Top Tube Rust

My 15-year-old Dawes Galaxy has developed tiny blisters along the top of the top tube. When scraped away, and viewed with a hand lens, pinpoints of rust appear to be pushing up the lacquer. Is this terminal or dangerous? Can anything be done to arrest the process – Waxoil/WD40 etc?

dhowes via our Forum

If the rust has come through the tube from the inside, you will be able to poke an object such as a small screwdriver through it and make a hole, in which case you need a new top tube at the very least. More likely is that perspiration has dripped onto the tube and has penetrated thin paint, starting rust pockets where it has done so. Coating with WD40, as noted, may protect temporarily, but a re-spray will do the job properly although you may be content simply to remove the existing paint and re-paint by hand.

Richard Hallett, Cycle Technical Editor 

​This was first published in the August / September 2015 edition of Cycling UK's Cycle magazine.

This Q&A was published in 'Cycle' the magazine for members of Cycling UK. To contact the experts, email your technical, health, legal or policy questions to or write to Cycle Q&A, PO Box 313, Scarborough, YO12 6WZ