Bicycle Mechanics - Lithium grease
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Lithium grease sounds as though it should be white. Something like what I used to use many, many years ago on bowling alley pinspotting machine bearings.
True? And if so, can I safely assume that "White Lightning" is one variety of lithium grease? Do any others come to mind?
P.S. After a little hard thought, "many, many" translates to 42! :eek:
01-07-02, 04:42 AM
Lithium grease is bog-standard bike grease. I buy it by the tub, and transfer it to film canisters to keep it clean. Once I managed to contaminate a whole tub with grit.
Copper grease is used for anti-seize, but I make do with lithium.
White lightening is not a grease, but a wax with slippery agents (eg teflon) dissolved in a solvent.
01-07-02, 08:20 AM
As stated, White Lightning is NOT Lithium Grease. It is specifically designed as a chain lubricant. It is parrafin (wax) based. The parrafin acts as the carrier for the lubricant. The theory (and works very well in "real" world situations) is that as the wax dries, it flakes off. When it does this, it takes dirt and sand with it. It cleans as it protects. The drawback to this is that you must reapply often (every other ride). I've used this product for about 4 years and have been very satisfied with the results.
As far as lithium grease, any will work about the same. I personally use the Finish Line Product with fair to adequate results. I use this for about 75% of my work. For hub rebuilds I use BullShot. It a red lube and provides smoother action to the bearings.
Just my .02
White Lithium Grease used to be a recommended lubricant for many bike parts and bearings back in the early 1980's. One of the arguments was that it was not as affected by temperature changes as traditional greases.
The problem was that it does not last long enough for most riders' maintanance programs. My science isn't as exact as MichaelW or a2psyklnut (above), but it seemed to me that after about a month or so, the lubricating properties were gone and only a dry residue remained.
I suggest NOT using lithium grease for most bicycle lubrication applications.
Campag Fetish Boy
01-07-02, 11:55 AM
I love lithium grease - couldn't eat a whole one though.
The 'lithium soap' additive will sometimes cake-up, so automotive lithium greases are not a good idea for bikes.
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