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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-29-07, 10:43 AM   #1
McDave
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Chemical Tools

A question often asked is "What tools do I need to work on bikes?". Other than the usual hand tools, there are also the chemical tools. Lots and lots of chemical tools...



Here the list of my favorites above, left to right:
  • Lexol leather cleaner, plus Proofide or your favorite leather treatment (my saddle wax is missing in action)
  • Linseed Oil for treating frames (also see Amsoil HDMP below)
  • Neatsfoot oil for treating and darkening leathers
  • Goo Gone for removing sticky stuff
  • Mineral Spirits for cleaning parts
  • Synthetic Chainsaw oil (handy 4oz size) for soaking new chains, mix 50/50 with mineral spirits for servicing chains on bike
  • Meguiar's Quik Detail Wax.
  • Meguiar's Liquid (or paste) wax.
  • 3M Swirl Mark Remover for removing wax swirls - good stuff.
  • 303 Aerospace Cleaner and Protectant for all plastics, vinyls, and rubbers - contains no silicons, much better than Armoral type products.
  • Permatex Thread Locker for threads you want locked such as fender stay and chainring bolts. (medium strength blue for most uses, red is more permanent)
  • Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound removes old paint, use carefully.
  • Turtle Wax Polishing compound polishes old paint, will also remove some, use carefully.
  • Mothers Mag & Aluminum polish - my favorite for alloy parts.
  • B12 Chemtool for cleaning stubborn grease on metal parts. Caution: will damage paint, vinyls, and plastics.
  • Paint Stripper.
  • Blue Magic Liquid Metal Polish - Good stuff, particularly on chrome.
  • Turtle Wax Chrome Polish - also good stuff, more liquid works easier on larger surfaces.
  • Never Dull - great for cleaning metals like rims and spokes quickly, needs to be followed up with a good metal polish for best results though, imo.
  • Wax and Grease remover for treating metal surfaces before painting.
  • Amsoil Metal Protectant - Good stuff.
  • Amsoil Heavy Duty Metal Protectant - Better stuff, particularly for treating chains and frames - leaves a waxy protective residue.
  • WD 40 - Generic metal protectant, penetrant, and cleaner - a household staple along with duct tape.
  • PB Blaster Penetrating Catalyst (not shown) - The best rust buster available to the general public, imo. (Zep makes one even better, just not readily available).
  • White Grease (Lithium) for spraying into cable housings.
  • Lubriplate Marine Grease (not shown, all out) Cheap, waterproof, very effective (and the right consistency) bearing grease.
  • Oxalic acid (not shown) for neutralizing rust.
  • Also missing is Orange Citrus Cleaner or Simple Green.
  • Add your favorite chemicals HERE.

Last edited by McDave; 05-29-07 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 05-29-07, 10:47 AM   #2
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Great and helpful post.

One question: how'd you get 'em all to stand still like that
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Old 05-29-07, 11:07 AM   #3
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Great and helpful post.

One question: how'd you get 'em all to stand still like that
Oh I forgot the Super Glue! Great for getting decal edges (and bottles) glued back down.
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Old 05-29-07, 11:26 AM   #4
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wow, nice selection.

My work area only has:

liquid wrench
tub-o-grease


Also borrow from other parts of the house/garage:

mink oil (for my leather saddles)
rubbing compound (for polishin' an shinin')
beer (obvious)
wax (for protecting)
rubbing alchohol (for prepping frames for painting)
bondo (for fixing little nicks/dings and whatnot)
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Old 05-29-07, 11:28 AM   #5
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Things I also use:

3 in 1 oil for deraillers and brakes
carburator cleaner
rubbing alcohol for grips
hand cleaner

beer for the mechanic
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Old 05-30-07, 12:56 PM   #6
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  • Premium Quaker Maid Multi-Purpose Lithium Grease for Farm, Automotive, Industrial Uses
  • Potato vodka
  • Stirring's Cosmopolitan mix

Now, what do you use to shine the top or your workbench?
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Old 05-30-07, 03:30 PM   #7
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Looks like an Auto Zone shopping spree! But do add the vodka (or 100% agave tequila)
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Old 05-30-07, 03:36 PM   #8
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Tacx Dynamic Carbon Assembly Paste. I use it on a seatpost that had slippage issues.
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Old 05-30-07, 04:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DMF

Now, what do you use to shine the top or your workbench?
The wood has a Polyurethane finish on it. The black part is rubber. Ace hardware near my house sells it by the foot (and it's a foot wide). Makes for a tough, long lasting work surface that shines after getting all the above mentioned chemicals wiped off.

Last edited by McDave; 05-30-07 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:38 PM   #10
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Upon a closer examination of your list I did not see anti-seize. Try it, you'll like it.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:28 PM   #11
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PB Blaster Penetrating Catalyst (not shown) - The best rust buster available to the general public, imo. (Zep makes one even better, just not readily available).
AeroKroil is pretty good too.

Dave.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vpiuva
Upon a closer examination of your list I did not see anti-seize. Try it, you'll like it.
Oh man, thanks for reminding me. I also race kitebuggys and since our buggy bolts are all stainless steel we buy anti-seize by the pint jar. One of the guys ran off with mine awhile back so it's time to re-stock!
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Old 05-30-07, 07:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gooch
AeroKroil is pretty good too.

Dave.
Thanks, somebody mentioned Kroil on another thread and I'm going to try to find some locally.
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Old 05-30-07, 08:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave
Thanks, somebody mentioned Kroil on another thread and I'm going to try to find some locally.
Best bet in an industrial parts house. If you can't locate it the manufacturer sells it directly HERE. Be aware, it ain't cheap.

Dave.
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Old 05-30-07, 08:38 PM   #15
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I know it's probably not a good idea in today's heightened environmentally conscious era to do this, but I still use Dihydrogen Monoxide also known as DHMO for most of my general bicycle cleaning. Please, don't throw buckets of blood on me...it just works too well to stop now...
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Old 05-30-07, 08:50 PM   #16
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Ammonia for removing stuck stems and seat posts.
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Old 05-31-07, 05:42 AM   #17
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Old 05-31-07, 05:58 AM   #18
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It's amazing that I've survived all this years with just mineral spirits, alcohol, locktite and some lube.

Al
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Old 05-31-07, 08:09 AM   #19
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  • Liquid Wrench® rust preventative
  • Naval Jelly® brand naval jelly
  • Loctite® 242 (blue) medium thread lock
  • Brute Lube® cutting and tapping fluid
  • Dynatex® nickel-based anti-seize
  • some copper-based anti-seize
  • Luksusowa potato vodka
  • Patron XO Cafe® coffee liqueur (for black Russians)
  • solid-state H2O
  • Shell® gasoline (regular)
  • generic 30W motor oil
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Old 05-31-07, 08:14 AM   #20
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I still use Dihydrogen Monoxide also known as DHMO for most of my general bicycle cleaning. Please, don't throw buckets of blood on me...
Blood is mostly DHMO anyway. Not that the irony wouldn't be lost on rabid tree-huggers.
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Old 05-31-07, 10:55 AM   #21
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I think my girlfriend actually believes that dihydrogen monoxide is dangerous.
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