"Antiseize: Basically greases with metallic content. I
forget all the various metals which the different
manufacturers use, but copper is one, and I’ve got some
silvery stuff on the go at home. Because this is a grease,
it will affect torquing of bolts - wet (or “lubed”) torque
is significantly lighter than dry torque for the same
fastening power. I have a chart somewhere which call out
equivalents when lubed with engine oil. It’s really easy to
overtorque a wet bolt, causing thread sripping or bolt
elongation and failure. Antiseizes work on two levels: By
excluding air from the bolt-nut interface, and the metallic
compound used can reduce likelihood of electropotential
corrosion (caused by dissimilar metals in contact, along
with moisture, and ions present in moisture). Primary
protection is really by air exclusion, though. Antiseizes
should be used with some additional mechanical retention
scheme such as lockwashers, Nylock locking nuts, safety
If you use stainless fasteners, antiseize is virtually a
necessity: stainless has the characteristic of “galling”.
You could picture this as occurring when you tighten the
nut-bolt, and the adjoining surfaces begin to intermingle,
almost like a slow melting together, or
cold-pressure-welding. For sanity and future removal, you
must use anti-seize with stainless.
In summary: Antiseize makes life easier later, but requires
additional locking hardware initially."
Greases have very low coefficients of friction which make them excellent lubricants for moving parts. At extremely high temperatures they oxidize and lose their lubrication properties, usually entirely. Anti-seize compounds, primarily some viscous carrier imbedded with a molecule like molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), won’t oxidize at extremely high temperatures but don’t have the lubricating properties that greases have. The MoS2 molecule is kind of graphite-like and allows surfaces to slip against each other.
I’ve used MoS2 from anti-seize compounds by mixing the carrier with ethanol and then coating the threads of stainless steel screws that hold a molybdenum heat shield against a hot filament so that the screws can be removed after the filament has been at 2000C for 500 hours or so. Without the MoS2 those screws would never come out again.
Anti-seize is better for parts that will be under high pressure (like the splines on a Profile crank) and threads that will be tightened very tightly (like the crank bolt on a Profile hub).
Anti-seize is recommended when “exotic” metals are used like Ti, stainless, and aluminum. For Ti, I think almost all repair manuals will recommend anti-seize. For aluminum and stainless I usually see them recommend grease.
Anti-seize will last longer than grease in wet conditions. This is another plus for using anti-seize on the Profile splines instead of grease.
Anti-seize is not bearing grease. It is gritty and not intended for bearings. Use grease on bearings. I only mention this because I remember seeing a post in a bicycling forum where someone used anti-seize on their headset bearings. I don’t know what he was thinking.
For unicycle parts the only place I have used anti-seize is on the Profile splines and crank bolt. For all other bits I use grease or Loctite. If you have a Ti unicycle then the rules will change and you’ll get to use anti-seize in more places.
That anti-seize holds up better in the wet is just something that I heard from somewhere. I think it’s because the particles that are added to the anti-seize stay around even if the mineral oil base gets washed away. I’ve had good luck with the anti-seize on my Profiles. There has been no rust even though I ride in the wet. Its been doing its job.
The added particles in anti-seize also stay around in the splines or threads long after grease would have been squeezed away to nothing. Under high pressure the finely ground particles act as a lubricant.
As far as I know the Finish Line Ti Prep is the same as the copper colored anti-seize that you can buy at an auto parts store. The Ti Prep justs costs more per gram and comes in a nify little synringe. The stuff that you can get at an auto parts store comes in a larger can and costs less per gram.
I’ve been using the Finish Line Ti Prep because it doesn’t take a lot of anti seize for the Profile cranks, and I like the way the syringe helps keep my hands clean. The large can that you get at an auto parts store is enough to last many years of home use.