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lost in lubrication....help(3 posts)

lost in lubrication....helpvitus
Aug 9, 2001 6:34 PM
first, there is the white lithium grease. then there is the lube "specifically for chains." for bearings. the dry kind. the wet kind. then there is anti-seize; although not a lubricant, the ads almost convince me to slap a glob of that stuff between every interface between dissimilar metals on my bike, in my house.....

what are the two-three-four (however many) basic types of lubrication i would need on my bike if i do not service the bottom bracket or headset or any other bearings? and what if i do work on those....do i need a different type of grease for each type of bearing? finally do i really need antiseize? my frame is titanium.
I'll give my 2 centsAtombomber
Aug 9, 2001 10:47 PM
Since you have a titanium frame, every part thas is threaded into the frame should have Anti-seize on it. This includes the bottom bracket, the rear deraileur, water bottle cage screws, shifter adjusters/cable stops, etc. If you use titanium screws elsewhere on the bike, those too should have anti-seize.

I like using teflon grease for serviceable bearings. It is thin enough so it doesn't add to resistance, but still lasts a long time. Also, it is either clear or white, so it is easy to determine how dirty it is. I also use it where metal to metal contact is made. Seat rails/seat post clamp, headset parts, stem, seat post, chainring bolts, cogset/free hub interface, etc. Bolts where anti-seize is not required get some Teflon too. Cables get a fine film of this grease too.

Lithium Grease is no longer in my tool kit. I have experienced rubber and plastic seal breakdown because of it. I believe that the majority of Lithium Grease has a petroleum based grease, which eats rubber. Not good.

For my mountain bikes' hubs and around bearing seals, I use BullShot water proof grease. I apply it liberally outside the bearing assembly to add as an extra seal. Around the BB spindle, the hub axles, lower headset bearing.

Finish Line Teflon Lube is for all small moving parts. The carrier liquid evapourates, leaving Teflon in the tightest places. The deraileur pivots, inside the shifter pods/housings, brake pivots, etc. Basically all small moving joints.

Everyone has their favourite chain lube. I have had good results with Pedro's Icewax. The key is to apply it after a ride, so it has time to dry. It works well for me in the mud and dust. I have previously used other dry and wet lubes, but so Icewax has worked best for my type of riding.

Threadlocking compounds (ie Loctite) are also in the toolbox. They are available in many degrees of bonding strength, from just making the bolt/screw snug, to almost welding the two parts together. Caution when using threadlockers.

Rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) is handy to clean up lube that got where it shouldn't have. Also good for cleaning areas where an adhesive will be used, such as when reapplying decals.

Avoid using WD-40 or similar products, because of the petroleum base. Seals will be eaten. Also, threadlockers are deteriorated, which can be useful if you want to unlock a part.

Furniture wax/polish like Pledge is a good bike cleaner. Spray on, wipe off, and your bike will shine like new. Since your bike is bare metal, automotive metal polishes will bring out a brilliant shine. Autosol or similar with a Scotchbrite pad will polish out small surface scratches on titanium. This I know from experience, since I have a '96 titanium mountain bike that still looks like new, even after much distance and many crashes (decals look like crap, but the frame still shimes).

These are MY PERSONAL practices, and might not agree with all out there. Use the info as you like, since there will be many more posts answering your questions.
lithium greaseRusty McNasty
Aug 10, 2001 4:00 AM
I would avoid using this in bearings, since it will absorb water. A waterproof bearing grease, such as Phil, is much better. Automotive axle grease, such as moybdenum grease, are OK for bearings, and have a high water-repellancy, but may be too thick for cycle use. Still, in a pinch, I would use moly-slip over lithium grease, anyday.