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New carbon bike - greased seatpost problem

ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
edited November 2011 in Workshop
I have just bought a new Cube carbon race bike. I've not ridden it yet (apart from along the street outside the shop) but just noticed the seatpost has been greased. The Cube manual that came with the bike specifically states you MUST NOT use any grease when fitting the seatpost. It is not even carbon paste/compound they have used, but normal pink grease.

I am particularly concerned because this bike replaces another new carbon Cube I bought from a different shop last month. It had to go back because the seat post starting creaking after a ride and got steadily worse until it was creaking loudly. The shop mechanics couldn't fix it so they sent it back to the factory and refunded me. I'm sure it was something to do with the fact the seatpost was greased.

Because I really liked the bike I bought this other Cube yesterday thinking my problem was a one-off. However as this grease has probably been on the seatpost and in the seat tube for a few months while the bike was on the shop floor, I am paranoid about the same thing happening again.

I am so pi**ed-off I just want to to take it back to the shop now while unridden and request a refund. What do you think?

Posts

  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    edited October 2011
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12534958

    Personally i'd be happy to use a proper carbon assembly paste (I have a tube of Tacx stuff)- and have done so with my Moda and very expensive PRO carbon seatpost.

    http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/tacx-carbon-assembly-item105138.html
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    Call up the shop and query the apparent grease on the seatpost. See what they offer.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    mattv wrote:
    Call up the shop and query the apparent grease on the seatpost. See what they offer.
    Thanks for the posts. I will phone them, but even if they offer to remove the grease, I think there may be damage that may not be apparant yet (after reading the link in the above post) as the grease has been in there since at least July when the bike was assembled. It's the last 2011 model of that bike in stock so they can't even offer me a replacement - and I don't really want a replacement now that I'm so disillusioned.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've been applying grease to carbon fibre since 1989 and never experienced any problems - plenty of experience of galvanic corrosion and sorting stuck seatposts due to lack of lubrication.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    It's highly unlikely to have done anything. There have apparently been some post that absorbed grease and swelled (so that they couldn't be removed) but I've not actually come across anyone who knows of it happening first hand and I suspect it was a certain carbon finish that's no longer in use that was to blame.

    I'd just wipe off the grease, buy some carbon grip compound and use that when you reinstall the post. You should be able to stop the creak and the grease may be a contributing factor (allowing it to move when it shouldn't).
  • rothers_bikeorothers_bikeo Posts: 225
    edited October 2011
    The Cube "Additional Operating Instructions" for carbon frames booklet does indeed state "Seat post and seat tube must not be greased". My 9 month old 2011Agree GTC Race has never been greased, coming up for 3000 miles, no creaking or sticking.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 14,340
    <...>
    It is not even carbon paste/compound they have used, but normal pink grease.
    <...>

    some carbon assembly compound is pink, are you sure that's not what is on the post?
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    My pot of carbon paste is blue. Hard to confuse with grease cos it feels gritty.

    I'd seek confirmation from Cube that by greasing the thing they have not invalidated your warranty.

    And if they have, I'd want a full refund.

    If not, I'd clean post and frame thoroughly and refit dry.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    The Cube "Additional Operating Instructions" for carbon frames booklet let does indeed state "Seat post and seat tube must not be greased". My 9 month old 2011Agree GTC Race has never been greased, coming up for 3000 miles, no creaking or sticking.
    That's the exact same model I've bought. Yes, the instructions are quite clear and I am concerned that it will invalidate the warranty if it does start creaking like the one I had last month.

    I'm sure it is grease as it's smooth - unlike carbon paste/compound which is gritty. Either way I don't think there should have been grease or paste used. While I could wipe the grease off the seatpost, it would be impossible to get it all removed from the inside the frame's seat tube. As the grease has been in there for months since assembled, I am concerned that it could have reacted with the carbon on the inside of the seat tube.

    In view of the problems with the previous bike I had to take back, I don't want to risk it happening again.
  • Paul EPaul E Posts: 2,052
    The carbon compound that came with my FSA seat post was a lightish red
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Paul E wrote:
    The carbon compound that came with my FSA seat post was a lightish red
    Paul, was your seat post going into a carbon frame or a aluminium frame?
  • Mr DogMr Dog Posts: 643
    I'd wipe away all traces of the pink stuff. Buy some Finish Line Fiber Grip. Job done, you'll sleep at night knowing your post won't fuse to your frame. Check it now and again and if your bike is off the road for any length of time slacken off your clamp. :)
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    Mr Dog wrote:
    Check it now and again and if your bike is off the road for any length of time slacken off your clamp. :)

    It's a carbon frame there is no danger of the seat post and frame bonding (that's usually caused by alu frames with steel seat posts, the two don't mix which is why a barrier layer of thick grease is important).

    OP - You're right, getting the grease out of the seat tube won't be easy but you can get most out by pushing a duster down the tube with a stick (just be careful to hold on to a corner of the cloth so you can get it out again.

    For an example of why you shouldn't worry think of all of the other joints that are greased (bottom bracket, brake bolts etc). No-one worries about the potential for damaging the carbon at these points.
  • Paul EPaul E Posts: 2,052
    Paul E wrote:
    The carbon compound that came with my FSA seat post was a lightish red
    Paul, was your seat post going into a carbon frame or a aluminium frame?

    Alu alloy frame, hasn't slippped and I have moved it a couple of times to get it right as its a new frame and I needed to get the height right for my knee
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    I phoned the shop today and explained the position. The guy listened to my concerns and asked me to bring bike back and they would remove the grease. I said I still wasn't sure if I wanted to keep bike in view of what happened with previous bike creaking after a few rides after similar problem.

    After a while he phoned back and said he had looked into it and said grease wouldn't cause a problem unless it had been exposed to water, but he said they would remove grease fully from seat post and seat tube and replace with carbon paste. Although Cube manual says you MUST NOT grease (which I take to mean carbon paste as well) on seat post or seat tube.

    He also said they thought the seat post was aluminium. I had been sure the seatpost (RFR Prolight 31.6mm Setback) was carbon as it looked like carbon and I thought all decent carbon framed bikes (like my Cube Agree GTC Race) would have a carbon seat post aswellI, but after looking at internet I can't find that exact seatpost for sale separately so still not sure.

    Anyway still not sure whether to keep the bike and let them try to remove all the grease as they suggest. I keep thinking that I should have just bought a decent aluminium bike, like I was going to do initially!
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Grease is totally different to carbon assembly paste. The danger with some greases is that they may react with the resin used in the carbon components and cause them to swell. This will only happen with some greases and some resins but as with most disclaimers on warranties - are there for that 1 in 100 occurrence.

    You'll be fine with carbon paste anyway.

    When degreasing - you can use citrus based degreasers on a rag. That should remove the last traces of grease. Dry thoroughly before fitting the seatpost back in though
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Tacx carbon assembly compound is pink and not gritty.

    When I got my first carbon bike in 2006 I thought it grease and wiped it off...

    ...and then wondered why the seat post creaked so badly, until I took it back to the shop and they put more back on

    :D
  • sungodsungod Posts: 14,340
    <snip...>
    I'm sure it is grease as it's smooth - unlike carbon paste/compound which is gritty. Either way I don't think there should have been grease or paste used.
    <snip...>

    as andy_wrx says, the tacx carbon compound is pink and not gritty

    tbh i can't recall seeing any pink grease, and a quick google suggests such a thing is for more intimate usage than is normal for a seat post, so it seems very likely that it's carbon assembly compound you are seeing

    without it, my carbon post creaks like crazy and needs the clamp tighter to avoid slipping
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Yep Tacx carbon paste is a red/pink and doesnt feel gritty like Finnish Line which is clear. My posts creak unless I use assembly paste. On my steel farme the carbon post slips down without paste. Cube might be saying this because with grease you would need to tighten the collar up too much to stop the post slipping. You need friction here not lubrication.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    I've used Ritchey paste and it's pinky red too.

    Another reason for not putting grease on a carbon post is that as the clamp shouldn't be over-tightened - grease may make the post slip and tempt you to tighten the clamp too much.
  • daveb99daveb99 Posts: 273
    I've just read this with interest, and minor concern. I've just built up my new carbon bike - a Planet X SL Pro carbon frame - and applied grease to the seat post (aluminium) before installing.

    Do I need to remove it and wipe it all off/degrease, or does this apply only to carbon seat posts?
    2012 Scott CR1 SL
    2013 Dolan Dual
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
  • daveb99daveb99 Posts: 273
    Update on my post above, I've just checked and the seat tube on the Planet X frame has an Alu liner for the first 5 inches or so. So no problems using standard grease as its an Alu seat post as well. Phew!
    2012 Scott CR1 SL
    2013 Dolan Dual
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
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