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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-25-06, 09:09 PM   #1
teadoggg
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I know some people who race use some sort of oil to lube the hubs instead of grease, for less friction.

On my race wheels (7600 Dura Ace hubs) I'm going to take the grease seal and the dust cover off permanently, and want to use oil to lube it all up. I have no problem with the gobs of maintence this setup will incur, so don't tell me about it. I'm looking for the smoothest possible, no friction setup.

Anyway, what kind of Oil should I use? does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 02-25-06, 09:15 PM   #2
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sewing machine oil used to be the lube of choice for what you're describing.
but geez, that's going to be messy and a huge waste of time. you're basically going to have to relube them *daily*
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Old 02-25-06, 09:51 PM   #3
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daily... or everytime you go out to the track. do it tdogg. you can re-oil them while standing on the winner's podium.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:53 PM   #4
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I heard bad ideas and that one... good luck with it r u traning to for jiffy lube in a near future???

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Old 02-25-06, 09:54 PM   #5
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The blingingest oil I can think of is Phil Tenacious.
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Old 02-25-06, 10:47 PM   #6
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My boss used to do this back in the 80s...

Personally, I overhauled my DA 7600 hubs with Slick Honey, which is the pimpest lube I can possibly imagine. I think oil would be a pain in the ass.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:18 PM   #7
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using lighter oil to lube bearings is not uncommon for a good set of track racing wheels. the stuff burns through quickly, so as posted above, you've gotta relube often, but the rolling resistance is lowered.

you'll destroy your hubs by riding like this on the streets.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:34 PM   #8
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oh no no no, I've another set of DA hubs for street. This is for my race set, so I have no problem with lubing them up every time I go out there. these race wheels will only see the track. i've got a a couple sets of clinchers for the street, and other tubies i'll be training on. I want to do the no seal/oil trick for track races only.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:36 PM   #9
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t,
you might get better answers from the hardcore kids on the track forum...
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Old 02-25-06, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkell
do it tdogg. you can re-oil them while standing on the winner's podium.

yes! exactly!

but hopefully, I'll have [165] lubing them for me after I smoke him. he's good at, er, lubing my parts.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimblysweep
t,
you might get better answers from the hardcore kids on the track forum...
yeah, I was going to ask there, but the kids on this forum seem to know all sorts of crazy stuff.
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Old 02-26-06, 02:12 AM   #12
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This used to be popular in the 70's. Two big problems usually arose. First, the oil tended to dry up and made a rather gummy mess. Today you can get around that in part with a modern oil like TriFlow (or even a 1:1 mixture of TriFlow and any heavier oil like the Phil Tenacious mentioned above, or simply a good synthetic 10W50).

The bigger problem was that people would squirt oil into their hubs, get on the track, and either start dripping oil at the starting line while they were being held prior to an event, or would spew it all over as they went onto the bankings. Referees quickly outlawed the practice.

There were then some studies that showed that a light coat of grease worked just as well under load and avoided any of these problems. The trick is to not use too much, and to adjust your bearings exactly right. After a couple years, the practice disappeared.

It's a messy, useless practice in my book, and track is about efficiency. You don't do things to endanger other riders, and this isn't even what anyone on the track would consider a trick or bling practice -- it's just a brief fad that never came back. So why bother?
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Old 02-26-06, 02:13 AM   #13
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Use light machine oil or sewing machine oil.
Removing one ballbearing from each side is an old trick as well. But I don't think that's very good for the hubs.
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Old 02-26-06, 02:21 AM   #14
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yeah it doesnt seem like a very good idea for track safety.
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Old 02-26-06, 02:28 AM   #15
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Oh, and by the way, when the oil ran out, it tended more than anything to flow down the spokes under centrifugal force and coat your own tires with oil. The results were predictable, and rather personal. You may have brought down the rest of the field, but you were usually assured of being on the bottom of the pile with someone's chainring in your leg and their handlebar end in your liver. A practice better off not practiced.
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Old 02-26-06, 07:33 AM   #16
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hmmmm. thanks for the info, 11.4
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Old 02-26-06, 08:15 AM   #17
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saw them on ebay^^^
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Old 02-26-06, 08:22 AM   #18
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Which oil weighs less ?
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Old 02-26-06, 09:01 AM   #19
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I remember this practice from the mid-80's, chiefly in connection with time trials. Believers removed one bearing from each side and lubed with WD-40. Seemed like an excellent way to ruin expensive equipment to me. I don't remember any evidence of a clear advantage. More importantly, though, the disadvantages that 11.4 points out could have some pretty heavy consequences.

I'm fast becoming a serious 11.4 fan. Knowledgeable and commonsense answers. Thanks, 11.4!
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Old 02-26-06, 09:07 AM   #20
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Yes, my boss also told me they removed a bearing from each side along with adding oil. While he doesn't strike me as a fad guy, he may have been prone to hype in his younger track days..
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Old 02-26-06, 09:29 AM   #21
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Ooooh. It's time to get nerdy!

I just flipped open my copy of Bicycling Science - 2nd Ed and got these for friction coefficients:

Hubs/BB/Pedals: .01-.005 Each

Tire on a track: .004 Each

Aerodynamic Drag Coefficient: .9

So aerodynamic drag has ~90x the effect that your hubs have.

I would add that taking the dust caps and eliminating the grease seal allows small particles free entry into your very nice and smooth bearings/races - a track is not a clean room.

I would work on your aero position first.
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Old 02-26-06, 09:39 AM   #22
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Getting more aero may well be impossible without access to a wind tunnel, compromising power output (i.e. ****ing up your position on the bike) or spending an obscene amount of money on new parts. I guess everyone in here knows aerodynamic drag is the biggest speed limiting factor, so prolly teadogg has done his homework as well.
It looks like the oil thing is not feasible, though... maybe a thinner grease, applied sparingly?
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Old 02-26-06, 09:49 AM   #23
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I was BSing about this with my bike guru, he was a pro-level wrench when this was en vogue and said you will go through more bearings than you can possibly imagine, both from actual wear and from replacing them just to be safe.
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Old 02-26-06, 09:56 AM   #24
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A somewhat related topic, the freewheel on my winter beater/commuter kept freezing up at temps below -10º F and the pawls would get stuck. I cleaned all of the grease out and re-lubed it with Finish Line chainlube. (The "wet" stuff designed for dirty environments) It's a bit thicker, and doesn't seen to drip out, yet it hasn't frozen up yet and I've ridden down to -20 or so.
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Old 02-26-06, 11:16 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee
A somewhat related topic, the freewheel on my winter beater/commuter kept freezing up at temps below -10º F and the pawls would get stuck. I cleaned all of the grease out and re-lubed it with Finish Line chainlube. (The "wet" stuff designed for dirty environments) It's a bit thicker, and doesn't seen to drip out, yet it hasn't frozen up yet and I've ridden down to -20 or so.

I knew guys who would do the same thing in Fairbanks, Alaska, when I lived up there.
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