After an extremely muddy and wet MTB race (riding in puddles covering the brake rotors) I need to do a full bike overhaul. The only thing I don't know is what lube to use after degreasing the internals of the shimano freehub.

I already have:

  • Shimano dry and wet lube, and other bike chain lubes
  • various greases including shimano grease and multipurpose grease
  • multipurpose vaseline spray
  • various car engine and gearbox oils
  • silicone sprays

I know there are some freehub greases available but my LBSs don't have them and I can't wait for online orders to arrive.

Personally I'd use either gearbox oil or vaseline spray, but I'd like a confirmation from someone who has already (successfully) used one of the above lubing products.


  • Why would you use a non-bike specific lube when you have bike lubes? Read the labels and see which one you have now seems most suitable for a freehub. – Criggie May 11 '16 at 20:13

Your freehub needs the lightest, thinnest grease you can use. Shimano does make a specific freehub grease, and that is what I'd use, even if I had to order it.

Slick Honey, SRAM Hub Butter, or a similar thin, lightweight grease will work in a pinch. Don't use oil or a chain lube. They won't do the job.

  • I've read about both the shimano freehub grease and the slick honey, but unfortunately they are impossible to find locally, and I need to find a solution by Saturday. Apart from what I already have, the best I can find locally is some no-name thing called "white thin grease spray", but perhaps that is similar to the spray grease I already have. – Stefan May 11 '16 at 20:43
  • Any spray would be too thin. If you need it for 1 short race, and don't mind risking the freehub, then it might do, short term. You can get slick honey from Jenson in 2 days. jensonusa.com/Buzzys-Slick-Honey-All-Purpose-Grease. Or Sram's hub butter from amazon. amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00H66BVMC/… – zenbike May 11 '16 at 21:56
  • Thanks but I don't live in the US, and it would get at least 3 working days just for the package to get through the customs. The fastest bike web shop for me seems to be bike-discount.de, but even so it takes around a week. – Stefan May 11 '16 at 22:34
  • Are you in Germany? If so,what area? Why do you need it? Is it a race or an event? – zenbike May 11 '16 at 22:36
  • I've read here parktool.com/blog/repair-help/freehub-service that "bicycle grease is typically not required inside a freehub. Most manufacturers recommend liquid lubricant for the inside of the freehub" . What if I put some oil inside it, mainly so the pawls don't rust, and then the lightest grese I have around the outsite ball bearings? Thanks! – Stefan May 16 '16 at 11:18

If you don't want to use a bicycle grease (Park Tool PolyLube 1000 or Phil Wood Waterproof grease or Shimano's greases or whatever), use something like automotive multipurpose or wheel bearing grease.

The Valvoline stuff is red and comes in a big tub for about 5-10 dollars and can be bought at any automotive shop.

  • Far too thick for freehuv pawls. – zenbike May 11 '16 at 21:56

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