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  1. #1
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Testing Arctic Lubes...calling Alaskans

    In preparation for the winter season...We will be testing various commercial and custom arctic lubrications, greases and oils...many of which just might be used in a 'bike-shop'.

    The testing will be done using a new cryogenic freezer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus, here in Bethel...minus 180 degrees F should give us some good indications.

    If you would like your lube tested a/o have suggestions, send me email or call:

    martin_leonard at bethel.uaf.edu

    P,O, Box 368
    Bethel, Alaska 99559
    907.543.4510

    Results will be posted on a public forum.

    ml
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    FatBike Fiend
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    What do walrus use on their oosiks?

    Don't tell CarlHutch but I repacked every bearing on his Fatbike with Marmite But seriously, I still havn't found a really good bearing grease that doesn't get thick in the cold. Synthetic motor oil seems to work good but doesn't last long. Even the greases you can buy at the auto parts store that says it's for cold temps don't work as advertised. If anybody here works on the slope, what do they use up there for cold weather lubes on the heavy equipment?

  3. #3
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Greases...summary spreadsheet

    from one of the bearing manufact.suppliers we've used...this is a pretty good summary sheet (albeit slightly outdated) for bearing lubricants / greases:

    http://www.astbearings.com/p-lubes-greases.php


    Note: as you would expect...the oil/mineral based products have limited temp ranges esp. @ minimums...flouros and silicones give extreme performance esp @ the low end...FEI, some of the thickeners are not compatible with bearing seals...don't be surprised by the cost of the aerospace formulas - the space shuttle budgets are traditionally alot higher than that of us expedition fatbikers!

    Attn those of you using Phil BBs and Hubs...Brent at the Phil shop has some hybred Phil grease that he claims is more appropriate for our low temps...he has loaded in some of my recent Pugs 100mm BB purchases and sent a sample for me to test as well.



    more to come

    ____________________


    Mark,

    IMHO our best resource for greases used in extreme, with the best relationship to winter fatbiking, is NOT 'the slope' BUT 'the Alaska Railroad'...maintenance issues in that industry iare highly researched and applied and here in Alaska they experience similar temps, wet-freeze-thaw and service conditions as us fatbikers...SO...if anyone is in the vacinity of the Alaska Railroad shops down at the port maybe query some of the mechanics, I think we'll get some v. good suggestions.

    I'll leave the walrus research to you Mark...I've had my fill of the amorous beasts over the years...good luck w/ that one!



    cheers,

    ml
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    FatBike Fiend
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    The perfect name

    When you come up with the perfect cold weather lube formula, here's a good name for it:
    Y-K Jelly.

  5. #5
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    and theres me thinking you used that stuff as some kind of cod liver oil supplement.

    what do you think of surlys crank.sure looks pretty like an old school XTR polished finish.
    will it fit the fat bikes??????

  6. #6
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    The Phil...

    Pugs BB is in the freezer...along with some standard issue arctic greases from the bike shop and NAPA...running temp...-80dC.

    auf dem morgen!

    ML
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 10-03-2006 at 05:51 PM.
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Excited about...

    I need a fine tuned, yet variable, chainline for the different wheelsets we're using...the BB is the only bearing on the bike not greasable 'in situ' so the accessibility might be key - a little more exposed, but I'll take the tradeoff.

    Bottom brackets with a floating spindle and accessible bearings...not to mention the bombproof crank arms...thats what excites me...more to come!
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    In all fairness...

    Quote Originally Posted by qayaq_alaska
    Pugs BB is in the freezer...along with some standard issue arctic greases from the bike shop and NAPA...running temp...-80dC.

    auf dem morgen!

    ML


    ...what would you expect at -112dF...solid as a rock!

    We will be standardizing the testing and work down from 0dF to -100dF when the greases are assembled.

    Will be interesting to see how the published ratings of each low temp grease compares to quantitative testing in a lab environment.

    Will primarily be looking to see if crystallization occurs and at what temp along with some viscosity testing...will probably pack one standard Phil bearing with each grease and look at rotation as well.

    If anyone has suggestions or has common a/or proprietary greases they would like to put in the test...contact info above!

    Let me know!

    martin
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    old format's better
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    Did my own test at -55F a few years ago using a variety of oils (but no grease) left outside overnight. The only thing that would actually POUR at that temp was Mobil 1 ATF. Mobil 1 5w30 would glub out of the jug, but Pennzoil 5/30 and Pennzoil ATF was crystallized, as was a variety of 2 cycle snowmachine injector oils.

    I did use Mobil 1 5/30 in my Rohloff one winter and it seemed okay. I tried straight stove oil in the Rohloff as well, but it leaked. Since then Mobil 1 has begun offering a 0/30 weight that I now use in our cars in the winter that might be worth a try in the Rohloff.

    We didn't do any formal comparison testing, but moly based greases seemed to work best in the heavy equipment at the state shop in Cantwell in the winter time.

    Ken
    No matter where you go, there you are.

  10. #10
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ken
    Did my own test at -55F a few years ago using a variety of oils (but no grease) left outside overnight. The only thing that would actually POUR at that temp was Mobil 1 ATF. Mobil 1 5w30 would glub out of the jug, but Pennzoil 5/30 and Pennzoil ATF was crystallized, as was a variety of 2 cycle snowmachine injector oils.

    I did use Mobil 1 5/30 in my Rohloff one winter and it seemed okay. I tried straight stove oil in the Rohloff as well, but it leaked. Since then Mobil 1 has begun offering a 0/30 weight that I now use in our cars in the winter that might be worth a try in the Rohloff.

    We didn't do any formal comparison testing, but moly based greases seemed to work best in the heavy equipment at the state shop in Cantwell in the winter time.

    Ken
    Cool...good info...quyana

    ML
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Thus far, the winter winner is....

    Molykote

    High Oxidation resistance
    Great low temp performance
    Seems compatible with plastics
    Definately water resistant
    At least -100dF cold start temp.

    Only grease with properties intact after 3 days in the cryo...at -140dF.

    More to come.

    ML
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Some Aerospace greases...

    look promising...but the costs are off the map...trying to get some samples...more to come!

    Any grease donations out there?

    Will visit the AK Railroad shop next week while in ANC.

    ML
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
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    Cold weather testing

    I would suggest the physical characteristics of your lubricants are not completely linear relative to temperture. Testing at -140dF may not be of great value if your extreme riding temp is -60dF. Also - have you testing any anti-seize? Years ago we used it (very lightly) for lube on track bike hubs. sc

  14. #14
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    I agree...

    I'm positive its not linear...and don't get me wrong...this is not a quantitative study by any means...I don't have that kind'a time.

    anyway...no real need for a quanititative analysis as all of prominent industry bearing greases we're looking at have extremely comprehensive data sheets that spec out all the important performance criteria (and then some!) already...no need to reinvent.

    It is nice to see how accurate some of their data is though...running the greases beyond published low working temps does give us some qualitative indicators. i.e. I want to know when my hubs, hdset and bottom bracket are going 'rock' on me.

    As per your suggestion...I will look at the the most prominent and applicable greases and run them from within and outside their published low working temps.

    As per the antiSieze...will put some in the mix...not sure how well the antiseize performs in the long term 'wear' category...I assume they're designed as a static coatings more than anything else...will look into it.

    Quyana for the input...

    Cheers,

    ML
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 10-19-2006 at 07:55 PM.
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    I Love my Rize
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    Try this one

    Lubriplate Mag-1 is supposed to be very good at low temp and used alot for the idasport.
    http://www.f-bacon.com/lp-glow.htm

  16. #16
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Phil Wood BBs Bearings...

    I know there are numerous bikers with Phil BBs on their rides...I'm re-greasing all of mine...none of the pre-load greases coming out of their shop seem to be satisfactory...I'm averaging ~ 0dF in the morns and getting poor freespin...will clean and load with Molykote asap.

    I'm rebuilding some Surly hubs and Profile Racing BB...any specific suggestions on a Phil replacement for the stock bearings?

    ML
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 11-11-2006 at 10:15 PM.
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Moriningstar 'Soup'

    After comparative testing I've decided to use the Morningstar 'Soup' on all bearing parts on our 'fatbikes'. The Moriningstar product easily surpassed any and all greases in controlled freezer testing at extreme temps. The grease penetrates bearings and associated surfaces well and the proprietary additives have an excellent track record in all types of geared / bearing'd mechanisms. Also using the 'soup', ala the FreeHub Buddy, in shimano type freehub bodies with excellent results.

    Its not cheap in comparison with other cold weather greases...so recycling on those frequent purges is recommended. Comes in 60cc increments loaded in traditional syringes. I've reload it in a more traditional type grease gun with a fine tip for zerk fittings.

    Been running the bikes at ~ 0dF with excellent results thus far.

    Paul Morningstar can be contacted via his website:
    http://morningstartools.com/freehub_buddy1.html
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 12-26-2006 at 02:03 AM.
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by qayaq_alaska
    After comparative testing I've decided to use the Morningstar 'Soup' on all bearing parts on our 'fatbikes'.
    Martin-

    Thanks for the updated info. Just to be clear, you prefer the soup over the Molykote? Seemed like you were sold on the Moly for awhile there.

    Any info is appreciated.

    MC

  19. #19
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Molykote is 'good'...

    but it definately loses some of it's qualities at -40df and below...doesn't completely go to 'rock solid' but definately is starting to harden. It is used by quite a few mechanics here in Bethel - the State uses it on their external gearing, levers, etc. As you know, seeing minus 40dF on the trail is a definate consideration (not that I seek it out or anything) for us kruzers / racers here in Alaska. The Molykote is not cheap and it's not that easy to find...at least not here in rural Alaska 400 miles off the road system.

    The SOUP easily out performs the Molykote at the -50/-60dF range (which I consider the limit of ridability...after that things have a tendency to 'just plain 'fail''). At -56dF the SOUP was acting like room temp...I was truly amazed. At first glace is appears very 'thin' compared to other bearing greases (this is why I was apprehensive) but after talking with Paul Morningstar he noted that the additives allow it to 'cling' like no other and he has clients using it in speed and high temp applications that far exceed what us cyclists would experience.

    I have the SOUP in hub bearings (Surly, White, and WTB GG (1980s)), multiple Phil BBs, multiple WTB GG headsets, Doug White's freewheels & hubs, multiple pulley bearings and coated surfaces. Thus far I'm not getting any seapage across any of the seals. Beyond a doubt, our bikes are faster in the cold than with other greases we've used...markedly. I am surprised but pleased thus far.

    [I also made a slury with it...diluting it with a little Kerosene and was going to use it in my Rohloff...but the warranty issues with Rohloff are not surmountable...more on that on the Rohloff winterizing thread soon]

    The only drawback w/ the SOUP is it's frig'in expensive - bulk is better pricing...oh well - you get what you pay for with bike parts right?...anyhow, I'd rather send a check to a small innovative American engineer and cyclist like Paul Morningstar than to Dupont or Dow Chemical...and Paul is totally dedicated to American cyclists...he is a wealth of info and very willing to share...FYI, have an inexpensive rate on your calling card when you contact him - he is chatty (the v.good kind)

    good luck,

    Martin


    (dude...I sent PM to your gmail...?)
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 12-26-2006 at 06:22 PM.
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by qayaq_alaska
    but it definately looses some of it's qualities at -40df and below...doesn't completely go to 'rock solid' but definately is starting to harden.

    (dude...I sent PM to your gmail...?)
    Thanks for the clarification.

    I turned off my PM's--too many wheel questions coming in that way. You can hit me at:
    info at lacemine29.com

    I did respond to your email last week. Didja get that one?

    Cheers,

    MC

  21. #21
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    Where In The World Is Paul Morningstar?

    Quote Originally Posted by qayaq_alaska
    After comparative testing I've decided to use the Morningstar 'Soup' on all bearing parts on our 'fatbikes'. The Moriningstar product easily surpassed any and all greases in controlled freezer testing at extreme temps. The grease penetrates bearings and associated surfaces well and the proprietary additives have an excellent track record in all types of geared / bearing'd mechanisms. Also using the 'soup', ala the FreeHub Buddy, in shimano type freehub bodies with excellent results.

    Its not cheap in comparison with other cold weather greases...so recycling on those frequent purges is recommended. Comes in 60cc increments loaded in traditional syringes. I've reload it in a more traditional type grease gun with a fine tip for zerk fittings.

    Been running the bikes at ~ 0dF with excellent results thus far.

    Paul Morningstar can be contacted via his website:
    http://morningstartools.com/freehub_buddy1.html
    Hi,

    I tried to check out the Morningstar website you refered to above and I keep getting a not found message. Has he changed his web address or something?

    All best,
    Win

  22. #22
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    We the people ... Paul Morningstar...contact info

    Appears the website is down...

    Try email: sales at moriningstartools.com

    Phone: 760.379.2133

    _____________________


    Quote Originally Posted by fastspinW
    Hi,

    I tried to check out the Morningstar website you refered to above and I keep getting a not found message. Has he changed his web address or something?

    All best,
    Win
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  23. #23
    KuskoRiverCruiser
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! I am true lee amazed....

    at how little attention 'some' manufacturers pay to the stock bearings and greases that are fitted with their components...spending so much time on development engineering, testing and manufactuing and then using a low grade T-made bearing...worse YET...the bearing is filled with and even lower perfomance lube!

    Had a good laugh today with the -40dF temps:
    Pulled one of our 'fat wheeled' bikes out of the shop...one slapped together with some new parts just out of the box...the bike was mostly used this summer so no one has reworked it for winter...was curious how it would perform...omg...every bearing was 'rock' nothing worked !

    Steering tube would not rotate without considerable effort...wheels hand rotated ~ 200degrees / drive train ~ 30d...got on to take a quick ride and every pawl in the freewheel was frozen so no engagement...almost landed on my ass...lol.

    Manufacturers should be taking note...especially if they are marketing parts for winter biking...a good bearing and appropriate lube is a cheap upgrade to any part...it makes good business sense too!



    M
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 01-07-2007 at 09:35 PM.
    Martin
    [SIZE=1]"The pursuit of truth and adventure is far more noble a task than looking for work", [/SIZE]
    http://fatbikealaska.blogspot.com/

  24. #24
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the heads up on the Morningstar website being down.

    Best,
    Win

  25. #25
    I Love my Rize
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    Good job! Back up again

    Morningstar site is back up again. It was down for a coupla days and so was the email address but today everything is hunky dori again

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