Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In preparation for the winter season...We will be testing various commercial and custom arctic lubrications, greases and oils...many of which just might be used in a 'bike-shop'.

The testing will be done using a new cryogenic freezer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus, here in Bethel...minus 180 degrees F should give us some good indications.

If you would like your lube tested a/o have suggestions, send me email or call:

martin_leonard at bethel.uaf.edu

P,O, Box 368
Bethel, Alaska 99559
907.543.4510

Results will be posted on a public forum.

ml
 

·
FatBike Fiend
Joined
·
974 Posts
What do walrus use on their oosiks?

Don't tell CarlHutch but I repacked every bearing on his Fatbike with Marmite:D But seriously, I still havn't found a really good bearing grease that doesn't get thick in the cold. Synthetic motor oil seems to work good but doesn't last long. Even the greases you can buy at the auto parts store that says it's for cold temps don't work as advertised. If anybody here works on the slope, what do they use up there for cold weather lubes on the heavy equipment?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Greases...summary spreadsheet

from one of the bearing manufact.suppliers we've used...this is a pretty good summary sheet (albeit slightly outdated) for bearing lubricants / greases:
http://www.astbearings.com/p-lubes-greases.php

Note: as you would expect...the oil/mineral based products have limited temp ranges esp. @ minimums...flouros and silicones give extreme performance esp @ the low end...FEI, some of the thickeners are not compatible with bearing seals...don't be surprised by the cost of the aerospace formulas - the space shuttle budgets are traditionally alot higher than that of us expedition fatbikers!

Attn those of you using Phil BBs and Hubs...Brent at the Phil shop has some hybred Phil grease that he claims is more appropriate for our low temps...he has loaded in some of my recent Pugs 100mm BB purchases and sent a sample for me to test as well.

more to come

____________________

Mark,

;) IMHO our best resource for greases used in extreme, with the best relationship to winter fatbiking, is NOT 'the slope' BUT 'the Alaska Railroad'...maintenance issues in that industry iare highly researched and applied and here in Alaska they experience similar temps, wet-freeze-thaw and service conditions as us fatbikers...SO...if anyone is in the vacinity of the Alaska Railroad shops down at the port maybe query some of the mechanics, I think we'll get some v. good suggestions.

I'll leave the walrus research to you Mark...I've had my fill of the amorous beasts over the years...good luck w/ that one! :idea:

cheers,

ml
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
and theres me thinking you used that stuff as some kind of cod liver oil supplement.

what do you think of surlys crank.sure looks pretty like an old school XTR polished finish.
will it fit the fat bikes??????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excited about...

I need a fine tuned, yet variable, chainline for the different wheelsets we're using...the BB is the only bearing on the bike not greasable 'in situ' so the accessibility might be key - a little more exposed, but I'll take the tradeoff.

Bottom brackets with a floating spindle and accessible bearings...not to mention the bombproof crank arms...thats what excites me...more to come!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In all fairness...

qayaq_alaska said:
Pugs BB is in the freezer...along with some standard issue arctic greases from the bike shop and NAPA...running temp...-80dC.

auf dem morgen!

ML
:rolleyes:

...what would you expect at -112dF...solid as a rock!

We will be standardizing the testing and work down from 0dF to -100dF when the greases are assembled.

Will be interesting to see how the published ratings of each low temp grease compares to quantitative testing in a lab environment.

Will primarily be looking to see if crystallization occurs and at what temp along with some viscosity testing...will probably pack one standard Phil bearing with each grease and look at rotation as well.

If anyone has suggestions or has common a/or proprietary greases they would like to put in the test...contact info above!

Let me know!

martin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
Did my own test at -55F a few years ago using a variety of oils (but no grease) left outside overnight. The only thing that would actually POUR at that temp was Mobil 1 ATF. Mobil 1 5w30 would glub out of the jug, but Pennzoil 5/30 and Pennzoil ATF was crystallized, as was a variety of 2 cycle snowmachine injector oils.

I did use Mobil 1 5/30 in my Rohloff one winter and it seemed okay. I tried straight stove oil in the Rohloff as well, but it leaked. Since then Mobil 1 has begun offering a 0/30 weight that I now use in our cars in the winter that might be worth a try in the Rohloff.

We didn't do any formal comparison testing, but moly based greases seemed to work best in the heavy equipment at the state shop in Cantwell in the winter time.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AK Ken said:
Did my own test at -55F a few years ago using a variety of oils (but no grease) left outside overnight. The only thing that would actually POUR at that temp was Mobil 1 ATF. Mobil 1 5w30 would glub out of the jug, but Pennzoil 5/30 and Pennzoil ATF was crystallized, as was a variety of 2 cycle snowmachine injector oils.

I did use Mobil 1 5/30 in my Rohloff one winter and it seemed okay. I tried straight stove oil in the Rohloff as well, but it leaked. Since then Mobil 1 has begun offering a 0/30 weight that I now use in our cars in the winter that might be worth a try in the Rohloff.

We didn't do any formal comparison testing, but moly based greases seemed to work best in the heavy equipment at the state shop in Cantwell in the winter time.

Ken
Cool...good info...quyana

ML
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thus far, the winter winner is....

Molykote

High Oxidation resistance
Great low temp performance
Seems compatible with plastics
Definately water resistant
At least -100dF cold start temp.

Only grease with properties intact after 3 days in the cryo...at -140dF.

More to come.

ML
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Cold weather testing

I would suggest the physical characteristics of your lubricants are not completely linear relative to temperture. Testing at -140dF may not be of great value if your extreme riding temp is -60dF. Also - have you testing any anti-seize? Years ago we used it (very lightly) for lube on track bike hubs. sc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I agree...

I'm positive its not linear...and don't get me wrong...this is not a quantitative study by any means...I don't have that kind'a time.

anyway...no real need for a quanititative analysis as all of prominent industry bearing greases we're looking at have extremely comprehensive data sheets that spec out all the important performance criteria (and then some!) already...no need to reinvent.

It is nice to see how accurate some of their data is though...running the greases beyond published low working temps does give us some qualitative indicators. i.e. I want to know when my hubs, hdset and bottom bracket are going 'rock' on me.

As per your suggestion...I will look at the the most prominent and applicable greases and run them from within and outside their published low working temps.

As per the antiSieze...will put some in the mix...not sure how well the antiseize performs in the long term 'wear' category...I assume they're designed as a static coatings more than anything else...will look into it.

Quyana for the input...

Cheers,

ML
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Phil Wood BBs Bearings...

I know there are numerous bikers with Phil BBs on their rides...I'm re-greasing all of mine...none of the pre-load greases coming out of their shop seem to be satisfactory...I'm averaging ~ 0dF in the morns and getting poor freespin...will clean and load with Molykote asap.

I'm rebuilding some Surly hubs and Profile Racing BB...any specific suggestions on a Phil replacement for the stock bearings?

ML
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Moriningstar 'Soup'

After comparative testing I've decided to use the Morningstar 'Soup' on all bearing parts on our 'fatbikes'. The Moriningstar product easily surpassed any and all greases in controlled freezer testing at extreme temps. The grease penetrates bearings and associated surfaces well and the proprietary additives have an excellent track record in all types of geared / bearing'd mechanisms. Also using the 'soup', ala the FreeHub Buddy, in shimano type freehub bodies with excellent results.

Its not cheap in comparison with other cold weather greases...so recycling on those frequent purges is recommended. Comes in 60cc increments loaded in traditional syringes. I've reload it in a more traditional type grease gun with a fine tip for zerk fittings.

Been running the bikes at ~ 0dF with excellent results thus far.

Paul Morningstar can be contacted via his website:
http://morningstartools.com/freehub_buddy1.html
 

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
16,342 Posts
qayaq_alaska said:
After comparative testing I've decided to use the Morningstar 'Soup' on all bearing parts on our 'fatbikes'.
Martin-

Thanks for the updated info. Just to be clear, you prefer the soup over the Molykote? Seemed like you were sold on the Moly for awhile there.

Any info is appreciated.

MC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Molykote is 'good'...

but it definately loses some of it's qualities at -40df and below...doesn't completely go to 'rock solid' but definately is starting to harden. It is used by quite a few mechanics here in Bethel - the State uses it on their external gearing, levers, etc. As you know, seeing minus 40dF on the trail is a definate consideration (not that I seek it out or anything) for us kruzers / racers here in Alaska. The Molykote is not cheap and it's not that easy to find...at least not here in rural Alaska 400 miles off the road system.

The SOUP easily out performs the Molykote at the -50/-60dF range (which I consider the limit of ridability...after that things have a tendency to 'just plain 'fail''). At -56dF the SOUP was acting like room temp...I was truly amazed. At first glace is appears very 'thin' compared to other bearing greases (this is why I was apprehensive) but after talking with Paul Morningstar he noted that the additives allow it to 'cling' like no other and he has clients using it in speed and high temp applications that far exceed what us cyclists would experience.

I have the SOUP in hub bearings (Surly, White, and WTB GG (1980s)), multiple Phil BBs, multiple WTB GG headsets, Doug White's freewheels & hubs, multiple pulley bearings and coated surfaces. Thus far I'm not getting any seapage across any of the seals. Beyond a doubt, our bikes are faster in the cold than with other greases we've used...markedly. I am surprised but pleased thus far.

[I also made a slury with it...diluting it with a little Kerosene and was going to use it in my Rohloff...but the warranty issues with Rohloff are not surmountable...more on that on the Rohloff winterizing thread soon]

The only drawback w/ the SOUP is it's frig'in expensive - bulk is better pricing...oh well - you get what you pay for with bike parts right?...anyhow, I'd rather send a check to a small innovative American engineer and cyclist like Paul Morningstar than to Dupont or Dow Chemical...and Paul is totally dedicated to American cyclists...he is a wealth of info and very willing to share...FYI, have an inexpensive rate on your calling card when you contact him - he is chatty (the v.good kind) ;)

good luck,

Martin

(dude...I sent PM to your gmail...?)
 

·
This place needs an enema
Joined
·
16,342 Posts
qayaq_alaska said:
but it definately looses some of it's qualities at -40df and below...doesn't completely go to 'rock solid' but definately is starting to harden.

(dude...I sent PM to your gmail...?)
Thanks for the clarification.

I turned off my PM's--too many wheel questions coming in that way. You can hit me at:
info at lacemine29.com

I did respond to your email last week. Didja get that one?

Cheers,

MC
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top