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kneecap
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Discussion Starter #1
Any substitutes for DT's star ratchet hub grease?
Have a hub that's getting noisier...
Thanks in advance
 

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Magically Delicious
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9,245 Posts
Yep, there's many substitutes and they can be used for different reasons.

I prefer a lighter lubricant during colder months and a little heavier lubricant in the heat of summer. Dumonde Tech makes a freehub light oil and a grease. You can also use Dumonde Tech Liquid Grease. Shimano and Mavic also make freehub lubes. One of my favorites that is no longer available is Paul Morningstar's Electric Lube which is more of a very light grease.

However, these above are all freehub lubricants and you were seeking alternatives, perhaps beyond specific purpose freehub lubricants. You're in luck, because the DT Swiss uses the Star Ratchet that is very tolerant of thicker lubricants because of it's design, but keep reading as to why you might want a thinner lube. For winter I like using a lighter, thinner lubricant like the Dumonde Tech freehub Oil. You can use chain lubricant as well, but you might find yourself servicing the Star Ratchet on a greater frequency. But since it's so easy to remove and service, you can lube it with any good lubricant. I lube my on a pretty regular basis, so I tend to use lighter lubes. The freehub greases will keep them quieter a little longer, but create more rotating friction. Perhaps a better summer choice lubricant?

Additionally, the lighter lubricants will assist in reduced rotating friction. As you might have already noticed, the DT Swiss freehubs are not the best free-spinning rear wheels, so they can always use a little help. One thing that you will notice is how much quieter they will be. Some prefer the louder freehubs to the quieter ones. I prefer the stealth mode.

You might take a look at this link:

Reviewed | Dumonde Tech Freehub Grease and Oil | Competitive Cyclist
 

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I've been using Dumonde Tech Liquid Grease successfully for years in the summer and Finish Line Wet in the winter, since it's a bit lighter (and we don't typically have "real" winter temps).
 

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I'm sure there are alternatives, but I would just get the DT stuff. The little tub lasts a LONG time even with regular maintenance, and it's not hard to find at a good price. I was using PM600 which makes them silent, but was told by DT that I risked damaging the hub with the thicker grease, as it can impede full engagement and chip the teeth.
 

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Magically Delicious
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Yeah, do not use any standard bearing grease. PM600 Military Grease is WAY TOO thick as is any marine grease. All of those I listed are lighter, thinner perfectly acceptable freehub lubes. I have used them all except for the Mavic grease. Even the DT Swiss Freehub lube can be a little thick in the winter. I would suggest the lighter oils for cold temps.
 

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kneecap
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all!
I'll just get the DT grease, I was just thinking of using something I had in stock, & it appears everything I have would be way too thick for this application.
And since I'm in So. Cal. we never get into very low outdoor temps.
 

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Normal grease is NLGI #2, you want NLGI #0. Maybe #1, but definitely not normal #2 (wheel bearing greases, marine grease etc).

The 0 and 1 grease is uncommon and you'll probably be ordering it anyway.

Or you can thin out normal #2 grease with oil.
 

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Magically Delicious
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I’m guessing One Pivot makes the assumption that everyone knows, or should know what NLGI is, by his not defining what that acronym is. It’s the National Lubricating Grease Institute and they have defined some industry standards that most mere mortals are unaware of, or couldn’t give a sh!t about.

It’s really little more than an ornate way of defining a numerical scale used for classifying the consistency of lubricating greases, based on the ASTM D217 worked penetration at 25°C (77°F).

Simply stated…the thickness of grease.

Reality is that The DT Swiss is most likely classified as 0 (zero, or very soft grease), but for winter users, you might prefer to use a NLGI of 00 or 0000. Technically this a semifluid grease with a Worked Penetration Factor considerably higher than the suggested of 1 or maybe 0.

Now would be the time to open the discussion if these lubricants exhibit non-Newtonian behavior.
 

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2:1 blend of slick honey:syn gear oil has worked best for me by far - winter or summer. And I've tried them all incl DT grease and Chris King ring gear lube which most shops will use. No ASTM, ISO or NLGI standards to worry about either, LOL!

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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Not to go off topic but why do so many people spend so much time and effort using something other than what the manufacturer recommends, especially when what the manufacturer recommends is cheap and easy to come by?
 

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I also just dilute thick grease to make a thin grease. For my Sun-Ringle's, the only recommended lube is gear oil (no grease). I've found I can make something in between by blending a little generic automotive wheel bearing grease with some automotive gear oil. It makes a very thick oil or runny grease - however you'd like to describe it. Either way, it lasts longer than runny gear oil without causing the pawls to get sticky in colder weather.

In general, bicycles have very undemanding needs when it comes to lubricants. The speeds tend to be low and there's little heat to worry about. The only time I think I ever bought a specialty bike lube was back in the days of microlube ports on Manitou forks. Mainly, I needed the needlepoint gun and Manitou's grease came in package that threaded right onto the gun.

AM.
 

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Magically Delicious
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Not to go off topic but why do so many people spend so much time and effort using something other than what the manufacturer recommends, especially when what the manufacturer recommends is cheap and easy to come by?
Perhaps, there could be several reasons to explore other options.

The OEM suggested product isn't always easy to come by for everyone.

Or, we can find a like intended lubricant, or near same that is more available, or,

we already have some of this other freehub manufacturer's recommended lubricant of same specification.

Frequently, they are identical.
 

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Dusting Trails
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I went to my local bike shop and they sold me an open container 3/4 full of the stuff for $5 - good deal.
 

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I was given some old stuff from a friend. It had spolied, seperated ant was way to thick. I ended up using slickoleum and its been working good.
 

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Magically Delicious
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Slickoleum and Buzzy's Slick Honey are effectively the same lubricant. These might be a little thick for Star Ratchet mechanism, but I would think it would work.

I bet your freehub is silent using this.
 

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^^ What he said which is why I dilute with syn gear oil. And Alias530 - Every cyclist should have slick honey/slickoleum and some gear oil laying around the garage. As far as wasting time and energy... for REAL? It takes more time and energy to look for a product hardly anyone stocks not to mention the $20 price for the DT grease.

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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It was for a ride or two. I put on a very vet little amount. Just enough to keep the ratchets moving up and down on the springs. Even the dt swiss grease gets over used and can cause issues if to much is used. This is on my 18pt. Im not sure if I will use the slik on the 54t or not.

*edit* good call on the synth addition. I didnt see your post above gman. I will use that idea for me 54t
 

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Magically Delicious
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The higher up you go on star ratchet teeth (18 - 36 - 54), the more sensitive to proper engagement the ratchet will be to thicker grease. Absolutely no problems with diluting your grease with gear oil if that's what you want to do. In fact, many only use gear lubricant in place of the grease because of it reduced rotating friction. I like using Dumonde Liquid Grease. Excellent stuff, but might require slightly greater maintenance frequency. But really, this is so quick and easy to do, why not?
 
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