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Hello,

I have not ever purchased a bottle of grease. I do not know much about grease. I have been trying to avoid this mysterious black substance. But, now I need to attach pedals to cranks and I have read that grease is needed for the procedure. I searched around and after scanning through a long thread in this forum about greasing the bottom bracket splines, it became pretty clear the grease is an important component of bikes. So now I want to get an idea of the different brands and types of grease that is recommended for use on the bike. Must i buy bike specific grease (like triflow)... or can i buy grease from the hardware store (like CRC white lithium grease)? Triflow and other bike grease are really expensive compared to grease from home depot. Is this a place where i can save some money, or will white lithium grease not work on bike parts?

Also, what is the difference between grease and oil and chain lube? I am under the impression that oil can be used for chain lubrication (I read some motor oil reviews as chain lube) but not the other way around. I have used white lightning for chains and am switching to rock n roll extreme because of the mtbr choice award. I am guessing that white lightning rock n roll extreme is chain specific lubrication, and i shouldn’t use it in other places.

Also, what is up with wd40? wd40 is a degreaser? i've read that people clean their chains with wd40, but wipe it off before applying a new coat of chain lube. I have used it to stop door squeaks... so is it an oil? Can i spray some wd40 instead of putting grease on the pedals threads...or is that a no-no?

I am sorry if some of my rambling does not make sense...these paragraphs are not very organized... and i tried to type too many thoughts in a short period of time. Well, i would appreciate any thoughts that anyone might have on this subject.
 

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Lithium grease is fine on metal parts like hub bearings. It will eat up elastomers that used to be used in forks. You can get a tub of hub bearing grease for about $3.00 at Wally*world. I have a tube of Phil Wood Grease that I use for just about everything on a bike.

Chain lube is generally oil with a volatile carrier. The carrier helps the lube penetrate the links then evaporates. White Lightning and Ice Wax are wax based lubes again with a carrier. You can use straight up motor oil but grit sticks to it.

WD-40 is a water displacement product. It is mostly carrier with very little lube in it. It's good to chase water out of parts after cleaning then follow up with another lube. It's enough to stop a door from squeaking but not a good chain lube.

For coil/oil forks you can get Bel-Ray fork oil from a motorcycle shop at a significant savings over bicycle fork oil at a LBS.

Mike
 

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grease = thickened oil. grease can be used anywhere you can "pack it in", and has advantages of staying where you put it. obviously you can't use grease to lubricate anything that requires the lube to flow into crevasses ( chains, pivots, door hinges) The thinner the lube, the easier it will flow into cracks and crevasses, this is why WD40 is so effective for quieting door hinges, but its lubricating qualities are minimal for applications that require a good film strength and high pressure capability. Most bicycle specific lubricants are the higher quality lubricants that you can find in use elsewhere. I like to use a good quality high moly content grease for my pivot points ( the blacker the better :D ) buying this in a grease-gun tube is a lot cheaper than buying small specialty tubs of bicycle grease. I don't think anyone can say that bicycle lubes are any better than stuff you can buy at a hardware/automotive supply store
 
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