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Old 06-29-05, 06:59 PM   #1
toddw
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Grease question

Ok, a friend brought this up, at first I dismissed it butthe more I think about it the more it's starting to bug me. I commute, but I need to have access to my car at work. On Monday's I drive in and ride home, leaving the van at work, ride back till Friday when I drive home etc., Through the week, I store my bike in the back of my van. A friend pointed out that the internal temps in a car can reach up to 180 degrees in the summer time. When I repack my bb, wheels, etc., I use pretty cheap grease. Is there any chance that grease is being damaged in the heat, ie, getting runny or not protecting like it should? Thoughts?
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Old 06-29-05, 07:06 PM   #2
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With the sort of loading that most bearings see, even cheap greases shouldn't degrade at 180 F. If it'll put you at ease, you could try a high-temperature grease which should be really cheap at places like Lowes or Home Depot. Remember that a lot of bearings in cars would reach very high temperatures, 700 F or more not being out of the question. A grease designed for this type of application should ease your mind a bit.
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Old 06-29-05, 07:09 PM   #3
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If you are using wheel bearing grease for automobiles you should have no problems. Otherwise you might want to look up the properties of the particular product on the manufacturers web site, or switch to a wheel bearing grease.

More than likely though, you should have no problem.
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Old 06-29-05, 07:33 PM   #4
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Life's too short to use cheap grease.
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Old 06-29-05, 07:40 PM   #5
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Wipe the hub or bottom bracket clean prior to putting your bike in the van on a particulaly warm day. Before you disturb your bike for the commute home, wipe your finger on the underside of the componet/s that you cleaned in the morning. If there is a drop of oil on your finger your grease is breaking down. If not, (and I would suspect there won't be) no worries.

Grease is no more than an oily lubricant in a thick base. When grease "breaks down" the oil is being separated from the base.
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Old 06-29-05, 07:49 PM   #6
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If you are using an auto wheel bearing grease, 180 degree temps are nothing. Brake friction on cars gets the wheel bearings VERY hot -- a lot hotter than 180 degrees.

I've used water resistant auto wheel bearing grease on my bikes for years without a problem -- the type that is sold for boat trailer wheel bearings. A tube of this grease will cost you the princely sum of $6 and last practically forever, assuming that you're not maintaining a fleet of bikes.
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Old 06-29-05, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruentus
I've used water resistant auto wheel bearing grease on my bikes for years without a problem -- the type that is sold for boat trailer wheel bearings. A tube of this grease will cost you the princely sum of $6 and last practically forever, assuming that you're not maintaining a fleet of bikes.
A can is only $3 at Home Depot.
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Old 06-30-05, 08:16 AM   #8
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mobil 1 synthetic grease. my personal fave.
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Old 06-30-05, 08:22 AM   #9
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Phil wood bearing greases is like $5 a tube. Surely you can afford that.
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Old 06-30-05, 08:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Phil wood bearing greases is like $5 a tube. Surely you can afford that.
Is it a big tube,and how much is shipping?
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Old 06-30-05, 09:39 AM   #11
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Using cheap grease makes about as much sense as using cheap bearing balls.
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Old 06-30-05, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
Using cheap grease makes about as much sense as using cheap bearing balls.
Bull!
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Old 06-30-05, 10:03 AM   #13
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I thought that would get a rise out of him.
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Old 06-30-05, 10:05 AM   #14
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Old 06-30-05, 12:07 PM   #15
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Bull!
After the Sydney thread of yesterday the first thing I looked at when I saw this post is who wrote it... I wasn't disappointed. Cheers.
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Old 06-30-05, 04:41 PM   #16
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Thanks -- I didn't think it would, but I'll sleep better knowing it won't.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Phil wood bearing greases is like $5 a tube. Surely you can afford that.
Considering the fact that it's repackaged trailer bearing grease why not skip the middle man? Or is it that you just enjoy paying for a name?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney
Is it a big tube,and how much is shipping?
It's a 3 oz (85 gram) tube as opposed to the POUND you get if you buy the can of trailer bearing grease for $2 less. Shipping? I can walk to the nearest Home Depot for free
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
Using cheap grease makes about as much sense as using cheap bearing balls.
Preach that marketing HYPE.
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Old 07-01-05, 07:21 AM   #18
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I buy Park grease in the tube just for the convenience. I get it at my LBS. I like the way I can run a bead around the bearing cups instead of smearing a blob with my finger. I also like that grease in a tube can't get contaminated. I pay more for the convenience, but it's worth it to me.
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Old 07-01-05, 07:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
[color=blue]Considering the fact that it's repackaged trailer bearing grease why not skip the middle man?
Dont' you believe in greasing the palms of everyone in the capitalist system?
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Old 07-01-05, 08:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney
Dont' you believe in greasing the palms of everyone in the capitalist system?
Cute.

Have to agree, though; once you settle on a formulation (silicon based, lithium, etc.) grease is basically grease. Pay more if you wish but don't expect anything from it.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmfnla
Cute.

Have to agree, though; once you settle on a formulation (silicon based, lithium, etc.) grease is basically grease. Pay more if you wish but don't expect anything from it.


The original post used the term "cheap grease". Cheap could mean low quality and/or low price. Low price does not necessarily mean low quality. Most seem to agree bicycle grease is repackaged automotive or marine grease, with a hefty markup because of marketing. This is most likely true. I wouldn't be surprised to find 90% of the automotive/bicycle grease brands (Valvoline, Park, Pennzoil, Phil Wood, Nashbar, Sta Lube...) comes from just a few plants owned by yet another company (probably called something like Acme Grease Co). The tendancy is to outsource suppliers and rebadge the product. I cannot imagine Park making and packaging their own grease, since the low volume they sell means a high price per unit.

Personally, I do buy Park grease, but mainly for the convenience. My bike has cartridge hub bearings, sealed bottom bracket, so I have little opportunity to use it. The grease tube fits easily into my bicycle tool box and I guess I am a bit of a sucker for the marketing. Plus, I use so little, I'd either lose the tube before I use it up. BTW, I have a 1 lb tub of Valvoline high temp disc brake grease sitting on my shelf for automotive use.


Just my $0.02.
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Old 07-01-05, 03:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhouse
Grease is no more than an oily lubricant in a thick base. When grease "breaks down" the oil is being separated from the base.
Grease is a fraction of the distillation of petroleum. It is the base. Other materials such as molybdenum or other metal may be added to aid in heat resistance. Oils may be added to keep the grease flowing.
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