There are a few bolts on our bikes that will each induce a special kind of headache when they’re installed with no grease or anti-seize. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but someday every rider will suffer a frozen cleat bolt, a stripped lock-on grip bolt, or creaky seat guts. These often-neglected bolts should always get some extra love when you’re installing or servicing them.
Cleat bolts face a lot of abuse. The shallow bolt heads get shallower with use, and they’re getting rustier with every hike through the mud. They’ll likely need to be replaced before your shoes do, so keeping them protected will mean you can use an allen wrench, not a drill, when the time comes to make the swap.
Lock-on grips are one of the greatest advancements we’ve seen in the past twenty years. They also use some of the smallest bolts. After one or two un-install and re-installs, all that torque takes its toll on the tiny 2.5 millimeter hexes. A little anti-seize will help get them out smooth, and more importantly, will lessen the friction so your grips can get a tighter grip.
Often, a phantom creak in our bikes will get tracked down to the seat guts. Anti-seize will do double duty here. The high-load zone needs a lot of torque to stay tight, and a little goop will help your rails get tight and stay tight. Also, the load on those bolts isn’t static. Sometimes, if a creak in your bike is timed with a pedal stroke, the source might be the seat. Anti-seize will offer a layer of protection, and just enough slip to keep it quiet.