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What grease? 1975 Motobecane

Old 02-15-24, 07:25 PM
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What grease? 1975 Motobecane

So, after a 45 year interval I am finally servicing my 1975 Motobecane Grand Record. What modern grease do you in the know recommend for the wheel bearings, the bottom bracket, the pedals, the headset? The bike will be ridden only occasionally and never in wet conditions. TIA

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Old 02-15-24, 07:27 PM
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Not bacon grease. Dogs will chase you.

But seriously, just wheel bearing grease is fine IMHO.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:36 PM
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I generally use and recommend Phil Lube from Phil Wood and Co. It is good stuff and made in 'murica.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:45 PM
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The brand of a bearing grease is far less the issue than your doing the cleaning and relubing work. The bike will thank you regardless of the grease Andy
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Old 02-15-24, 08:26 PM
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​​​​​​https://www.farmandfleet.com/product...xoCMWwQAvD_BwE

​​​​​​https://www.menards.com/main/tools/a...993-c-9104.htm
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Old 02-15-24, 08:35 PM
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For bikes, cars, and everything. It will last many years.

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Old 02-15-24, 08:36 PM
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I have Park Tool PPL-1 polylube 1000 and HPG-1 ‘high performance’ greases in my garage. No bacon grease since going plant-based seven years ago. Last servicing (but not the BB) was with the white creamy Campagnolo bearing grease. It’s turned kind of orange and sticky funky after 45 years! From the responses so far sounds like the Park Tool greases will be fine.
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Old 02-15-24, 09:14 PM
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I have a tub of marine grease I've been using since I can't even remember when. I use little brushes or my fingers to apply it. I might buy a little tube of grease from the bike store just because it's a more convenient application device for some things. But I have no concern that the marine grease isn't adequate, and probably as optimal as anything, for a bike.
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Old 02-15-24, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker Pete
I have Park Tool PPL-1 polylube 1000 and HPG-1 ‘high performance’ greases in my garage. No bacon grease since going plant-based seven years ago. Last servicing (but not the BB) was with the white creamy Campagnolo bearing grease. It’s turned kind of orange and sticky funky after 45 years! From the responses so far sounds like the Park Tool greases will be fine.
Short answer, yes. As a lifer wrench I have a lube category I sometimes call "bench grease". It's old grease that I had used long enough so that it became potentially too contaminated for bearings. For seat post, stem, pedal, freewheel mounting, general threaded fasteners, clamped and galvanically reactive surfaces this old grease works fine enough.

So I say use that old grease for the non bearing grease needs and the stuff that looks good for the bearings. Andy
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Old 02-15-24, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo
I have a tub of marine grease I've been using since I can't even remember when. I use little brushes or my fingers to apply it. I might buy a little tube of grease from the bike store just because it's a more convenient application device for some things. But I have no concern that the marine grease isn't adequate, and probably as optimal as anything, for a bike.
Sounds familiar. If you live and ride in sub zero temperatures then a lighter grease might feel better/spin faster on those rides. I would suggest keeping the marine grease out of ratchets (freewheels and freehub bodies). Andy
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Old 02-15-24, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Sounds familiar. If you live and ride in sub zero temperatures then a lighter grease might feel better/spin faster on those rides. I would suggest keeping the marine grease out of ratchets (freewheels and freehub bodies). Andy
When it's cold, I xc ski . I might ride if it's above 20, but only if the roads aren't treacherous for my 35mm studded tires, and I'm not too lazy to put them on the rims.

But around here, I do understand that the cold weather riders use cold weather lubricants and I've noticed that the bike shops do cold weather tune up sessions and workshops.

I haven't used grease on ratchets. I have experimented with thick-ish oil (I have some Chain-L) but generally don't mess with freehubs. Maybe a tiny dab if I need something "sticky" to hold a pawl in place or something like that.
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Old 02-16-24, 12:15 AM
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"Marine Grease" any flavor will do. And dont forget a mini grease gun...
https://autodepotnc.com/wp-content/u...rease-guns.jpg
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Old 02-17-24, 10:17 AM
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Been using Pedro's synthetic most recently. Later rework shows it holds up and remains in place.

Formerly used Phil Woods, which works fine although my experience is it eventually dries after a long period. Rumor had it "back in the day" it's repurposed boat trailer bearing grease. True? No idea.

I'd think most modern formulas are up to the task. '70s bearings lack environmental sealing so present a higher need for moisture and grit resistance.
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Old 02-17-24, 03:56 PM
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Well, the sonicator cleaning process has begun…..

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Old 02-17-24, 06:04 PM
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get a tube of Phil's grease....works great and unless you have 80 gazillion bikes (in this case n+1 Is 80G+1) will be enough for years of bike maintenance
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Old 02-19-24, 02:11 AM
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Like others, I've typically used a high-quality automotive wheel bearing grease, way cheaper in the tubs than Phil grease. But a very respected LBS that is renowned for their IGH services, swears by green marine wheel bearing grease (it's light green, not dark like Phil), for the local wet climate. Same 500 F drop point and specs as typical wheel bearing grease. Notes:
- There used to be a distinction between "rolling contact" (bearing) grease (my dad used "long fiber grease" (denotes consistency) and "sliding contact" grease (auto steering linkage bushings, etc, my dad used black lithium grease). But these days I think things have consolidated.
- To grease the hubs, once clean, I use a skinny wooden coffee stirrer to scoop grease out of the tub to fill the races, then with a tiny dab of grease on the stirrer end, touch it to a bearing, it sticks, deposit it in the race, pushed into the grease, slide stirrer away, bearing stays. Repeat. Super easy. Might also work with a flat blade screwdriver that is not too magnetic.
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Old 02-19-24, 11:58 AM
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+1 for Red 'n' Tacky.

I asked myself the same question a couple of years back, I had some specialist grease but no general bike grease.
Comes in a 1lb tub for about £10 (or £41 on Amazon).
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Old 02-19-24, 06:46 PM
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Shimano Dura Ace grease.

Had to adjust my almost 40 year old DA pedals. Opened them up and the grease was as clean and thick as the day it was installed. I won’t use anything else, except Phil’s if I don’t have a choice.
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Old 02-19-24, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Shimano Dura Ace grease.

Had to adjust my almost 40 year old DA pedals. Opened them up and the grease was as clean and thick as the day it was installed. I won’t use anything else, except Phil’s if I don’t have a choice.
Under bicycle use, any decent grease will not break down to lower viscosity (more liquid), the problem over time is usually the opposite, evaporation of thinner constituents and it getting hard. If it's still normal grease viscosity after that much time, that's excellent, it may be completely composed of elements that have no evaporation in air.

Motor oils containing viscocity improvers for multigrade (10W-40), can break down over time, and at high temperature, not behaving like 40 weight, and instead behaving like the 10W oil on which it is based. This is why many heavy duty applications use "straight 30 weight", which won't due that, but doesn't flow as well at extreme cold temperatures.
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Old 02-19-24, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Under bicycle use, any decent grease will not break down to lower viscosity (more liquid), the problem over time is usually the opposite, evaporation of thinner constituents and it getting hard. If it's still normal grease viscosity after that much time, that's excellent, it may be completely composed of elements that have no evaporation in air.
Yeah, our shop standard was white lithium; still have a tub of it for household projects. But dealt enough with hardened white lithium in hubs and bottom brackets to avoid it for the bikes.
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Old 02-19-24, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Yeah, our shop standard was white lithium; still have a tub of it for household projects. But dealt enough with hardened white lithium in hubs and bottom brackets to avoid it for the bikes.
My circa 1989 tube of Phil grease is not hard, but looks hinda pasty, I think thicker than originally. I switched to green marine wheel bearing grease, and am having excellent results, and before that, a tub of STP (4 lb tub for $10) that I think is equivalent to the Red'n'Tacky mentioned, which I still use for applications that don't have the possibility of water intrusion. But all these things are rebuilt at least every 5 years.

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Old 02-22-24, 08:08 PM
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Hey thanks all for your replies. This place is a great resource! I wound up buying a tube of Phil’s and between that and the Park Tool greases I mentioned above I should be all set.

That and I’m really stoked about this cleaning/rebuild. I discovered the treasure trove of vintage bike parts available on eBay and I am rebuilding with a lot of period appropriate Campy parts! I always wanted to do this but was a poor student back in the day…..

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Old 02-22-24, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker Pete
Hey thanks all for your replies. This place is a great resource! I wound up buying a tube of Phil’s and between that and the Park Tool greases I mentioned above I should be all set.

That and I’m really stoked about this cleaning/rebuild. I discovered the treasure trove of vintage bike parts available on eBay and I am rebuilding with a lot of period appropriate Campy parts! I always wanted to do this but was a poor student back in the day…..
Awesome! You can’t go wrong with Phil’s.
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Old 02-22-24, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Awesome! You can’t go wrong with Phil’s.
I have the Shimano grease you mentioned on order, too…..ha!
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