Why am I finding so many bikes without grease?



lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
290
6
18
40
I'm going through rebuilding my bikes, and none of them has grease in the parts. None in the wheels, none in the cranks, none anywhere. Has anybody heard of this?
 

dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
2,294
142
63
52
Depends on what you mean. Threaded parts assembled dry, sure. The ability for later removal is rarely a concern for the original assembler. Bearings entirely devoid of grease, that is rare, even on BSOs. Seeing old bikes with grease dried up beyond recognition and past any lubricating properties is quite common.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
290
6
18
40
They're "regular" (what I call "open") bearings, but I'm finding only a slight grime, not a greasy grimy mess if grease was originally used.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,233
97
48
70
Originally Posted by lectraplayer

I'm going through rebuilding my bikes, and none of them has grease in the parts. None in the wheels, none in the cranks, none anywhere. Has anybody heard of this?
How old is the bike and how long have you been riding it? I've worked on plenty bikes that were neglected so long that the grease dried up.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
290
6
18
40
One I've had a year, one I've had a few months, and one I just got home with. None had more than a slight coating of qrime. Even that JC Higgins cruiser I rode for some 25+ years (after it was passed down to me ragged out), that I did nothing to but (improperly) keep the chain oiled had a much thicker muck in the crank and wheels than this.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,233
97
48
70
Originally Posted by lectraplayer

One I've had a year, one I've had a few months, and one I just got home with.
And where are you getting these bikes from? This is beginning to feel like 20 questions.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
290
6
18
40
The one I just got home with and the one I got a year ago come from the thrift store, which does leave open the explination that somebody may have cleaned them out and not relubed them. (They rode fine, though) The latest, I got new from Academy. I also remember that a couple bikes I had before, which got stolen, come with only oil in the wheel bearings. ...or was that MY oil I was seeing? I was taught to hit the bearings with oil, but I quit that when I started tearing them down every so often.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
11,945
1,043
113
We're finally seeing the long awaited adoption of low cost cobalt-ceramic-carbide-cubic zirconium bearings.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
11,945
1,043
113
0.jpg


The bearings on your bicycles require lubrication. They will run with either grease or oil depending on a variety of factors ranging from speed to loading to weather to frequency of replenishment. Why yours have none...none of us have a clue.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
290
6
18
40
That struck me as strange too. That's why I have been going through and greasing everything with marine (blue) boat trailer grease. I'm seeing holes on my bottom bracket. Is this for a Zerk grease fitting? There was also an early style grease fitting on my 1950's JC Higgins' coaster brake (however, that coaster brake was still full of grease despite frequent floodings with WD-40 through the fitting. Do I have to do anything to the front steerer tube?
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,233
97
48
70
Originally Posted by lectraplayer

Do I have to do anything to the front steerer tube?
The steerer, no. But it has two bearings that should be lubricated.

Instead of asking us on a part-by-part basis, why not do some research on how the parts of the bike work and fit together? I suggest getting one of the several books on general bike maintenance and repair, or using this web site: http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help. Just click on a part. You'll get the idea.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
290
6
18
40
oldbobcat said:
The steerer, no. But it has two bearings that should be lubricated. Instead of asking us on a part-by-part basis,...
That was going to be my next question, where to find what I need to maintain on a frame. Now, if only I can find that info without having to use Flash... That locks it away from me for now.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,233
97
48
70