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To Grease or Not to Grease?

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To Grease or Not to Grease?

Old 07-12-21, 07:51 PM
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Keefusb
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To Grease or Not to Grease?

I recently picked up a pair of NOS Shimano 600 Tricolor hubs. Got them in the post today, and they absolutely look brand new.

Having been a long time Shimano enthsuiast, I am concerned about the condition of the 25+ year old grease inside these hubs. They feel buttery smooth right now, but how will it hold up after a few months of use?

Should I not worry about it and just build the wheels and ride on them? Or should I proactively clean out the old original Shimano factory grease and replace it with my old stand-by Mobil1 Synthetic bearing grease?

I have successfully used Mobil1 Synthetic bearing grease for 25 years for pretty much every bicycle application that requires grease.

What say the wise old heads here on BikeForums?
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Old 07-12-21, 08:25 PM
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If they were mine I would certainly disassemble, clean and regrease them before riding them 10 feet. I've seen hubs in storage for a lot less than 25 years and the grease looked and felt like dried rubber cement. At the very least open them up and see what the existing grease looks like.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:46 PM
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It'd be blasphemy to use anything other than the green fluorescent Dura Ace Special grease in those hubs. I got a first generation Dura Ace front hub at a bike swap meet that looked like it was built then not ridden and broken down. Probably from 1973-1977, so about 40 years old when I got it about 5 years ago. I had the same dilemma, and decided to regrease. The assumed original green DA Special grease was in amazing condition, which caused me to think it actually something special and procure it for the next relube. That hub is definitely like butter. Had it on my favorite fixed gear, but built new wheels on Phil Wood track hubs. Using the DA wheel on my Marinoni, mismatched with a Campy 9 speed rear.
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Old 07-12-21, 11:00 PM
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What's piece of mind worth?
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Old 07-13-21, 06:39 AM
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If the axles rotate smoothly, they likely don't need new grease. It can't hurt to open it up and take a look. Bearing grease is an emulsion of oil and soap; "dried" grease is a result of the oil component separating from the soap component and leaking out, leaving the soap behind. If that's what you find, you can add a little oil and ride around to re-emulsify the grease. Some hubs have oil ports for exactly that purpose.
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Old 07-13-21, 08:31 AM
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I opened up the front hub, and it looked like it was packed with that standard brown grease that most Shimano hubs and other components use. It looks like it's intact (not hard or seperated) and in good shape, but the skeptic in me still wants to clean it all out and replace it with Mobil1 Synthetic bearing grease before it gets old and lumpy like I know it will get eventually.

Am I just being paranoid/obsessve-compulsive, or are my concerns about the old stuff legit?
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Old 07-13-21, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post
Am I just being paranoid/obsessve-compulsive, or are my concerns about the old stuff legit?
Probably.

But if you had or have doubts about something that is such an easy thing to remedy. Especially now with them not installed.

It wouldn't matter to me if they were new or old. If I had doubts or questions, they would have been cleaned inspected and lubed in the time it's taken you to write and wade through these replies.
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Old 07-13-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post
Am I just being paranoid/obsessve-compulsive, or are my concerns about the old stuff legit?
Just do it, do it, do it!!!! It's probably OK with the factory grease but you'll be thinking about it so for peace of mind re-grease and you won't have to worry about it for a couple years at least.
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Old 07-13-21, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post

Am I just being paranoid/obsessve-compulsive, or are my concerns about the old stuff legit?
Looks like you have spent more time thinking about it and talking about than it would take to do it. Just get it over with and move on with life.
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Old 07-13-21, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post
...Am I just being paranoid/obsessve-compulsive...
No. There's another thing here... You are doing it yourself... Fun Fun FUN! Isn't it nice to be able to play with our toys?
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Old 07-13-21, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post
I opened up the front hub, and it looked like it was packed with that standard brown grease that most Shimano hubs and other components use. It looks like it's intact (not hard or seperated) and in good shape, but the skeptic in me still wants to clean it all out and replace it with Mobil1 Synthetic bearing grease before it gets old and lumpy like I know it will get eventually.

Am I just being paranoid/obsessve-compulsive, or are my concerns about the old stuff legit?
Mental health is for a different forum.
Learn to make a decision on your own. If you have it that far apart already, how much more work to repack with a lube you apparently believe in
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Old 07-14-21, 07:35 AM
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I recently faced the same question and replaced the grease. I like to fully remove the old grease before changing grease types in order to avoid compatability issues. Oh, and the green Shimano grease doesn't feel nearly as slippery as other greases I've used. Not a fan.
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