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  1. #1
    pessimistic dolomite592's Avatar
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    grease type to pack a BB?

    I have a cartridge BB that needs to be re-packed with grease. I have a bucket of grease that I bought from an auto store. Is there any specific kind of grease that I need to re-pack the BB or will this stuff work? Thanks in advance.
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    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    It will be fine. I use bike-specific grease, but only because it comes in convenient tubes.

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolomite592
    I have a cartridge BB that needs to be re-packed with grease. I have a bucket of grease that I bought from an auto store. Is there any specific kind of grease that I need to re-pack the BB or will this stuff work? Thanks in advance.
    That'll do fine. I used to use White Lithium grease, which is similar to the generic auto parts stuff. It works well in BBs and other bearings.

    I've recently switched to marine wheel bearing grease, which is cheap and easy to find at boat stores, because people who know what they're talking about have told me it's a bit more waterproof.
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  4. #4
    THE Materials Oracle Falanx's Avatar
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    If you can, source some marine grade at some point. But auto grease will do fine. There are a lot of fibs circulating in the tribology world about greases.
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  5. #5
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Any grease will work. But to complicate it for you what is your riding style? The marine grade wheel bearing grease is the most water proof but it is also the thickest so it wouldn't be appropriate for a bb if you're planning to do a time trial... Thickest amounts to resistance and more pedal effort. But you have to balance that with the amount of labor you perform on your bike and weather conditions, riding environment plus the intended use.

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humble_biker
    Any grease will work. But to complicate it for you what is your riding style? The marine grade wheel bearing grease is the most water proof but it is also the thickest so it wouldn't be appropriate for a bb if you're planning to do a time trial... Thickest amounts to resistance and more pedal effort. But you have to balance that with the amount of labor you perform on your bike and weather conditions, riding environment plus the intended use.
    Bearing resistance is <<1% of total power output at any reasonable cycling speed. Unless you're a pro with a team car following you, you should choose reliability over bearing drag... and probably even if you ARE a pro
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  7. #7
    pessimistic dolomite592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humble_biker
    Any grease will work. But to complicate it for you what is your riding style? The marine grade wheel bearing grease is the most water proof but it is also the thickest so it wouldn't be appropriate for a bb if you're planning to do a time trial... Thickest amounts to resistance and more pedal effort. But you have to balance that with the amount of labor you perform on your bike and weather conditions, riding environment plus the intended use.
    Thanks for the responses. I'm not a racer, just a recreational road rider. I might source some marine grade grease in the future, if my BB requires re-packing too often. I think for now, I will stick with the auto grease. Thanks again.
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  8. #8
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolomite592
    Thanks for the responses. I'm not a racer, just a recreational road rider. I might source some marine grade grease in the future, if my BB requires re-packing too often. I think for now, I will stick with the auto grease. Thanks again.
    One thing for packing a BB is that you should really go crazy with the grease... use lots of it so that it's practically spilling out around the spindle. Makes a mess inside the frame, but makes the bearings last longer too!
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  9. #9
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    Any grease will work, probably even lard.

    I use CV joint grease because its cheap and comes in a tube. My tub o' grease just seams to be a magnet for all kinds of dirt and crud.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  10. #10
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Any grease will work, probably even lard.

    I use CV joint grease because its cheap and comes in a tube. My tub o' grease just seams to be a magnet for all kinds of dirt and crud.
    I've seen a WWII-era Sturmey Archer manual that recommended butter or vegetable oil
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  11. #11
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    I've seen a WWII-era Sturmey Archer manual that recommended butter or vegetable oil
    yeah and the Bridgstone bible of days gone bye also said vegetable oils. But they break down faster than all others, plus, they conduct heat quicker meaning that they become hotter faster. And all materials when heated expand. If you require something thin try Slic 50. Pain in the bu** if your balls are loose but reduces rolling resistance. But be ready to repack immediately.

  12. #12
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    Is the grease waterproof? If not and you get caught in the rain, the grease could wash out of the bearings. It leaves an ugly stain on what ever it drips on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by leob1
    Is the grease waterproof? If not and you get caught in the rain, the grease could wash out of the bearings. It leaves an ugly stain on what ever it drips on.
    All grease is waterproof to a certain extent, grease and water do not mix. The thicker the grease, the less likely it is to be washed out by the action of water under pressure.
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  14. #14
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    Sorry, but in my past experience when using a grease that did not specifiy that it is waterproof, it will wash out of the bearing if it gets wet. It doen't take much for water to get in a bearing, then the movement of the bearings will mix the water with the grease, making a grey mess. Waterproof grease, such as marine lower unit grease, will prevent that from happening.

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