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The squeaky pulley wheel gets the silicone spray, not grease

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The squeaky pulley wheel gets the silicone spray, not grease

Old 05-31-20, 07:27 AM
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djb
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The squeaky pulley wheel gets the silicone spray, not grease

figured, "what the heck", I'd post about this, was kind of funny and a first for me

out for a ride yesterday, hearing this occasional high pitched and short lived squeak from the rear end when shifting--we're talking mouse squeak noise, never had this before.
Ive been swapping bikes lately and while I'm very good at keeping on top of drivetrain cleaning/lubing, I actually thought the chain needed lubing (but never have heard this before but hey...)

clean and lube chain after doing same on other bikes in household
ride around for a minute and Mickey Mouse still squeaking on each shift
ok, must be rd pivot points, as its happening only at exact shift time, more when I sweep shift 2 or 3 gears---odd cuz I regularly put tiny drops of tri flow on pivot points but hey...
nope, rodent sound still happening

put bike back on stand, pedal by hand, shift, listening and trying to listen better....
ok, maybe its the spring inside rd that for some reason is moving against something with big shifts, so spray silicone spray on that, and more on pivot pts again....nope no change
could it be the cable rubbing under the bottom of the frame, nope, theres that plastic guide thingee, so wouldnt make a squeak, plus it is clean..

and finally, dawns on me--it must be the pulley wheels....sure enough, sprayed both with Jig-a-Loo, that silicone or whatever slidey slippy spray stuff, and no more squeaks.

just kinda weird, first time Ive had that happen, but it was annoying riding with that squeak, so keep this in mind.
I tend to spray jockey wheels once in a while with a non greasy accumulating type spray, hence this jig-a-loo stuff, but I guess I hadnt on this bike since last year.
Oh, rd is a regular old 9 speed deore LX, so nothing special and jockey wheels probably dont have bearings, but just rub against a recessed area.
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Old 05-31-20, 08:03 AM
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Did you unscrew the bolts that hold the pulley wheels on and remove the pulleys from the cage? I think this is best when they are squealing like that. This way they can be disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and then the bushings can then get properly greased. I like to use my Finish Line micro grease gun to put a tiny amount of Rock-N-Roll Super Web grease right where I need it. When done this way, the pulleys will stay squeak free for a long time.

Shimano 105 and Ultegra pulleys do this (develop that squeak) eventually when not serviced. For some reason, a lot of riders seem unaware of the need for this little bit of necessary maintenance. I suspect that Deore and Deore LX are the same with respect to using the tried and true Shimano bushing design in the pulley. Shimano’s higher end rear derailleurs such as XTR or Dura Ace typically use sealed cartridge bearings in the pulleys so they don’t develop the squeal. They also need to be cleaned and the bolts oiled or greased periodically (annually).

sounds like the silicon spray did the job for you but unless you really got it into the bushings, the squeal will be back I would think.
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Old 05-31-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Did you unscrew the bolts that hold the pulley wheels on and remove the pulleys from the cage? I think this is best when they are squealing like that. This way they can be disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and then the bushings can then get properly greased. I like to use my Finish Line micro grease gun to put a tiny amount of Rock-N-Roll Super Web grease right where I need it. When done this way, the pulleys will stay squeak free for a long time.

Shimano 105 and Ultegra pulleys do this (develop that squeak) eventually when not serviced. For some reason, a lot of riders seem unaware of the need for this little bit of necessary maintenance. I suspect that Deore and Deore LX are the same with respect to using the tried and true Shimano bushing design in the pulley. Shimano’s higher end rear derailleurs such as XTR or Dura Ace typically use sealed cartridge bearings in the pulleys so they don’t develop the squeal. They also need to be cleaned and the bolts oiled or greased periodically (annually).

sounds like the silicon spray did the job for you but unless you really got it into the bushings, the squeal will be back I would think.
nope, was too lazy at that point and had other stuff to do.
Haven't done that in a while, and will take a peek sometime. In the past Ive disassembled various rd's to get all the gunk out, but I dont think Ive ever taken apart this deore rd. I always wipe down my jockey wheels before lubing a chain, so this bike never accumulates stuff there.
will do it though and see how it is, thanks for the reminder.
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Old 05-31-20, 11:19 AM
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The first time I took apart the RD, I filed a grease groove around the circumference of the bushings. Don't know if it helps, but it felt like it should
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Old 05-31-20, 11:24 AM
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I was under the impression rd derailleur bushings were meant to be left dry. Whenever I've put lube or light/medium oil on them their movement isn't as free.
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Old 05-31-20, 02:33 PM
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The derailleur jockey wheels, not sure why it would only squeak when shifting. I usually remove them and do a major cleanup with a toothbrush and soap (Dawn dish soap works well), then use Phil grease when i reassemble. Do that about every other year or so. I do not put it on the calendar, I am just guessing on frequency.

If you have any of those disposable gloves that medical staff use, that makes the job a bit easier to cleanup in the end. You get get some pretty hard to clean off grime on your hands otherwise.

The top and bottom pulleys often have different parts, for example on the top jockey wheel there usually is a bit of side to side play that is lacking in the lower one. That side to side play is supposed to be there. For that reason I always remove, clean and re-lube one at a time to make sure I do not get any of the parts mixed up between top and bottom.

I like the mid 1990s vintage Shimano XT M739 derailleurs, have bought several on Ebay or at swap meets. Have them on most of my derailleur bikes, so sometimes I just change derailleurs since my spare derailleurs have already had cleaned and lubed jockey wheels. Then I clean and lube the jockey wheels later. Did that on two of my bikes this past late winter before the snow melted, swapped derailleurs on those two bikes.
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Old 05-31-20, 04:06 PM
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well, thanks to you guys, I had to go and get my hands dirty and take the darn things off. Weren't too dirty really, so a quick wipe of all the bits and bobs, put a smidge of grease on the bushing, which may or may not be the best thing instead of triflow, which I have, but hey, its done now.

you know, its been so long since I'd taken jockey wheels off, I had forgotten how that little bushing fits in the little middle bit. Seems to me in the past I've put a smidge of grease on them also, but then as this time, I basically just wiped a really thin layer on with a finger and stuck it back in the space. Cleared out the small amount of accumulated stuff in the circular places those two silver covers fit into and done.
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Old 05-31-20, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The derailleur jockey wheels, not sure why it would only squeak when shifting. .
you know, the only thing I can think of is that with a shift or multiple shifts, it put a slight lateral load on the jockey wheel, and therefore the bushing, and probably due to some dirt or whatever in there, it made it squeak.

was kinda weird , but thats the only thing I can figure.

if having put a film of phils bearing grease on them and I can actually feel the tenth of a watt difference or something, I'll open them up, wipe them and use triflow ....but dont hold your breath...
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Old 05-31-20, 04:22 PM
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I've used this stuff for years. Works great on pulley wheels. Just finished cleaning this derailleur.
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Old 05-31-20, 05:05 PM
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I am sure that the grease would add at least a tenth of a watt drag, it is quite viscous. But having been on a tour and having had one of my jockey wheels start squeaking, I put jockey wheels on my maintenance plan. I used to assume that they lasted forever maintenance free but learned my lesson on that.
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Old 05-31-20, 08:01 PM
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Maybe because I do nearly all the work on my bikes, I hate hearing squeaks and stuff, so the main reason I brought this up is because if on a trip or even a long ride, that squeak would have driven me bonkers.
And not thought of this.
Mind you, to be realistic, I've owned this bike for 10 years and never opened up these jockey wheels, don't think I have, so that's a pretty long time.

When I think about it, seemed that one of the bushings had a bit of discoloration on it, so was probably a bit of corrosion that was making the squeak noise.
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Old 05-31-20, 11:09 PM
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I use silicon liquid oil for delicates like cable housing and other plastics, but have never tried silicone grease. Does it last long? I know the oil does not last on moving parts
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Old 06-01-20, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I use silicon liquid oil for delicates like cable housing and other plastics, but have never tried silicone grease. Does it last long? I know the oil does not last on moving parts
The stuff I use is a spray from a pressurized can, and it's not ideal for long lasting stuff. It's not a n oil or grease, so not the same as those.
I spray the insides of my sti shifters with this, but do it a few times a season.
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Old 06-01-20, 12:38 PM
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My spares kit for my Primus stove came with a tube of Silicone grease, but never used it on anything. I just use a good bicycle grease for my jockey wheels, I noted above that I used Phil grease. It is not cheap, but for most things on a bicycle you use very little grease so a tube lasts many years. I have two partially used tubes, have been using them for decades.
https://phil-wood-co.myshopify.com/p...erproof-grease

I bought some of the teflon grease recommended by S&S for their couplers, it costs a lot more than Phil. It is so expensive that I only use it for specific metal on metal applications. I think it would be a waste to use it on jockey wheels.
DuPont Teflon Bearing Grease
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Old 06-01-20, 12:57 PM
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I went through 37 bikes, our school district's bike fleet, this winter. We inherited the fleet from another school district when they replaced their fleet. I don't think the bikes had a deep cleaning and servicing since they were new 15 years ago. I did pull all the jockey wheels off and cleaned and lubed them as part of cleaning and adjsuting the rear derailleurs. I had to! I had to take a picture because I've never seen anything that bad. Surprisingly, the bushings were not too bad.

This is the crud off just 2 jockey wheels. The hub grease looked like it was the original grease The bikes are all bright and shiny now, but I'm not sure when we will teach our next bike safety class.


Last edited by Doug64; 06-01-20 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 06-01-20, 01:31 PM
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David, what is the name of the lubricant that you use in your STI shifters? I'd like to try something different from what I've been using; it collects too much crud.
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Old 06-01-20, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I went through 37 bikes, our school district's bike fleet, this winter. We inherited the fleet from another school district when they replaced their fleet. I don't think the bikes had a deep cleaning and servicing since they were new 15 years ago. I did pull all the jockey wheels off and cleaned and lubed them as part of cleaning and adjsuting the rear derailleurs. I had to! I had to take a picture because I've never seen anything that bad. Surprisingly, the bushings were not too bad.

This is the crud off just 2 jockey wheels. The hub grease looked like it was the original grease The bike are all bright and shiny now, but I'm not sure when we will teach our next bike safety class.

Nice work Doug64! Respect!
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Old 06-01-20, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
David, what is the name of the lubricant that you use in your STI shifters? I'd like to try something different from what I've been using; it collects too much crud.
its called Jig-a-Loo
my now deceased father in law introduced me to it, he used it on sliding windows and stuff and it was totally amazing how much easier the windows were to open afterwards.
I figured I'd try it on bike stuff, and specifically the sti innards.
Now I do know that when Ive taken apart old crappy trigger shifters, that on them its probably easier to apply a dab of good thick grease stuff on the moving parts, and Im sure sti innards have it also, but as far as I know, its not easy at all to do a flush and proper regrease job. So ages ago, I just tried this jig a loo stuff, spraying into the side, holding the shifter in the far position as if Ive done a sweep shift as far as possible, and this allows an opening to appear to spray this stuff into it. I go at it from diff angles too, and because this stuff will run out and or dry quickly, it doesnt get gunky.

I think the main downside of course is that its so thin that it doesnt keep its super lubing action for that long.
the upside I figure is that all the tiny interacting parts inside probably do really benefit from the super slidey aspect of this stuff--less friction = less wear in my opinion, and I always have a can of it in the garage, so tend to do a spray at start of season, maybe partway through and or towards the end.

who knows if Im right using this. I do know that compared to wd40 it doesnt end up with that film that can be sticky with wd40

for my old mtb I ride in winter, I go the other way, I spray wd 40 on chain after each daily wash, and derailleurs etc as I figure the slight gunk is probably good against the harsh salt and all. But I do wipe down stuff every day mostly also when I do my daily end of day super fast quick and nasty soap and water big soft bristle brush wash. Wipe down and finish with a fast wd 40 spray on chain.
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Old 06-01-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I went through 37 bikes, our school district's bike fleet, this winter. We inherited the fleet from another school district when they replaced their fleet. I don't think the bikes had a deep cleaning and servicing since they were new 15 years ago. I did pull all the jockey wheels off and cleaned and lubed them as part of cleaning and adjsuting the rear derailleurs. I had to! I had to take a picture because I've never seen anything that bad. Surprisingly, the bushings were not too bad.

This is the crud off just 2 jockey wheels. The hub grease looked like it was the original grease The bike are all bright and shiny now, but I'm not sure when we will teach our next bike safety class.

I really like that photo Doug.
You know, I do this sometimes for friends bikes, and year after year, no matter what I say, their bikes always end up like this again. We rode with good friends recently, and sure enough, their chains looked like they had just put copious amounts of chain lube on right before the ride, without wiping or anything. The husbands bike had been really clean last fall as I did a big clean on it as he had done other stuff for me, repaying the favour, new chain etc....but there it was, gloopy already....its funny how some folks just dont think about this, and then wonder why a bike store tells them they need a new chain and cassette or whatever...
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Old 06-01-20, 04:32 PM
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Since we're in the touring forum... My last tour had ~9 days of rail-to-trail (dusty hardpack) and loose unsurfaced farm roads from Granada to Andalucia (Spain). I was using medium weight oil on the chain from time to time, to flush and wipe. The previous two months on mainly pavement, no problem. Started the gravel section, and the jockey wheels packed up with solid oily dust looking just like that crud above nearly every day. I didn't have a different lube with me, and couldn't have found a bike or hardware store until I got to Gibraltar at the end of the stretch.

Things I could have done better:
Brought both dry and oil lube to adapt to changes in conditions
Brought two chains, storing one in a plastic bottle with some solvent, swapping every so often. Otherwise you're dependent on bike shops for deep cleaning (which I never did) or hauling a lot of tools and rags

The chain was trashed (replaced in Gibraltar). I'm fastidious with maintenance at home but it's easy to forget how the miles rack up on tour.
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Old 06-01-20, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
Since we're in the touring forum... My last tour had ~9 days of rail-to-trail (dusty hardpack) and loose unsurfaced farm roads from Granada to Andalucia (Spain). I was using medium weight oil on the chain from time to time, to flush and wipe. The previous two months on mainly pavement, no problem. Started the gravel section, and the jockey wheels packed up with solid oily dust looking just like that crud above nearly every day. I didn't have a different lube with me, and couldn't have found a bike or hardware store until I got to Gibraltar at the end of the stretch.

Things I could have done better:
Brought both dry and oil lube to adapt to changes in conditions
Brought two chains, storing one in a plastic bottle with some solvent, swapping every so often. Otherwise you're dependent on bike shops for deep cleaning (which I never did) or hauling a lot of tools and rags

The chain was trashed (replaced in Gibraltar). I'm fastidious with maintenance at home but it's easy to forget how the miles rack up on tour.
good example, Here is my experience like this, although Ive never had to do so many back to back dirt riding.
Use a very thin lube and regularly wipe down the excess.
I use Tri Flow, which I find to be a happy medium between super thin lubes and the heavier stuff like Phils Tenacious or whatever that is thick and sticky.
I always wipe down my chain after a relube into my next ride, have a rag with me and its a super fast wipe down , done in 10 seconds. If you do this easy wipe once in a while, you wont have the buildup on either chain or jockey wheels.
I always relate this to the kitchen....wash your dishes pots right away, its fast and easy. Dont wash, reuse, let dry, and its a bugger of a job to clean.
In the past Ive used those really thin lubes, and sure you have to apply more often, but you dont get excess buildup and the drivetrain stays clean.
Also, with any medium lube, or even the thinner stuff like Tri flow, dont over apply, wipe down first and put only on link areas, not all over chain. Dont over apply, wipe off execess, and then wipe off excess again after a bit of riding,
wipe down excess at end of ride, hey it only takes seconds to do, fast and easy.
Its not messy if you do it often. and if you dont over lube like crazy.

but really, for dirt riding, go with the thin non messy lubes. They work great, not so great in rain, but hey...just reapply more as they are so clean generally.

remember, chain lube all over the chain is useless, other than just attracting dirt and grit everywhere. You only need lubrication inside the rollers.
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Old 06-01-20, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
The stuff I use is a spray from a pressurized can, and it's not ideal for long lasting stuff. It's not a n oil or grease, so not the same as those.
I spray the insides of my sti shifters with this, but do it a few times a season.
I spray the derailleurs and my shifters and cables often with silicone spray and then wipe them off with a rag and have been for years. I use Blaster brand with Teflon or CRC brand, they are available most places and cheap. I've seen some silicone that claims not to use on plastic. I doubt there is plastic on those bike components but I avoid those. I have a small cardboard template cutout I slide over behind my cassette to avoid getting any overspray on the rotor.
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Old 06-01-20, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The derailleur jockey wheels, not sure why it would only squeak when shifting.

Perhaps shifting puts a lateral load on the derailleur wheels that can cause a squeak. I did a quick scan & a wide range of opinions in re which lube, if any. I've used Tri-Flo, works OK though grease might last longer. Last year I bought some WD-40 silicone spray for a garage door, stopped the squeaks nicely & lasts months though of course derailleur wheels are exposed to weather & more use.
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Old 06-02-20, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Perhaps shifting puts a lateral load on the derailleur wheels that can cause a squeak. I did a quick scan & a wide range of opinions in re which lube, if any. I've used Tri-Flo, works OK though grease might last longer. Last year I bought some WD-40 silicone spray for a garage door, stopped the squeaks nicely & lasts months though of course derailleur wheels are exposed to weather & more use.
ya, Im certain it was the lateral movement load on the pulley that did it.
and in any case, they now have a thin layer of grease on the actual bushing and I sprayed some silicone stuff on the outside too, so its a slippin and a slidin well.
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Old 06-02-20, 07:33 PM
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One ‘cure’ for squeaky pulleys, and in my experiences will really extend the time in between maintenance work, is TACX pulleys with sealed bearings. My wife and I have them on all our bikes which have thousands of miles with no maintenance done on the pulleys and with no issues.
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