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Green Oil Ecogrease



Impressive alternative to petrochemical greases, and much kinder too

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Green Oil's 200ml tube of Ecogrease is designed to be coupled with screw-top grease guns, ensuring it gets exactly where it's needed and in the correct quantities.

Green Oil has made this grease much thicker than the 100ml version I tested a few years ago, which bodes well for longevity and/or more challenging conditions. Exact composition is hush-hush, but Green Oil confirmed that it's made from a natural wax derived from plant oils grown here in the UK.

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It now features a sustainably-sourced, rubber-based trafficking agent to boost longevity. Aside from being harmless to organic life, this also means it's friendly to contemporary plastics, composites and rubberised components. The packaging is also completely recyclable too.

Flow rate and melting point is similar to stiff, petrochemical greases, meaning the rich goo is easily pinpointed into hubs, pedals, headsets and larger threaded areas such as bottom bracket cups. On the flip side, this thicker consistency means – unless you stand the tube in hot water first – it cannot be drizzled into cleat bolts and similar fasteners.

That said, its arrival coincided with several cleat swaps, and a pea-sized blob was sufficient to keep them slick and insulated from wet, salty, corrosive elements.

Unlike lithium-based preps, there's little fear of galvanic corrosion (where metals of different parentage exposed to the elements chemically fuse together), so I've mated titanium and aluminium/chromoly – seatposts and pedal threads, for example – without hesitation.

The rich, luxurious texture sees threaded components such as pedals and derailleur hangers breeze effortlessly home, while even budget hubs and headsets feel buttery smooth. A lower melting point than old school lithium pastes means you should expect to wipe a bit of excess after a week or so to prevent it cultivating a grimy patina, especially in milder temperatures.

> Check out more reviews of lubes and greases here

A diet of wet roads, frequent bucket washes, and occasional garden hose tickling suggests it's superior to previous versions, which held out for about six months (four through winter on my 'cross bike). Five weeks in and disassembly and inspection of headset components, seatposts, crank bolts and fixed sprockets confirmed it was staying put.

Those riding in the foulest weathers and wanting the longest intervals between servicing/strip downs are arguably best served by super-stiff high-tech petrochemical greases, which stay put in the foulest conditions. Otherwise, I would tentatively suggest that Green Oil has devised a planet-friendly formula that genuinely rivals bog standard PTFE blends in terms of lubrication, corrosion resistance and staying prowess. At £8.99, the asking price is pretty competitive too..


Impressive alternative to petrochemical greases, and much kinder too test report

Make and model: Green Oil Ecogrease

Size tested: 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?

Green Oil says: "Ecogrease is for quick release pins, seat posts, pivots, bike building and other grease applications. Grease will get on your hands, so ours doesn't contain Teflon/PTFE or petrochemicals. In fact we've had mechanics call in to say thanks, having suffered dermatitis in the past from the toxic brands out there.

We had one older gentleman approach us at a trade show asking how we made it so durable - he had used some Ecogrease on his bike shed bolt, which was still there a year later! It uses special plant extracts to make it tenacious, and lubricating.

Ecogrease will biodegrade after its life on the bike - it needs the warmth, moisture and bacteria in the soil to break down back into the environment.

Why use Ecogrease? Grease is for bearings, but mainly parts which don't move much. For example, a quick release pin or thread on a seat post. Pedal threads, pivots and seat post shafts also require grease.

Grease is not really for chains as it can attract dirt when exposed. Unless you have a completely sealed chain chamber perhaps.

Ecogrease is best for parts that you move occasionally, or move a little. Ecogrease stops parts seizing up.

How to use Ecogrease The first formula of Ecogrease was a little thinner, but its now thicker and more durable. We therefore recommend taking the whole cap off to squeeze it out if you have the bottle version."

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

Natural wax derived from plant oils grown here in the UK.

This version employs a sustainably sourced, rubber-based trafficking agent to boost longevity.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Seems a stout prep, broadly on par with automotive lithium preps and plain Jane PTFE formulas.

Rate the product for performance:

Bearings feel buttery smooth and it stays put, so a good choice for metal contact points and threaded parts. It does attract dirt (as Green Oil warns), so be sure to wipe away any excess.

Rate the product for durability:

Promising to date, although a harsh, wet winter could reveal some weaknesses/limitations.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Pleasant to use compared with petrochemicals, especially in its gun-friendly tube.

Rate the product for value:

Depends on your yardstick. Lithium and PTFE infused formulas are cheap as chips but can cause galvanic corrosion and both are unkind to seals/rubberised components. So far the Ecogrease is proving long-lived and priced to compete with plastic-friendly synthetics.

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

Overall, I've been impressed by this latest incarnation, which seems thicker than otherwise stoical predecessors. Headsets, pedal and hub bearings feel buttery smooth. So far, shallow river crossings and torrential rains failed to make any obvious impression on these, recessed SPD cleats and threaded components. Seems effective on elastomer suspension components and kind to seals too, which is a definite plus.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Pretty much everything to date, the green credential is simply a bonus.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Does attract more dirt than some synthetics.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Very good planet- and user-friendly grease that rivals lithium and PTFE preps in terms of staying prowess, though it's too early to say that it rivals more sophisticated synthetics.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

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