Bicycle Grease: Role and Use

Modified at: Jun 8, 2022

Posted at: Sep 25, 2021

It is surprisingly difficult to remember where to do bicycle greasing. In this article, we summarize the role of bicycle grease and how and where to use it.

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Grease has three main roles


The main purpose of grease is to lubricate, and the same is true for bicycles.

Grease is used as a lubricant in bicycle parts where there are bearings, such as the following parts.

  1. head parts
  2. bb
  3. hub

These parts are greased beforehand, but if you remove old grease and grease them up during maintenance, the movement will be smoother and resistance and noise will be reduced.

However, care must be taken regarding the wires. If grease for ordinary bicycle parts is applied, the coefficient of friction will increase and the pull will become heavier.

For wires, use a special silicone spray that is less aggressive to the outer wire.

Anti-sticking agent

Next, anti-seizing agents are used.

Grease is a highly viscous gel that fills gaps between joints of parts. By applying grease mainly to joints such as screws, it prevents screws from sticking to each other due to oxidation caused by moisture that has entered through gaps in the mounting area.

Grease is used as an anti-seizing agent for bicycle parts in general for “parts with bolts” such as the following parts.

  1. BB
  2. stem
  3. seat post clamp
  4. pedals
  5. crank

Since bicycles are used even in the rain, water inevitably gets into the gaps between the parts. In addition, sand and mud also get into the gaps between the parts because the bicycle rides by rolling up sand and other substances on the ground.

Since most bicycle parts are made of metal, moisture and mud oxidize the parts, resulting in rusting and sticking of the screws.

Once the parts are stuck, it may be difficult to remove them without a powerful special tool, so the first step is to “keep them from sticking.

Increase the coefficient of friction

This is limited to carbon parts, but grease for carbon has the effect of increasing the coefficient of friction.

Carbon parts are vulnerable to concentrated loads on a single point, and can easily crack if tightened too strongly. Therefore, by using grease specially designed for carbon parts, the coefficient of friction on the surface of the parts is increased so that the parts can be fixed firmly even when tightened with less force than when tightened with metal parts.

This is the reason why we often hear that “carbon parts require special carbon grease.” Ordinary grease is a highly viscous gel that slips when lightly tightened, but carbon grease contains a granular component in the gel, which increases the coefficient of friction.

If you know the three roles, you will know how to use it

If you know the following three roles of bicycle grease, you will naturally know where to grease up your bicycle when servicing it, without having to remember where you need to grease up.

  1. lubricant
  2. anti-sticking agent
  3. increase the coefficient of friction

If there are bearings, they are used as lubricants, and basically all screws are greased. Greasing may slow down the movement, but it rarely breaks or corrodes the parts, so be proactive about using it.

Even if the movement slows down, it is safe to wipe it off and it will return to normal.

Although it is surprisingly often neglected, grease-up is an important process to keep your bicycle in good condition for a long time, so it is a good idea to make a habit of remembering to carry out grease-up.

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