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I picked up Ti bolts for my [brake] rotors, and am aware of TiPrep but wondered what other more commonly found (and likely cheaper) alternatives are there?

Scouring the 'Net, I've read about copper anti-seize... One co-worker who does auto-moto stuff suggested zinc anti-seize? Loctite in general doesn't appear to be recommended, though they do have a copper based product.

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2 Answers 2

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You use the anti-seize compounds on bolts where you would normally use grease. For rotor bolts, use an ample amount of blue threadlocker (loc-tite), even on Ti bolts. It acts as a sufficient barrier between the two pieces of metal and prevents oxidation and bonding. I've done this on others' bikes as well as my own with no instances of bonding to report. You don't want your rotor bolts backing out and anti-seize compounds are not suited to prevent that from happening.

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Actually, most manufacturers pre-install a small amount of threadlock to the rotor bolts, but you still want to make sure the remaining threads are covered. –  zenbike Oct 30 '11 at 13:03
    
Precisely. The dot of threadlocker that new bolts come with isn't sufficient to act as a barrier against oxidation. I typically coat standard (non Ti) bolts with extra threadlocker for the same reason. –  joelmdev Oct 30 '11 at 18:32
    
Using extra threadlocker is contraindicated. Overuse of threadlock will cause the same problem you are trying to prevent. Using a small amount of threadlock, with a lubricant barrier covering the rest of the threads, is a more effective solution, as it prevents service issues, while making sure that the rotor bolts remain in place. –  zenbike Oct 31 '11 at 9:27
    
I have never had blue threadlocker cause anything to seize over the span of 10 years. –  joelmdev Nov 9 '11 at 16:26
    
I have. And it is called thread "locker". It must be applied according to the directions, or it will cause ou problems. Coating all of every thread, as you would need to do in order to prevent metal corrosion bonding, is very much not according to the directions. –  zenbike Nov 10 '11 at 10:54

Copper paste and TiPrep are the same thing. TiPrep is a bicycle specific branding. You can buy copper paste anti-seize at an auto parts store in much larger quantities for a far cheaper price.

Zinc works, too. It's the same idea, with a different metallic substrate in the paste. It, a different color, which can be beneficial, depending on our frame color. Either copper or zinc, they get all over everything, and are difficult to clean well, but that same property is what makes them useful keeping aluminum and Ti separated.

It may not be necessary to use it if both parts are Ti, but that is an unusual situation (I assume you don't have titanium hub shells), and you will need some kind of grease regardless, so it can't hurt.

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Even steel and aluminum can have the problem, and an anti-seize compound is recommended in automotive work any time bolts are installed in aluminum. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 29 '11 at 13:05
    
True, although steel and aluminum usually have a less... active problem. That means that a normal grease properly applied will usually be enough for a steel frame. Especially when renewed regularly, about once a year, during your maintenance. With Ti, it only takes 6-8 weeks to work through regular grease, and copper paste is much tougher to cause to go away. –  zenbike Oct 30 '11 at 13:01
    
Yeah, but how many people remove and reinstall their water bottle bolts once a year? –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 30 '11 at 13:42
    
Only the ones who properly maintain their bikes, I guess. Or use a proper bike shop. :) –  zenbike Oct 31 '11 at 9:21

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