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Thread: Why Lithium Grease exists

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    Default Why Lithium Grease exists

    Today I got around to disassembling Stu's recent SRM purchase. Visual inspection, check the PM for correct settings and swap in new chainrings toss the cheesy Shimano chainring bolts for good old Suginos button everything up and calibrate.

    Well, things are never perfect. Three of the chainring bolts were siezed and had to be drilled out. Not a deal really, it happens.

    Here is a picture of what your chainring bolts should look like before you smear the grease into the threads and cover the bolts bearing surfaces.

    Pssssssssssst check out the long Campy BB bolts. These will give superior results. I toss out short BB bolts or anything not made heavy.

    Folks this is a PSA for Lithium Grease. Buy it, use it and there is an endless supply at your local Auto Parts House.

    Go with peace, TooTall - who only plays a pro wrench on VSalon
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    try white Teflon pipe dope on chain ring bolts

    lithium is so last century go syn now
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by Bssc View Post
    try white Teflon pipe dope on chain ring bolts

    lithium is so last century go syn now
    I hereby revoke your Luddite card. xxooo

    Good advice which I'll abide, after they pry the tub of Lithium grease from my cold dead hand.

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Personally, I would have used Bel-Ray Assembly lube (extremely high content of Moly-di sulfide) on the chainring bolts and the crank bolts or either the copper/aluminum based anti-seize that Loctite makes.

    George Tapley
    Culebra Cycles/Sandia Design Works
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    I'd never use Bel-Ray Assembly Lube or synthetic on a chainring bolt. Both contain polysardonic cryptomorphide compounds which make metal brittle.

    You guys are nuts.

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by Bssc View Post
    try white Teflon pipe dope on chain ring bolts

    lithium is so last century go syn now
    Pipe dope is for pipes. Grease is for bearings. Anti-sieze compound is for bolts.

    "Synthetic" refers to the base oil in the grease. Lithium refers to the thickener (either lithium soap or lithium complex). There are many synthetic greases with lithium thickeners.

    Why lithium grease exists:
    Grease Selection: Lithium vs. Lithium Complex
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Stockton View Post
    Pipe dope is for pipes. Grease is for bearings. Anti-sieze compound is for bolts.

    "Synthetic" refers to the base oil in the grease. Lithium refers to the thickener (either lithium soap or lithium complex). There are many synthetic greases with lithium thickeners.

    Why lithium grease exists:
    Grease Selection: Lithium vs. Lithium Complex
    Hey thanks! Geeky reading.
    Oooo gotta go. MN might get a touchdown. Naaaaa

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    I prefer Phil on CR bolts. And on the outer surfaces of headset bearings and BB30 bearings. Lithium grease is reserved for campy shifter rebuilds. Lithium + Tri Flow. Maybe a pea-sized amount. Threaded BBs get anti-seize.
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    good pipe dope lubricates , does not harden or dry up, and serves as an anti vibration compound ( IE flexible loctite) so mystery loosed pieces do not happen

    real synthetic grease has no lithium in it nor any solids so there is noting to fall out of solution it is filtered on the molecular to have all the same size molecules to a engineered spec.

    BTW I only use liquid Loctite for wheel building, paste sticks rule now
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    How does the white lithium compare to Phil grease? That's been the defacto grease for all of my bikes for the past 20 years.

    Back in my shop days we only used Campy lithium grease only because we didn't have the Phil.
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by bigflax925 View Post
    How does the white lithium compare to Phil grease? That's been the defacto grease for all of my bikes for the past 20 years.

    Back in my shop days we only used Campy lithium grease only because we didn't have the Phil.
    When you need a solid grease Phil is very good.

    Call me irresponsible, call me unreliable but call me nostalgic and a creature of habit. White Lithium grease goes on chainring bolts because I say it does ;)

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by Bssc View Post
    real synthetic grease has no lithium in it nor any solids so there is noting to fall out of solution it is filtered on the molecular to have all the same size molecules to a engineered spec.
    Not even close to true. For instance, see:
    http://www.mobilindustrial.com/IND/E...bilith_shc.pdf

    "Mobilith SHC greases combine the unique features of synthesized hydrocarbon-based
    fluids with those of an advanced lithium-complex thickener, which contribute to excellent
    adhesion, structural stability, and resistance to water."

    SHC in Mobil's designation is Synthetic HydroCarbon. It is not "filtered on a molecular level", it is synthesized atom by atom to create the desired molecules.

    From Wikipedia's entry on grease:
    "in the context of lubrication, grease typically applies to a material consisting of a soap emulsified with mineral or vegetable oil. The characteristic feature of greases is that they possess a high initial viscosity, which upon the application of shear, drops to give the effect of an oil-lubricated bearing of approximately the same viscosity as the base oil used in the grease. This change in viscosity is called thixotropy. Grease is sometimes used to describe lubricating materials that are simply soft solids or high viscosity liquids, but these materials do not exhibit the shear-thinning (thixotropic) properties characteristic of the classical grease. For example, petroleum jellies such as Vaseline are not generally classified as greases."

    Grease is not a "solution", it is an emulsion. The thickener (e.g. lithium complex soap) is intended to release a little bit of oil under shear, and re-absorb the oil at rest. Kind of like a sponge releasing and reabsorbing water. It's that free oil film that provides the lubrication. A 'pure' lubricant that does not have that property would be too thick to lubricate properly. That slow release of oil is also why grease needs to be replaced after some time - eventually there won't be enough oil left in it to lubricate properly. It's also why anti-seize is preferable for something that's intended to stay assembled for a long time but still come apart.

    Sorry, getting technical here, but this is the tech forum!

    Bill
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Stockton View Post
    Not even close to true. For instance, see:
    http://www.mobilindustrial.com/IND/E...bilith_shc.pdf

    "Mobilith SHC greases combine the unique features of synthesized hydrocarbon-based
    fluids with those of an advanced lithium-complex thickener, which contribute to excellent
    adhesion, structural stability, and resistance to water."

    SHC in Mobil's designation is Synthetic HydroCarbon. It is not "filtered on a molecular level", it is synthesized atom by atom to create the desired molecules.

    From Wikipedia's entry on grease:
    "in the context of lubrication, grease typically applies to a material consisting of a soap emulsified with mineral or vegetable oil. The characteristic feature of greases is that they possess a high initial viscosity, which upon the application of shear, drops to give the effect of an oil-lubricated bearing of approximately the same viscosity as the base oil used in the grease. This change in viscosity is called thixotropy. Grease is sometimes used to describe lubricating materials that are simply soft solids or high viscosity liquids, but these materials do not exhibit the shear-thinning (thixotropic) properties characteristic of the classical grease. For example, petroleum jellies such as Vaseline are not generally classified as greases."

    Grease is not a "solution", it is an emulsion. The thickener (e.g. lithium complex soap) is intended to release a little bit of oil under shear, and re-absorb the oil at rest. Kind of like a sponge releasing and reabsorbing water. It's that free oil film that provides the lubrication. A 'pure' lubricant that does not have that property would be too thick to lubricate properly. That slow release of oil is also why grease needs to be replaced after some time - eventually there won't be enough oil left in it to lubricate properly. It's also why anti-seize is preferable for something that's intended to stay assembled for a long time but still come apart.

    Sorry, getting technical here, but this is the tech forum!

    Bill
    Bill, nobody would take your reply as anything less than helpful.
    Go for it. What grease would you use on a headset or for assembly of BBs OR chainring bolts?

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Phil works really well for assembly, although the price is getting a little silly. I have had trouble with lithium apparently promoting corrosion.
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    For a headset, something as sticky and water-resistant as possible. Like boat trailer wheel bearing grease. That's cheap and available at any auto parts store. It should be fine in a cup-and-cone BB too, since they turn so slowly.

    I generally use Phil for assembly because I have it around, but I tinker with stuff so often I could probably use about anything. A good anti-seize would probably be better. Something like this might be convenient for a home shop:

    Loctite 41205 | Anti-Seize Lubricant

    Bill
     

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    Default Re: Why Lithium Grease exists

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Stockton View Post
    For a headset, something as sticky and water-resistant as possible. Like boat trailer wheel bearing grease. That's cheap and available at any auto parts store. It should be fine in a cup-and-cone BB too, since they turn so slowly.

    I generally use Phil for assembly because I have it around, but I tinker with stuff so often I could probably use about anything. A good anti-seize would probably be better. Something like this might be convenient for a home shop:

    Loctite 41205 | Anti-Seize Lubricant

    Bill
    Rock n' Roll makes an terrific assembly grease. You can tell it's good becuase you have to wash your hands twice!

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