By Imbert Andres
Owner and Mechanic
225 West 77th Street
New York, NY 10024
The bicycle is a simple machine really; finicky but simple. However, all of these little moving, lightweight, fragile (expensive) parts wear out so quickly and can complicate your riding experience all too often and at the worst times.
Imbert imparts his wisdom on keeping these moving parts as frictionless as possible with tips on the correct use of those slippery substances….lubricants!
1. Grease — Finish Line / Park Tools
2. Oil — Tri Flow / Purple Extreme
3. Wax — White Lightning
4. Anti—Seize (Must be used on any titanium parts!)
- Headset/Bottom Bracket: Moderate grease layer on bearings (if not sealed) and on bracket threads (*use anti—seize here for ti frames)
- Hubs: Light grease layer on bearings (if not sealed)
- Skewers: Light grease layer on the entire rod to help with corrosion (*use anti—seize here for ti skewers)
- Pedals: usually none but some have special grease ports…Imbert recommends letting a shop do this.
- Bolts: i.e. stem, bottle cage, brake pad, crank: light grease on threads (*use anti—seize here for ti bolts)
- Seatpost: Steel/Aluminum—Light grease layer. Carbon—nothing. just wipe down and keep clean
- Derailleurs/Brakes: Light oil on all moving pivots…there are more than you think!
- Cables/Housings: very light oil. No grease! Will bind and freeze.
- Chain: Cold weather—Tri Flow or Purple Extreme. Warm weather—White Lighting Wax. When applying to your clean(ish) chain, apply liberally but immediately wipe off until your rag is clean!
All greased parts should be wiped down and re-lubed twice a year. All oiled parts should be wiped down and re-lubed periodically throughout the year but especially after wet weather riding. Your chain however has hundreds of moving parts and is closest to the dirty streets. Clean it about as often as you jaywalk!