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  1. #1
    dmo
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    Grease for HS cups on carbon frame?

    I'm installing a headset for the first time on my carbon frame. Do I grease the cups or not? I'm using the park professional HS press. Any other tips for doing this? Upper cup first and then lower?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    You'll get a variety of answers. Bone dry, grease, antisieze, and carbon paste. Any will work but i prefer to use grease because it makes sense. Helps ease it in, remove it in the future, prevents water from getting in, and may help avoid creaking. More importantly, I'd make sure the crown race is on all the way and the cups are in parallel to each other. Ive been using Park PPL without issues. Seems to work for most things. You can go as far as freezing your cups so they shrink and drop it in but grease seems logical, imo.

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  3. #3
    dmo
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    Freezing? Really, people do that?

    I'm assuming a thin layer of any high quality grease is good?

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  4. #4
    Mudhorse
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    ^ Aye, freezing will help, and it's much better than trying to heat up a carbon frame. I worked for a company that made massive turbos a while back, and there was a crucial part that was an interference fit. They kept them in an old domestic chest freezer until it was time to fit them, and once it was on there and acclimatised it was good for the horrendously harsh life ahead of it.

    I'd err on the side of caution and use carbon fibre assembly paste. There's a school of thought that believes some greases can degrade CF resin, and another school of thought that says nah, any grease is fine. CF paste should by rights be OK, and I doubt the gritty bits will cause issues, prolly just get squished out of the way.
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  5. #5
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    Good ole normal park tool grease, works for everything

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  6. #6
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    Spit works too

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  7. #7
    Mudhorse
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    This has got me thinking now. Maybe CF assembly paste isn't so good because of the grit - the cup might go in OK, but could be a mare to get off again. Dry, water or soap could be troublesome because of galvanic corrosion. Has to be a non-gritty CF-friendly grease then. Park claim their PolyLube 1000 grease is CF-safe, and I'm sure other alternatives are available.
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  8. #8
    dmo
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    I just checked with the frame manufacturer (spot) and they said C.F. assembly paste

    They've never heard of freezing though...

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wytemike21 View Post
    Good ole normal park tool grease, works for everything

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    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't use carbon paste. The grit can act as an abrasive against the carbon as the cup is installed & removed. It's a tight fight so there is no need to add more holding power. I've seen carbon frames destroyed from BB cups moving and "sanding" the carbon away. Most bicycle specific greases should be just fine.

  11. #11
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    When installing headsets and PF BB's on carbon frames, I have have used a light coat of teflon paste (Lowes plumbing department).

  12. #12
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    I'm glad I've found this thread.
    I have similar question. I removed/reinstalled shock bolt on my Jeffsy. Used light coat of grease on it. It will contact frame here and there.

    Does anyone know if Finis Line Ceramic Greas is carbon safe?
    Can't find that info anywhere.

  13. #13
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    I don't see any issue with it is has a neutral pH and is non-corrosive...people use quite a few diff greases on pivots..I use marine grease and it works great

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  14. #14
    Magically Delicious
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    Quote Originally Posted by wytemike21 View Post
    I don't see any issue with it is has a neutral pH and is non-corrosive...
    Neutral pH? What does this have to do with it? Where does this specification come from?

    What grease is corrosive?
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  15. #15
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    I just got reply from FinishLine support:
    Finish line ceramic grease: "It is safe. As is our Premium Teflon Grease" to use where it can contact carbon fiber parts.

  16. #16
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    This is a trick question. First, I agree with everyone about not using carbon paste cause of the abrasiveness.

    I contacted my frame manufacturer, Trek and Specialized.
    I received 3 different answers. I asked about the seatpost, the headset/bb, and if grease or paste should be used or causes damage. Each reply was different to my surprise. I've used grease and haven't seen any damage. Ttyl, Fahn
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  17. #17
    Magically Delicious
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    Santa Cruz clearly states on their website to apply grease to all pressed headset cups
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  18. #18
    Mudhorse
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    Tacx T4765 carbon assembly paste should be fine - it uses tiny plastic beads instead of abrasive grit so it doesn't grind like other CF pastes.
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

  19. #19
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    Sorry to revive an old thread. My pressfit BB is also creaking, I installed the plastic cups into my carbon frame without any grease. I have Bel-ray waterproof bearing grease (aluminum complex). Can it truly damage the carbon fiber? It seems very far reached. Thanks for helping me out!

  20. #20
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    Well, carbon is technically plastic, so its possible some compounds might cause reactions in the resin. On my carbon bike, the press fittings are into aluminum shells so I use anti-seize. grease/oil can get acidic, one of the reasons you change your oil in your engine, but I don't think that's the main worry with carbon, although it won't be good if it promotes corrosion with metal parts. It's more possibility of petroleum messing with the binder/resin, I think.
    I only use carbon paste where there is a clamping friction fit with direct carbon, the seatpost and handlebars.

  21. #21
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    You will be just fine using grease to lube outer races for pressing bearings.

    Grease has ongoing and frequent contact with carbon fiber in aerospace applications. I don't know of any published warnings to avoid such contact in these applications.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  22. #22
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    I'm not overly worried about it, I use antisieze that I use for car parts. But if you're really worried I'd defer to asking the manufacturer. Most of the carbon were talking about is from China, not aerospace grade stuff.

  23. #23
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    My (carbon) frame manufacture recommended grease for PF bb and so did Wheels Manufacturing.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  24. #24
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    Thanks very much for your replies.
    I also imagined normal wear & tear to have a greater impact on the carbon's longevity than any grease could!

  25. #25
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    Grease having adverse effects on carbon/resin is an old myth that will never die. Assembly paste should never be used on press fit parts because there is no use for additional friction. Just use grease
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