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Old 06-19-09, 11:47 PM   #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?
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Old 06-19-09, 11:51 PM   #2
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You're kidding, right? Trolling? Slow Friday?

=8-)
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Old 06-19-09, 11:54 PM   #3
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phil tenacious oil.
you'd need to reapply often, I believe.

Oiling a campa hub??
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Old 06-19-09, 11:55 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-20-09, 12:14 AM   #5
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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!
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Old 06-20-09, 01:46 AM   #6
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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
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Old 06-20-09, 03:03 AM   #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...
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Old 06-20-09, 03:24 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-20-09, 03:24 AM   #9
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You're kidding, right? Trolling? Slow Friday?

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

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Old 06-20-09, 09:39 AM   #10
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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

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Old 06-20-09, 09:48 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-20-09, 10:06 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-20-09, 02:46 PM   #13
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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!
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Old 06-20-09, 07:16 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 06-20-09, 08:12 PM   #15
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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...

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