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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ive worked retail bike sales for about 4 years now and I can do basic service and maintanence decently well, but i am far from a bike tech.
ive just started buying my own tools and learning some new stuff, and to my astonishment theres really not too much i feel uncomfortable doing myself, but its the "where should i grease?" "does this part need lube?" and "should i put loctite here?" questions that are troubling me.

can any tech out there give me a good rundown on what parts should be lubed/greased with what and what places need loctite? brake post studs? does every fastener need polylube?

thanks
 

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ballbuster
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I would say...

... any small bolt that sees a lot of torque. I do my chainring bolts, pedals (to keep them from siezing in the crank arm), disc brake rotor bolts and caliper bolts in Loctite Blue, and my crank arm bolts in Red Loctite.

The cool think about loctite is that it not only keeps bolts from backing out, but it also keeps them from siezing. Blue is pretty harmless.
 

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Use grease to lubricate most bolts on your bike when assembling, only use locktite in locations where you are worried about things coming loose due to relative motion or vibration like suspension pivots. I have never even used locktite on disc brake rotors nor do I use the locking shims.

People tend to use locktite as a poor excuse for not torquing bolts correctly or to fix damaged components (loose cranks arms).

Even blue locktite can be quite harmful in certain places. If you put a steel bolt into an aluminum component with blue locktitie (such as brake bosses or old suspension fork bolts), it is pretty much a guarantee that the blue locktite will gull to the aluminum and the threads will be stripped out when you try to remove the bolt.
 

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GearHead said:
it is pretty much a guarantee that the blue locktite will gull to the aluminum and the threads will be stripped out when you try to remove the bolt.
This is very true, on Suzuki motos the disc bolt are drenched in blue Locktite & removal almost always means damaging the allen head, they seam to be using less as the years go by :rolleyes:.
 

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ballbuster
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Not my experience

GearHead said:
Use grease to lubricate most bolts on your bike when assembling, only use locktite in locations where you are worried about things coming loose due to relative motion or vibration like suspension pivots. I have never even used locktite on disc brake rotors nor do I use the locking shims.

People tend to use locktite as a poor excuse for not torquing bolts correctly or to fix damaged components (loose cranks arms).

Even blue locktite can be quite harmful in certain places. If you put a steel bolt into an aluminum component with blue locktitie (such as brake bosses or old suspension fork bolts), it is pretty much a guarantee that the blue locktite will gull to the aluminum and the threads will be stripped out when you try to remove the bolt.
I use blue locktite on a lot of stuff, including steel/alu interfaces, and I never had this happen. I mean, on hundreds of installations at least. I have never seen a bolt gall (you meant gall, right, not turn into a sea bird) using loctite, but lots gall without loctite. All of them stainless steel. How many SS bolts do you have on your bike? Thought so.

I used red on my crank arm bolts because they were backing out even when torqued to spec (using a really nice torque wrench, mind you) on a brand spanking new set of '03 XT cranks. I've even used it on alu bolts in both alu and steel threads. I've used it on pedal threads ever since I had a pedal seize from the previous owner over-torquing it. Loctite is a way you can install stuff and not have to gorilla ham fist it to keep it there.

My Avid, Magura and Hope rotor bolts (and Magura caliper bolts) came with thread locker already applied. My Shimano rotors came with bolts with triangle sides and a thin foil washer that had to be bent up to keep them from backing out, so they were worried about something there.

I really have no idea where this paranoid fear of Loctite comes from. It makes installation easier, removal easier and increases safety. I have yet to see a down side. I think a lot of this fear comes from 'heard it on the internet-itis' myself.
 

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Just to throw my two cents in the ring.

I almost never use loctite. If you have a bolt that keeps coming loose that is tourqued properly then it probably means the threads are worn, or the piece being bolted is bent or broken in some way. Nevertheless, I don't feel loctite is harmfull if you use it properly.

I have heard alot of a lot of people using loctite on the bottom bracket and I have no idea the reason behind that. I grease the bottom bracket threads before install as well as the headset cups before pressing them in. It makes the install easier and your bike will never creak, at least not from those spots.

Generally, I grease just about everything before installing it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for all the responses guys! i read the link to the park site and it was very helpful.

so im coming to the conclusion that every experienced wrench has their own methods throughout the trade, but the general concensus is that:
1) all threads could use a proper amount of grease.
2) torque specs ARE very important
3) generally brake studs, BB cups, and crank bolts are the common areas for loctite (although several different types of loctite may be appropriate for each)
4) if torque specs are met and loctite applied and fasteners keep coming loose then the threads are probably shot.

am i on the right track here?
what grease do you recomend? should a different grease be used for fasteners vs. seatposts?
ive always used a mix of the green park grease and the white finishline grease. are these decent?
typically the lowest strength loctite (222) is sufficient for bicycles, correct?
 

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ballbuster
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Jersey said:
thanks for all the responses guys! i read the link to the park site and it was very helpful.

so im coming to the conclusion that every experienced wrench has their own methods throughout the trade, but the general concensus is that:
1) all threads could use a proper amount of grease.
2) torque specs ARE very important
3) generally brake studs, BB cups, and crank bolts are the common areas for loctite (although several different types of loctite may be appropriate for each)
4) if torque specs are met and loctite applied and fasteners keep coming loose then the threads are probably shot.

am i on the right track here?
what grease do you recomend? should a different grease be used for fasteners vs. seatposts?
ive always used a mix of the green park grease and the white finishline grease. are these decent?
typically the lowest strength loctite (222) is sufficient for bicycles, correct?
Sounds good to me, IMHO.

For grease, use a good synthetic grease. Don't use white lithium grease on threads, cause it will get more solid the older it gets. You may find you can't get something apart. I like Finish Line synthetic for most everything and Phil Wood for wheel and loose BB bearings.

As for strength, my understanding is that different strengths are for different spaces between the bolts to fill... meaning that really big bolts need higher strength loctite. I use blue everywhere that needs it, typically M4, M5 and M6 sized bolts. M8 and M10 bolts (like the crank bolts, and the freehub bolt) I use Red when loctite is called for. The exception is the pedal threads (blue), which don't need that much coaxing to stay put. I mostly use it for the anti-seize.

I especially like the new chap-stik style blue loctite. I have not found this in red.

I don't use loctite on BB cups. I use grease unless I have problems with creaking or the cups coming loose, then I use teflon tape in the blue reel (yellow reel is too thick, but I've used it in a pinch).
 
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