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#4430316 - 06/13/17 12:30 PM Grease base oil viscosity?
nthach Offline

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3909
Loc: California
Does this matter in certain applications or not really? Does the base oil have the same effects on frictional losses or how a bearing moves dependent on temperature, just like how thinner oils help with fuel economy?

Reason why I ask is that I was reading the data sheet for the grease I used in my bike's hubs - it's repackaged Nemco synthetic grease - NLGI 1.5 with an ISO 460 base oil. I've looked up a few other greases and while the NLGI grade might be the same, the base oil viscosities are different.

#4430334 - 06/13/17 01:03 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
userfriendly Offline

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2630
Loc: LaFinDuMonde
The grade may be the same, but the temperature range can be different depending on BOV. For surface transportation, including train wheel bearings, the grease needs to be in grade down to -40.
On the hot end, a higher viscosity BOV may handle higher peak operational temperatures.

Edited by userfriendly (06/13/17 01:05 PM)

#4430358 - 06/13/17 01:30 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
MotoTribologist Offline

Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 562
Loc: NJ, USA
Varying requirements with regard to load carrying, speed, and operational temperature are all factors in what the best base oil viscosity is for a grease application.

#4431268 - 06/14/17 12:41 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
MolaKule Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 19042
Loc: Iowegia - USA

#4431269 - 06/14/17 12:42 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
nthach Offline

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3909
Loc: California
The application this grease is used in is a bicycle angular contact ball bearing with adjustable preload via the adjusting cone. The bike will be ridden in ambient temps up to 100*F, I plan on checking the hubs out of curiosity - would this grease be overkill and I would be better served with a "thinner" grease?

#4431888 - 06/14/17 11:37 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
userfriendly Offline

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2630
Loc: LaFinDuMonde
Have a look at Chevron's HD EP #1 not the moly one. In Canada, I use Petro Canada OG-1, it's sorta like Campy grease without the high price. Chevron's offering has very good load carrying and water washout resistance. Prolly make a good boat trailer grease both #1 & 2. BOV is 220 or like a SAE 50 engine oil equiv.

#4434854 - 06/18/17 06:03 AM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
miro Offline

Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 119
Loc: the Netherlands
I think that you will get more help if you pace message in ¨bicycle¨ part of this forum.

As far as I understood you want to reduce bearing losses. Unfortunately they are the smallest part of losses

3...5W - for hubs bottom bracket and pedals. Do you want to reduce them - go wor ceramics bearing and use even lower NLGI grade NLGI 1 or 0. Oli Viscosity keep it high .Your application has DN . More info here -
30...80W - tire lorring resistnce
the rest is air losses - at 20mph goes to 80% of total power

Tips mor maintanince of cup&cones
- go to fantastic website of Sheldown Brown RIP
- My experience
- frequent repack of hub is the key of longevity of shimano / campagnolio hubs
- wrong cone adjust is the second factor of failure /after contamination /
- Grease choise depends on your needs
- Lithium - low friction, good low temp performance but easy washed out. Mobilith 220 and 460 are my favorite - for my nice weather race and MTB hub. For sterm and pedals still use Calcuim sulfonate grease
- Calcium sulfonate - Favorite or my all weather commuter. Here in europe I use Total Ceran XM220.
- AL Baruim complex used in the past but switched to Calcium sulfonate.

#4435264 - 06/18/17 03:50 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: nthach]
userfriendly Offline

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2630
Loc: LaFinDuMonde
Good post miro, the Pet-Can OG-1 I mentioned above is a calcium sulfonate too, so I think we are both on the same page. Back in the day (way back) I switched to Mavic hubs 'n BBs. I still have a brand new 52cm Merckx I built for a lady, (she passed away 6 years ago) still in the box from 1987 with a Mavic groupo.

#4437207 - 06/20/17 11:30 PM Re: Grease base oil viscosity? [Re: MolaKule]
fpracha Offline

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 555
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
hello MolaKule, thanks for great info!
As some have mixed oil into mobil-220 grease to get a softer (lower nlgi) grease for their purpose.
When oil is mixed with the grease, air bubbles and air pockets are formed.
Is there a simple method to avoid these air bubbles in the grease ?