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Best grease for threading freewheel to hub?

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Best grease for threading freewheel to hub?

Old 09-01-21, 05:48 PM
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KenNC
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Best grease for threading freewheel to hub?

I've been working on an early 80s tandem, and FINALLY got the freewheel off the Atom drum brake rear hub. Don't want to deal with that again, or pass that problem on to a future owner. I always grease the hub and freewheel before spinning them on, but haven't given much thought to the grease I use--whatever I've been using in bottom brackets. I'd be interested in hearing if there are any best practices out there that I am overlooking.
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Old 09-01-21, 05:51 PM
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Pretty much any grease will do.
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Old 09-01-21, 05:55 PM
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I use Never Seize, or Phil grease. Small acid brush, q - Tips applied liberally.
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Old 09-02-21, 01:48 AM
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I've used Phil's green grease and Permatex anti-seize lube. The latter is probably overkill. Any grease will probably do.
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Old 09-02-21, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
Grease is grease is grease is grease.
That is certainly true but there are different kinds of grease.

In my case, and thanks to where I used to work, I use a synthetic water proof product and it works just fine - on everything bicycle related. The synthetic grease was/is used on paper making machines that are constantly subject to high moisture and steam contamination. It is incredibly good stuff and would never end up looking like this ordinary, old school grease that, thanks to water invasion, had turned to a rusty powder (not good for rodents to eat or live near apparently)...
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Old 09-02-21, 04:55 AM
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Parts Is Parts - Not All Grease Is Created Equal

Most types of grease are designed to provide lubrication and reduce friction between mechanical moving surfaces. They provide a surface boundary layer to reduce direct contact between moving parts, for example in the case of ball bearings, metal to metal contact.

Standard Vaseline is a very simple form of grease that consists of pure high viscosity petroleum. It has no additives to function under high heat or high pressure such as would be found in a rotating mechanical device. Also the volatile elements eventually break down or evaporate leaving a hardened residue.

Commercial lubrication greases have all kinds of additives for performance in specific applications and provide longer useful life.

Using little or no lubrication between the aluminum hub threads and steel freewheels can result in 1 or 2 issues that will make a FW hard to remove. One is galling during assembly. The soft aluminum smears onto the steel threads forming a bond. The second is over time electrolytic corrosion can happen between the steel and aluminum.

Anti-Seize compound are formulated to reduce or prevent galling plus protect against electrolytic corrosion. They can contain graphite, molybdenum disulfide, and/or micro powdered metal such as aluminum, copper or nickel. Copper and nickel are used for higher heat applications.

I've used Phil grease for years on freewheels but if the anti-seize compound is close at hand I use that. I use anti-seize on pedal threads too. The only draw back is any excess becomes a mess to clean up.

I'd never use white Campy grease on freewheels because it dries out. Some white automotive lithium grease might work better.

Over thinking a problem a while back, I was wondering if the high pressure additives in automotive/marine grease etc. might contribute to electrolytic corrosion when used on seatposts and stems.

I started trying Vaseline in those applications instead... Then I stopped thinking and went back to what I'd been doing for almost 50 years.

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Old 09-02-21, 05:25 AM
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My go to grease on all things bike related is Super Lube synthetic grease. As randyjawa says above, all grease is not the same. His photo is good proof that this is the case. Super Lube, along with being highly water resistant is also very resistant against salt contamination and temperature variations. How many of you have noticed what Phil Wood Grease does in hot weather? The oil tends to separate from the soap.

I offer up this photo below as a good example that all grease is not the same. Sometime in the early '90s Sachs began producing the Aris model of freewheels, which used red plastic cages to hold the bearings. The cages also doubled as seals which do an amazing job of keeping contaminates away from the internals.




However, their grease selection (and application method of the grease) proved problematic. Over time it ages into a very sticky "peanut butter" color and consistency. This tendency, and the fact that Sachs flooded the interior of the body with the bad grease through a port hole in the side (instead of only greasing the races), meant the pawls in many cases become lodged in the closed position and don't engage the ratchet teeth.

I have worked on NIB Sach Aris freewheels, which were (to the best of the owner's knowledge) stored in climate-controlled conditions, which looked like the above or worse. Clients have sent me this model seized tight with a report that it worked like a fixed gear bike. When I opened it, only the grease was binding the two body halves together.

If KenNC is removing the freewheel at least yearly, and refreshing the threads with new grease, then grease is grease is grease. But if you take the approach that you can "grease it and forget it" especially when the bike sees little use, don't be fooled.
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Old 09-02-21, 06:02 AM
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This is C&V, so how about whale oil?
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Old 09-02-21, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
This is C&V, so how about whale oil?
Whale Oil + Goats Milk Soap = 100% Organic Grease (not vegan, of course)
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Old 09-02-21, 06:59 AM
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You asked for best practice and all but "grease is grease" above is excellent practice. I come from industrial maintenance and if you ride in or store in the wet, and probably still overkill, marine grade anti-seize like this can not be beat:
https://www.amazon.com/Loctite-29917...0587073&sr=8-3
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Old 09-02-21, 07:21 AM
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Loctite silver anti-seize
Tim
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Old 09-02-21, 07:31 AM
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I typically use anti-seize from the jar I bought 30 years ago and have no hope of using up in my lifetime. If I'm too lazy to walk from my shop to the garage to get it, I'll opt for the tube of Park grease that's at hand. Personally, I think that any sort of grease will ease the next removal. In my volunteer work at our local co-op, I've removed dozens of freewheels from neglected bikes over the last few years. Some are definitely a challenge, requiring one person (sometimes 2) to hold the wheel, while another applies torque with an 8 ft breaker bar. This has never failed or resulted in hub damage, though it is fun to watch.
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Old 09-02-21, 08:00 AM
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I like using marine grease, I seem to get caught in the rain a lot.
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Old 09-02-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
You asked for best practice and all but "grease is grease" above is excellent practice. I come from industrial maintenance and if you ride in or store in the wet, and probably still overkill, marine grade anti-seize like this can not be beat:
https://www.amazon.com/Loctite-29917...0587073&sr=8-3
Thanks, I think I'll go with this. The Atom drum brake hub will require more frequent service, or at least more frequent monitoring/inspection, than most so I want to be extra cautious. Appreciate the recommendation!
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Old 09-02-21, 10:31 AM
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A couple of things about this whole grease topic which is near and dear to my geekish heart:
Grease is an engineered substance. As pointed out earlier it is not just a super-thick oil like vaseline.
Not all greases are compatible with each other. I work on a lot of old turntables and record changers. Their main failure mode is that the grease and oil turns into tar and varnish. A lot of them have had previous repair consisting of some guy slathering fresh grease on top of the old. This "works" well enough that he gets it out of the shop. The problem is that the combination usually produces rust and corrosion in addition to the new grease having dried out before it gets to me.

TLDR: Remove all old grease before lubricating with fresh grease. Always.

Most greases are good enough for this stuff. I like pretty white lithium greases. Ace Hardware puts up nice little tubes. The white grease will show if your work isn't clean.

Been experimenting with Lucas Red & Sticky for bike stuff lately and think I like it.
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Old 09-02-21, 11:10 AM
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I use "Super Lube" grease. Not only do I have access to as much as I want, it works great on just about anything.

I own a design/manufacturing facility, and I have to specify down to the last "ingredient" what is used in one of our designs for military contracts. I was using Phil's to lubricate the steel on steel on an optical interface unit (because that is what I had on hand during the prototype/submission phase) so the initial shipment was spec'd for the stuff. The end user (US Army) was like "what is that?" so I then spec'd Super Lube. After years of Super Lube we have found that it is truly a fantastic product under real world conditions.

Grease is grease..................to a point.
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Old 09-02-21, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
Grease is grease is grease is grease.
so, grease is the word? it's got groove? it's got meaning? is grease the way you are feeling?
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Old 09-02-21, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
I like pretty white lithium greases. Ace Hardware...
Me too. And it looks very Campañola.
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Old 09-02-21, 02:05 PM
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I have simplified my stock of POL in the house. I use Automatic Transmission Fluid for cleaning. Chain saw oil for lubricating chains. 40wt Castrol in the oil can. Marine Grease for all my grease.

Prematex Anti Size compound for parts I want to take apart latter.


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Old 09-02-21, 02:59 PM
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If it doesn't move, I use anti-seize.

If it moves or spins, grease goes in.
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Old 09-02-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
If it doesn't move, I use anti-seize.

If it moves or spins, grease goes in.
If it doesn't move and it's supposed to- WD-40.

If it moves and it not supposed to Duck tape.

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Old 09-02-21, 04:30 PM
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How is the Park grease?

I used to use the Phil grease, then a thing of Mobile One grease, then a little squeezy tube of the Park grease.

It seems much easier to clean up than either the Phil or Mobile One.
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Old 09-02-21, 09:40 PM
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Old 09-02-21, 10:03 PM
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Only the finest DOC extra virgin olive oil for my Pinarello.

Rock N Roll Red Devil for everything else.
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Old 09-03-21, 02:28 AM
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As has been mentioned, in this application I would use never seize assembly grease in wet environments or assembly lube like Vaseline in dry climates. In Southern California I have not had a FW lock on the hub before, even after several years of use. I live on a hill so my bikes see a fair amount of climbing.
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