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Old 11-11-04, 07:51 PM   #1
A3rd.Zero
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Rebuilding bearings with oil not grease

I have heard that some rebuild things like BB and hubs with heavy motor oil rather than grease for lower friction. I assume that they have to rebuild things quite often, but I don't actually know. Anyone done this? How long do things last and in what conditions? Is this really viable in only a racing application or does it make sense in a street application?

Milo

Im sure that this is a "n gain for nx expenditure" question but all I know is how long it would take me to do it, not how much it would improve performance.
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Old 11-11-04, 07:58 PM   #2
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Likewise, I've been thinking about repacking some things with lighter grease for winter to make for an easier spin. Though I guess I'm not sure which "things" I'm talking about given that my BB is a sealed unit and my rear hub is cartridge bearings. Front hub, I guess.

Anyhow, anyone do something along these lines as the mercury dives?
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Old 11-11-04, 08:13 PM   #3
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Vintage racers used to repack hub bearings with light oil, but this had to be redone after each stage/race as it would all run out after a point.

The performance difference that you will feel will be negligible to say the least, and a pain in the arse maintenance-wise. This would be akin to saying you are going to start using cold-pressed vigin olive oil in your engine because it will reduce friction and increase your mileage 1-2 mpg. You would then have to change the oil every 30 miles, but it would be worth it for the performance gain, correct?

Now, repacking with a grease designed for lower-temperatures is not a bad idea at all. But on a fixie every bearing surface is always spinning, effectively warming everything up enough already. People have traditionally had more problems with the cold and oil or air sprung suspension forks than bearings, etc.

If you can find it, KluberLube from Munich is great stuff - I used a lot of it while doing tribology research in Germany. Several varieties for all range of temperatures, plus it looks and smells like honig.

http://www.klueber.com/start.cfm
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Old 11-11-04, 08:14 PM   #4
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If it's gonna shave a couple seconds off on your next time trial, I'd say go for it!
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Old 11-11-04, 08:30 PM   #5
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grease, get a light grease thats all. Let grease do its job.
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Old 11-11-04, 08:40 PM   #6
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ok, so what's a light grease? Phil Wood?

I may try the oil thing just for kicks. The IRO is all sealed, and there is quite a difference between it and the Schwinn (who's hubs and BB arn't sealed) right after I have rebuilt the Schwinn.

Milo
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Old 11-11-04, 08:45 PM   #7
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Ive heard fantastic reviews from Phil Woods tenacious oil. The park polylube is what i use and i like it .
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Old 11-11-04, 08:58 PM   #8
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Phil Wood + Park Grease = Marine Bearing Grease, available for $2 a tub at Home Depot
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Old 11-11-04, 09:22 PM   #9
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John Forester (of "Effective Cycling" fame) says that you should drill holes in your BB and hubs and squirt typewriter oil into them every morning. Alternatively, you can eat bacon for breakfast every day, and funnel the grease into your hubs. All natural, with a lovely mouthwatering smell.
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Old 11-11-04, 11:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by seely
Phil Wood + Park Grease = Marine Bearing Grease, available for $2 a tub at Home Depot
Actually $3 but who's counting?
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Old 11-12-04, 08:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameisnotdrew
John Forester (of "Effective Cycling" fame) says that you should drill holes in your BB and hubs and squirt typewriter oil into them every morning. Alternatively, you can eat bacon for breakfast every day, and funnel the grease into your hubs. All natural, with a lovely mouthwatering smell.
Typewriter oil? Typewriter oil? What's a typewriter? I may be a Retro Grouch, but I prefer to follow advice from the current century.
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Old 11-12-04, 08:57 AM   #12
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I really don't think you would notice any difference in riding with thin grease or oil. But if I were to try engine assembly lube. It is basically really thin grease so it will lube new engine parts well on the first start-up but not run-off if the engine sits "on-the-shelf" for a while.

SS
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Old 11-12-04, 03:33 PM   #13
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After every ride you will have to wipe all the oil off your bike and then disassemble each bearing and re-oil. Not fun or environmentally friendly.

I use marine bearing grease and have no complaints regarding performance.
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Old 11-12-04, 04:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Typewriter oil? Typewriter oil? What's a typewriter? I may be a Retro Grouch, but I prefer to follow advice from the current century.

I'm in the office machine business and typewriter oil is pretty much just plain old 10 weight non-detergent motor oil.

I really would not use oil in a ball bearing; it will lead to very premature failure unless you are going to do a lube after every ride.

If you want to try light weight grease, the best possibilty would be would probably be Lubriplate available at almost any hardware store.

Of course, I also think this whole thing is an exercise in futility.

Doc
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