Copper grease and thread lock compound. Now, you can dismiss 🙂 Or, if you want to know why you need them, stick with me a little longer. If you have a look at the image, you’ll see an ordinary socket hexagon bolt. If you look closely, you’ll notice a tiny hole in it, indicating that it’s not a standard item. When I received my first disc brake set with mounting hardware, I was surprised to discover a very fine wire in the box and wondered what it was. Strangely, even on brand-new bikes, I never saw that wire. It’s a preventative measure against bolts slackening and falling off and causing catastrophic damage to your bike and you: that wire is threaded through two bolt holes and tied together: if they slacken a bit, the wire will not let any further… Continue Reading 2 must-have chemicals for any mechanic: thread lock and copper greaseContinue reading
Category: Lube / Grease
You’ll need a set of lubes, greases, and oils if you want or need to maintain your bike. Chain lubes need to be used frequently to minimize friction, eliminate rust and reduce wear. You’ll need grease for wheel hubs, bottom brackets, headsets, pedals, and more. Hydraulics brakes need fluid changes regularly, be it mineral fluid like Shimano or Tektro use, or regular DOT fluids like Sram use in their hydraulic brakes. Even your suspension shocks need greases, and fork oils.
Proprietary, manufacturer brand lubes, greases, and fluids are expensive, and you may run out of space in time, for each liquid they endorse. However, they are not magical. You can replace them with cheaper alternatives while keeping your inventory at a minimum.
Picking replacement lubes, greases and fluids is no easy task, but I (literally) do the dirty work and research for you! This involves reading a lot of paperwork, cross checking property like viscosity, heat tolerances, boiling point, operation ranges, corrosivity.
Since some special chemicals like threadlocking compounds, pastes like copper or carbon fiber paste are neither of those, I’ll be talking about such chemicals, as they are essential on bikes.
I’d also like to know what stuff you use!
Lubes, oils, greases and fluids for your bike
Let’s start with a very, very hard to differenciate terms: what is a lube, or lubricant, and what makes it different from an oil ? That’s quite hard to distinguish, so follow me: Lubricant is a general term, which also covers oils. Oil is a misnomer, which was already available before synthetic oils, which is a misnomer, too(!). There is no such thing as “synthetic oil”, for a start: it’s a synthetic lubricant, as “carrier base” is not oil. Oil is …very, very petroleum-related thing. So, forget about “oils”; they are total misnomers, but here is some handy stuff to know: if some lubricant has “oil” in its name, that means it is used internally! Like, engine oil: it’s in the engine crankcase, you don’t wash your engine with engine oil. You pour it into engine. (right?). Like gear oil.… Continue Reading Lubes, oils, greases and fluids for your bikeContinue reading