Do Bike Racks Rust?

So you’ve just gotten yourself the best bike rack for e-bikes with fenders, but how do you take care of it? Do bike racks rust?

And if they do, how do you protect them from rusting at home? Read on to find out. 

Do Bike Racks Rust?

Yes, bike racks can rust. Bike racks are usually made of steel, aluminum, and plastic. Although plastic and aluminum is rust-proof, bike racks made of steel do rust over time. Rust is formed over steel when the iron reacts with the oxygen in the air. You see the steel breaking down and the rust forming in its place. 

However, aluminum does not easily react to air because it forms a protective coating over itself. Aluminum still disintegrates in a similar way to steel rusting, but instead of turning dark brown, it shows a greenish discoloration.

How Do I Keep My Bike Rack From Rusting?

The easiest way to keep your rack from rusting is to take it off your car when you’re not using it. It’s simple, the more a rack is exposed to the elements, the higher the chances of it rusting. 

Additionally, clean dirt and grime off your rack after you’re done using it. Once it’s clean, apply a layer of wax to the rack, especially to all the joints, to protect them against rust. Even if you’re not using wax on the rack, always make sure you dry it off properly after you clean it. Leaving water on the rack is a surefire way to get a rusty rack. 

Finally, you’ll also find a lot of rust-preventing products out there. WD-40 and Rustoleum are some very good examples. They are very effective, and you can simply use them according to the instructions given on the cans. 

WD-40 is a penetrating fluid, and it’s especially helpful for preventing long-term damage to the rack. It gets between different layers very easily, which makes it an extremely efficient rust remover. We recommend wiping the entire rack with some rubbing alcohol before spraying on any rust protectant. 

Do bike racks rust? Yes, they do, and you need to prevent this rusting to ensure your product lasts a long time. The rust will eat away at the body of the rack, and prolonged damage may cause it to collapse. 

How Do I Clean the Rust off My Bike Rack?

There’s a simple way to remove rust from a bike. Just take some sandpaper and scrub it down. Just be careful not to scratch the paint, and exposing the surface, because that’ll lead to even more rusting. Then spray on some Rustoleum and wipe the rust away. Do bike racks rust? Yes, but unless you’ve left them alone for a few years, most of it is surface rust. This can be quickly cleared with a little scrubbing and surface treatment.

Once the rust is gone, you can wax the rack, or spray the entire rack with Rustoleum to keep it clean. Repeat this process every couple of months to keep your rack rust-free.

Avatar photo

Arsal Sher — Mud Bike Writer

With an interest in dirt bikes developing from an early age, Arsal now pursues his passion for bikes by restoring old ones. He specializes in vintage collectibles and works hands-on with motorbikes when he has time to spare from his content writing career.


Read Arsal Sher’s Full Writer Bio