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New here & need help greasing sram red pulley bearings

Joe_TootingJoe_Tooting Posts: 7
edited February 2012 in Workshop
Hi there,

I’m new to the forum and in need of some help..

I read I should grease my SRAM Red derailleur jockey wheel bearings every 100 hours cycling or after a soaking in the wet, and it’s been well over 100 hours cycling and quite a few soakings, so I’ve bought some of the ceramic bearing grease from SRAM to do this. My only concern is how much I should apply and the correct method to complete the whole job? So wondering if anyone here has completed this and can offer some guidance, for a complete novice!

On another note I’m happy to have joined the forum and look forward to keeping up with events on here. A bit about me - I'm 28, reasonably fit, cycle mainly to work 10 miles each way through Richmond Park 4 days a week, but like to do some miles on weekends (usually cycling from Tooting Bec to High Barnet and back) and a few laps of Richmond Park on other days. Living in Tooting Bec it’s hard I find to get out to the country if like me you don’t drive. However I’m doing the 70 mile Wiggle Ups & Downs from Dorking on the 29th April if anyone here is too? Also looking to join a good local cycling club. Anyone here members of London Dynamos' &/or Dulwich club? Visit Herne Hill Velo?

Only major cycling achievement is cycling to Paris in group charity ride over 4 days in 2010 reasonably fast (finished 1st on day one doing 90 miles from Crystal Palace to Dover) but busted my knee on the final day and cycled through the injury causing me some damage that’s taken a while to heal. I only jumped back on my bike in October last year but the injury seems ok though the knee (left) is slightly weaker than my other.




  • Welcome, I will soon move to Richmond, so we might go out for a few rides in summer...

    Bearings... ceramic bearings need little lubrication and can run dry for a long time... and any grease will do, no need to spend a fortune on a ceramic specific grease. Apply very little of it... if they are open, flush with WD40 first, dry and apply grease to cover 30% of the gaps... if they are sealed on both sides, well, then you can't grease them.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,879
    get a syringe from the chemist

    use a fine pointy thing to carefully remove the seals, pump grease through, use loads so that when you put the seals back it squishes out - when removing/fitting the seals don't kink/bend them

    tbh i think sram's maintenance interval errs on the short side, when i've done mine they've always looked clean and with enough grease remaining, and i ride all weathers, which has meant plenty of soakings, the seals are good

    btw you can get 400cc tub of skf lghp2 grease for under 16 quid including postage, this is the grease sram specify for ceramic bearings, sram's price for a little tube is insane ... 13364.html

    ...i have no idea why oneclick catalogue it under toilet rolls, makes one wonder what they get up to!
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thanks guys.

    Sungod, are you really supposed to use so much? I would have thought the rule of thumb would be to use a 1/3 of the size of the bearing to grease? That way the bearings run smooth without being clogged up?

    Or maybe you're right. I don't know - this is why I'm asking!

    Thanks for the tip, none in stock right now but will bookmark and re-check! Indeed, a strange place to list them?!
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,879
    for bearings afaik you pack them with grease (except for high speed bearings which need a gap to avoid heat build up, but bike stuff doesn't spin that fast)

    if you search with google, there are a few other stockists, some only do huge drums of it though
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • sungod wrote:
    for bearings afaik you pack them with grease (except for high speed bearings which need a gap to avoid heat build up, but bike stuff doesn't spin that fast)

    if you search with google, there are a few other stockists, some only do huge drums of it though

    ceramic bearings don't need much lubrication... packing them with grease means losing the benefit of a faster rolling device, you might as well get some cheap steel ones then. As for removing the seal, as you mention, it is doable, but the chances of damaging it to the point that it causes friction against the balls is pretty high, especially in the case of very small bearings like the jockey wheels ones. In the case of expensive ceramic bearings, I wouldn't bother... wouldn't know where to source replacement seals.
    Ceramic specific lubricant is totally un-necessary, as the lubrication requirements of silicon nitride or zirconia are far more relaxed than that of metal bearings.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,879
    sram does say to regrease, same as with the bb30 bearings, so it's clear they expect seals to be removed and that they think lubrication is necessary

    my experience is that done with care there's no problem with the seals, and i've done it a few times now

    the first time i popped the seals they were almost fully packed with grease, i'd guess the little that was missing either escaped the seals or was stuck to them

    i agree about the possibility of slight increase in resistance, but i ride all weathers so i'm ok with a tiny increase if that's the price of long term reliability, and it does seem to be what sram does itself
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thanks for the help guys.

    I've now taken apart the bearings and greased them with the SRAM specific grease. There is increased resistance, but I expect this to fade and loosen as it beds in and dissipates.

    In the manual, it very clearly states the bearings need greasing after 100 hours cycling or after thorough soaking in wet riding. I spoke with SRAM and they've confirmed the greasing should follow these conditions. They gave me some advice on the greasing stating using a 1/3 surface area of grease to each bearing.

    Will see how it goes. I don't plan to do it as frequently as SRAM suggest.
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