Grease is the word
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  1. #1
    What the what???
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    Grease is the word

    I use homebrew, 3:1 OMS and oil, for my chains because it's cheaper than cycling specific lubes and it works. Is there a similar substitute for grease? I know Phil Wood or Park Tool are good, but is there a "generic" eqivalent that's just as effective? If so, what should I look for?
    The Law of Headwinds states: If the ride out is easy you better leave something in the tank for the turn...

  2. #2
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    Marine bearing grease.

  3. #3
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    I use homebrew chainlube, too, because it's convenient and cheap. The low cost is only a factor because the stuff is used frequently, in quantity.

    I look at grease differently, because I use a lot less of it. Many riders use marine bearing grease, and I'm certain it works just fine. The cost is virtually nothing, because a big tub of it will last a lifetime unless you're a pro team mechanic. But Phil Wood, though it's substantially more expensive per gram, still costs next to nothing -- a $10 tube lasts me three years or more. I like the convenience of the package, and the color gives me a good indicator of contamination. So I use Phil.

    I'm not suggesting I'm immune from this, but I always find it amusing when guys like us who will spend 25 bucks extra to get a slightly better pair of tires, or 50 bucks a year on special foods because they're convenient to carry and eat on the bike, or 25 bucks on an entry fee for the chance to ride a century on public roads with a bunch of strangers; then turn around and agonize over how to save a dollar or two a year on something like grease.

    Grease is grease, in truth. But I still like my Phil ;-)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    Grease is grease, in truth. But I still like my Phil ;-)
    I bought a tube earlier this year after years of marine bearing grease. The convenience of the squeeze tube over a tub-o-grease, alone, makes it worth the slightly increased cost. I like the smell, too.

    Main reason I started on MBG is because you can get it at any hardware store.

  5. #5
    A wheelist
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    Because we have no way of knowing whether the boutique greases (Phil, Park etc) are just re-packaged stuff that's available at Mel's Auto Supply then if I was buying lube - and I'm not as I've had a tub of red Bullshot grease for decades - I'd buy the grease that I would think would have the hardest possible life - boat trailer wheel bearing lube. You back the trailer into the ocean, submerge the wheels and then tow it down the highway with the little tiny wheels going 70 mph. That's the stuff that I'd buy.
    .

  6. #6
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    Not all greases are actually waterproof. Its sort of misleading because if you smear any grease on your hands it'll repel water.. but in a bearing, if you mix lithium complex greases with water it'll form a slurry which doesnt really lubricate well. Most greases are lithium complex.

    Marine greases are aluminum complex and dont mix with water. They're truly waterproof. Like mike said, if its good enough to dunk in a salt water ocean (and then tow home at 70) its good enough for a bike! I use stalube marine grease just because its sold everywhere.

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    I use Marine Grease on bottom brackets and the seats into which bearings for integrated headsets are placed. Otherwise, I use Park Grease for almost everything else like cassette carriers on wheels, pedal threads, bolts on stems, etc. since its a little lighter. I tend to give those easy to access areas a lot more attention for maintenance so I can reapply grease as needed.

  8. #8
    Re-Cyclist
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    If you think that Phil Wood or Park Tool are good products why not simply use them? The tiny amount of grease that bikes require will make your bottle of lube last a long time, and it's really not that expensive.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

  9. #9
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    I use Park Tool grease at work (bike shop)

    I use this at home.

    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

    I kind of wish it were legal to staple people in the face.

  10. #10
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    Flawed logic

    Quote Originally Posted by TomH View Post
    Marine greases are aluminum complex and dont mix with water. They're truly waterproof. Like mike said, if its good enough to dunk in a salt water ocean (and then tow home at 70) its good enough for a bike! I use stalube marine grease just because its sold everywhere.
    I'm not saying you shouldn't use marine grease. I'm sure it's fine, and I don't think the choice is all that critical in any event. But the fact that a product works well in one demanding situation does not mean it's ideally suited to another situation. The characteristics that make it work in one setting may not be needed in the other (different demands), and more important, may in some ways be a drawback for the other use.

    Bike hubs (for most of us most of the time), don't get submerged in salt water, or fresh water for that matter. They don't support thousands of pounds. They don't roll 70 mph for hours at a time. They don't get used for tens of thousands of miles without an overhaul. Bike grease doesn't need to do all the things marine grease can handle. And the high viscosity and stickiness that enable marine grease to do those things may increase drag on a bike's lightweight parts, especially at low temperatures. Saying it's "good enough for a bike" may be a mistatement: it might be TOO good in some respects.

    As for being "sold everywhere," that may be true, but it's utterly irrelevant, IMO. It's not like there's going to be some emergency need for a a package of a product that lasts me a couple of years. Phil Wood grease is sold in bike shops and online stores. I can see the end of the tube coming months in advance.

    IME, Phil is extremely waterproof. Holds up great on the rain bike.

    Anyway, as I said, it don't make a big difference either way.

  11. #11
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    I prefer Kendall Super Blu:http://www.autoparts2020.com/rsdev/p..._GROUP_ID=1377

    I was a Factory Outboard Motor Tech in another life, and while marine wheel bearing grease is good, it's not necessary on a bike.
    Here's a Marine grease. It's expensive, great on parts exposed to salt water that you want to get apart someday like propshafts. http://www.wholesalemarine.com/p/92-
    802865Q02/Quicksilver+Special+Lubricant+101.html

  12. #12
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    I like motorbike synthetic grease. Big tub=value. Not as sticky as marine grease. Not sure if stickiness = drag but seems sensible.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rePhil View Post
    I prefer Kendall Super Blu:http://www.autoparts2020.com/rsdev/p..._GROUP_ID=1377

    I was a Factory Outboard Motor Tech in another life, and while marine wheel bearing grease is good, it's not necessary on a bike.
    Here's a Marine grease. It's expensive, great on parts exposed to salt water that you want to get apart someday like propshafts. http://www.wholesalemarine.com/p/92-
    802865Q02/Quicksilver+Special+Lubricant+101.html
    Yep. Per ounce, same price as Phil Wood ;-)
    "None of us knows for sure what's out there; that's why we keep looking. Keep your faith; travel hopefully. The universe will surprise you, constantly." The 13th Doctor.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, all for the responses and suggestions. Regarding the cost, I see the point that over time even an "expensive" grease works out to be pretty cheap / application. I guess I was focused more on the initial cost and figured a few bucks is a few bucks. Then again, I have been known to reuse cable tips.
    The Law of Headwinds states: If the ride out is easy you better leave something in the tank for the turn...

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