Grease, anti seize and locktite

Three things you should have, two things you use in certain circumstances, and one you need in exceptional circumstances.

So when to use, and when not to use. Well, it’s not really that complicated. Just slather the grease about and you’ll be golden. However, if like me, you like to play about, anti seize has a valid use. If your the kind of person who assembles things, and don’t plan on taking the apart for awhile, anti seize is your friend. Let’s take pedals as an example, you install pedals, they may never be removed from the cranks for years, if ever over the course of the frames life. Anti seize will stay around for a longer period of time than grease, which may wash out over time, or dry out. Anti seize, thanks to its metallic particles will always help prevent galvanic corrosion and jamming up.

So when the time comes to remove those pedals after a few years, you’ve a better chance with anti seize applied. However, if you plan on bike maintenance, with a good schedule, grease is just fine to use. I’d use anti seize on:

  • Pedal spindles
  • Bottom bracket cups
  • Derailleur bolts

That’s it. Quite a narrow use clause for that one. You could quite easily manage without a can of it in the workshop.

My singlespeed, which sees alot less maintenance than my geared bikes tends to see more antiseize than grease. Purely based on the fact it gets taken apart much less.

Thread locker, aka locktite, is used on bolts that you bolts you just can’t afford to come lose. I’ve only ever used it on jockey wheel bolts, where they have almost zero torque, but you can’t risk them falling out. Use it on anybolt you want to lock in. People use it on handle bar bolts, chainring bolts, seat pin bolts and many many others. Just use the blue coloured one. The red is too strong for use on bikes.

So grease, grease is your friend with bike maintenance. Use it wherever you have metal on metal contact, be it screw, slide or rotate. Unless you have a need for anti seize, or locktite, grease will do.

Brakes and cleaning

After a few rides, especially after a series of wet rides, your wheel brake surface will be covered in a black gunge, it’s a good idea to do some maintenance on them after.

In order to keep your rims working well, and wear down, clean off the surface of the brake track with hot soapy water. Then, get a cloth and some isopropyl alcohol, and wipe them down. You’ll be amazed at how much more gunk comes off.

Now, with the wheels off the bike, give the brake pads a look. Look for any embedded metal fragments, and pick them out with a sharp pick. Wipe them down with the alcohol, and if they look glazed, or smooth just take a file or sandpaper and rub them down. Also, while your here it’s a good chance to check just how worn they are.

Pedal Maintenance and new wheels

Respect your pedals. They suffer a lot of abuse but just keep on going..

My pedal maintenance is simple. Every few rides, I lube the contact points with a dry lube, this avoids the annoying pedal squeak when the cleat rubs. Drop a drip into the spring mechanism while your here.

Every once in a while, I’ll crack open the axle, clean it off and fill the chamber with fresh grease. Reinsert the axle and snug it down driving the grease up through the bearings.

I’d used the muc off biogrease for this first time, and the pedals went slack really quick. Did them about 500 miles ago, this time using Park Tools grease. Spinning the pedals today, they are smooth, with a little resistance from the grease. Perfect.

Needless to say, that tube of biogrease has been binned never to be seen again.

I’d bought a new set of wheels, that come with cup and cone bearings, and what excuse do I need for another tube of grease to try. My existing greases would of worked fine, but wanted something that was quite thin, and tacky. The crystal grease is a little too thick, the park tools grease has a tendency to stain light coloured areas. The exus blue would of been my choice, however I’ve sorta stopped using it in favour of the crystal. So I’d ordered a tube of Rock ‘n’ Roll Super Web. The stuff Is amazing in bearings. It’s quite a thin grease but hellishly sticky and coats everything. It’s ideal in the hubs and loose bearings. Being a nice bright white colour, it’s easy too see where it’s applied too.

I’ve also had to replace the rear brake caliper. I’d disconnected the cable to space the pads a little further out, and when I removed the cable, the right hand arm had a massive amount of play. So I’ve ordered a new R8000 ultegra to replace it. I’ll also redo the front caliper later in the month.

New Wheels!

So I decided to splash out on a new set of hoops, and purchased the Fulcrum Racing 3.

I like Fulcrum wheels, they are sturdy, well built and easy to service. I started with the racing 5, moved onto the Quattro and now on the Racing 5.

A test spin in the hand, and that feeling of buttery smoothness was evident. These wheels have cup and cone bearings, which I prefer as maintenance is slightly easier than the cartridge bearing. The quattros need a bearing change for sure again.

I’m looking forward to putting racing 3 on the bike and having a good 15 mile ride tomorrow..

Bearing Death…

Bad day for bearings in which my freehub bearings died, so they where replaced with the last ones I had in my parts bin. No Biggie, as they had done quite a distance.

But the biggest hit came in my bottom bracket. I’d fitted a Hope Bottom bracket, which initially felt so incredibly smooth. But the recent bout of bad weather seems to of killed it. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.

Trying to locate a rather annoying noise, I’d removed pedals, seatpost, saddle and cranks. The pedals where dismantled, and regreased after the crappy muc off bio grease had completely gone due to washout, the seatpost greased along with the saddle rails. But sticking a finger into the bottom bracket and spinning it feels like a very very rough non drive side bearing. The drive side oozed a very watery grease effluent too. Obviously water has got into the bearings and washed them out.

So for now at least, a ¬£17 ultegra bracket has been refitted. An ultegra bracket costs roughly the same as a single bearing for the Hope BB. I think I’ll stick with the tried and tested bottom bracket until I hear back from Hope.

Bloody Weather

Weather Map

I don’t much mind riding in the rain, its a refreshing change. But it can be miserable as pleasurable. Large cars and trucks throwing filthy water in all directions, hidden holes in puddles and low visibility.

The Monsoon type weather we’ve been having here recently has rather dampened my riding. My chain is currently dry lubed, which means any long distance in much more than a light rain will see me squeak along the road, and a noisy bike to me at least, is incredibly irritating.

But ride I must, so its out with the overshoes, and long sleeved jerseys and off.

Wish me luck.

Drive like a dick day

I’ve no idea what was up with people today, but the driving standards and dangerous aggression was all to evident on today’s ride.

First off, I was tailgated along a narrow road, and keeping well out of the door zone, and he finally overtook, blasting his horn as he went. Sorry mate, I’ll ride anywhere I like in the damn road. He then aggressively tailgated the car in front having to break hard several times.

Next up, a delivery van completely blocking the cycle path, as I went round him in order to continue, I noticed his reversing lights as he whacked it into reverse along the path.

Didn’t even look around, almost taking another cyclist out.

Then, on a roundabout a taxi pulled out right in front of me, causing me to brake hard. Then came the close passes. Not just a few, but almost every car, and a close pass on a tight downhill bend.

I give up. The driving standards are dropping like a lead balloon. We all have to get somewhere, we all have to learn to share. Motor vehicles do not, and have never had a greater priority than anything else.

The whole mentality of the car needs to change. We, as a society cannot allow the car to dictate our city plans. Our whole outlook on town planning needs a shift away from cars, and to sustainable methods of transport. I’m all for scrapping the VED, and increasing the cost of petrol to compensate. That way, you pay less if you use your car less, more for all those pointless journeys taking little Esmeralda and Sebastian to school in a massive 4×4, where they could easy walk it.

It is possible to live without a car, or at least use it less.