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  1. #1
    Senior Member MPC Biker's Avatar
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    Phil bearing grease, good for bottom brackets?

    I'm repacking a vintage SunTour Superbe Pro bottom bracket and I am wondering if the old tube of Phil ball and roller bearing grease that I have would be adequate for the job.

    This grease has always worked well for me in hubs and headsets, but I was wondering if I should take anything else into consideration before comitting to using this grease in my BB.

    Thanks in advance for all of your help!
    1986 Miele Elite S, full SunTour Sprint Groupo.
    1984? Binachi Ibex, currently living as a three speed (triple front, single rear)
    ----- My stealth black fixie, (doesn't stand out in the racks downtown)

  2. #2
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Use it.
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    I prefer email to private messages. You can contact me at justinhughes@me.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member Drillium Dude's Avatar
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    All I ever use on my BBs is Phil's grease - I can't afford a tub of that old-school Campy stuff!

    DD

  4. #4
    Senior Member MPC Biker's Avatar
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    sounds like a plan to me then.

    Thanks for the speedy responses!
    1986 Miele Elite S, full SunTour Sprint Groupo.
    1984? Binachi Ibex, currently living as a three speed (triple front, single rear)
    ----- My stealth black fixie, (doesn't stand out in the racks downtown)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MPC Biker View Post
    I'm repacking a vintage SunTour Superbe Pro bottom bracket and I am wondering if the old tube of Phil ball and roller bearing grease that I have would be adequate for the job.

    This grease has always worked well for me in hubs and headsets, but I was wondering if I should take anything else into consideration before comitting to using this grease in my BB.

    Thanks in advance for all of your help!
    Personally my preference is to use the 0.82/g marine and trailer grease from Crappy Tire, then the 7/g Phil Grease or the 8/g Campy grease..... Figure the biggest difference between them is the packaging and colouring agents. Besides being much cheaper, the trailer grease is designed to be submerged in water, then driven at 120km/h for 3 hours, then left sitting for 6 months in freezing cold, and if it's good enough for that, it's good enough for my bicycles as well. There is another issue though, grease can separate with age sitting on the shelf as easily as it can, sitting in the bearings, so if you have that tub of Campy grease that has been sitting on the shelf since you opened it back in the early 90's, you have to make sure it's still usable. I don't mind looking at my Crappy Tire grease and dumping the tube if it's started to separate, since I can get another one and still have change from a fiver.

    The fun starts tonight when I start tearing the Norco apart, the BB is a cartridge so nothing to do there, but I need to look at the hubs and headset, and true up the wheels, to get it ready for spring...

  6. #6
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Use it. Grease is grease for the most part. It's just a bicycle and even the bottom bracket is not under that much stress compared to an auto or motorcycle parts.

    IMNO, when it comes to bicycle grease the brand/type isn't nearly as important as to purity/lack of contamination. Many bike wrenches are very lackidazical when it comes to contamination of their grease. You can have $1000/oz super-namebrand grease and if you dab a filthy/grubby finger into it and contaminate it with particles and metal filings then you have instant grinding compound.

    Personally, I use Castrol Lithium grease in most bearing situations.



    You can find it at any auto parts place for about $5-6 and it'll last you a lifetime of working on bikes as long as you don't contaminate it. I use a plastic disposable knife to dispense it. I never put it back into the tub without thoroughly cleaning it or getting a new disposable knife out of the package.

    I use it on all the bearings on my motorcycle that call for lithium grease and have had it on the track at 150MPH on wheelbearings and head bearings I had repacked myself.

    Seriously, the stakes are a whole lot lower on a bicycle with pithy and paltry bicycle bearing loads.

    I'm sure Phil would tell you different when it comes to spending 10x more for his own grease. I'm not saying it is BAD grease -I'd use it up if I had some laying around and knew it was clean/uncontaminated. But I wouldn't spend my hard-earned money on it. The same goes for the Campy grease as well. I'm not impressed...
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  7. #7
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    I agree with the advice above. Go to your local auto parts store and buy some grease, any grease - white, blue, green, black,... lithium, waterproof, marine, wheel bearing,... whatever. Fresh grease is better than no grease or old dirty grease any day of the week.

  8. #8
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    I use a Pennzoil marine/bearing grease I bought at the auto parts store, and it's green, just like Phil's!

    Neal

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    All I ever used since the 80's on my bikes is Phil's Grease......but it is on the light side and I suspect you might want to go with heavier, industrial grade greases if you do not service your BB that regularly and/or if you ride in the rain much. The heavier stuff will resist getting washed away by water better than Phil's....but Phil's is good enough for most fair weather cyclists.
    JMOs

    Chombi

  10. #10
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    I used to be in the Navy and served on subs. I was hanging out with the knuckledraggers one afternoon when they were doing maintenance on torpedo tubes, and noticed the excess grease coming out of the zerk fittings looked really familiar. I knew that the design of the grease tube cartridges left a couple of ounces behind, so I asked them to give me the next tube they threw away. I took it home and compared it to the tube of Phil grease that I had, and it was identical in color, texture, and smell. From that point on, they would give me their spent tubes of grease, I'd cut open the other end and put the remnants into a clean paint can, and that's the grease I used for the next decade.

    Good stuff.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Any good automotive wheel bearing grease will do. If it's good for a 3 ton vehicle traveling thru all kinds of weather. It's just fine for bicycles. It's also very important to set the correct preload.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    I'd use the Phil's grease that you already have instead of buying more grease as advised by some.

  13. #13
    Senior Member MPC Biker's Avatar
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    i think i will end up going with the Phil stuff, it's still clean and i've got a lot of it. Thanks for all of the advise! I'm glad to know my BB shell has something in common with a submarine torpedo tube!
    1986 Miele Elite S, full SunTour Sprint Groupo.
    1984? Binachi Ibex, currently living as a three speed (triple front, single rear)
    ----- My stealth black fixie, (doesn't stand out in the racks downtown)

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