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Grease, Lubricant, Threadlock, Fibregrip: What & Where Should You Use It?

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Published on Mar 19, 2018

Walking into a bike shop can be a confusing time with a big range of maintenance products. It’s important not to get them mixed up though as they are specific for each job. So today, let’s take a look at lubricants, greases and threadlock and where and when to use them.

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Firstly, what is grease? To keep things pretty simply it’s largely made up of oil, which does the job of lubricating, added in is some thickener to turn it into the semifluid product we see here. Depending on the viscosity of grease, so basically the thickness, depends on how much thickener is added, logical right? There are lots of characteristics that make up grease, such as
Level Of Water resistance - pretty important to a cyclist usually as we tend to encounter rain, in our case in the UK, alot!
The dropping point - This is the temperature of which grease turns into liquid, or basically drips. You want grease, not liquid, right?
Then you’ve got additives - So components added into the mix it could be to help with resistance to corrosion for example, or to reduce friction and well I could keep going, for a long time.
Where to use grease?
A good way of thinking about it is that you grease parts that generally aren’t touched that often, so your bottom bracket threads or bearings, hub bearings, headset bearings, integrated crank spindles, brake lever clamp bolts that kind of thing.
Also, seatposts if you get one stuck… It can be a nightmare. More on those in a while though

What grease to use?
There are a few different types of grease out there, but basically for most jobs I tend to use something with a medium viscosity. At home, I use this Motorex grease when working on bike parts, it reminds me of the grease that comes fitted in Shimano bearings. It’s a decent thickness and lasts a good while. On my winter bike, which suffers from lots of road salt and basically the worst of the weather, I actually use marine grease. It’s got some of those extra additives in to resist corrosion and lasts a long time, warning though, it is very sticky and very messy. Wear an apron and some gloves, like this!

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Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto / http://www.bettiniphoto.net/

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