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  1. #1
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    oil or grease for derailleur pulleys

    what is better? Also aftermarket vs shimano/campy. Any differences?

  2. #2
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    info...

    I prefer to use a spray lube like Slick 50 1-lube applied with the pinpoint plastic extension nozzle. I apply a small shot about once a week. If you give the bushings a heavy shot, it should flush out any grit.

    Grease can only be applied when the bushings are taken apart.

    Aftermarket pulleys with ball bearings won't have the normal side float of the original top bushing. Campy, for example, has ceramic ball bearings in the lower pulley, but still uses a ceramic bushing on the top pulley of the new SR rear derailleur.

  3. #3
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    I use Phil's Tenacious Oil
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    oil and grease

    Quote Originally Posted by steel515
    what is better? Also aftermarket vs shimano/campy. Any differences?
    What I have done for over 40 years is to apply a film of grease and then add some oil. I take apart the pulleys once a year for a clean and lube, and unless there is some sort of problem, do no other maintenance. I've never worn out a pully bearing, and not had any friction issues. YMMV

  5. #5
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    I purchased some new Sram pulleys for my mountain bike because one tooth broke. When I got them, under the dust cover was completely filled with grease. I found this strange because under the cover is a sealed cartridge bearing, what what is all the grease there for? To collect dirt?

    I cleaned out all the grease under the dust cover and there was a significant reduction in drag. What is Sram thinking?

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    cool, so you cleaned out the grease that really wasn't creating any real drag, and now the dirt can go straight to the bearing instead of being suspended in the grease. good move...
    I work for some bike racers
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  7. #7
    So. Calif.
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    On my shimano 105 rear derailler, the interlocking style of the 'dust cover' with the pulleys and bushings keeps out contaminants fairly well (I don't ride in rain or overly dusty conditions).

    I disassemble pulleys every 3-4 months, clean bushings and pulleys with WD40 and/or mineral spirits, then re-assemble bushings with 1-2 drops of 30 wt oil.

  8. #8
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    Barring rain, I spray mine with WD40. Flame away.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9
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    Barring rain, I spray mine every 2 weeks with WD40. Flame away.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench
    cool, so you cleaned out the grease that really wasn't creating any real drag, and now the dirt can go straight to the bearing instead of being suspended in the grease. good move...

    I don't think you comprehended the situation. The Sram mountain pulleys have a dust cover over a sealed cartridge bearing. The cartridge bearing has its own seal and grease under that. There is no reason -- except to cause drag- to put grease under the dust cover.

  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    I don't think you comprehended the situation. The Sram mountain pulleys have a dust cover over a sealed cartridge bearing. The cartridge bearing has its own seal and grease under that. There is no reason -- except to cause drag- to put grease under the dust cover.
    i totally understand the situation. i worked on one today. there is no way that grease is going to cause enough drag to slow anything down. spinning the pulley w/ your finger has nothing to do w/ how it spins when you're pedalling the bike. cartridge bearings aren't 'sealed', they're shielded. and anything you can do to stop contaminents from getting to that shield will help keep them from getting past it for just that much longer. if you wash your bike, the grease will help keep water from getting under the cover and past the shield. all grease used in bearings causes them to not spin freely because it contacts both the bearings and the shields. do bearing companies not grease bearings because it makes them seem to spin more freely? no, they grease them because it makes them last longer and spin more smoothly.
    I work for some bike racers
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench
    i totally understand the situation. i worked on one today. there is no way that grease is going to cause enough drag to slow anything down. spinning the pulley w/ your finger has nothing to do w/ how it spins when you're pedalling the bike. cartridge bearings aren't 'sealed', they're shielded. and anything you can do to stop contaminents from getting to that shield will help keep them from getting past it for just that much longer. if you wash your bike, the grease will help keep water from getting under the cover and past the shield. all grease used in bearings causes them to not spin freely because it contacts both the bearings and the shields. do bearing companies not grease bearings because it makes them seem to spin more freely? no, they grease them because it makes them last longer and spin more smoothly.
    I believe the synergy of <1% improvements. Yeah, I only can feel the improvement with my fingers (and I am telling you it is a BIG finger dyno difference. We are talking spin vs. grind to a grease damped stop), but if I make enough finger difference, then soon they add up to leg differences in a race. If you would rather have fortified, bomb proof, weather bike, then a bike that goes fast, that's fine. And I leave all the grease inside the bearing. I think that the inside should be almost 100% filed with grease. If it is filled with grease then it cant get filled with water. Lets reiterate though, the grease that I removed is outside the bearing. So should I slap a gob of grease on the outside of my headset, on my hubs and on my bottom bracket? Answer is no.

  13. #13
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    ????

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench
    cartridge bearings aren't 'sealed', they're shielded. and anything you can do to stop contaminents from getting to that shield will help keep them from getting past it for just that much longer. if you wash your bike, the grease will help keep water from getting under the cover and past the shield. all grease used in bearings causes them to not spin freely because it contacts both the bearings and the shields. do bearing companies not grease bearings because it makes them seem to spin more freely? no, they grease them because it makes them last longer and spin more smoothly.

    You're mostly correct, except cartridge bearings can be shielded with metal, sealed with rubber seals or completely open. Most aftermarket pulleys with cartridge bearings have rubber seals and no secondary shields. You have to look closely to see if those small bearings are shielded or sealed. I don't trust seals in this application, since there is a good chances that degreasers and chain lube could get into the bearing, not to mention water and dirt. Once it gets in, you have to remove the seals to get contaminants out. I'd rather flush out any contamination with spray lube and never disassemble. Shielded bushings really do make sense.
    Last edited by C-40; 12-12-2008 at 09:02 AM.

  14. #14
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    I wasn't completely sure of the difference between 'sealed' and 'shielded' bearings, so I looked up these pictures:
    http://www.reliance.com/prodserv/motgen/b5021.htm

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_h
    I wasn't completely sure of the difference between 'sealed' and 'shielded' bearings, so I looked up these pictures:
    http://www.reliance.com/prodserv/motgen/b5021.htm

    If you are carful not to ruin the seal, you can re-lubricate sealed bearings. I have a Cane Creek headset (eat your heart out King) that I have been running for 10 years in the rain that I was sure was trashed until I re-lubricated. I have never replaced a derailleur pulley do to the bearings.

  16. #16
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    I use Phil's Tenacious Oil
    +1...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    cool, so you cleaned out the grease that really wasn't creating any real drag, and now the dirt can go straight to the bearing instead of being suspended in the grease. good move...
    I know, old thread, but I really needed an LOL today. I purchased a 72 Nuovo Record in pristine nearly NOS condition and was looking for lube advice. Aside from the LOL, this is my first post and I'll post this elsewhere also but-

    Thank you RR for the million bits of info that helps millions of riders every day and I can't tell you how much I've learned here through the years.

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