This week’s edition of Rider Hacks is a simple and easy preventative tip that can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Fellow riders, start anti-seizing your chain adjustment bolts now! If you’re not already familiar with anti-seize it’s a “highly refined blend of aluminum, copper and graphite lubricants” (yes we had to look it up) that prevents nuts and bolts from freezing or “seizing” in place, becoming extremely difficult to disassemble.
As mechanical minded enthusiast, you should be checking your chain slack or tension regularly, and adjusting it when needed (chains stretch over time). Now, sometimes this goes over looked (we’re guilty of this from time to time) and when you do eventually decide to tighten that clanky, loose chain up, you may find the adjuster bolt stuck in the swing arm.
Sometimes a little penetrating oil, strength, a few curse words and a whole lot of patience can wiggle that bolt out, but other times that bolt is just plain stuck. When this happens, we’ve seen just about everything under the sun to remove that rusted threaded piece of metal, from torches to drilling it out to even punches with sledge hammers (do not recommend any of these).
Luckily putting a dab of anti-seize on your bolts is just as easy as it is effective. Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years:
• Buy a bottle of anti-seize with a brush applicator, one bottle will last you a life time
• Reapply frequently, typically every time you remove rear wheel
• Apply immediately once you first get the bike, make this a step in your “new bike pre-ride check/maintenance”
• Be careful, it’s messy and will stain just about anything
• Do not use on any bolt your manual calls for "dry" installation
Once you make this a habit you’ll always have an easy chain adjustment, and never have to deal with the perils of a seized bolt in the swing arm. Anti-seize works great on other bolts too, like brake caliper bolts, engine case bolts, spark plugs, and cylinder heads. You’ll often find your manual suggesting a lubricant on many bolts. So do yourself a favor, and make life easier by anti-seizing those chain adjuster bolts!