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As i'm going to overhaul my hubs, i'm looking for the right grease for the job. The easy way would be going to a shop and buy some dedicated grease.

But searching through my garage, I found that i already have two types of grease.

  • Rivolta S.K.D. 4002 -even found a pdf - http://www.nescotech.ee/358eng.pdf
  • Some unknown red colored grease (not original package), only thing I know about it is that i got it from a factory that is making taps and metal tubing with high pressure press machinery, and it was standing in a cabinet outside in the sun heat and winter cold for 15 years, and it has decomposed a tiny bit.

both have almost same thickness, the red one is slightly thinner (estimated by eye and touch).

I know you can't use any grease you want, so here I am asking for your opinion.

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    Best question title ever. :) – D.Salo Sep 11 '14 at 12:23
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    You want a grease that won't run out of the bearings when hot and which is reasonably weather-resistant. I've generally used purpose-made grease, but a good quality auto wheel bearing grease should be sufficient. I'd be a hair leery of your "red grease" as it may have been designed for cutting rather than lube. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 11 '14 at 15:06
  • Unfortunately you don't know for sure what the red grease was for. I use a red (red berry juice like) grease that is designed for automotive bearings and tolerates high temperatures (It has lithium on it) and it does a terrific job. Some greases instead of decomposing just separate a little from the dilutant, mixing it again solves the issue. – Jahaziel Sep 11 '14 at 17:52
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Use the Rivolta grease and you will be fine. Most important is that it is dense enough, will last over time, stays fluid in low temperature and that it is somewhat water resistance. According to the pdf, the Rivolta will do all those things very good.

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  • The only thing i'm concerned of the Rivolta one is it will be too thick when temperatures drop, but on the other hand, the coldest its been the last 10 years is -3 degrees Celsius. – Blinker Sep 11 '14 at 13:11
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    According to the pdf, it can be used in bearings in low temperatures (up to -50 celcius). And in a bearing, quite thick grease is no problem. Unless you are concerned about the speed performance on an exclusive racing bike, this grease is just fine. – Foxhill Sep 11 '14 at 13:20
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Here in interior Alaska, we use Mag1 Lubriplate. It's been in heavy use here for years and is time proven answer to the suggestions of many companies that haven't worked. I run it in my headsets, my pedals, my hubs, freehubs and bottom bracket. At -40F every little bit helps. It also regularly reaches 80F here in the summer and I've never seen any issues with running it then as well.

Contrary to what you may hear, grease "just getting thick" when it gets cold is a major problem. While your hubs and bottom bracket just roll slower, not being able to steer is a major problem. Also expensive is partial engagement of your freehub body. When your freehub partially engages you can chip, damage or destroy the freehub body, essentially ruining your entire wheel. No engagement, while safe for your equipment, is dangerous for you. I have seen numerous cyclists push out into an intersection only to pedal forward and get no resistance, then fall down.

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