Using lubricants and threadlockers

Your bike is a machine, and machines need lubrication to keep them running smoothly. Ensuring that the proper parts are properly lubed will keep your bike performing happily for years to come.

Applying lubricant (grease)

Most threaded fasteners (except for fasteners with threadlocker) will benefit from the application of a light bike-specific lubricant. This prevents corrosion and abrasion, and also allows for a tighter fit with a given torque. For this reason, it’s a good idea to lubricate almost all threaded fasteners, but especially the following fasteners and parts interfaces. They really need grease to function properly.

When lubricating parts for assembly, only a thin film of lubricant is necessary. Any excess lube must be removed or it will attract dirt.
• Seatpost/seat tube interface
• On aluminum and steel frames (only), grease the seatpost where it inserts into the frame. • Bottom bracket threads
• We recommend applying grease to all bottom bracket/frame interfaces, as well as the bearing/cup interfaces. This prevents corrosion and will virtually eliminate creaks, a common complaint among riders with cartridge-bearing bottom brackets. • Stem/steerer tube interface
• Grease quill stems where they insert into the head tube. With direct-connect stems, a light oil is recommended with metal and carbon steerers, as grease may make it difficult to properly secure this type of stem to the steerer. • Stem/handlebar/bar end pinch bolts
• For the safety of the rider it’s critical that the bolts are correctly tightened. Apply a small amount of grease to the threads when you retighten and torque the pinch bolts.

Avoid lubrication on carbon parts

For any interface with a part made of carbon, avoid grease or other lubricants on clamping surfaces, such as between the stem and handlebar, or on the seatpost inside the frame.
• The carbon part can be assembled in a clean, dry state. Before assembling a carbon part, clean both the part and its mating surface with rubbing alcohol and a shop rag; clean until the rag shows no discoloration.
• Do not apply any grease to a carbon steerer tube when installing a stem.
• Do not apply carbon prep (gritty texture grease) between the stem and a carbon steerer tube. Gravity, heat, and vibration work together to allow the carbon prep to move down the steerer into the headset spacers. Carbon prep can wear away steerer material, causing the steerer tube and fork to lose strength. If this method doesn’t adequately clamp a part, see your bike shop.
• For the bottom bracket-to-crank arm interface, see your bike shop for the best recommendation.

Use and application of threadlocker

Threadlocker is an adhesive that keeps a fastener from loosening over time. Trek uses threadlocker products (Loctite® or similar) in a variety of applications during the fabrication and assembly of our bikes.

⚠ CAUTION: Use threadlockers carefully, and follow the instructions on the package. Avoid contact with your skin, and avoid inhaling the vapors. As noted on the some packaging, threadlocker contains a known carcinogen.

When to re-apply threadlocker

When you loosen a threaded fastener that had threadlocker applied to it, you break the adhesive’s bond. Therefore, when you reinstall the fastener you must also reapply threadlocker.

For threadlockers to work correctly, the parts and/or fasteners must be clean and dry, with no grease, oil, or dirt present prior to application.

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