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Is greasing a carbon seatpost a problem?(11 posts)

Is greasing a carbon seatpost a problem?Tommy B
Jun 13, 2001 2:49 PM
A week or two ago on this board, someone said not to get grease on a CF fork steerer because it would weaken/degrade the material holding the fibers together. Is this true? I hadn't heard this before, but if it's true, is there a certain type/brand of lube that wouldn't be a problem?

The reason I ask is because I have a new custom steel frame and a new USE Alien Carbon seatpost. The inside of the seat tube was a little rough (from excess framesaver/paint overspray?) and I was worried about scratching my lovely seatpost every time I would try to remove it. So at the recommendation of the framebuilder, I used some sandpaper wrapped around a dowel to smooth it out. It's smoother now, but still a very tight fit.

I want to lube the post for two reasons: 1. to make the post easier to insert/remove, and 2. because now where I've sanded the inside of the seat tube, it's more vulnerable to rust and the lube would protect it from moisture.

Has anyone else heard about there being a problem with grease on carbon fiber? This particular seatpost doesn't have a clearcoat protecting the fiber so it would seem more prone to damage. Any help or informed suggestions would really be appreciated!

Thanks!
Was in the same situation as you....Shylock
Jun 13, 2001 7:59 PM
....I have a custom steel frame and a USE carbon post. The post was a very tight fit. I used a little grease -- no problem. I think
USE's measurements are a bit off. The Control Tech I used to hold the frame during the bike build inserted with nary a complaint.

As for degradation of the carbon fibre, I'm betting that's a myth -- especially if you use a synthetic grease like Finish line.

Feel the gin
Extra-tight fit...Tommy B
Jun 14, 2001 2:57 PM
So I wonder if the USE's extra-tight fit was a manufacturing/design goof. Then they realized that a clearcoat would make the thing so wide that it would be impossible to insert, so they left it off.

Then again, at 130 grams, it was probably left off to save weight. It's darn light!

I'm hoping you're right about the Finish Line lube being kosher. But it's an expensive part to screw up and very dangerous if it fails, so I'll ask USE and I'll let you know.

Thanks :P
re: Is greasing a carbon seatpost a problem?RC
Jun 13, 2001 10:32 PM
When I bought my Campy carbon seat post the mechanic at my LBS said not to put any grease on it. Something about how the carbon fiber reacts to the grease weakening the post. You might want to check with a local mechanic before you do it.
Campy says "No Grease"Cima Coppi
Jun 14, 2001 7:32 AM
I just read the instruction manual for the Campy Carbon seatpost, and it clearly states the inner seat tube needs to be "perfectly clean and degreased". The docs do not say why this needs to be so. You'll find them on www.campagnolo.com. I don't know if this applies to your USE seatpost, but maybe it will help.
DON'T GREASE!!!AA
Jun 14, 2001 8:20 AM
NO grease on Easton CT2 either-- looks like a trend (nm)str8dum
Jun 14, 2001 8:22 AM
re: Is greasing a carbon seatpost a problem?Len J
Jun 14, 2001 8:25 AM
I have a carbon frame with an metal seatpost (same issue as you, opposite situitation) Owner's manual is very specific about use of grease. Do Not use grease as it interacts with epoxy to break down bond between epoxy & carbon. Don't understand why this is not true in Headset.
because..1on1
Jun 14, 2001 1:19 PM
chances are your headtude is butted with alloy to allow for the headset cups to be greased for installation. The buttingis typically the case for added reinforcement. The rule is don't put grease on anything carbon. Not only will it degrade the resin it may not allow for a good clampor hold on things like a seatpost.
Wow! So now what?Tommy B
Jun 14, 2001 2:23 PM
Well, it looks like most of you would definately advise against any grease on the CF post! Easton and Campy have clearly said not to, but USE didn't say anything on their instructions (I'll double check). I guess I'll send USE an e-mail and ask them about it.

I'm just wondering if the problem lies with just the traditional grease (natural petroleum based?) or if something synthetic like Finish Line's would cause the same reaction with the epoxy matrix. Any chemists out there? If one type is bad and the other is o.k., I'm sure Campy and Easton's lawyers would have said it's easier to put a blanket ban on all lubes then to specify a certain type or endorse a certain brand and open themselves up to any liability.

I'm guess I'm more concerned about getting rust in my steel seat tube than the problem of the tight fit of the post. I doubt I'll be riding in the rain much, but I'm in New England so it's gonna happen! I just want to protect my baby and have it around a long time.

Any other suggestions? If I use no lube and spray Framesaver in the tube will I be back to square-1 (a rough, globby seat tube surface with an even tighter fit)?

Thanks for all the "posts" (o.k...pun intended!)
I use dry teflon sprayDog
Jun 18, 2001 10:00 AM
I have the Campy carbon on one bike and the USE carbon on another. They fit really, really tight, and dry teflon helped. Don't know if it could cause problems, but since it drys almost immediately, I'd think it's less likely.

Doug