As founder of Bike Test Reviews, I spend a fair amount of time researching products. What works, what doesn’t? What’s good, what’s bad. Is it easy to use? How is it perceived by the cycling community? Is the literature easy to understand? Are the directions clear? Marketing hype or is this the real deal?
Here’s an example of a simple product that works. Period. FINISH LINE makes a variety of products, all excellent and proven by the fact that their products have been around for a long time AND are still in demand. FINISH LINE makes chain lubricants, bicycle degreasers, brake fluids, cleaning products, tools, and specialty products – which includes Fiber Grip™. Most cyclists have either heard of FINISH LINE or have used at least one of their fine products.
Recently, while reading through on-line forums, I noticed that there’s one BIG misconception … most think that ‘friction paste’ and anti-seize are the same thing. It’s clear that A LOT of people don’t understand what Fiber Grip™ is, nor what it’s really for nor why. Forums are full of cyclists putting anti-seize on their carbon parts hoping to prevent them from slipping.
The FINISH LINE website actually does a very good job explaining what Fiber Grip™ is …
“specially designed to create friction and reduce slippage between clamped carbon fiber (CF) surfaces. Fiber Grip eliminates the need to over tighten clamps to achieve secure connections. Over tightening can cause internal fractures and fatigue of carbon fiber parts. Apply Fiber Grip in a thin film to clamping areas of stems, handlebars, seat posts and seat tubes. Tested and approved by leading carbon fiber component manufacturers.”
But, in my opinion, to clear up any misconception that anti-seize can be used in-lieu of CF friction paste, we need to add something like this …
“Anti-seize and Friction Paste are NOT the same thing, nor should you use anti-seize to prevent your carbon fiber parts from slipping – here’s why … Anti-Seize, which is actually a lubricant, is used to prevent galling, corrosion and seizing on anything with threads, or, when needing to solve a dissimilar metals problem. On the other hand, Fiber Grip™ provides a mechanical grip via small ‘sand-like’ particles that embed themselves slightly into the clear coat so that the mating surfaces aren’t slick anymore.”
“Carbon fiber parts are usually finished with a clear coat applied either directly to the CF or over a thin coat of paint. This clear coat seals and protects the CF but, clear coat is also very slippery. CF parts are designed to be very light and strong but usually in only direction. For example, a hollow CF seatpost has a lot of strength and can easily support a 200 pound cyclist, but, this same hollow seatpost is very weak when clamping forces are applied.”
“In this example, without a CF friction paste such as Fiber Grip™, a mechanic would need to over-tighten the seatpost clamp to prevent the seatpost from slipping/sliding down when the cyclist puts his/her weight on it. Depending on the clamping pressure, this over-tightening can cause the carbon fibers to break thereby causing a catastrophic failure of the seatpost. ”
But don’t worry, Fiber Grip™ is safe to use and will not damage the carbon fiber nor the clear coat. The only thing that you will need to remember is never exceed the manufacturers MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED torque setting.
HOW DID IT WORK?
Measure First – Luckily, this seatpost has markings every 1mm. If your seat post doesn’t, then just use electrical tape to mark the seat posts current height at the base of the seat tube. After noting this measurement, remove the seatpost from the frame and apply a thin layer of Fiber Grip™ to the seatpost. The Fiber Grip™ will feel gritty, which is what actually ensures a great mechanical grip.
Next, reinsert the seatpost back into the seat tube and torque it to spec. Lastly, wipe off any residual Fiber Grip™.
After applying Fiber Grip™, my daughter has ridden and raced this bicycle over 1,000 miles without any slipping of the seatpost. If we would not have used Fiber Grip™, the seatpost would have definitely slipped by now or we would have had to over-torque the binder bolt wedge risking breakage of the seatpost as well as the back of the frame.
This is one of those “I don’t use this all of the time, but when I need it, nothing else will substitute” products.
Simple, works great, easy to use, easy cleanup, low price, no brainer!
Fiber Grip™ … Highly Recommended!