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  1. #1
    Senior Member mjwarner's Avatar
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    White Grease, Tires, Insanity

    Please help.

    After scouring these forums for advice on lubrication I decided - to temporarily curb squeaks, to use WD-40 and White Lithium Grease on my 1970s Schwinn Suburban 5spd.

    After placing the bike upside down and thoroughly (perhaps overdoing it) lubricating the front and rear hub/cassette with WLG (and WD-40ing the chain, cassette, brakes levers and calipers) I pumped up the tires using an air compressor.

    From earlier lurking on these forums I garnered that my bike's tires should run (if my memory is correct) a~100psi. After pumping up the rear to 100 I started working on the front, and before I finished pumping up the second tire the rear popped/burst (quite loud).

    Now, all of this is background. What I am concerned about is WLG being both inside the tire (between the tire and tube) and INSIDE THE TUBE. Now, maybe the previous owner pumped it up with slime!? But I could not differentiate between the white grease I had just put on the hubs and the goop oozing out of the tube and around the inside of the nylon tire. (Same viscosity, smell.)

    There was a good deal of dripping going on while I was lubing. Is it possible that WLG dripped onto the wheel and into the tire and the tube during extensive lubing just prior to pumping/popping my tires?

    Any possible explanation on greasy white slime being inside my tube after it popped? Or between the tire and tube? (It was both places.)

    By the way, the reccomended max PSI on the tire that popped (which I managed to make out afterwords from the cracking rubber was 75PSI not 100PSI, although the front tire had a max PSI of 95.)
    "And I sincerely believe [...] that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity in the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." - Thomas Jefferson, 1816

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwarner View Post

    There was a good deal of dripping going on while I was lubing. Is it possible that WLG dripped onto the wheel and into the tire and the tube during extensive lubing just prior to pumping/popping my tires?

    Any possible explanation on greasy white slime being inside my tube after it popped? Or between the tire and tube? (It was both places.)
    The tube is an air tight setup when filled... it would be quite difficult for anything to "drip into" a filled airtight tube when it is full of air. Sort of like trying to get water into a full balloon.

    Perhaps what you are seeing is the white powder that often is in tubes to keep the rubber from sticking together.

  3. #3
    It's true, man.
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    Berryman® makes a flat sealant that's white and spoogie like that. So does Stan's. Maybe it was a tubless tire setup that flatted and was tempfixed with a tube? What does the lettering on the tire say? What size/type of tire?

    In addition, rapid inflation can cause a tube to shove the rim strips of their place, covering the spoke holes, allowing the sharp edge of the hole to contact the tube with loud results. Check your rim strips.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mjwarner's Avatar
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    tire says: 'Duro,' Max Inflation 75PSI, Nylon, 27x1 1/4.

    Turns out I am crazy.

    Definitely goop inside the tire. I understand that a tire is airtight, thank you captain obvious - I mean "genec" --- Thus my bafflement. It was definitely off-white goop inside the tire.
    "And I sincerely believe [...] that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity in the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." - Thomas Jefferson, 1816

  5. #5
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    +2 ^^

    There's virtually no way that the lube got in between the tire/tube (unless you were greasing before any tire pressure was present) and impossible into the tube itself (without your knowledge). You're probably looking at some kind of latex-based tire sealant. "Slime" brand tends to be green and somewhat fibrous, unless they changed the formula.

    Furthermore, grease can not get into the rim cavity through the hub. Unless you were greasing the rims for some reason, there's no reason for grease to be there, and unless the grease was new, it would probably be more of a tan or brown colour.

    As far as your question regarding the mystery substance being *both* between tire/tube and in the tube itself, this is normal behavior for tire sealants. If there is a small tube leak (which predisposes a tire leak i.e. puncture), the sealant will eventually fill a *small* portion between the tire/tube while it leaks out to do it's job. Like platelets in a human's bloodstream forming a scab. Not all of this substance will dry out, only a (very) small surface area around the initial hole -- usually there will be some substance that will be perpetually wet. Also, considering this, the remainder of the sealant material contained in the tube itself will be perpetually wet, provided it never gets a large volume of air to dry out. Since the blow-out was sudden, and you're attention was quick, you noticed the sealant before it had a chance to dry out -- to do its job properly. Again, furthermore, when the tire blew, the initial "scab" was torn, and more sealant flowed out -- continuing the "blood" analogy, the scab was torn prematurely. Your tire was hemorrhaging tire sealant!!

    All this goes out the window if you have one of those tubular tire + hollow spoke set-ups

  6. #6
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    You might check if your air compressor has a tank on it, that you have drained the condensation water out of it at a regular interval. I know many times when I have drained the air tank at a company I used to work for, a white foam like stuff came out with the water. I could always tell when it really needed it, because the air wrench I was using would start foaming at the exhaust port. Just a thought.
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  7. #7
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwarner View Post
    Please help.

    After scouring these forums for advice on lubrication I decided - to temporarily curb squeaks, to use WD-40 and White Lithium Grease on my 1970s Schwinn Suburban 5spd.
    Where on this forum were you advised to use WD40 for lubrication? That is generally a BAD idea.

  8. #8
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great song title....anyway after spending a lot of time cleaning up old hard gooky white grease on a recent reuild...I stick to phil's grease....expensive but you don't need pounds and pounds

    As to the tire......????

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    Never, ever, use WD40 on a bike. Suggest you now wash it all off, use lots and lots of water, and then re-lubricate.

    There again, you could just leave it, and learn the hard way why you should never use WD40 on a bike.

    Personally I gradually replace everything that starts to squeak with the equivalent but with sealed for life bearings, so I just renew the entire bottom bracket, for example. I also wax chains, i.e. take them off, wash them with a bit of soap and water and then boil them in a pan of wax when they need it.

    I do have a little bottle of oil, had it for years, carry it around for those instances of meeting a damsel in distress with a seized chain. At my age you need such things.

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    This isn't difficult. When you add air to a tire, you also include a certain amount of water vapor. This can mix with the powder in the tube as previously mentioned and come out as goo when deflated or in your case exploded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicycle View Post
    You might check if your air compressor has a tank on it, that you have drained the condensation water out of it at a regular interval. I know many times when I have drained the air tank at a company I used to work for, a white foam like stuff came out with the water. I could always tell when it really needed it, because the air wrench I was using would start foaming at the exhaust port. Just a thought.

    Better idea to always empty a air compressor tank when no longer being used. Condensation in the tank can allow rust to form. Rusty, pressurized tanks are bad.

  12. #12
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    Yeah, I agree. It's probably the condensation from use of the compressor added to the white powder inside the tube making the white slime. Then, when the tube blew, the crap on the inside of the tube wound up inside the tire. Or, it could be white sealant "white spoogie substance."

    So, there's your answer about that. You can either believe me, or you'll "find out the hard way."

    What, the crap, is that advice about WD-40? I guess you'll either have to scrub your bike clean of WD-40, or you'll learn some lesson on your own about why you should've taken the advice - - like somebody will come by and cut your nuts off or something. Sheesh.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by keiththesnake; 09-20-08 at 01:39 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
    Where on this forum were you advised to use WD40 for lubrication? That is generally a BAD idea.
    x2 WD40 is a solvent not a lubricant. I use it for cleaning not lubricating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keiththesnake View Post
    What, the crap, is that advice about WD-40? - - like somebody will come by and cut your nuts off or something.
    Someone once said motorcycle cops are the way they are because of WD40 in their front wheel bearings.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    WHy all the hate for WD40? It's just a tool as much as grease, oil, allen keys or any other tool or material used for working on bicycles. When used in the correct way it's highly effective.

    If the chain was rusty and had some sticky links WD40 would be a lovely way to loosen them up and work out the rust residue. Granted it would need some reapplications and padding off the crud washed out with a paper towel but if the chain needed this I'd have do issues with riding a few miles with it in place and then add oil to the chain. No need to "wash" it out with anything.

    Anyhow I've got this image from the OP of someone trying to "toothpaste tube" pressurize WLG into the bearings and the excess oozing itself all over the place....
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by på beløb View Post
    Never, ever, use WD40 on a bike. Suggest you now wash it all off, use lots and lots of water, and then re-lubricate.

    There again, you could just leave it, and learn the hard way why you should never use WD40 on a bike.

    Personally I gradually replace everything that starts to squeak with the equivalent but with sealed for life bearings, so I just renew the entire bottom bracket, for example. I also wax chains, i.e. take them off, wash them with a bit of soap and water and then boil them in a pan of wax when they need it.

    I do have a little bottle of oil, had it for years, carry it around for those instances of meeting a damsel in distress with a seized chain. At my age you need such things.
    Let's talk about the use use of WD-40... washing it off with water is very very difficult... WD is for "water displacement." The original formula was developed for treating components in torpedoes for the Navy. It is generally for displacing water and providing a light lubricant.

    The bad thing is that is that it is a very light lube... not really suitable for much of anything on a bike... consider it for MTBs that may be ridden through mud and water... a good dose of WD on the bike will help when cleaning time comes. But avoid plastics and obviously braking areas.

    For chains and other areas you need something more tenacious. There are several suitable lubes for this... and any discussion on lubes at this point will be akin to a holy war.


    As far as the rusty chain discussion... sure, that is one possible use... but a good penetrating oil might be even better. But since WD seems to be around everywhere... Yeah I'd probably grab one of the cans I have, for this too.
    Last edited by genec; 09-20-08 at 02:43 PM.

  17. #17
    Slowpoach
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    Chainsaw lubricant is pretty cheap, about the same price for 1/2 a litre as for a small bottle of bicycle chain lube.

    My understanding is that grease is for bearings (hubs, BB, headset) and miscelaneous jobs like stopping bolts from seizing; oil (or wax or dedicated chain lubes) for the chain; and for cables, not sure what to think as I've heard so many conflicting opinions.

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