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…wheel bearing grease… December 15, 2007

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Equipment, Hawaii, homebrew, Information, maintenance.
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…so, I have an update on my first experience with repacking my bicycle wheel bearings…

Since I didn’t have the correct grease, but wanted to get my bike back on the road, I messed around with mixing some stuff up that I had in the garage. What I found was that mixing the multi purpose red grease with some white lithium grease and some anti-seize lubricant resulted in a smoothly blended grease that was the same consistency and color as what was in the bike in the first place. So, I tried it out.

Several days later, my assessment is that the blend works just fine. The wheel rolls great. There are no apparent problems with the home-blended grease yet. Do I recommend doing it this way as a norm? No. Is it ok in a pinch? Probably.

Also, if you don’t have a really thin metric wrench to hold the cone nut while you tighten the locknut, you can grind the sides down on a 1/2″ open end wrench, and it should work just fine (mine did). I’m adding the ground down wrench to my slowly growing bag of bike tools, and I’m mixing up a small amount of the grease to have on hand, just in case.

Here’s how I mixed it:

Start with the multi-purpose red grease. Start mixing in white lithium grease a little at a time until you get a smooth consistency that is about a light rose or salmon color. The amounts are not exact, but you will use more red than white. Once you’ve got that mixture right where you want it, add a tiny bit of anti-seize. A little goes a long way when mixing this up, so start with a drop or two of anti-seize for a half cup of grease mixture. The anti-seize won’t blend as readily as the greases, but keep stirring. You should end up with a silvery-pinkish grease mixture. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.

Also, if you don’t have anti-seize, you can mix your own with some dry graphite or molybdenum and a little mineral oil. That’s it. Pretty easy…

…repacking wheel bearings… December 12, 2007

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Information, maintenance, Shops, Sites, Websites.
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…so, here are some great links on how to repack your bicycle wheel bearings:




…and here are some tips just in case you decide to try it on your own, without reading any of the above information, without checking your bicycle maintenance book, and without any previous experience repacking bicycle wheel bearings:

  • Don’t use standard general purpose bearing grease. That grease will be too thick for your bicycle bearings. You will want to stick with a bicycle specific grease from your local bicycle shop. Again, don’t use general purpose red grease.
  • Don’t disassemble your hub bearings and think “no wonder they felt like they were wearing, there’s hardly any grease in there”, and then pack the entire hub with general purpose red grease. Don’t do it. It’s quite the mess to clean up later. Only put the grease on the races, and only enough to keep the bearings and the races sufficiently covered in the slick grease. Don’t overdo it.
  • Don’t begin taking things apart on your bicycle that you have never poked around with, late at night, when your bike is your transportation to work. If you have to wake up your significant other at 0445 in the morning to take you to work because you decided to “mess around with” your bike late the night before… well, just don’t.
  • Don’t assume any knowledge from other mechanical experiences will transfer right over to bicycle maintenance. Even if you are a 19+ year mechanic on nuclear power plants for Navy submarines, don’t think “it’s just a bicycle, how hard could it be?” Take your time and do a little research before hand. There will be little things that matter that you don’t want to figure out the hard way.
  • Don’t leave your garage door halfway open all night. If you realize that you’ve just messed up and have to redo everything, but it’s too late at night – close the garage door. Don’t risk “losing” anything to nosy anybody’s poking around.