Peaty’s Max Grip Carbon Assembly Paste
75g tube 100g £9.99

Peaty’s Max Grip Carbon Assembly Paste is well, designed to keep carbon components from getting stuck, while simultaneously preventing them slipping and the perils of over-tightening fasteners. Hardly the most glamourous of products perhaps, but a competitively priced workshop essential that will pay for itself many times over. 

Pros: Easy to apply, Excellent grip, long lasting, competitively priced.

Cons: None that I have found.

Science Bit

Ok, so what makes this different to a wealth of similar gripper pastes, including the very capable Muc-Off Carbon Gripper Paste? Well, we’re told the gripper part is made from Pumice- yes, tiny fragments of volcano, more commonly associated with foot care. Other blends employ tiny shards of plastic, silica (sand) is another popular additive, The gel type oil component we’re told is made from natural, biodegradable oils.

Petrochemicals are more common than might be expected but aside from the ideological, or environmental concerns, seem to work fine and without causing any harm to the composites, or hosts. Talking of which, it’s worth pointing out that carbon and aluminium alloys, magnesium and titanium can succumb to galvanic corrosion (seizure) as carbon composites are very conductive. 

Something to bear in mind, especially on a winter/trainer, mountain, or cyclo cross build. Indeed, some manufacturers recommend it for aluminium alloy contact points, including this Vecnum Suspension Stem- regardless of whether you’re fitting it to a carbon, steel, or aluminium alloy steerer. Stick with thread lock for fasteners, and star fangled nut substitutes like this Gusset Unilock Headlock, though. 

Application

A little goes a long way. Give surfaces a quick going over with a solvent wipe, or aerosol-based solvent. Dry and apply a thin bead and work it into the surface. The gel type consistency 

ccycling bicycle carbon racing paste assembly maintenance

helps it cling, although I noticed when temperatures hit the 30s, it emerged a little runnier from the spout. This demanded some extra caution and a clean rag to catch, and/or redistribute any overspill. The threaded top is also compatible with some grease guns, which is a nice option, if you’re determined to get the very most from the tube.

Fit and torque the fasteners down to their recommended settings. Don’t be tempted to leave things a little looser than usual. This will only encourage slippage and movement, which will result in superficial scratches at best, at worst, structural damage.

Performance 5/5

I’ve applied ours to my Holdsworth’s cockpit, which features a titanium stem and carbon fibre bars , my fixed gear winter/trainer’s Kinekt Suspension Stem and saddle cradles. I’ve also applied some to the Vecnum stem, as per their directions. 

bicycle cycle rad velo stem suspension bars

I was immediately impressed by the grip and had every confidence all parts would stay dependably stuck, until I wanted, or needed to move them. No creaks, or similar throughout the test period. I wondered how well the biodegradable oils would last, longer term, particularly through a wet, gritty winter. 

Durability 4.25/5

10 months down the line, I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty clinging to surfaces, with no need to replenish on bikes with mudguards. I’m pleased to report everything was still very mobile by this point and I’d not felt any need to touch them, despite winter’s worst and regular warm, sudsy bucket washes. A blast of Carbo Move and moderate buffing with a clean, lint free cloth was needed to strip it convincingly.

Value 4.25/5

£9.99 for 75g sounds quite steep but a little goes a long way and it’s a good bit cheaper than some well-respected competitors. I’ve also used Muc-Off Carbon Gripper long term and it’s proved similarly reliable but £5 dearer. Effetto Mariposa Carbo Grip is an aerosol blend, so has an edge if you’re time poor, or have a big fleet but is £13 for 75ml. Motorex Carbon Paste comes in larger, 100g tubes but cost a whopping £22.99. Fenwick’s Professional Carbon Paste comes in an 80g tube and employs tiny micro bead plastics to supply the grip. It also has a user-friendly tip for more precise delivery. However, its’ also a bit dearer at £12. 

Summary

Most carbon gripper pastes are very effective. Having used ours long term I’ve been particularly impressed by the lasting grip and favourable price tag. A workshop sized option feels like a missed opportunity, but for most home/hobbyist mechanics I see no reason to pay more. 

Verdict: 4.25/5 Decent, wallet-friendly gripper paste for the home workshop.

Michael Stenning

Silverfish UK (silverfish-uk.com)

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2022

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