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When securing bottle cages, fenders, rear racks etc to your bike frame do you screw the stuff down with/without washers? Lock washers? Rubber grommets? O-rings? Fiber washers?

What works the best without damaging?

Different methods for aluminum? Steel?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Depends

Typically, you use a washer with most of these applications, but it really depends on the details. Usually, the manufacturer of the item supplies the washers, if needed. However, these washers go between the bolt head and the item, not very often between the item and the frame.
 

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Lifetime supply for about a buck at Home Depot

I've done it both ways without seeing an advantage to either, but usually I do use washers. Those little fasteners rarely vibrate loose, but I also give the threads a wipe with a piece of beeswax, as a combination thread lubricant/locking compound
Those little washers, incidentally, are among the parts you don't have to get at a bike shop. Home Depot (and probably most other big-box hardware stores) carries them in bulk for three or four cents each. I bought a buck's worth of stainless steel ones a few years ago and they live in a 35mm film can in my toolbox.
 
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