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  1. #1
    electrostark
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    oil and loose ball bearings

    Specifically for Track Use.

    I was thinking of trying out different ways to lubricate my loose ball BB and hubs, instead of using grease. Do any of you have any expirence using a oil. Ive heard of using Red Oil, WD-40, etc, anything that is lighter than grease.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    You're kidding, right? Trolling? Slow Friday?

    =8-)

  3. #3
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    phil tenacious oil.
    you'd need to reapply often, I believe.

    Oiling a campa hub??

  4. #4
    electrostark
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    half kidding, and half curious. I heard about this somewhere, and thought I would see if there was any merit to it.

    And yes, its 2am and Im kinda bored.

  5. #5
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Some racers back yonder used oil. If you look at Campagnolo hubs from, at least, the early 1980's - you'll note they have a little metal spring-cap over a small hole in their center. If you were riding these in a track-race, your pit-crew would squirt in fresh oil when you came in. If you don't have a magic DeLorean with a time-machine - don't go there. Use grease for long life and better likelihood of trouble-free performance.
    Last edited by Panthers007; 06-20-09 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Syntax Error...Bleep!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  6. #6
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    There has been threads about this more tan once in the forums, try a search. Some say there is less resstance in the hub (IGH) when using oil. Shimano is selling a oildipping set for IGH`s. Not sure what they say about this, just found it on a webshop. Maybe start there and find out from Shimano "how and why" (and then tell us)?
    Last edited by badmother; 06-20-09 at 01:48 AM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
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    my friend whose an old cycling guru is building up a new merckx with new campy SR and he's using ceramic bearings and oil. so it is still being done. he's getting back to me on how it rides next month...

  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    There isn't anything slicker than an oil lubricated bicycle and at one time many a bike was designed to use oil and not grease as their lubricant... I have several 50's bicycles that are full oilers in that the hubs and bb are all oiled and not greased.

    My '55 Raleigh Lenton and '48 Rudge are as smooth a bike I have ever owned.

    Using oil does have some pluses and minuses as one has to be very meticulous in keeping their bikes oiled and failure to do so can cause serious problems. Another plus is that the oil that escapes flushes out any contaminants and will keep the bearings / races clean as clean can be.

    In the winter an oiled bb can run much smoother especially if a synthetic oil is used... without an oil port one needs to top up via the seat post.

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    You're kidding, right? Trolling? Slow Friday?

    =8-)
    You are going to find this thread to be very educational.


  10. #10
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    You are going to find this thread to be very educational.


    Tell me something I don't already know...

    Used to have a very old 50's three speed...oil serviced including BB. Bottom bracket shell had a holes on top...was a coal black un-branded bike...suspect European sourced. Hubs also had leather straps slapping around the shells. If you didn't wipe and clean regulary - areas of the bike got dirty very quick.

    But todays hubs with very few exceptions are intended to be grease serviced...because the grease simply stays. Now when all the hubs we see are designed with oil / grease injection ports again and everyone religiously injects every 50 or so miles...get back to me will you?

    Sincerely,

    Wrip Van Wrinkle


  11. #11
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Oil instead of grease is something uninformed people might want to dabble with, but from an engineering standpoint it's just plain dumb.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  12. #12
    Rumblefish jtarver's Avatar
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    It's a maintenance thing. Grease=less, oil=more. Pros have, and I suspect still do, use oil. They also have mechanics rebuilding their bikes everyday. That being said, using oil on a track bike makes sense, just reoil or repack after each trip to the velo. I second the PW Tenacious oil, seems to be the best of both worlds.
    1973 Crescent Pepita FG, 1987 Panasonic DX-4000, 1991 Trek 1400 FG, 1990's Gary Fisher Hoo-Koo-e-Koo SS, 1990's Denti Road Tech Five, 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker

  13. #13
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Back in the late 60's early 70's we played around with 30 wt. oil, relubing before every race with an oil filled syringe. The needle would just fit in the space between the dust cap and cone. I couldn't tell you if it made any difference or not. Grease was also used. We also used to pack the bearings with polishing compound, reassemble and spin the axel for 20-30 minutes with an electric drill. We would then disassemble, clean it out, and put in new bearings. We though we were polishing the races and cones. Again, I'm not sure if it really helped. However, all this dinking around seemed like it made for some pretty smooth running hubs, but it sure did not help me go any faster! You also have to remeber that this was the era where guys were drilling out their cranksets and brake levers to lighten up their bikes.

    I use Phil Wood waterproof grease today!

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    Tell me something I don't already know...

    Used to have a very old 50's three speed...oil serviced including BB. Bottom bracket shell had a holes on top...was a coal black un-branded bike...suspect European sourced. Hubs also had leather straps slapping around the shells. If you didn't wipe and clean regulary - areas of the bike got dirty very quick.

    But todays hubs with very few exceptions are intended to be grease serviced...because the grease simply stays. Now when all the hubs we see are designed with oil / grease injection ports again and everyone religiously injects every 50 or so miles...get back to me will you?

    Sincerely,

    Wrip Van Wrinkle

    My old SA hubs don't need oiling every fifty miles and the expected lifespan of one of these is 50,000 miles whereas word on the street and the shop floor is that a hub like the Nexus 8 is going to buy the farm at about 10,000 miles and require far more service during it's rather short lifespan. Part of the Nexus issue is that their seals are poor and contaminants can enter the system and become suspended in the grease.

    With the amount of miles I used to ride I could have worn out a Nexus in a year and know what it is like to log epic miles, and know what does and doesn't work.

    In a system like a 3 piece bottom bracket or hub that are prone to contamination, the use for oil makes senses as it does not suspend these contaminants like grease can and every subsequent top up flushes out the bearings and races.

    I have worked on thousands of bikes and do of course use good quality grease when I repack bearings as most bikes are not designed for oil service and most people just want to ride it and forget it. I don't see modern manufacturers designing internal hubs for oil bath lubrication although a friend of mine modded his new Shimano Nexus to use oil and it has continued run beautifully.

    It was very problematic in the winter until he changed his lubrication to oil.

    In tearing down my oilers I find that the bearings and races are very clean and in beautiful shape whereas greased bikes are often filthy and this trapped filth wears out bearing assemblies.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Another thing I remember about these oil serviced things was that technically - you weren't supposed to use those 4-1 household oil can thingys...supposedly what was used was an oil with a viscosity somewhere between for example - Phil Oil and Park Grease.

    I.e., the oil is supposed to seep out...not drip...but guess what most folks used back in the day probably not knowing better. I remember up until mid-80s Desimones downtown having these cans of what was supposed to be the correct oil - kinda like the Pentosin cans you see for Audi / VW / Bentley...

    =8-)

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