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Ultegra Hub Grease(10 posts)

Ultegra Hub Greasecyclaholic
Feb 15, 2002 7:47 PM
I will be building a wheelset very soon and, since money is a serious issue now, I had to settle for ordering some Shimano Ultegra Hubs. I've read more than a few comments about insufficient greasing at the factory. Is there anything to this? While I will check the adjustment on the hubs, I don't want to remove the seals and repack the hubs - especially if I am buying a brand new hub. And even if I did repack the hubs, would I have to use the same type of grease?

Some of you have to have experience with these very popular hubs.
Well - now you have to do it.Spoke Wrench
Feb 16, 2002 5:07 AM
If it was my bike, I'd just build the wheels.

You, however, have found something to worry about. If you don't pull the hubs apart and check them, you are not going to be able to ride on them without constantly worrying about insufficicnt grease. It's not that big of a deal to repack the hubs. I'd recommend cleaning all of the old grease out and using all new Park or Finish Line or something similar.
in fact, plain old auto grease would work... nmweiwentg
Feb 16, 2002 5:13 AM
Well - now you have to do it.cyclaholic
Feb 17, 2002 9:04 AM
I appreciate the answers, but no one really got to the crux of the issue that I was bringing up.

I am going to check the adjustment and the then I am building the wheels, unless there is something in the Shimano paperwork that tells me otherwise.

What I am wondering is this: have mechanics gotten into a servicing of Shimano Ultegra hubs and actually found there is damage due to insufficient greasing at the factory?

I've done a lot of reading of the RBR messageboards. I've gone through all of the reviews that are pertinent to my interests. There are many posters who have a great wealth of experience, and they certainly know what they are talking about. But I also know that a lot of the reviews and a lot of the advice in these discussion boards are BS.

Though it may be a futile effort, I'm trying to distinguish the good advice from the BS.
My experience...Mike Prince
Feb 17, 2002 4:42 PM
There have been several reviews of Dura-Ace hubs that speak to insufficient or inadequate grease. I got a pair of D/A this year and like you thought a repack would be in order base on what I had read. So when I got them I removed the cones and while the amount of grease in the bearing races did not seem excessive, it caused no concern to me. So I simply put 'em back together and rode them (for 4000 miles in all kinds of conditions including some pretty good rainstorms, snow and some harsh winter conditions). I did check them occasionally and they always felt smooth, so I just kept riding.

Did some maintenance a month or so ago and did in fact repack both front and rear hubs. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and the grease still looked pretty good to me, but seeing I took everything apart (5 min job) it seemed like the next few minutes were well spent finishing the job off. Still smooth, but with a "normal" amount of grease in there I have had to wipe around the left dust cap on the rear hub every couple rides as some grease is being forced out.

Maybe this helps. Dura-Ace, not Ultegra but there really shouldn't be any big differences. I think Shimano is putting in some good lubricant at the factory and have not heard firsthand of anyone having trouble with the grease or lack of. My post-overhaul experience tells me that the amount is right too as I obviously put in a bit too much. Have fun.
Feb 17, 2002 7:16 PM
Now that's the kind of answer I was looking for. Real mechanics with some real experience. That's what I am talking about. Thanks for a super post!

I am just gonna build the damn wheels!
re: Ultegra Hub Greasepmf1
Feb 20, 2002 1:34 PM
Despite what those poser Campy users say, Ultegra hubs are perfectly good hubs.

I've built them in the past and never worried about not enough grease. I doubt this would be an issue. You can get a couple of wrenches and repack them if you want. Its easy to do. The term "sealed" is a bit of a joke. These things are not really sealed. Use any kind of bike grease you want (I use Phil Wood). Note that once you do this, its perfectly normal for grease to ooze out the sides for a while when you ride. Don't let that be a concern.
If it Ain't Broke....grzy
Feb 20, 2002 4:12 PM
...don't fix it! Seriously! There is really nothing wrong with them - there are thousands and thousands of wheels out there that support this position. You have to have some confidence in Japanese manufacturing. You must admit they seem to have a knack for small detail and precision assemblies. And they know how to build cars. You might fiddle with the adjustment, but I'd leave the bearings alone - they're fine. Consider the source that says that the bearing lubrication is inadequate. Who are they and what do they know? If you must replace the bearing grease then make sure you get rid of all the "inferior" stuff and use something like Phil grease. My bet is that you'll put too much in and have it run out the seals to collect dirt and get flung on the bike - you tend to see that a lot.
Not broke...cyclaholic
Feb 20, 2002 8:44 PM
I just saw these very good posts added to the thread.

Your advice is right on the money. I just finished building the front wheel and I was very pleased by the Ultegra hub. Looks good, fairly light, and when I locked it in the truing stand it spun, and spun, and spun. The adjustment is fine and I have every reason to believe the hubs are well lubricated.

I've learned who's advice can be trusted on this board.

Thanks for the good information.
Feb 21, 2002 9:29 AM
Thanks for the vote of confidence and the compliment - to all of us.

They're good hubs and will serve you well for many many years. Periodically check the adjustment and rotate the axle to feel if anything has worked it's way in. If you spend a fair amount of time riding in wet weather you might do it a little more frequently, but the labarynth seal is pretty good. However it's not perfect and using a high pressure hose and directing it at the bearings is to be avoided. Check out for some great tips on washing bikes.