Grease for bicycles?

JTK

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13,293
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Buffalo, NY
Being cooped up with the kids, we've been doing a bit of bicycle riding as weather allows. Nothing major, just mostly neighborhood stuff. We've got an assortment of cheap Schwinn mountain bikes from Target, etc that we've accumulated for the kids over the years and the darling bride bought me a very early Father's day gift, which is one of the Mongoose 26" fat tire bikes which was mail-ordered through Wally. I've done exactly zero maintenance on any of these bikes and would like to address the cartridges and wheel bearings as needed given (as I've recently read) they are not greased adequately from the factory. Never pulled one apart in my life! Countless tire/tube changes, brake adjustments, etc, is about it. I know it's not rocket science, but what's a good grease for these applications? Decent inexpensive tool kit for crank/cartridge work?
 
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Parts Unknown
If you want to buy more for "name brand", Park tool grease. But... for less money, a marine grade grease works just fine. Some people say Park tool grease is a marine grade grease that has its price inflated for the Park Tool packaging. That being said, I use Wally world's Supertech marine grade grease.
 
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753
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Phoenix
I like Phil Wood waterproof grease. That said, any marine grade grease will work fine. Wheel bearings are easy to grease. Cartridges are typically sealed.
 
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Western S.C.
Grease for bicycle bearings needs to have EP additives, and good water wash-out resistance. Typical white lithium grease washes out too easily. Drydene 4000 synthetic used to be the hot tip, and less expensive than the bike-shop specialty greases, but that company is extinct. The red "Extreme Pressure Multi-Duty Complex" Walmart grease is cheap, easy find, and works well in my experience.
 
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3,283
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West Michigan
For cheapy bikes seeing generic use just grab whatever bearing grease you have available. There are money which will work well, some which might work better (emphasis on might). I've never had a grease-related failure unless it was from abuse or neglect. I've had good results with: Valvoline, Mobil 1, Schwinn, Park, Finishline, Slick Honey, Triflow, Super-lube, Lucas HD and probably some others. Be careful with the clear Tri-Flow Synthetic Grease as its very tacky and not ideal for wheel bearings.
 
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NJ
I'm a bike mechanic, any grease that is not incredibly thick will work but for good bikes, I only use a synthetic grease, varies, SynPower, right now I have a tub of Pedro's, otherwise for kid's bikes, Walmart, Target, I use any dino grease.
 
Originally Posted by JLawrence08648
otherwise for kid's bikes, Walmart, Target, I use any dino grease.
Originally Posted by buck91
For cheapy bikes seeing generic use just grab whatever bearing grease you have available. .
+1. Nothing wrong with maintenance but the kids bikes will likely be outgrown and forgotten before they have bearing failure. JTK if you're going to take wheels apart that have cones and loose bearings you're going to need cone wrenches, there are cheapie sets on Amazon.
 
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5,027
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Ohio
I use automotive wheel bearing grease. Why waste money on a so called "bike grease"? If a grease can handle the loads and rotational speed of an automobile bearing, it sure can do the job for a bicycle.
 
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JTK

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13,293
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Buffalo, NY
Thanks for the suggestions all! All these years here and I didn't realize we had a bicycle category! I've been doing some reading on them lately and feel silly on how little my knowledge level had been on bicycles. Here I thought my family's department store Shwinns were decent LOL. I don't ride enough to justify a really expensive bike. Even as a kid I never owned anything fancier than a Huffy. This 26" Mongoose Dolomite fatty my wife bought me is a heavy honker. Cool looking IMO, but I can barely get'er out of 1st gear.
 
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Texas
A person in this thread: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/printthread/Board/2/main/14855/type/thread "A #2 grease can be too thick and not let the ratchet and pawls work properly in some free wheel hubs" Anyone experience this? I do wonder about using Amsoil lubricants as they make good automotive oils and I have been using a tube of their #2 grease for U-joints and ball joints, just wonder how their grease works on bicycles. https://www.amsoil.com/p/synthetic-water-resistant-grease-gwr/ https://www.amsoil.com/p/synthetic-polymeric-off-road-grease-nlgi-1-gpor1/ https://www.amsoil.com/p/high-viscosity-lithium-complex-synthetic-grease-gvc/ https://www.amsoil.com/p/synthetic-polymeric-truck-chassis-and-equipment-grease-nlgi-1-gptr1/
 
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Originally Posted by beavis87
A person in this thread: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/printthread/Board/2/main/14855/type/thread "A #2 grease can be too thick and not let the ratchet and pawls work properly in some free wheel hubs" Anyone experience this? I do wonder about using Amsoil lubricants as they make good automotive oils and I have been using a tube of their #2 grease for U-joints and ball joints, just wonder how their grease works on bicycles. https://www.amsoil.com/p/synthetic-water-resistant-grease-gwr/ https://www.amsoil.com/p/synthetic-polymeric-off-road-grease-nlgi-1-gpor1/ https://www.amsoil.com/p/high-viscosity-lithium-complex-synthetic-grease-gvc/ https://www.amsoil.com/p/synthetic-polymeric-truck-chassis-and-equipment-grease-nlgi-1-gptr1/
My Mavic hubs require a thin oil, not a grease. It's going to depend on the manufacturer of the hub, for what they recommend, then you can find an alternative lubricant Grease will typically be too thick for freehub maintenance, a thin oil is usually required. If you're doing maintenance on a hub that uses cones and bearings, like a Shimano hub, then grease is fine.
 
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JTK

Thread starter
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13,293
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Buffalo, NY
I had mail ordered an inexpensive bicycle tool kit and had at one of our kid's bikes the other day. My daughter's 24" Schwinn mountain bike bought from Target years ago. No one uses this bike anymore so I figured I'd practice on it. Took apart, cleaned and greased the bottom bracket and front wheel hub bearings. Neither looked too bad and had some semblance of lubricant in there. I used some supertech lithium grease I had on hand out of a grease gun cartridge. I'd like to use a more appropriate bearing grease for my boys bikes that actually get used and then have at my new Mongoose dolomite bike that according to reviews is likely to have little/no grease anywhere.
 
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5,903
Location
DFW
White lithium grease, cheap stuff. I used it when I rode my Miyata (Japanese bike mfg) 4,000 miles a year. No need to over think this.
 
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