rust stains. To use this method:

  • In a bowl, create a mixture of baking soda and water. Ensure it is an equal mixture of 50% water and 50% baking soda, and mix the combination until you have a thick paste. You might need a different combination to cover the surface of the disc brake rust completely. So keep the water, bowl, and baking soda close to making more mixtures if necessary.
  • You can also add lemon juice to the mixture to strengthen its effect. Finally, dab a brush into the mix and rub the paste on the rust. Do not wash the paste off immediately after application, as the paste will need enough time to work on the rust. Instead, allow it to set between 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Ensure to thicken the paste, so it does not fall off the rust spots during application. Next, use a scrub pad to scrub off the paste. You can also use an iron, steel wool, or a plastic scrub to remove the paste. After scrubbing, allow set for 12 minutes. Then clean the bike disc brake with a microfiber cloth. 

Final Thoughts

Rust in your bike disk brakes is usually a result of either bike lack of use or exposure to moisture.

You can take corrective measures like riding your bike, using disc brake cleaners to remove the bike rust, or using other household cleaners like vinegar and baking powder.

Josh Matthews

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