Technical FAQ: Threadlock and/or grease?

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Sep. 9, 2009
  • Updated Nov. 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM EDT

Dear Lennard,
Most cycling component companies recommend greasing the threads on bottom brackets and other components, yet at the same time a lot of these components have what appears to be thread locking compound (usually blue or white) on the threads. Doesn’t the idea of greasing the threads work against thread locking compound?

Dear Ken,
Good question and one that lots of people have. Actually, threadlock usually works by expanding, rather than by gluing, so the grease could allow the bolt to go in further and more smoothly yet not impede the function of the threadlock.

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Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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