Friday, March 28, 2014

Screwed blue!

It’s taken me a long time to finally find a pair cycling shoes that fit, to be honest it’s taken a really long time! The problem is that wearing them in the bedroom and walking around for a minute of two is very different to wearing them on the bike. It’s then that you discover that they pinch, pull or whatever it is that they do to not make them fit. For the record I have tried; Sidi, Shimano, Spuik, Northwave, Giro and probably a few more that escape me.

Last month I picked up a pair of 2013 Bonratger RXLs, they fitted really nicely. The problem was the ratcheting mechanism on the inside of the shoe slipped which loosened the shoe, Bontrager offer a 30 day perfect fit policy, so I took them back to the LBS from where I got them and they gave me another pair no questions asked. They were surprised to hear my complaint and the owner wore the same shoe and had never had any problems so quite possibly it was a random pair. Anyway so far so good!

image IMG_3474

Now a by-product of trying all these shoes is that you have to switch your cleats…often. I run Speedplay pedals and they require a conversion plate that sits between the cleat mechanism and the shoe, converting the typical 3 hole sole to the 4 hole Speedplay mount. I am going to spare you all the blurb about the cleats as this post is about that tiny bit of blue that you can see at the end of the screws in the picture.

image image  image

That blue is Loctite Blue (aka Loctite 242), do not be confused that it comes in a red bottle! There are three main features of 242;

  • Protects threads; Prevents rusting of threads
  • Medium strength; Can be removed with hand tools
  • Locks threads; Prevents loosening of metal fasteners caused by vibrations

It’s the third one that comes in to play for me more than the others, specifically as a result of all the cleat changing I have worn off all the “blue” from the mounting screws and as a result my cleats tend to loosen sooner than they should. It’s inevitable that they will come loose eventually and of course the more you ride the sooner that will happen. The fix is to simply paint some more blue onto them. Well there is a bit more to it;

  1. All the screws should be clean, I use a rag and some degreaser then wipe everything down with a dry clean rag
  2. Apply the blue, gently squeeze the tube and apply several drops on the thread, see photo above
  3. Wait 24 hours
  4. Reassemble cleats

And voila, loose cleats no more! To be honest this can also be used on bottle cages to the same effect, essentially anywhere that might loosen due to vibration! When I travelled to Canada in 2012 I removed the handlebars from the stem to box the bike. I painted all the screws the same way before travelling so they were all good to go when I reassembled the cockpit

Available from any hardware store and even from Amazon it costs about $7.00 a tube which lasts a lifetime!

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