From: email@example.com (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: Grease! (Non Olivia Newton-John type)
Date: 12 Feb 1998 02:35:02 GMT
Carl J Gonzalez writes:
> Auto grease, commonly called "cup grease", in it's purest form is
> oil and soap. So, when water is introduced, the soap breaks down
> and the oil runs out. The gel binder in Phil's and other modern
> type grease tends wo ward off the separation. Grease, like Phil's
> hangs in pretty tough, in my view.
Although lubrication engineers refer to the matrix in which oil is
suspended in a grease as soap, is not hand washing soap but a compound
that chemically has a soap structure. It is not soap. Phil Wood
grease is just grease and has no magic qualities greater than its
color. It is no more tenacious than other automotive greases of the
Automotive wheel bearing grease is an excellent lubricant for all the
bearings in a bicycle. A one pound can costs about as much as a small
tube of "bicycle" grease. However, because it is not liquid it can't
enter a chain. The 'soap' in which the oil is suspended does not
soften like lard when heated, it largely retains its consistency until
it breaks down and flows. Most greases do not return to their
original state when cooled, so you can't reasonably lubricate a chain
by heating a grease.
Jobst Brandt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Barium grease?
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 18:41:30 GMT
Dave Thompson writes:
>>> I am trying to find a good grease for bearings and I am looking
>>> for opinions about barium greases.
>>> Here is a, non-lithum based, grease, Petro-Canada's: 'Barimol
>>> Heavy' with Moly (Molybdenum Disulphide). It is an, according to
>>> the tech data, extremely water-repellant barium soap based grease
>>> with Moly for bearings (and more), tech data sheet PDF file:
>>> It sure looks promising but is it good or bad?
>> Bicycle applications make extremely light demands on
>> greases. Almost anything will work for you here. I don't see
>> anything that would recommend a barium grease over any other
>> grease. For more information about greases, I just found this site:
>> Grease is very poorly understood by the public. There's very little
>> about it that is magic, and spending lots of money for most
>> specialty greases is a total waste. The only things we need to
>> worry about are its tolerance to water and ability to inhibit
I don't see a recommended type of grease in the above and that's what
most bicyclists need to know. Formerly, chassis lube available at
auto parts stores for less than 1/10 the cost of bicycle greases was
the best and most common grease. Now it's disc brake wheel bearing
grease, grease gun type lubrication having all but vanished from the
auto industry (at last).
> A very good piece on grease. It sure makes the cheap, plentiful and
> very available lithium grease look good, doesn't it?
If you mean "white greases" like Campagnolo or ones for automotive use,
I advise against it, because these greases readily oxidize and become
tar, literally gumming up what they are to lubricate. Just the smell
of a old polymerized white grease is sickening.
Subject: Re: Barium grease?
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 23:24:35 GMT
Andrew Muzi writes:
>> ...grease gun type lubrication having all but vanished from the
>> auto industry (at last).
> I'm sure this OT question will annoy someone, but what's not to like
> about shooting fresh grease in the center of an assembly until the
> old grease shoots out the ends? It seems preferable to
> disassembly/reassembly for things like king pins, etc. I'm missing
> something, I'm sure.
What you are missing is that good grease does not get "old" and that
the reason we had lube racks and grease guns was that the joints got
full of dirt. My last car went for 150K miles and was never greased
nor valves adjusted or points replaced. It rusted through in a couple
of places but was still mechanically perfect. The car I drive now has
160K miles on it and has no grease fittings either and also needs no
replenishing of grease. The reason for this is that greased joints
need only to be sealed against dirt intrusion to remain lubricated for
We don't got no steenkin king pins no more. They were replaced by
permanently greased ball joints.
Subject: Re: Barium grease?
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 02:03:26 GMT
Ken Pisichko writes:
>> What you are missing is that good grease does not get "old" and
>> that the reason we had lube racks and grease guns was that the
>> joints got full of dirt. My last car went for 150K miles and was
>> never greased nor valves adjusted or points replaced. It rusted
>> through in a couple of places but was still mechanically perfect.
>> The car I drive now has 160K miles on it and has no grease fittings
>> either and also needs no replenishing of grease. The reason for
>> this is that greased joints need only to be sealed against dirt
>> intrusion to remain lubricated for life.
> But Jobst...
> In your part of the world that may be.
I'm sure you can always find an exception, especially if you go to
extremes as with terrain, weather, or use. Cars today serve better
than any we have previously had and the competition is high. There are
more than twice as many manufacturers than the world needs and they
make a range of models that exceed that market. If you have special
conditions, buy a vehicle that addresses those needs. If it is not
made, then it probably does not have a sufficient demand.
> However, where i live (Winnipeg, Canada) the damn temperatures cause
> havoc!! I use synthetic 5W-40 oil in my vehicles. The stuff that is
> rated at 200 hours rather than ordinary 5W-?? Oil.
> Also, you have not seen torn and destroyed rubber boots on CV joints
> after a particularly bad winter. Torn and the CV joints are
> destroyed because of the intrusion of salt and grit from our roads.
> Hence the need for "zerk" fittings and "grease". There is no way to extend
> the lifespan of the rubber "boots" on CV joints, nor on tie-rod ends here
> on the Canadian Prairies.
Yours is not the only place in the world with such a climate. I think
zerk fittings are not the answer. Without a good boot a CV joint will
not work anyway so you had best replace the seals rather than pump
grease into an open sore. It's the dirt, not the grease or oil. As I
mentioned, primary chains on M/C's don't wear out even slightly as
fast as drive chains. It's the dirt out there, the same as with
> BTW, I am particularly concerned with my Phil Wood hubs and a
> particular trip I am planning (in a warn climate) where there are
> about 60+ creek crossings and the rivers are at a depth of 70cm (or
> so). Sealed bearings???? Sealed against what?? Surely not water.
> While they may work fine on a gravel/sand road and on pavement, I am
> not convinced on their serviceability on sand/gravel roads combined
> with water crossings. Perhaps I will have to carry the empty bike
> and then return for the trailer/pannier system?? Jobst, I ENVY your
> trips in the mountains - two tyres on pavement, and no fording of
> waterways ... :-)
These are not sealed bearings in the sense of water proof but rather
instrument bearings designed to prevent airflow through the grease
that acts as a dust trap. These bearings were not designed to be
exposed to water.
There is a design rule in seal design that states that:
1. The seal that doesn't leak, leaks.
2. No two liquids can be separated by one seal lip.
The first is based on the lubrication of the seal lip that works only
if it is lubricated. Therefore, some of the contained liquid must weep
under the lip to furnish lubrication. If it does not, the seal lip
will burn until it no longer makes contact... leaks.
The second is apparent from the first and requires a separate seal for
each liquid because they both must weep under their seal and if there
is only one seal, they will mix.
> I think I would have been better to have the regular hubs with cones
> and ball bearings - and put a "zerk" fitting into the middle of each
> hub and pump in a bunch of grease AFTER each and every baptism
> (sorry, that means river immersion)...
That will only make a bigger emulsion in the hub. It will work if you
purge all the wet grease after each crossing.
> Comments SVP??
Underwater sealing is a tougher problem than most people like to
admit. Double seals and pump out between is a sure fire method. I
recall from amphibious 2-1/2 ton trucks from WW-II (Ducks) had big
maintenance problems. They were used in Half Moon Bay harbor to take
fishermen out to the fishing party boats before public piers were
built there. They used pressurized wheel bearings so there was a one
way flow (of oil).
> P.S. Jobst, please send me a private e-mail so that I can pick your
> brains for some wheel-building info...
You have my address: