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Bike grease vs. marine grease

Old 05-09-20, 12:50 PM
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tyrion
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Bike grease vs. marine grease

Does it matter much? Harbor Freight has marine grease 9 oz. for $8, which is less than half the cost of Park Tool grease (and 1/6 the cost of Phil Wood grease).
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Old 05-09-20, 01:16 PM
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I use marine grease on my bikes now and have for some time. If I happen to get some marine grease on my hands it takes vigourous scrubbing with Sunlight brand dishwashing liquid to get it off. Sunlight is excellent at cutting other types of grease.

I figure if marine grease is good enough for stuf that'll be submerged in water then it's good enough for my bike.

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Old 05-09-20, 02:21 PM
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I used to use boat trailer bearing grease.
Then I thought, I NEVER ride in the rain.
I switched to synthetic. I think a 1lb. tub was <$10-15??? It's been awhile.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Does it matter much? Harbor Freight has marine grease 9 oz. for $8, which is less than half the cost of Park Tool grease (and 1/6 the cost of Phil Wood grease).
It doesn't matter much in my experience. Have used too many types to recall. I just use the cheap marine grease and no issues. Bikes are mostly low demand on greases. But even if you buy the most expensive stuff for occasional maintenance it doesn't cost much in the grand scheme of things. Also, if you have lots of free time to research you'll find that there are greases not labeled as MARINE that have just as good or better water resistance.

Last edited by Crankycrank; 05-09-20 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:29 PM
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It's fine. I'd expect it to do a pretty good job of protecting bearings, and maybe run very slightly slower than greases more commonly used in the bike industry. Given the remarkable lack of real information on greases in the bike industry, I like White Lightning Crystal grease simply because it cleans off my hands easier and makes contamination more visable.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:36 PM
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Speedplay recommends marine grease for my Frog pedals. They sell their own grease, too, but they don't say it's any better than generic marine grease.
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Old 05-09-20, 04:05 PM
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Have been using marine grease for some years now. Specially since I ride in the rain/wet/damp. PITA to clean but hey, I don't have to worry about water!
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Old 05-09-20, 04:21 PM
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A manager/mechanic for a local bike chain turned me on to marine grease years ago. Ride year 'round and have a hub or BB with less than perfect seal? Stuff so much of that stuff in the bearings that it oozes out the next few rides. Wipe carefully, being sure not to force any road grit in. Ignore for two solid winters of commuting through everything. Then clean and repack. And guess what? That hub will be pristine. Exactly the thick blue it was when you packed it except a tiny ring of black right at the bearings.

I also use it to grease threads, especially spoke threads. Years later when it is time to unscrew - never an issue.

But it isn't merely waterproof. It is nearly cleanser proof. Probably the major reason it is not popular in bike shops.

If you think about it, bike duty is child's play for the stuff. Spends 6 hours at highway speed supporting a boat. 10 minutes later, it is being sunk 4' in salt water.. Next day, sunk again, then driven on the highway soaking wet.

Ben
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Old 05-09-20, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Does it matter much? Harbor Freight has marine grease 9 oz. for $8, which is less than half the cost of Park Tool grease (and 1/6 the cost of Phil Wood grease).
I’d be dubious of anything that comes from Harbor Freight. Grease from Harbor Freight is a bit like tootpast from the Dollar Store. It might contain something grease...like tootpast...but it might contain things you might not want...like Coalgate tootpast.

There’s nothing wrong with Harbor Freight for cheap tools that you might use infrequently but you wouldn’t want to depend on that tool for daily use.

On the other hand, if you convert everything over to cartridge bearings, a tube of Park lube will last 15 or 20 years. I only use the stuff now to grease threads.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’d be dubious of anything that comes from Harbor Freight. Grease from Harbor Freight is a bit like tootpast from the Dollar Store. It might contain something grease...like tootpast...but it might contain things you might not want...like Coalgate tootpast.

There’s nothing wrong with Harbor Freight for cheap tools that you might use infrequently but you wouldn’t want to depend on that tool for daily use.

On the other hand, if you convert everything over to cartridge bearings, a tube of Park lube will last 15 or 20 years. I only use the stuff now to grease threads.
I buy mine at Napa or any other auto parts store. Don't have to go to a discount place. It is not expensive.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Does it matter much? Harbor Freight has marine grease 9 oz. for $8, which is less than half the cost of Park Tool grease (and 1/6 the cost of Phil Wood grease).
Forget $8 for 9 ounces. Buy a 1 pound tub from the auto parts store of your choice for ~$5. I just checked O'Reilly Auto Parts, $4.99 for a 1 pound tub of marine grease. Typical home gamer a one pound tub will last a long time.
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Old 05-09-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’d be dubious of anything that comes from Harbor Freight. Grease from Harbor Freight is a bit like tootpast from the Dollar Store. It might contain something grease...like tootpast...but it might contain things you might not want...like Coalgate tootpast.

There’s nothing wrong with Harbor Freight for cheap tools that you might use infrequently but you wouldn’t want to depend on that tool for daily use.

On the other hand, if you convert everything over to cartridge bearings, a tube of Park lube will last 15 or 20 years. I only use the stuff now to grease threads.
"Man who eat beans while riding by going to toot past"
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Old 05-09-20, 06:22 PM
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8 or 16 oz of any grease in bike use is a lifetime supply. I am about 1/4th the way through an 8oz tub of white lubriplate
bought in the '70s and half way through a tube of lithium grease in a grease gun bought in the '60s. Price is thus
not relevant, 'name brand' more pertinent. Better to use an auto supply store as a source than HF.
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Old 05-09-20, 07:13 PM
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I've used Phil's and marine grease and they seem to be the same thing. Good but I get the impression that whatever Shimano uses in its premium grease for its better loose bearing hubs has better shear characteristics. Marine grease seems to shear more easily and bearings don't feel quite as buttery as with the grease Shimano has used in their 600 and Dura Ace hubs.
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Old 05-09-20, 07:20 PM
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I actually ran a bunch of tests using different greases a number of years ago on wheelsets. (As a side note, did a similar test regimen back in the 90's on lubricants for radio control cars when I was writing test stuff for the industry, so I know how to run a test schedule). Was only interested in the run down time from a set speed to zero.
Phil won hands down.
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Old 05-10-20, 11:54 AM
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How about grease found in plumbing shops. Some is specified for faucet cartridges and threads that are constantly exposed even to hot water.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:35 PM
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You mean I can stop paying $18 for a 2oz tube of Slick Honey?

But as a serious question, grease like Slick Wax is indicated as safe for O-rings and elastomers, etc.. are there some greases that aren't?

Last edited by Sy Reene; 05-10-20 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:42 PM
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how much grease do you need? a tube of phils will last for years and is known good quality, why bother unless you have some sort of huge high volume need?
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Old 05-10-20, 01:09 PM
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Hmmmm...Nit pickers. Grease is grease. All bicycle bearings are very low speed, low load, no heat. Use any grease you want, but I just use the cheapest grease around. A tub will last for at least 2 generations.
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Old 05-10-20, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Hmmmm...Nit pickers. Grease is grease. All bicycle bearings are very low speed, low load, no heat. Use any grease you want, but I just use the cheapest grease around. A tub will last for at least 2 generations.
Grease for low speed applications should have high base oil viscosity, unlike most greases. Motorex grease 2000 has adequate high base oil viscosity, and is surprisingly similar to shimano premium grease, - the bright yellow stuff.
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Old 05-10-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’d be dubious of anything that comes from Harbor Freight. Grease from Harbor Freight is a bit like tootpast from the Dollar Store. It might contain something grease...like tootpast...but it might contain things you might not want...like Coalgate tootpast.
I rarely take issue with anything cyccommute has to say, but:

Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
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Old 05-10-20, 08:20 PM
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I only use Krytox AZ grease with the handy applicator syringe: . Why use peasant grease? I am not grease wrestling and for that I can get a 5 gallon bucket.
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Old 05-10-20, 08:36 PM
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I've paid the premium price for Phil Wood for years - a nice, compact usable container for the few times I need it. I recently bought a big tub of Lucas Red 'n Tacky for $7.

The main thing with bicycle grease is that it is present.
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Old 05-10-20, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
how much grease do you need? a tube of phils will last for years and is known good quality, why bother unless you have some sort of huge high volume need?
I use grease for things other than the bike, so the $6 pound of marine grease seems like a versatile solution.
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Old 05-10-20, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
But as a serious question, grease like Slick Wax is indicated as safe for O-rings and elastomers, etc.. are there some greases that aren't?
Yes. Generally silicone greases are recommended for elastomer applications. I typically have sil glide and molykote 55 in stock for those applications.
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