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Verdict: 
Quick, convenient grease for general workshop duties and older bikes but of limited use on modern machines
Weight: 
201g
B'Twin Aerosol Grease
5 10

According to the blurb B'Twin spray grease "ensures bearings move smoothly in the headset and hub-only for bearings". Within the same breath they suggest it's suitable for all "turning, sliding or inter-locking parts" which is slightly contradictory and sums up my overall experience.

It's essentially a very old fashioned lithium paste with solvent carrier. The latter traffics it, cleans the host and then evaporates, leaving the grease behind. Lithium is mixed with lye soaps which bulk it up and ensure good adhesion to metal on metal surfaces. This explains their continued popularity in marine and automotive contexts.

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Generally speaking, it's best to degrease and dry bearings/surfaces first, if only to check their condition but I've got away with a giving some thirsty head and hub sets a liberal dousing.

Surprisingly slick, surfaces lack the same buttery smoothness you get from packing components with paste and most of us would probably trade minimal rolling resistance for staying power. That said, there remains a hard core of riders who want the lowest friction possible, without cooking their bearings and think nothing of stripping and re lubricating their bikes following competitive track meets or time trials.

Taking this approach with a set of pre 1992 cup and cone Campagnolo Athena hubs perked them up considerably, although I'll be repacking them with some heavy duty Teflon infused gooey stuff before summer's out.

Staying power seems much better when used as an assembly paste between metals of similar parentage such as aluminium posts in aluminium frames. Light coatings are sufficient and remained stoical despite a routine of mucky rides sans mudguards and regularly rinsed clean with garden hoses. It's also made installing some relatively tight fixed cups that bit speedier, ditto mudguard, carrier and bottle cage fasteners and cleat bolts.

Then of course, we've more generic workshop jobs '' padlocks, hinges, garage door rollers etc. However, there are better solutions if you want to prevent components from seizing, as it's too easy for lithium grease to fail, leaving parts made from dissimilar metals permanently united. Divorcing fluted seat posts and quill stems from chromoly frames can be a real pain, for example, unless you use a proper anti-seize paste for the job. Lithium grease can also be very unkind to rubberised components and plastics too, which means it's incompatible with carbon composites.

Undeniably convenient and still useful for workshop duties and older bikes, these simple staples are becoming increasingly irrelevant on contemporary bikes.

Verdict

Quick, convenient grease for general workshop duties and older bikes but of limited use on modern machines

road.cc test report

Make and model: B'Twin Aerosol Grease

Size tested: B'Twin Aerosol Grease, 200ml

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"Ensures that the bearings move smoothly in the headset and hub. Only for bearings". "For all rolling, turning, sliding or interlocking parts.".

Slightly contradictory advice. I would suggest it's an old fashioned spray grease that comes in handy for general workshop duties and works quite well (a) if you're running older bikes with contact points of similar parentage or (b) wanted to reduce friction in hub/headset bearings and accepted you might need to strip and reapply more frequently.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Lithium based grease using solvent and butane propellant.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
5/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
6/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, these greases still have some value for fasteners and metal on metal contact points but are losing their relevance given the widespread use of incompatible composites on contemporary bikes. While this has reduced friction in headsets and hubs, which might be desirable in a track or time trial context, longevity means pastes represent much better value for money.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Undeniably quick and convenient and has some value in wider workshop contexts.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Old fashioned ingredients aren't overly kind to rubberised parts and modern components generally.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

1 comments

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horizontal dropout [298 posts] 2 years ago
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First time I dismantled and reassembled a pair of rapid fire shifters was a bit of a rite of passage for me. Grease in a carrier which transports the grease to the inner workings in a solvent would have let me clean and re-lubricate without taking them to bits. I think I'll get some of this for future ones.

This surely would be good for chains too wouldn't it?