Green Oil Dry Chain Wax is of the super-clean, friction-busting variety and seems equal to, if not better than, many derived from petrochemical stock. Achieving 200 miles plus per application through an unseasonably wet and chilly April is pretty competitive, although emulsion types brewed for dry, dusty conditions, such as Squirt, are superior options for a three-seasons, self-cleansing blend.
Precise ingredients are hush-hush, but I can tell you it's made from a blend of plant-based ethanol, which serves as the carrier and primer for the dry lubricant. It's every bit as flammable as petrochemical solvents, so apply carefully and store away from sources of ignition.
Strip chains of any existing/residual lube by your preferred method, dry using a clean rag, and keep another handy to catch the overspill. Having given the bottle a vigorous shake, pop the spout and drizzle into every link and leave to cure for seven minutes, until it assumes a clear waxy state.
Previous experience suggests adding a second layer and allowing a further 20 minutes before heading out, regardless of season and/or air temperature.
A drop or two also reaps surprising reward on metal on metal surfaces including cleat mechanisms, and it works a treat on pivot points, cables and derailleur springs, too, keeping them slick without cultivating gungy beards.
Responsiveness is easily on par with petrochemical competition – we are talking minimal friction – and true to claims, it didn't transfer readily to hands, clothing or other surfaces, which is a definite plus whether you're riding in office smarts, tending roadside mechanicals, or just carrying bikes.
The main difference between Green Oil and some competitor formulas is that it assumes a middleweight, dirt-repelling film rather than shedding embedded contaminant as you ride.
Formative testing along moderately damp, greasy December roads were very promising: shifts were slick and contaminant a minor issue. Predictably, this was short-lived; 65 miles was pretty much tops before that faint but annoying tinkling set in.
Commuting and general riding in wetter conditions saw this dip to around 45 miles per application, which is pretty poor compared with emulsion types (these typically take a few hours to cure but are a bit stiffer and less season-specific). Thankfully the 100ml bottle slips unobtrusively in wedge packs or jersey pockets, so topping up proved pretty convenient – two coats cured in the time it takes to guzzle coffee/cake and chew the cud with fellow riders.
While useful in the sense of revealing its limitations, this environment isn't a fair reflection of its performance. Revisited through April and early May, it's proven an extremely clean, friction-busting lube that, even during some seriously ropey weather, has clocked up 135 road miles per application and 225 during drier spells and along dusty trails.
Ultimately, it's horses-for-courses here; there are better choices for three-seasons, general riding. However, with one exception (Rock n Roll Absolute Dry), it's definitely equal to if not better than other brands' summer-biased wax preps. Its eco-friendly composition is simply a bonus.
Clean, friction-busting spring and summer lube on par with petrochemical equivalents
road.cc test report
Make and model: Green Oil Dry Chain Wax
Size tested: 100ml
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?
Green Oil says:
" Dry conditions lube
- Utilizes natural wax
- Great for commuters"
Seems a markedly better product than earlier versions and broadly on par with petrochemical competition, but nonetheless a fair weather option.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100ml, bio ethanol derived from sugar, completely biodegradable, bottle and packaging from recycled plastics.
With the exception of some superior emulsion types, on par with other dry/waxy formulas.
Better than previous blends and broadly on par with petrochemical competition. Through December I returned 45-65 miles per application, but this climbed to a more worthy 135-225 through April and early May.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, Green Oil Chain Wax is pretty much on par with other dry formulas when it comes to low friction and cleanliness. Achieving 135-225 miles per application through April and early May is very reasonable. In my experience self-cleaning emulsions have greater staying prowess, so are better choices for 'three seasons' commuting, but they usually take several hours to cure.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cleanliness, environmentally friendly formula and low friction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief and when pitted against petrochemical equivalents.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, for spring/summer.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? In preference to many petrochemical versions, though emulsion types are longer lasting three-seasons options.
Use this box to explain your score
Decent dry lube for spring and summer, and by genre standards deserves a 7, but overall, performance is 6.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)