Cleaning and inspecting the couplings during regular use

ATTENTION: If your couplings are stuck, before doing anything, go to “If the threads should ever feel rough when turning” on this page.

The couplings must be kept clean from all abrasive materials during assembly and use so that wear of their contact surfaces will be minimized and so that they will open and close smoothly without damage to the threads, shoulders, teeth, etc.

Inspect the couplings and the silver brazing joint periodically, the same as you would with any bicycle frame.

Clean the couplings periodically, especially if you detect debris inside or turning it feels rough. Use a firm plastic brush (tooth brush) on the teeth and threads.

1. Be careful not to push particles into the threads, retaining ring area, behind the retaining rings, or into the frame tubes.

2. Blow out the couplings with air while shaking the nut if necessary. WEAR EYE PROTECTON!

3. Do not aim directly into coupling bores as it may send debris into the frame tubes.

4. Make sure there is no foreign material left on the shoulders, rings, or just inside the coupling bore.

5. Total disassembly of the couplings for cleaning also works well for extremely dirty couplings.

6. Only use fluids for cleaning the couplings when absolutely necessary.

7. Fluids should never enter the coupling bores as trapped fluids may cause damage to the frame tubes, bearings, etc.

After a good cleaning we highly recommend placing a small amount of 100% Dupont Teflon Bearing Grease, or the included special oil inside the nut on the retaining ring shoulder and on the threads. These are the best lubricants we have found.

If the threads should ever feel rough when turning

A rough turning nut due to debris or lack of lubrication demands special attention. Of 40 lubricants tested, only two have been found to work well for aiding this problem: Liquid Wrench Super-Lube with Teflon and Permatex Super-Lube with Teflon, both in the aerosol form. Accept no substitutes. Grease or simple oil forms do not work.

1. Spray the fluid into the threads from both ends to be assured of adequate penetration.

2. Work the nut slowly back and forth with the spanner wrench. It should begin to loosen almost immediately. If as the nut is being loosened, it begins to turn with difficulty again, reverse the direction, apply more lubricant and try again.

3. After the coupling is opened, clean thoroughly according to the above instructions.

Removing the Two Retaining Rings and the Coupling Nut

You must remove both retaining rings and the coupling nut to thoroughly clean and inspect a coupling.



1. Slide the coupling nut back to expose the FIRST retaining ring.


2. Hook the end of a small screw driver behind the outer coil under the finger on the ring and gently begin to pry it out of the groove. Use caution not to deform the ring by over-bending it.


3. Work the ring out of the groove and off of the lug, going gradually around the coupling lug. Do not over-bend the rings.


4. Push the SECOND ring toward the teeth with the nut, retract the nut and remove this ring in a like manner beginning again at Step 2.

Note: Be careful not to push the second retaining ring back in the groove when hooking the finger to begin removing it, as it may get trapped under the coupling nut.


5. Remove the coupling nut when BOTH retaining rings are totally off of the lug.

Note: It is always good to thoroughly clean the inside of the coupling when you have it disassembled.

Installing the coupling nut and the 2 retaining rings

Only install coupling nuts and BOTH retaining rings after the parts are thoroughly clean.



1. Slide the clean replacement nut all the way onto the coupling lug with the threads out so the retaining ring groove is visible just beyond the edge of the coupling nut.


2. Install the FIRST stainless steel retaining ring by carefully spreading one end of the ring away from the others and hooking it in the groove.


3. Wrap the rest of the ring into the groove by gently expanding it, coiling it over the teeth and into the groove. Do not bend the ring so far that it is permanently deformed.


4. Check the seating of the ring by sliding the coupling nut over the ring. If it moves smoothly, the ring is properly seated. If it does not, the ring must be re-seated before use.

Re-seating can be done by sliding the ring back and forth using the nut and a screw driver.

* Removal, inspection, cleaning of debris from the ring and groove, and/or replacement of a bent or sprung ring may be necessary.


5. If the ring is seated properly, push it to the back edge of the groove to make room for the second ring.


6. Install and check the seating of the SECOND ring following the same procedures as above, beginning with Step 2.