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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Trek Fuel EX 9.7 and I need to grease my pivots bad. Can I use automotive grease? Or do I need some sort of “carbon safe” grease.


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Elitest thrill junkie
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I have a Trek Fuel EX 9.7 and I need to grease my pivots bad. Can I use automotive grease? Or do I need some sort of "carbon safe" grease.

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What you do mean you need to "grease your pivots"? Are you saying the bearings are bad? If the bearings are crunchy/notchy, you need new ones. If the bearings are still fairly smooth, you can sometimes get a little more life by prying open the dust-seals and repacking the bearings. They must be removed to do this. Removing the bearings may take a blind-bearing puller and setting them can require a press, sometimes you can make do with punches and other improvised tools, but you have to be real careful.

Most bearings have the bearing size printed on the dust-seal, so you can simply enter those into ebay or amazon. SKF makes good quality bearings.
 

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What you do mean you need to "grease your pivots"? Are you saying the bearings are bad? If the bearings are crunchy/notchy, you need new ones. If the bearings are still fairly smooth, you can sometimes get a little more life by prying open the dust-seals and repacking the bearings. They must be removed to do this. Removing the bearings may take a blind-bearing puller and setting them can require a press, sometimes you can make do with punches and other improvised tools, but you have to be real careful.

Most bearings have the bearing size printed on the dust-seal, so you can simply enter those into ebay or amazon. SKF makes good quality bearings.
Yep^ Sometimes dirt can cause issues and disassembling and cleaning everything can solve it but otherwise just replace the bearings.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I've been told I need to "lube" the main pivot. Maybe I just need to clean and lube the shaft?

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No, the pivot shafts are dry unless you have a grease-port IGUS bushing system, which I highly doubt unless you have an old Turner or handful of other bikes, the bearings are where the lube is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I started to tear it apart today and it’s definitely my upper right side pivot bearing. It has gotten wet at some point and is gritty. The shaft actually had some rust residue (from the bearing) on it so I lightly greased it. It seems like the noise is now gone.

This winter I will be replacing all the bearings.


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It's possible the noise is gone because the axle is pivoting on the grease you put on it instead of rotating in the bearing like it should. That will eventually damage the pivot axle. I always grease pivot axles, but that's not going to solve a gritty or seized bearing

If you can't remove the bearings now, I'd peel the seal off with a pick and at least flush them with alcohol, dry with compressed air, and re-pack with clean grease. I've had poor luck with Park grease in bearings, but Phil Wood seems to be recommended, I've also used Red n Tacky with very good success, but with the latter in particular, I'd be real careful to not get it anywhere else, clean it up really well, and wear gloves, it's very sticky and hard to get off. Be very careful to wipe the face of the bearing off when you re-install the seal and get excess grease off, otherwise it will attract dirt, which will stay there and press past the seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I’m going to go ahead and replace the bearings pretty soon. I just need to get a press and the new bearings. The bearing still spins freely but it isn’t smooth like a bearing should be. It has definitely gotten wet at some point and started to rust.


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To answer your initial question about types of grease
No, you don't need to worry. Any grease is fin for a carbon frame.

Ps. I lube suspension pivot bolts, shafts and pins with a thing layer grease.
 
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