Six Ways to Keep Your Mountain Bike Going With Loctite

    June 8, 2015

I’ve been a mountain biker for 21 years, and I ride a lot. I average 130 rides a year – that’s more than one every three days. 

Mountain bikers have to be their own mechanics, because when something goes wrong on the trail, you can’t just pull into a shop. You have to fix it yourself. I had never bought a Loctite® product before I joined Henkel four years ago, but now I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. Loctite threadlockers, degreasers and lubricants help me and my bike stand up to the rugged terrain we ride on.

Want to keep your bike on the trail longer? Here are just some of the ways Loctite can help.

Mountain Bike

1. Keep parts from loosening because of shock and vibration
Mountain biking is tough. We ride up and down steep hills, over rocks, mud, water, loose gravel, logs, drops – you name it. One time I rode a three-foot drop and felt an unfamiliar wobble when I landed. By the time I looked down at the suspension linkage, a bolt was gone and my bike frame had cracked along a weld seam because of the stress. The bike I ride now costs about $3,500, so losing that one bolt would be extremely expensive in the long run.

Had I known then what I know now, that might not have happened. Now I use Loctite threadlockers, because they keep parts from loosening because of shock and vibration. 

I carry Loctite Blue Stick Threadlocker™ on the trail with me because it will keep parts fastened when I need to make a quick repair but allows me to take them apart easily when I’m making a permanent repair at home. And because it’s a stick, there’s no fear of spilling it. 

In my home shop, the gold standard is Loctite 243™. In fact, many mountain-bike manufacturers are now including Loctite 243™ in their specifications.

2. Make faster repairs during crunch time
Parts break and repairs need to happen when you least expect it. When time is a factor, like on race day, I use Loctite Klean ‘N Prime™ before applying Loctite threadlocker. Normally, threadlockers need 24 hours to cure completely, but a primer like Loctite Klean ‘N Prime™ helps the threadlocker cure faster so I know my equipment is race-ready on short notice.

3. Keep chains and gears clean and free of debris
In between races, maintenance is key. I keep Loctite SF 7840™ Biodegradable Cleaner & Degreaser and SF 7070™ ODC-Free Cleaner & Degreaser in the toolbox in my car. On a mountain bike, chains, gears and other exposed parts can get caked and clogged with dust, dirt and mud, which impairs performance and ages your drive train, so keeping those parts clean is a must. 

4. Keep parts from sticking
Some parts of my bike, such as derailleur fasteners and chainring bolts and sleeves, can stick, strip or spin in place because the alloys have fused under torque. Loctite Silver Anti-Seize Stick™ keeps those parts serviceable by using both a high grade lubricant and the addition of silver grains which act as a buffer between the threads. It’s also great on bottom brackets where high torque is specified.

5. Loosen bolts stuck on with rust or dirt
Sometimes bolts will get so clogged with dirt or rust that they won’t budge. Loctite Freeze & Release™ loosens frozen bolts so I can get my bike back into top shape.

6. Extend the life of moving parts
A mountain bike is a complex machine. Proper lubrication is critical to the life of all moving components. Use Loctite ViperLube High Performance Synthetic Grease on contact surfaces of the bottom bracket and crank, inside hubs, and in the headset (which is the part of the frame between the fork and handlebars) to prevent moisture ingress and to ensure miles of smooth performance.  

High-end mountain bikes are expensive items. They run anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. Proper maintenance such as the things I’ve described here helps you get the most out of your bike.

Over to you
What maintenance issues do you struggle with on and off the trail? Let us know in the comments and we may be able to recommend a solution!

About the Author, Ryan Kain

Ryan Kain is the Senior Equipment Tech for Henkel North America, handling all equipment repair and troubleshooting of Henkel’s Standard Equipment line (supporting the AG adhesive business). He has also worked as a bike mechanic, crew boat fabricator, and carpenter and, he says, “I have been wrenching on my own bikes since I was 11 years old.” He has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design with a focus on manufacturing techniques and fabrication from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

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