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  1. #1
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    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...

    We pay attention to our bikes. We carefully keep track of maintenance items and feel like we do a pretty good job of performing the preventive stuff...

    We check off the pivot bearings, hub bearings, headsets, cables, forks, shocks, droppers and more. Maybe even going deeper than even an affordable LBS allow us. Then why do we continue to frequently overlook the poor jockey wheels? Let's deal with this simple but heavily tasked, but often overlooked and neglected Jockey Wheels.


    Oh geezzzz...

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_164831.jpgThose Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_165118.jpg

    A moment of soaking and tooth brush scrubbing in drug store mineral spirits..

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_170533.jpg

    Almost looks new (these guys have about 4,000 miles on them). A quick blow-dry and add some light grease.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_170743_001.jpg Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_171516.jpg

    Reinstall the seals and add a bit of grease over the seals to help keep contaminates away from those bearings...

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_172038.jpg Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_172047.jpg

    Install the wheel support cover reinstall on derailleur cage.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_172102.jpg Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_172641.jpg
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  2. #2
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    Seems to be fairly common with a lot of riders, I myself always give mine a good wipe down and clean, can't have a smooth running drivetrain if your pulleys are gunked up with crap
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  3. #3
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    Lies, I look after my jockey wheels.

    I don't want to be a smartass but I don't think adding grease on top of the seals is a great idea, IMO that's just going to attract more dirt.
    Last edited by HollyBoni; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:33 AM.

  4. #4
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    I clean mine every time I wipe my chain down, which is before every ride.
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  5. #5
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    How could you even look at your bike being that dirty?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post

    I don't want to be a smartass but I don't think adding grease on top of the seals is a great idea, IMO that's just going to attract more dirt.
    The objective is to ensure the grease remains under the bearing cover and not on the outside to collect dirt. My frequent water crossings manages to find its way into these small bearing and the light grease helps prevent that from happening. We have experienced an abundance of rain this past fall and these jockey wheels seemed to have attracted a significant portion of the trails.
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  7. #7
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    Cleared2land, have you used silicon based grease for this purpose? It seems to repel water better than the petroleum based stuff. But it is sticky.

  8. #8
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    I wipe mine down every pre/post lube too. I also break them down once a season to fully service...they're the easiest bearing to access. I agree with Cleared2land's greasing technique. The objective is to keep gunk from entering the bearing and a thin layer of grease definitely prolongs this.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  9. #9
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    ^^^ I try to find the best of both worlds...water resistance with a low coefficient of friction. In this case, I'm just using Buzzy's Slick Honey. It's light and seems to perform well.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  10. #10
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    I guess it's good against water, I mainly ride in dry weather and I had bad luck with this.

    When you re-pack a bearing, after the first use it will always push some of the excess grease out the seals. That alone attracts so much dirt and dust. At least this was always my experience. Not just on pulley bearings, wheel bearings on skates etc etc...

  11. #11
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    Applying grease over the bearing seal (hubs, bottom brackets, etc.) as a sealant and contamination preventative is a common practice. It does a great job of preventing premature bearing contamination (failure) from both water and dirt/dust. The trick is to wipe off any excess grease on reassembly. Even if it does attract duct to the periphery of the end cap, bearing cover or whatever, it still prevents that dirt/dust from finding its way into the bearings.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20170122_162105-i.jpg Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20170122_162136.jpg
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  12. #12
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    I've seen it before, but still I only had bad experiences. But that might be just me. I'm the kind of guy that instead will wipe down the bearing shields frequently as preventative maintenance.

    Sometimes after greasing them I used to spin up bearings just a bit with power tools so I could get rid of that excess grease that comes out first... And then I even wiped down the shields with a minuscule amount of degreaser on a rag so they were completely clean.

    I'm just trying to avoid this:
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  13. #13
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    ^^^^ Are those pivot bearings? They too can benefit from this technique. Those bearing dust covers might attract dirt around the edges from squeeze-out, but with an appropriate amount of grease over those seals, the dust/dirt will not get there to the level you've demonstrated in that photo.

    I'm not impervious from the same situation as you...dust and dirt.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_174344.jpg
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    I've seen it before, but still I only had bad experiences. But that might be just me. I'm the kind of guy that instead will wipe down the bearing shields frequently as preventative maintenance.

    Sometimes after greasing them I used to spin up bearings just a bit with power tools so I could get rid of that excess grease that comes out first... And then I even wiped down the shields with a minuscule amount of degreaser on a rag so they were completely clean.

    I'm just trying to avoid this:
    Name:  bearing.JPG
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    I believe Sram doesn't recommend grease in their pulley wheels. If I remember correctly, they came without any applied. They spin much easier without it as well.
    I ride in dry SoCal and don't use any grease either.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    I believe Sram doesn't recommend grease in their pulley wheels. If I remember correctly, they came without any applied. They spin much easier without it as well.
    I ride in dry SoCal and don't use any grease either.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    try again with some load on the bearing and no grease and a little dirt in there...won't spin too well, i think

  16. #16
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    My XX1 Jockey wheels came with grease and I can't imagine the logic of no grease or some form of lubrication for general bearing service life, protection and overall dependability. They are steel bearings and would go to shit real fast soon after getting wet from zero protection that grease affords. The logic of spinning easier without grease applies to all bearings until they come under a load. You wouldn't avoid grease in any other bearing to gain spin ease would you?

    I have been maintaining SRAM components for many, many years and have good familiarity with their service manuals, but I can't ever recall seeing that SRAM recommends no lubricants in those bearings. Can you cite that?
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  17. #17
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    From the looks of the photos, the riding conditions require more frequent cleanings than others.

    I see dirt accumulation on components, but that looks like somebody intentionally dragged it through a childs sandbox for photo sake.

    Just like with any vehicle owners manual, there are recommended service intervals with varied intervals based on operating conditions.

    That hub is either over greased to allow sand to be glued to it, or it's been too long since service. If the goal was to grease it so it does collect dirt, I'd be rethinking the process if it's attracting that much dirt.

    My dirt bikes have less buildup and I don't take it apart to clean it like a bicycle.

  18. #18
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    My I9 can look like that after one ride. Inevitably the hub oil gets spun out and fine dust clings to it. Luckily with a thin layer of grease on the lip of the seal the guts stay nice & clean. The pulleys simply look like they've seen some muddy riding.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    From the looks of the photos, the riding conditions require more frequent cleanings than others.

    I see dirt accumulation on components, but that looks like somebody intentionally dragged it through a childs sandbox for photo sake.

    Just like with any vehicle owners manual, there are recommended service intervals with varied intervals based on operating conditions.

    That hub is either over greased to allow sand to be glued to it, or it's been too long since service. If the goal was to grease it so it does collect dirt, I'd be rethinking the process if it's attracting that much dirt.

    My dirt bikes have less buildup and I don't take it apart to clean it like a bicycle.
    No intentional dirt applied here. Normal riding conditions that involve typical dust/dirt and water. This is pretty normal.

    These hubs are neither over-greased or lubed. In fact, these are residual grease and oil free...just a byproduct of the riding conditions. This hub has just under 600 miles on it since last service.


    My guess is that you're riding NorCal or some other loamy trails where you don't see the dusty, dirty conditions. Or, you spend too much time riding on the sidewalks.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_174415.jpg
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  20. #20
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    What is loam?
    What is water?
    ha!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    My I9 can look like that after one ride. Inevitably the hub oil gets spun out and fine dust clings to it. Luckily with a thin layer of grease on the lip of the seal the guts stay nice & clean. The pulleys simply look like they've seen some muddy riding.
    I do make sure that I always place a light grease around the seal. Actually, I apply it to the machined seal groove on the hub, not actually on the seal itself. I used to use Dumonde Tech freehub grease on the seal, but it doesn't seem to make service intervals as well as Buzzy's Slick Honey.

    Pulley's and muddy riding...We have had an unusually large amount of rain this year. For the most part, the trails have been open and reasonably dry enough, but the water crossing areas have more than enough mud to do the job.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Actually, I apply it to the machined seal groove on the hub, not actually on the seal itself.
    That's a good tip, I'll do that next time.
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  23. #23
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    You can easily see the seal groove just above the ring gear.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20161107_194112-i.jpg Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20190113_180532.jpg
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  24. #24
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    Ah, ok. I actually do grease that part. I was visualizing the seal being attached to the hub shell and not vice versa.
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  25. #25
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    Hmmm... I'm not sure what you're saying, but the seal is attached to the freehub and when you install the freehub onto the main hub, the seal compresses into that groove. I'm guessing that we're talking about the same thing.

    Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20170122_160938.jpg Those Neglected Derailleur Jockey Wheels...-20170122_160944-i.jpg
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