Well, more or less.

After spraying with degreaser and rinsing with water, I thought it was a kind of coppery colour. Then after giving it another spray with degreaser (actually the gears on the back wheel, but I caught the chain as well), it revealed itself to be more of a silvery steel kind of colour.

I actually gave it a clean a few weeks ago, but the recent snow (and gritted roads) followed by a week or so of not cycling (a combinations of nights out and a week away) left it in a terrible state - slipping gears etc. So I gave it another clean, and discovered what a terrible state it was actually in.

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Its a little alarming to see how rusted it has managed to get – considering that the bike is only about 6 months old. I guess the lesson is that I should be giving it a much more regular wipe down at the very least. Or maybe putting some sort of protective stuff on there (at the moment, I've got some sort of lubricant with Teflon… but not entirely sure if thats really enough to look after it on its own.)

I only started paying attention to the whole chain thing (well, maintenance thing) because of some issues with the gear alignment – which I haven't yet quite got to the bottom of. (I have figured out how to do some fine tuning, but I have a horrible feeling that it needs some more serious/knowledgeable attention than my own incredibly limited knowledge.) Since the bad weather, my rear brake seems to be a lot looser as well.

Fortunately, I bought my bike from Evans Bikes, who include some sort of free setup/tuning thing. The catch being that there isn't an Evans Bikes nearby, so I'll have to take it into London to get it looked at. And I can't take it on a rush hour train – meaning that I will probably have to make a special journey (meaning getting out of bed especially early) if I want to take advantage of the offer in the week. (Can't see any occasion when I'll be taking a bike into London at the weekend…)