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  1. #1
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    Chain...completely seized

    As the title says, my chain is completely rusted solid...quite a few of the links won't move at all, so the chain is mostly stuck in a hoop shape. I've got it soaking in a tub of coke, just to see if it'll free itself and be somewhat usable again, but is there anything else I can do? Does PB-Blaster and Slick 50 work well on freeing up stuck chains? Or, am I basically stuck with having to buy a brand new chain?
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  2. #2
    AZ
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    Do yourself a favor and buy a new chain .

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Do yourself a favor and buy a new chain .
    meh, fair enough

    you're not Dremer03 are you?
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  4. #4
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Chains are $20 or less for reliable replacements...get a new chain

  5. #5
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    Depending on wear, a new chain might not mesh with the old ring/cogs, correct?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm240z
    Depending on wear, a new chain might not mesh with the old ring/cogs, correct?
    Correct...given the limited information given by the OP, one can only give an answer to what should be done with the rusty chain.

  7. #7
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    THIS will help an old rusty chain.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    As the title says, my chain is completely rusted solid...quite a few of the links won't move at all, so the chain is mostly stuck in a hoop shape. I've got it soaking in a tub of coke, just to see if it'll free itself and be somewhat usable again, but is there anything else I can do? Does PB-Blaster and Slick 50 work well on freeing up stuck chains? Or, am I basically stuck with having to buy a brand new chain?
    There is only one solution: replace it.
    mtbtires.com
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    THIS will help an old rusty chain.
    Sheldon Brown to the rescue again!
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  10. #10
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    meh, fair enough

    you're not Dremer03 are you?


    No , the farthest thing from it .

  11. #11
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    THIS will help an old rusty chain.
    Nice

  12. #12
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    THIS will help an old rusty chain.

    Works fine till you wind up with extra parts .

  13. #13
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Works fine till you wind up with extra parts .
    SS then!!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    THIS will help an old rusty chain.

    Wow! That is time intensive.
    You would need to have a very special relationship with that chain,
    or at least you would when you were done.

  15. #15
    ballbuster
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    ah.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    Sheldon Brown to the rescue again!
    I miss Sheldon. RIP, buddy!

  16. #16
    What could go wrong ...
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    sell it on ebay as "art" ... use profits to buy a new chain
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2
    sell it on ebay as "art" ... use profits to buy a new chain
    i could hack up a chainring and make some bottle openers with the chain as a handle!
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  18. #18
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    spray it with wd40 it worked for my chain and move every link up and down

  19. #19
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    If it is that rusted, getting it moving again is possible, but what you need to worry about is the chain being weaker now, and breaking when you least expect it.
    Avoid cancer, buy a new chain.

  20. #20
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    When you get the new chain get some lube, too....and use it!
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  21. #21
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    I would think that having a chain that rusted means other issues also, I would check every bearing on the bike

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    I would think that having a chain that rusted means other issues also, Rode hard , put away wet
    I would check every bearing on the bike

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    I would think that having a chain that rusted means other issues also, I would check every bearing on the bike
    ugh, i know.

    i love having a bike rack on the back of the car...especially in the winter with wet, salty roads *facepalm*
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  24. #24
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    Oh snap...

    Quote Originally Posted by LWright
    If it is that rusted, getting it moving again is possible, but what you need to worry about is the chain being weaker now, and breaking when you least expect it.
    Avoid cancer, buy a new chain.

    Its true, I might be new to getting into this but my first real ride I went on the guy I went with had a fairly rusty but still usable chain, snapped in under a mile of a good up hill.

  25. #25
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    Thanks guys, reading this thread just made my day!
    Brisbane, AU

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    As the title says, my chain is completely rusted solid...quite a few of the links won't move at all, so the chain is mostly stuck in a hoop shape. I've got it soaking in a tub of coke, just to see if it'll free itself and be somewhat usable again, but is there anything else I can do? Does PB-Blaster and Slick 50 work well on freeing up stuck chains? Or, am I basically stuck with having to buy a brand new chain?
    Coke? as in "things go better with Coke"? How's that going to help. If you want to try and save this chain, soak it in a bit of alcohol to wash out the Coke, let it dry and soak in a 50/50 blend of motor oil and solvent (mineral spirit, or naphtha, for 24 hours.

    After soaking it flex it over a water pipe or similar round stationary object, and work it back and forth under light tension, shoe shine style. If most of the links free up, you can break the last few free by using 2 adjustable wrenches and flexing till they're free.

    If you can't get most of it to flex over the pipe, it's scrap metal.

    Now soak it in oil, wipe off the excess & install it. It might skip a bit as a few stiff links work loose, but a few spins around the block should get it working nicely. Obviously it won't be good as new, and depending on the depth of the rust it's strength will be reduced, but it'll be fine for a commuter or utility bike, ridden on flat ground.

    BTW, rusty chains like this one are a classic problem for "island bikes" at summer homes in places like the barrier islands of the east coast. One nice feature of beach cruisers is that since there's no derailleur, rusty chains can be broken free simply by soaking in oil for a day, and standing on the pedals.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    Coke? as in "things go better with Coke"? How's that going to help. If you want to try and save this chain, soak it in a bit of alcohol to wash out the Coke, let it dry and soak in a 50/50 blend of motor oil and solvent (mineral spirit, or naphtha, for 24 hours.

    After soaking it flex it over a water pipe or similar round stationary object, and work it back and forth under light tension, shoe shine style. If most of the links free up, you can break the last few free by using 2 adjustable wrenches and flexing till they're free.

    If you can't get most of it to flex over the pipe, it's scrap metal.

    Now soak it in oil, wipe off the excess & install it. It might skip a bit as a few stiff links work loose, but a few spins around the block should get it working nicely. Obviously it won't be good as new, and depending on the depth of the rust it's strength will be reduced, but it'll be fine for a commuter or utility bike, ridden on flat ground.

    BTW, rusty chains like this one are a classic problem for "island bikes" at summer homes in places like the barrier islands of the east coast. One nice feature of beach cruisers is that since there's no derailleur, rusty chains can be broken free simply by soaking in oil for a day, and standing on the pedals.
    yes, that kind of coke...it's worked well with many other rusted-to-hell steel bits i've encountered, so i figured might as well give it a shot. something about the phosphoric acid in the coke reacts with, and neutralizes the rust and oxidation and cleans the area pretty nicely. i've cleaned up many a rusted chrome part on old bikes, as well as a meat cleaver dating from the 1800's...although, the phosphoric acid "parkerized" the cleaver and left a pretty cool grey finish on it.

    in any event, and like others have said, my best option at this juncture is gonna be buying a new one...although i seemed to have missed the part about "cheap" chains. the cheapest i've encountered was $23, with the average price locally being in the $30 range.
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

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