what kind of grease?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by B, Jun 19, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. B

    B Guest

    I never repaired a bike in my life, until now .... what kind of grease do I use on the crank
    bearings? Low-tech grease is fine. Thx. -Bruce
     
    Tags:


  2. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I never repaired a bike in my life, until now .... what kind of grease do I use on the crank
    > bearings? Low-tech grease is fine. Thx. -Bruce

    I've been using standard wheel-bearing grease from an automotive shop for about 30 years. It's
    pretty water-resistant and holds up well.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 12:11:30 -0400, archer <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote:

    >> what kind of grease do I use on the crank bearings?

    >I've been using standard wheel-bearing grease from an automotive shop for about 30 years. It's
    >pretty water-resistant and holds up well.

    Seconded. I have an old tin of ?Lithium grease, for wheel bearings and CV joints, left over from my
    Mini-fixing days. And auto parts store will have a decent-sized tin for the price of a single tube
    of bike-specific grease.

    However... the crank bearings may be selaed units, in which case you are doomed :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
    notice: ADSL service in process of transfer to a new ISP. Obviously there will be a week of downtime
    between the engineer removing the BT service and the same engineer connecting the same equipment on
    the same line in the same exchange and billing it to the new ISP.
     
  4. Snortley

    Snortley Guest

    I always used to use automotive lithium grease of the type used for wheel bearings and ball joints,
    et cetera, but lately I've been using a type that has graphite and molybdenum disulphide in it.
    Since those are solid lube powders, they prevent just about all metal-to-metal contact, and the
    stuff's just more slippery. I also have dry graphite and moly powder which I now add to oil for
    chains and internal-type hubs. And I make "mud" with them and oil and put a dab of that in bearings
    that already have lithium grease in them. Really makes them turn smoother and faster, by far.

    On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 17:41:22 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 12:11:30 -0400, archer <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >>> what kind of grease do I use on the crank bearings?
    >
    >>I've been using standard wheel-bearing grease from an automotive shop for about 30 years. It's
    >>pretty water-resistant and holds up well.
    >
    >Seconded. I have an old tin of ?Lithium grease, for wheel bearings and CV joints, left over from my
    >Mini-fixing days. And auto parts store will have a decent-sized tin for the price of a single tube
    >of bike-specific grease.
    >
    >However... the crank bearings may be selaed units, in which case you are doomed :)
    >
    >Guy
    >===
    >** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
    >notice: ADSL service in process of transfer to a new ISP. Obviously there will be a week of
    >downtime between the engineer removing the BT service and the same engineer connecting the same
    >equipment on the same line in the same exchange and billing it to the new ISP.

    You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.

    - Yogi Berra
     
  5. On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 17:41:22 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Seconded. I have an old tin of ?Lithium grease, for wheel bearings and CV joints, left over from my
    >Mini-fixing days. And auto parts store will have a decent-sized tin for the price of a single tube
    >of bike-specific grease.

    On the other hand, way back when, I bought a 600 gram tub of grease at my bike store for about $6.
    It's about 2/3 done, now, I'd guess. Sort of a honey/nutbrown colour. Dunno what kind it is, it just
    goes by "bearing grease" here.

    Jasper
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I also have dry graphite and moly powder which I now add to oil for chains and internal-type hubs.
    > And I make "mud" with them and oil and put a dab of that in bearings that already have lithium
    > grease in them. Really makes them turn smoother and faster, by far.

    That's like plucking your eyebrows to go faster.
     
  7. Matt J

    Matt J Guest

    "B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I never repaired a bike in my life, until now .... what kind of grease do I use on the crank
    > bearings? Low-tech grease is fine. Thx. -Bruce

    Not sure I know the answer to your question, but I have another one. What is the difference between
    the white (lithium, I guess?) grease and the brownish/honeyish grease in hub bearings, and say Phil
    grease. I've been using Phil grease for about everything that needs grease - is this bad news? Matt
     
  8. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Matt J" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > "B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > > I never repaired a bike in my life, until now .... what kind of grease do I use on the crank
    > > bearings? Low-tech grease is fine. Thx. -Bruce
    >
    > Not sure I know the answer to your question, but I have another one. What is the difference
    > between the white (lithium, I guess?) grease and the brownish/honeyish grease in hub bearings,
    > and say Phil grease. I've been using Phil grease for about everything that needs grease - is this
    > bad news?

    White grease is easier to see dirt in. Other than that, it's cheap and widely available. Phil Wood
    grease is better, being more waterproof than generic white lithium grease. Actually, almost any
    grease will work, even Vaseline, but waterproof grease is probably desirable. I use Phil grease too,
    but if I don't have any of that I use boat trailer wheel bearing grease, or marine grease.

    FWIW, virtually all common automotive-type grease, like these, is lithium-based.

    Matt O.
     
  9. Snortley

    Snortley Guest

    Actually, the main point of adding dry lube powders is that they reduce wear and extend parts
    life. Any of us with hard-to-find parts can use that. That they reduce resistance in the bearings
    is just a plus.

    On Fri, 20 Jun 2003 12:03:54 GMT, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> I also have dry graphite and moly powder which I now add to oil for chains and internal-type
    >> hubs. And I make "mud" with them and oil and put a dab of that in bearings that already have
    >> lithium grease in them. Really makes them turn smoother and faster, by far.
    >
    >That's like plucking your eyebrows to go faster.
    >

    You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.

    - Yogi Berra
     
  10. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Fri, 20 Jun 2003 12:03:54 GMT, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >"Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]...
    > >>
    > >> I also have dry graphite and moly powder which I now add to oil for chains and internal-type
    > >> hubs. And I make "mud" with them and oil and put a dab of that in bearings that already have
    > >> lithium grease in them. Really makes them turn smoother and faster, by far.
    > >
    > >That's like plucking your eyebrows to go faster.
    >
    > Actually, the main point of adding dry lube powders is that they reduce wear and extend parts
    > life. Any of us with hard-to-find parts can use that. That they reduce resistance in the
    > bearings is just a plus.
    >

    DO you have any proof that they do either?

    > >
    >
    >
    >
    > You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you
    might not get there.
    >
    > - Yogi Berra
     
  11. Snortley

    Snortley Guest

    On Sun, 22 Jun 2003 22:28:50 GMT, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >DO you have any proof that they do either?

    These dry additives are widely used in prepackaged products or as additives in applications
    where wear is critical to avoid (automotive, heavy equipment, firearms, spacecraft). Here is an
    excerpt from one study I took a little time to find:

    A laboratory project, sponsored by the Infrastructure Technology Institute at Northwestern , was
    initiated in October, 1996 to study the effect of various lubricants on the wear and corrosion of
    metals recommended for bridge pin and eyebar connections. Wear was measured using an oscillating pin
    rubbing against a stationary disc with a computer controlled Falex Test Machine. Corrosion tests
    were run in a salt fog chamber using a 5% sodium chloride solution. Several greases and metals were
    tested. The least wear was found with a mineral based grease containing a molybdenum disulfide solid
    lubricant (Dow Corning
    1121)...

    ...The following greases were evaluated:

    Modil AW2 -- a mineral oil based fluid with a lithium complex soap thickener. The supplier claims
    this grease gives excellent wear protection under heavy loads and protects against rust and
    corrosion.

    Modil 1500 -- a synthetic based fluid with a lithium complex soap thickener. Mobil states that this
    grease provides outstanding protection against wear and corrosion at slow speeds under heavy loads.

    Pitt-Penn Wheel Bearing Grease -- a mineral oil based fluid with probably a calcium or lithium soap
    thickener. This grease was used as a control fluid in the test program.

    Prolong EP-2 Grease -- a mineral oil based fluid containing proprietary additives which are claimed
    to have extreme pressure protection against wear and prevent rust and water washout.

    Dow Corning 3451 -- a fluorocarbon thickened fluorosilicone grease. Dow Corning recommends this
    grease for use at high temperatures under heavy loads.

    Dow Corning 1292 -- a urea thickened fluorosilicone grease. Claimed to have good high temperature
    and load properties.

    Dow Corning 1121 -- a molybdenum disulfide filled mineral oil clay-thickened grease. Dow Corning
    recommends this grease for use in low speed, high loading applications.

    Also, from a moly supplier, admittedly beating their own drum:

    "Moly" is molybdenum disulfide, a chemical compound with the symbol MoS2. Moly is the term commonly
    used in the lubricants industry. Moly was first used as a lubricant as early as the 17th century,
    but its merits were not fully appreciated until aerospace researchers, during the 1940's and 1950's,
    discovered its unique ability to function in the extreme environment of deep space. It was during
    this time that Climax Molybdenum Company, the principal supplier of molybdenum products worldwide,
    introduced lubricant-grade moly on a commercial scale. Since that time, moly lubricants (greases,
    fluids, and dry films) have proven themselves in a wide variety of military, industrial, off-highway
    (construction and mining), and automotive applications.

    The lubricating properties of moly come from its structure of stacked plates. Each moly particle, on
    a microscopic scale, can be visualized in simple terms as a series of buttered bread slices one on
    another. The bread represents layers of molybdenum atoms and butter represents layers of sulfur
    atoms. The bread and butter units align themselves parallel to the metal surfaces in contact and
    adhere by mechanical and physical forces to the peaks and valleys of the metal surfaces. Because the
    butter layers are weak, the layers of the bread and butter easily slide sideways on each other while
    still adhering to the opposed metal surfaces. Metal-to-metal contact is minimized because the moly
    fills in the peaks and valleys, and it creates a protective film over the metal surface.
    Exceptionally smooth contact surfaces are established as the moly film develops, thus reducing
    friction, wear, and its attendant rise in temperature. The moly film is not permanent, but it can be
    replenished from the moly contained in the bulk lubricant.


    You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.

    - Yogi Berra
     
  12. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 22 Jun 2003 22:28:50 GMT, "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    > >DO you have any proof that they do either?
    >
    > These dry additives are widely used in prepackaged products or as additives in applications
    > where wear is critical to avoid (automotive, heavy equipment, firearms, spacecraft). Here is
    > an excerpt from one study I took a little time to find:

    The issues cited have little application in bicycle mechanisms. Dirt contamination causes most chain
    wear, water contamination most wheel and bottom bracket wear, and lubricant displacement most
    headset wear. The additives you list don't address these realities. Friction isn't a significant
    concern. Any really waterproof lubricant would prevent quill stem seizing, even Phil's waterproof
    (at $7 a little tube) didn't do that.
     
  13. Snortley

    Snortley Guest

    Dirt and moisture have nothing to do with frictiion? Dirt is a factor because of its silica content,
    and moisture itself is not so much of a concern as the oxides it produces (the salt-fog component of
    the test cited, by the way, is meant to address the effects of moisture). In both cases these are
    abrasives and the problem is friction with them. Even in their absence, metal-to-metal abrasion is
    inevitably a factor. Moly adheres to parts surfaces, as demonstrated in the moly-coating process
    that coats parts by tumbling them in a drum with moly powder and shot. It is included in lubricants
    so that the same sort of adhesion occurs in operating machinery. There is actually a solid but
    lubricative barrier protecting the metal surfaces from each other and from abrasives. Even when
    grease has been displaced, the moly stays behind due to its adherent properties. In chains, it also
    helps to fill spaces that otherwise would be occupied by dirt. It is used as an ingredient in
    motorcycle chain lubes and would likely be useful for non-motorized bikes as well.

    If some may prefer to have their parts rubbing metal-to-metal or against silica and metal
    oxides, that's up to them. I prefer to have them slip over a demonstrated lubricant.

    If anyone's interested, molygraph grease such as CRC Sta-Lube Moly-Graph can be found at
    larger automotive repair suppliers, and powder (use the coarser grain size) is available at
    http://www.tsmoly.com.

    You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.

    - Yogi Berra
     
  14. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > If some may prefer to have their parts rubbing metal-to-metal or against silica and metal oxides,
    > that's up to them. I prefer to have them slip over a demonstrated lubricant.

    Me too, which is why I oil my chains and grease my bearings. I clean and replace the lubricant when
    it is contaminated with dirt or water. That's all it takes.
     
  15. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Snortley" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > These dry additives are widely used in prepackaged products or as additives in applications
    > > where wear is critical to avoid (automotive, heavy equipment, firearms, spacecraft).
    >
    > The issues cited have little application in bicycle mechanisms. Dirt contamination causes most
    > chain wear, water contamination most wheel and bottom bracket wear, and lubricant displacement
    > most headset wear.

    Moly disulfide really is good stuff, used in high pressure/low speed bearing interfaces like CV
    joints. The tribological issues in a CV joint are not unlike those in a headset, with comparatively
    small and slow repetitive ball movements under load. Moly tends to "plate" onto the bearing surface
    in a film that doesn't squeeze out at the point of contact. Moly grease could thus be an ideal
    headset lubricant, and certainly wouldn't do any harm to other bicycle bearings.

    Its main drawbacks are that it stinks and that it leaves tenacious dark stains on fabrics and porous
    surfaces. I suppose the fact that it's almost black might impair one's ability to diagnose
    contamination.

    It's plain to see that non-moly greases do the job adequately, but heck, if you've got moly grease
    around anyway, why not? It's lots cheaper than the stuff in tubes at the bike shop, and at least as
    effective.

    I'd much sooner use it than white lithium grease, which again and again I have found turned to a
    linoleum-like solid in old bikes.

    Chalo Colina
     
  16. On 27 Jun 2003 16:56:34 -0700, [email protected] (Chalo) wrote:

    >I'd much sooner use it than white lithium grease, which again and again I have found turned to a
    >linoleum-like solid in old bikes.

    The common type of grease you get here as "ball bearing grease", at about $7 the pound-and-a-bit
    tub, is sort of a dark brown/honey colour. WHat sort of stuff would that be? I've never found it
    particularly problematic in use, though.

    Jasper
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > On 27 Jun 2003 16:56:34 -0700, [email protected] (Chalo) wrote:
    >
    > >I'd much sooner use it than white lithium grease, which again and again I have found turned to a
    > >linoleum-like solid in old bikes.
    >
    > The common type of grease you get here as "ball bearing grease", at about $7 the pound-and-a-bit
    > tub, is sort of a dark brown/honey colour. WHat sort of stuff would that be? I've never found it
    > particularly problematic in use, though.
    >
    > Jasper
    >

    Molybdenum grease most likely. It's thick and sticky, good for coating things and preventing rust,
    meant for high load bering applications. I wouldn't put it in your freehub/freewheel but it's good
    for wheel and crank bearings.
    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  18. On Sat, 28 Jun 2003 12:31:38 -0300, Chris Phillipo <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Molybdenum grease most likely. It's thick and sticky, good for coating things and preventing rust,
    >meant for high load bering applications. I

    Yeah, it's great at coating one's hands when one's working with it.

    >wouldn't put it in your freehub/freewheel but it's good for wheel and crank bearings.

    It'd probably work on the bearings in a freehub/freewheel, but you need to keep the stuff away from
    pawls, or if you're unlucky you get to have pawls that don't engage, or perhaps worse, pawl systems
    where only one of x pawls engages, accelerating wear enormously.

    Jasper
     
  19. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Chalo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > It's plain to see that non-moly greases do the job adequately, but heck, if you've got moly grease
    > around anyway, why not? It's lots cheaper than the stuff in tubes at the bike shop, and at least
    > as effective.

    Except it stinks and stains. For wheel & BB use, I'd rather have something less annoying, and
    ideally something with some resistance to water contamination, though I'm not sure how effective
    those greases touted as such really are.

    > I'd much sooner use it than white lithium grease, which again and again I have found turned to a
    > linoleum-like solid in old bikes.

    It must be reaction to air. I have a tube I swiped from my father's tool box in the 60's (obviously
    don't use it very often). It still looks fresh. I've seen a lot of hardened grease in old bikes, not
    all of it white lithium. But then, those are bikes that weren't being used regularly.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...