Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Can I use this grease?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Can I use this grease?

Old 06-30-20, 11:55 AM
  #1  
curbowman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
curbowman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 156

Bikes: Imremo (cheap taiwanese mtb) and vintage Jupiter King (Japanese '70s road bike)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Can I use this grease?

Doing some cleaning in the house I found a brand-new pot of grease and I'd like to know if I could use it for my bicycles.

It says "Calcium graphite grease", it was made in 2018 but its shelf life / expiration date is "5 years from manufacture" , so it's still useful.

Any advice about where could it be used? Whel bearings, bottom bracket, seat post? Thanks!
curbowman is offline  
Old 06-30-20, 12:24 PM
  #2  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 7,444

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1111 Post(s)
Liked 496 Times in 362 Posts
I don't worry about grease expiration dates, I have a can of Lubriplate which is at least 25 years old and seems to work just fine. Be aware that graphite and molybdenum disulphide are nearly impossible to get out of clothes.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Likes For dsbrantjr:
Old 06-30-20, 02:19 PM
  #3  
ljsense
Senior Member
 
ljsense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Madison, Wis.
Posts: 622
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 43 Posts
Yeah, you can use it anywhere -- wheel, headset, and bottom bracket bearings, as well as seatpost and stem junctions, threading, etc. -- where you'd use grease, because that's what it is. The university I went to required chemistry for every undergrad. I don't remember any of it. But I think grease is just oil and soap whipped together, and the other additives just impart some little magic or another, but it all works fine for typical bikes. Someone else will probably have a more nuanced informed explanation, but in short, it'll work for a bike.
ljsense is offline  
Likes For ljsense:
Old 06-30-20, 02:30 PM
  #4  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,781

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1034 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
If you're running a 50 ton crane, the type and quality of grease can be critical. Or an 80KW motor driving a car crusher. A bike headset or BB? Not so much. The grease you have is probably overkill for bike applications. It will work, but you normally wouldn't use it because of cost and the graphite to clothing issue dsbrantjr mentions. Here's some suggestions for application from another calcium based grease impregnated with graphite:

Penrite Graphite Grease is a grey/black coloured, NLGI 3, graphite impregnated calcium based grease
Application
Penrite Graphite Grease is designed for the lubrication of spring leaves, handbrake cables, flexible drives and exposed chains.

Penrite Graphite Grease is suitable for use in slow speed plain bearings and slides where a heavy grease with solid lubricants is required.

Penrite Graphite Grease can also be used in industrial, mining and construction equipment including bulldozers, scrapers, loading shovels and dump trucks where graphite grease is recommended and high temperature capability is not required.

Penrite Graphite Grease can be used in plain bearing locks, latches and fasteners, cables and springs and even as a fifth wheel lubricant.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 06-30-20, 02:36 PM
  #5  
Crankycrank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,676
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 66 Posts
Anything with graphite is not necessarily great for bearings. I'm not the expert but have read this in various articles such as this. Scroll down to "5.3". Good article on what works for bikes as well. https://bike.bikegremlin.com/1985/bi...cium%20greases
Crankycrank is offline  
Old 06-30-20, 03:01 PM
  #6  
Tusk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 56

Bikes: 1986 Scwinn Prelude 20?? Motobecane Ti 'Le Champion"

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 15 Posts
If you are using this as a regrease, ensure that the soaps (thickeners) are compatible or that you have removed most of the old grease. Mixing greases with different soaps can cause the lubricant to fall out of suspension making the grease worthless.

Grease compatibility charts, specifically soap compatibility, can be found all over the internet.
Tusk is offline  
Old 06-30-20, 03:32 PM
  #7  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,967

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1214 Post(s)
Liked 296 Times in 208 Posts
Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Anything with graphite is not necessarily great for bearings. I'm not the expert but have read this in various articles such as this. Scroll down to "5.3". Good article on what works for bikes as well. https://bike.bikegremlin.com/1985/bi...cium%20greases
Looks like drive-by engineering. Take a shot, "because of a coarser structure, graphite can even be harmful to bicycle bearings," and drive off. Kinds of neglects the fact that graphite has approximately zero shear strength, so those "coarse" graphite "structures" will be shattered into plates before the bike gets to the end of the block.

I'm with dsbrandtjr on this one. If you've got a can of this grease, use it.
pdlamb is online now  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 06-30-20, 11:00 PM
  #8  
bitpuddle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 53

Bikes: Cinelli Nemo Tig / Battaglin Power Plus / Giant TCR SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Can you use it? Sure. Bicycles are very low-requirement applications for lubricants (low torque, low speed, low temperature). You could use almost any lubricant. If youíre applying it where there is old grease, Iíd try to clean out the old grease as best as possible.

Would it be ideal? Not really. Graphite greases are intended for somewhat different use cases (the bearing surfaces on a bicycle are fairly smooth and low-load). It would be more typical to use a lithium grease. Lithium greases also have the added benefit of being more obviously discolored when contaminated.

One place Iíd avoid using the graphite grease is where youíre concerned with galvanic corrosion. I donít know what your frame is made of and what components youíre attaching to it, so itís hard to give advice there.
bitpuddle is offline  
Old 07-01-20, 07:17 AM
  #9  
easyupbug 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,387

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 53 Posts
I would use the grease, take the good general advise to remove any other greases, first. Unusually I think BikeGremlin is off base with "because of a coarser structure, graphite can even be harmful to bicycle bearings." The carbon in the form of graphite lies in sheets that are very loosely bonded to each other, so under shear stresses the weak bonds easily slide making it a superior lubricant. We use graphite grease in many applications in mining and processing plants with success. Further unless the application is subject to moisture, as an electrolyte, galvanic corrosion is not an issue. In your list of uses the seat post is commonly subjected to galvanic corrosion and most any other grease for metal and carbon, or assembly paste for the carbon slips, would be much better.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 07-01-20, 08:46 AM
  #10  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,781

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1034 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
easyupbug noticed the list including seat posts. I didn't. We do get a lot of posts here about seat posts that have seized up in the seat tube. Kevin C summarized it pretty well here, but to repeat the advice about what to use on seatposts,

"The only time that there's really only one right answer is if the frame and seatpost are dissimilar metals (aluminum/steel, titanium/aluminum, titanium/steel). In this scenario, you should ABSOLUTELY use an anti-seize compound. Something like Park's ASC-1 is perfect for this. The anti-seize compound has zinc in it, which acts as a sacrificial metal to prevent the frame and seatpost from corroding and bonding to each other.

For other materials, you can still use anti-sieze compound, but you don't need to. A thin layer of grease will work in most cases. In the event that you're having problems with a seatpost slipping even when clamped, then go with an anti-slip compound, like Park's SAC-2"


That said, you can use grease on the bolt threads for your seatpost, if the mechanical connection and bolt and nut are all in good condition and clamp well. If not, then adding grease to a poorly performing clamp is going to be a losing proposition. Either you'll have a loose seat, or you'll have to tighten the thing so much that you'll break or bend the frame or damage the nut and bolt.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 07-01-20 at 11:10 AM.
WizardOfBoz is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.