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I'm in the middle of a frame swap for my road bike. As I'm putting the bike back together, I've been wondering what all needs lubrication? Is there a comprehensive list somewhere that explains what parts need it? My list so far:

  • Both Bottom Bracket Cap's Threads
  • Pedal threads
  • Chain
  • Cable Housings
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1 Answer

To keep it simple, any place where one piece of metal touches another needs grease.

The threads of any bolt or fastener, brake posts, head tube and headset cups, bottom bracket threads, water bottle bolt threads, pedal threads, and seat post/seat tube interface get grease.

If it's a carbon frame, the seat post, and handle bar/stem interface get carbon friction paste instead of grease. and you should use a torque wrench to install the components.

Titanium frames get copper paste in place of regular grease, with special care taken where aluminum and titanium might touch.

Coat the outside of any cartridge bearing, where they touch the frame, to prevent corrosion as well. Key here is lightly coat them, too much just picks up dirt and makes a mess.

Cables should be lubricated with a light oil, like Brunox.

Also, the chain needs regular lubrication, every 2-4 weeks, depending on climate, using a bike specific chain lube. I prefer Teflon products like the one from Finish Line.

I hope that helps.

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So even the bolts that attach the brakes to the frame should be greased? Also, where do you find information on torque requirements for different parts of the bike when using a torque wrench? –  Jakobud Apr 11 '12 at 16:28
    
Often, torque maximums are printed on the component, near the bolt they apply to. Otherwise, you need to check the installation manual for the specific part, which can usually be found on the component manufacturer's website. –  zenbike Apr 11 '12 at 16:33
    
There is no threaded part on the bike where grease will hurt, excepting the limitations for carbon and titanium above, and it will always prevent corrosion to some degree, and make it easier to get proper torque values. So, yes, everything should be greased with the proper compound for that particular application. –  zenbike Apr 11 '12 at 16:36
    
Lubing fasteners is primarily done so that they will go in easily and torque properly. It doesn't take much lube, nor is it critical what you use -- a couple of drops of oil or a tiny dab of grease. If you place it properly it will spread around as the fastener is installed. –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 11 '12 at 16:46
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Lubing fasteners is primarily done so that they will not seize in the frame from corrosion over time. Oil is a poor choice for that purpose, as it will evaporate after a few months. Grease serves the purpose, and evaporates much more slowly, which means it usually lasts at least till your next service. –  zenbike Apr 11 '12 at 16:49
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