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Old 07-31-11, 07:17 AM   #1
Plimogz
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Would I do well filling the dustcaps on my Tiagra Freehub with grease?

From Sheldon Brown: "Then line both cups in the hub shell with grease. Don't worry about using too much. It is not possible. If in doubt, use more."

Which advice Shimano doesn't abide by, judging by the dryness of this brand new Tiagra hub's dustcaps.

So, should I throw some more grease in there, particularly between the seals to get better protection from outside contamination?
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Old 07-31-11, 07:49 AM   #2
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Sheldon > Shimano
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Old 07-31-11, 07:54 AM   #3
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Sheldon > Shimano
That's pretty much what I figured.

Kind of outrageous that a 2.6 Billion $ / year company can't be bother to put another tenth of a penny worth of grease in the hub before they ship it out. Maybe this just happens on their cheaper, entry level hubs. I should hope anyway.
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Old 07-31-11, 08:25 AM   #4
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I think the logic is that they put enough so that the hub can be used....a little. I don't think it's outrageous, per say, as every penny contributes to the bottom line. FWIW, the Shimano grease is pretty good stuff. Also, Sheldon was doing his best to dispense advice that, when left open to interpretation, would yield satisfactory results for most users. In this case, too much is probably better than not enough. For some LBSs, it's standard practice to repack and adjust cones as part of the setup for bikes they sell. IMHO, too much grease at the dust seal can squeeze out, ultimately attracting dust and making a mess, so use your judgement. I believe the Park Tool website has pictures, which are a good guide. Don't over-think this...by servicing your hubs, you're doing a lot more than most bike owners do.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:07 AM   #5
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I'm not exactly outraged by the saving of a penny or two; I understand that they're in it to make a profit, after all. It's just that, as you say, most bike owners wouldn't open up their hub and fill it with grease. So, the way I see it, if the filling of everything with grease can help to keep water/dirt out of the bearings, thus prolonging their life, and probably the time between hub overhauls it really does seem worthwhile, couple of pennies saved be damned!

The fact that Shimano doesn't do it, with it seeming so worthwhile as per my above point, is what has me second guessing my actions, mostly.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:12 AM   #6
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I thought I read once you need at least a bit of air so the bearings can move freely.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:27 AM   #7
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I suppose that would explain why sealed cartridge bearings often specify that they're 90% filled with grease.
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Old 07-31-11, 10:16 AM   #8
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A completely grease filled cup-and-cone bearing hub does leak grease out of it's seals and dust cover for the first few rides and that can make a mess if your don't wipe it off. The OEM doesn't want to have their customers complaining about a messy bike or grease on their clothes so they put enough lube in to make the bearings run smoothly but stay neat. I open up and check any new hub and have always found Shimano hubs to be adequately grease filled.

I do overfill my Shimnao and Campy hubs when i overhaul them but I'm also aware they will need to be cleaned off after each o the first few uses.
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Old 07-31-11, 10:28 AM   #9
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Yeah, that makes sense. I don't suppose most folks would get how sweet a sight that grease oozing out around the axle and duscaps is: knowing that grease is actually pushing it's way out gives a sense of how hard a time water and filth will have making their way in.

However, as for Shimano hubs being adequately grease filled, this one came with nary a modicum of grease anywhere between the seals. Maybe had I ridden it the factory grease would have oozed out just enough to lodge in between those seals. Is that what you call adequately filled? With this being my first look at a factory fresh Shimano hub, I don't have anything to compare against.
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Old 07-31-11, 03:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Plimogz View Post
I'm not exactly outraged by the saving of a penny or two; I understand that they're in it to make a profit, after all. It's just that, as you say, most bike owners wouldn't open up their hub and fill it with grease. So, the way I see it, if the filling of everything with grease can help to keep water/dirt out of the bearings, thus prolonging their life, and probably the time between hub overhauls it really does seem worthwhile, couple of pennies saved be damned!

The fact that Shimano doesn't do it, with it seeming so worthwhile as per my above point, is what has me second guessing my actions, mostly.
They put in enough grease to get the job done properly. We always put in a little more in the belief that if a little is good a lot is better. I have found that the problem with new wheels is that the bearings are not adjusted with the right amount of play for a QR hub. I usually have to readjust them.
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Old 07-31-11, 07:34 PM   #11
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Adjusting the cones was actually the reason I opened it up in the first place. There was some binding, even with the QR off, and so I thought to myself: What the hell, might as well have a look at the grease before setting it up.
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