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  1. #1
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    Grease and Lubricants - when/where/what?

    Hi,

    I would like to know about greases/lubes/etc. How many kinds of grease/lube does one need and which parts get which? I bought some Phil Wood grease today, and because I want my touring bike to be cleanish, I'm going to use White Lighting as well (I use that only for the drivetrain right?). I'll also get some Blue Loctite as per a suggestion from a bikeforum member to use on screws, bolts, etc. I'll get a cleaner too.

    1) Do I need anything else?

    2) What is Phil Wood tenacious oil used for? (specifically which metal to metal contacts should I apply this to)?

    3) When installing a cassette on hub, do you grease the hub? (for moisture protection?) If so, should I use the PW tenacious oil/PW grease for this?

    4) When installing your seatpost, do you grease/oil it a little? How about the fork? (headset and BB will be installed at LBS - they'll grease it for me I'm assuming)

    5) For those who use White Lightening, do you just apply it after building the drivetrain, or do you grease/lube certain parts before building?

    6) I don't want the bike to get all gunked up with grease and eventually dirt. Is a thin layer of grease enough?

    7) Do "dry lubes" work as well as "wet lubes"?

    Thanks for the help
    Last edited by guruguhan; 10-23-06 at 09:41 PM.

  2. #2
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    White Lightning's strength as a chain lube isn't for touring. It wears away quickly and needs to be frequently re-applied. It's strength is for off-road riding where there's danger of picking up lots of dust in the chain. Not so much an issue for road touring.

    loctite ain't a necessity unless you have bolts that frequently come loose. I basically never use it; only place I have is on some screws that held the pedal cage to a pedal; they kept coming slightly loose and squeaking.

    Phil Wood waterproof grease is good stuff for bearings, but most bearing grease will work fine. Lots of people use marine grease for wheel, bottom bracket and headset bearings.

    Generally, static metal-to-metal contact areas (where there's not friction) should have a bit of grease applied, especially steel-to-aluminum contact points (seatpost, freewheel screwing onto an aluminum rear hub shell, quill stem, etc.) where the aluminum can corrode and freeze inside the steel.

    1) I'd recommend a different chain lube, but I'd noted so above. I use White Lightning on all of my road bikes.
    2) Tenacious Oil is thick, durable oil that is good on metal-to-metal contacts where grease doesn't work as well, but where there still isn't chance of picking up lots of dirt. I drip some into freewheels where you can't disassemble and re-grease them, for example.
    3) You might be mixing up freewheel and cassette hubs here in your thinking. Freewheel screws onto a rear hub, and it doesn't hurt to grease that contact point as noted above. Cassette sprockets slide onto the freehub body, and there's really no need to grease this contact.
    4) I rub some grease around on the inside of the seat tube before putting the seatpost in. Keeps seatpost from freezing. I'll do the same on a fork's steerer tube before inserting a quill stem.
    5) see above
    6) You shouldn't have excess grease on the outside of your bike. It's not any use there, and will just pick up dirt. The chain is the only real place where grease is on the outside of your bike, and even there you should wipe off excess grease on the outside of the chain (after giving some chance for lube to work its way into innards of the chain) as chain lube only matters when it's inside on the actual pivot joint of the chain. Extra lube on the outside of the chain just picks up dirt.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for your reply. I'm leaning towards using White Lighting still just because a frequent tourer, and poster to these forums likes it, and I have agreed with him on more than one occasion. One reason that I want to keep my bike clean while on tour is so I can always bring my bikes into motel rooms so I don't have to worry about it in an unknown city/town. I figure that more motels will be willing to let me bring in the bike if it doesn't look all greasy and dirty. If I end up not liking White Lighting, I'll change to something else. I was actually referring to the cassette sprockets sliding onto the freehub body - I just thought it was a metal to metal contact, and might need to put a little on it to prevent corrosion on the freehub body. Thanks again

  4. #4
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    FWIW, I always dab a bit of grease on freehub bodies before sliding a cassette on.

    Echoing Tim's comment about oil, it gets much less use than grease for me. About the only place I regularly use it is on the pawls in a freehub, since most greases are too thick for that (and will cause too much drag for the hub to freewheel properly.)

    I use dry, wax-style lubes on my chain. Mostly for the cleanliness issue you're referring to. A properly oiled chain won't really be *that* dirty if you maintain it correctly, but a dry lubed chain will pretty much always be cleaner. If you're touring for hundreds of miles at a time, keep a bottle of the dry lube with you to reapply if you think it needs it. On my commuting bike, I probably reapply every hundred or 150 miles or so (I really don't keep track too closely.) If I'm caught in a downpour, it gets an immediate reapplication (but back when I used oil on the chain, I'd re-oil after a downpour too.)
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

  5. #5
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    Thanks SaabFan

    Could you tell me which part of the freehub is the pawl?

    I'm wondering about all this freehub talk. I had my wheels built for me, as such, I didn't need to learn all that much about them. But I constantly read threads about freehubs. Do I need to do maintenance on the freehub often? How often? And we are talking about the internals right? I'll learn how, over on Park's website, but I'd like anyone to tell me why, and when. What signs will my freehub show that it needs a tune up? If I'm not waiting for signs, how often should one disassemble their freehub to do maintenance? Thanks a lot

  6. #6
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    The pawls are the little "clickers" inside the freehub mechanism. They are spring-loaded to stick out from the freehub body itself, down where it connects to the rest of the hub. Inside the hub, there are little teeth that are slanted in one direction. The spring-loaded pawls are angled such that if the freehub body tries to spin relative to the hub in one direction, they catch on the teeth (that's what lets the freehub lock up so you can pedal the bike forwards.) When it spins in the other direction relative to the hub, they get pushed back up by each tooth, which is the clicking noise you hear when the freehub is freewheeling.

    If you've got new, high quality hubs, I wouldn't worry about the freehub one bit unless you're having problems. Some manufacturers jam them so full of thick grease that the pawls can't spring in and out freely. This makes the hub a little quieter sometimes, but it can lead to erratic operation. So, unless you're noticing something weird, I wouldn't touch it. If you get to the point where you're overhauling the bearings in the hub, that would be a good time to disassemble the mechanism and check it out or relube as required.
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

  7. #7
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Only thing you might note is that some people hate White Lightning or other wax lubes. I think it really depends on the conditions you ride in. Here in NYC it works great for my needs (i.e. lots of road grit, nothing off-road.) If someone who rides near you and in a similar fashion recommends it, then it's probably good for where you are.

  8. #8
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    I put some grease on my aluminum seatpost, when I noticed a bunch of pre-existing grease had come off, and now it is constantly sliding down on me, into the seat tube. Grrr... Should I try and just remove all that grease?

  9. #9
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Hardy, I'd just try to get it clamped properly. Leaving it ungreased can cause corrosion and sticking problems down the road. Of course, if there's a huge excess of grease, get it cleaned up.
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

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