Best Hub Ratchet and Freehub Pawl grease

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
eric
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by eric

Saris recommends:

Kluber Isoflex NB52
Dupont Krytox GPL226

for Powertap freehubs.

I got some of the Krytox from McMaster-Carr and it works fine.
But so does a thin coat of light moly grease.

PJCM
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:44 am

by PJCM

I use Sta-Lube Marine grease for most bearing applications, including freehub pawls on various wheels.

Has kept the Campag Khamsin hubs happy on my commuter bike which sees a lot of rain. Has muffled the characteristic Campag freehub sound, but all I care about is keeping the hub internals clean, dry and smooth running.

Might be overkill for a fine weather bike, or hub system with fantastic seals, but an option.

eric
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by eric

I worry that a sticky grease would cause pawls to be slow to spring out making it easier for them to slip. Tyler Hamilton's crash in the Giro when his freewheel failed is not something I wish to try.

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Liggero
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by Liggero

Never use grease on pawls. Use a dense oil, like finish line wet lube or any decent wet lube. it's like a liquid grease or a dense oil, nice for pawls. not sticky. for bearings it depends. I like to disasemble them and apply first a bit of this wet lube, which is liquid and penetrates deep and fast. then apply shimano green grease all around to seal properly.
Happy Trails !!!

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
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by fdegrove

Hi,

You'd certainly want to avoid that.
OTOH you'll also want to grease these pawls according to what it is you want to achieve and be prepared to monitor the freehub accordingly really.

It may be considered cute to have a noisy ratchet but it will likely slow you down whilst coasting. You'd want a higher viscosity grease on the pawls than you'd use in your bearings but you'd better verify the pawls pop up correctly.

Basically a good quality oil is always better but it also will be displaced and dissolved more easily so it requires more frequent maintenance.

Regarding Campa grease: whilst it was developped in collaboration with Kluber, Campa suggests it is a proprietary formula. IOW not an off the shelf Kluber grease even though I'm sure there are off the shelf Kluber grease formulations that would do just fine on a bike.
Same for other brands if you're into sourcing really.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to test the impact of the freehub ratchet and pawl system of a bike and see if high-tech coatings could reduce any residual drag.
I'm pretty certain this is one of the most neglected areas of a race bike. It surely does deserve some looking into.
Anyone who looked into the drag of a RW with or without the effect of the added freewheel will agree that the additional drag brought on by almost all freehubs is not subtle.

It's a shame that some companies pay so much attention to bearing drag by using the highest quality hybrid ceramics but lose all the benefits by not porting that same tech to the freehubs of the rear wheel.
Anno 2013 it's about time they did, wouldn't you say?

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

KLabs
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:29 am

by KLabs

Hi eric, yes I agree ... have you tried RnR Red Devil or RnR Super Web grease ...

With the Sta-Lube Marine grease or similar do you think that is acceptable to add/mix Teflon based oil (ie. do you think it change the properties of the grease too much) ...

KLabs
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:29 am

by KLabs

Hi Liggero, yes that is also what I usually do using Teflon oil and Shimano DA grease.

I was thinking of trying Belray Waterproof grease because of its Washout and other properties (it is excellent on bearings) :)

Red Devil has been recommended to me and while there is definitely no sticky pawls, I am not sure how resistant to Water Washout and resistant to grease throw/squeeze it is ... I would still expect it to be much better than motor oil or even gear box oil :)

I am also considering Nulon Extreme Performance Grease (mixed with Teflon Oil) - its properties are ...
L80 keeps water and dust out while a plating of PTFE is applied to the mating surfaces under working conditions. Seal performance is improved and operating temperature reduced, resulting in less grease "throw". L80 is applicable to the majority of situations specifying grease lubrication, especially in high pressure, water and salt-water conditions including wire ropes.

L80 has a continuous temperature operating range of -9°C to 150°C.

L80 provides a residual lubrication, which is added insurance, combined with savings through less wear and downtime, making it an economical benefit. Smoother running, increased efficiency and prolonged machinery life, less labour and less volume of lubricant, all indicate higher profits. Where L80 has been used on a continuous basis, seizing and pitting will not occur on the friction surfaces.

audiophilitis
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:49 am

by audiophilitis

DT Swiss makes a star rachet-specific grease for use on their hubs. I had a relatively loud DT 190 hub which was silenced by a light coat of this grease. DT part number is HXTXXX00NSG20S.

yeagermeister
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:55 pm
Location: New Jersey

by yeagermeister

For must free hubs I'll use Phil wood tenacious oil on the pawls, seems to adhere pretty well

thisisatest
Shop Owner
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Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

Mavic recommends mineral oil. If it's on their FTS-L freehub, you'd better use it, or you could get a howl from the composite bushing on the inside.
Zipp used to recommend Mobil1 for their freehubs, back in the 182 days. I once just wanted to wet the freehub seal on one of those and grabbed some Triflow, the seal curled up right away and got all wavy... Zipp now uses their own grease (called Zipp freehub grease, clever) that is a lot like R&R super web grease but even stringier and a touch thicker. Two items sandwiching this grease can pull apart pretty easily, but you'll have little strings of grease between the two. This helps the grease replenish itself instead of just getting pushed to the side. it's quite effective.
DuPont Krytox is very smooth, very difficult to remove from surfaces (only solvent is freon, I hear), very expensive. It's one of the few lubricants approved for S&S couplers, you should Google them and check out their thread test. The grease is not sticky, is not stringy, it's actually available in every possible thickness. I use it for special occasions and on things like repair stand handles that get screwed in n out with load all the time.
For Chris King hubs, I use their RingDrive lube, for DT hubs, I use their grease as well. Ringdrive lube is a thick liquid with no tackifiers, DT grease is smooth, not tacky either.

CBRE
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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by CBRE

audiophilitis wrote:DT Swiss makes a star rachet-specific grease for use on their hubs. I had a relatively loud DT 190 hub which was silenced by a light coat of this grease. DT part number is HXTXXX00NSG20S.



I have this hub also and it is very loud, do you think it causes coast drag? These wheels seem slower than other wheels I have.
Curt Brown

2016 Cannondale EVO Etap 13.8#'s
2012 Cannondale Supersix EVO etap 13.7#'s
2017 Cannondale SUPER X Force 16.0#'s
2016 Cannondale FatCad2 28.1#'s
2011 Cannondale Carbon Flash 1 17.9#'s

5 8 5
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:36 am
Location: UK

by 5 8 5

KLabs wrote:Hi 5 8 5, I wonder how similar RnR Red Devil and Super Web grease are.

Sorry KLabs, I don't know. I've never used Red Devil. I got the Super Web primarily for Campag hub bearings but it seemed to be quite similar to the grease that Campag use so I tried on the pawls.

BTW I've just checked a Zonda rear that I regreased with Super Web last summer. It's been sitting all winter. The freehub is fine.

fdegrove makes a good point about monitoring the freehub depending on what you use in it.


BobDopolina wrote:IIRC the R&R grease is similar to Bull Shot from years ago. It was good grease with great adhesion but t was certainly much more viscous than the Kluber grease Campagnolo uses.

Do you mean the Red Devil or Super Web?

audiophilitis
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:49 am

by audiophilitis

CBRE wrote:
audiophilitis wrote:DT Swiss makes a star rachet-specific grease for use on their hubs. I had a relatively loud DT 190 hub which was silenced by a light coat of this grease. DT part number is HXTXXX00NSG20S.



I have this hub also and it is very loud, do you think it causes coast drag? These wheels seem slower than other wheels I have.


I think they're great hubs, but will get loud as the lube dries up over time. It only takes a few minutes to wipe down the star rachets/pawls and re-apply grease. I don't think this hub causes coast drag unless excessive grease is applied.

seve88
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:06 pm

by seve88

ProGold EXP (or something similar). It's very thick and like melted fudge. So good I sometimes have a Homer Simpson moment and feel I need to try to eat it. Also does a very good job in my hubs.

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
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Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

EPX, actually.

Not all freehubs are alike so you basically have the classic Campa pawls and ratchet system, DT Swiss' is pretty unique, Mavic, Extralite use a synthetic material (Delrin, I think it is) close to or going partly into the hub's shell. No doubt there are other variations on the theme out there.

Bottomline is to first look at what the manufacturer recommends and try to understand why they do so. Then look at how you clean your bike and how that is affecting the lubrication of the freehub system.
Once you have a clear view on all of that you can fiddle around with various lubes, change your cleaning method etc.
I, for one, used to suffer from freehub bearings running out of lube because I cleaned the chain and cogs with an agressive degreaser and probably using too much of that good thing in the process.
The chain and cogs were squeaky clean and grease free but so was the freehub eventually..................

The problem went away once I started to use removable chainlinks and freehub bodies without greaseports....

IMHO, the wisest thing would be to design a freehub that would no longer require any lube at all. It's perfectly possible with DLC coatings anyhow and they'd take care of friction and sticky pawls in a single sweep. Heck, it would not even need any maintenance at all.

Short of DLC, I'd recommend Krytox (PFPE) oil or grease for both ceramic hybrid bearings and classic steel contacting surfaces as it bonds to these extremely well and does not get removed easily. Altough similar in formulation to PTFE (Teflon to you and me) it lowers fricrtion way beyond it and as said, it reduces friction in an almost permanent way.

It will even reduce friction on Campa's much touted CULT bearings which are quieted down by a parafin based oil. A neat solution but it's actually adding friction.....

Sorry, I'm ranting way beyond the attention span of most of you already.... Give it a try anyway and report back.

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

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