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Green Oil Agent Apple Professional Degreaser



Promising concept but pricey given its distinctly average performance.

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.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

Green Oil Agent Apple Professional Degreaser mimics the cleaning power of petrochemicals but without the nasty environmental consequences. Don't be fooled by the eco-friendly labelling, though; store it carefully, and minimise contact with exposed skin, painted, plated, carbon and composite surfaces.

This might explain why it comes in an aluminium container, rather than recycled plastic, though it hasn't chomped through old, better quality ice cream tubs). The ingredients aren't particularly cutting edge, consisting of Limonene, a popular industrial cleaner derived from citrus fruits, and linalool, which is seemingly ubiquitous in toiletries/cosmetics. Said pairing forms a colourless, pleasant smelling, gunge gobbling cocktail.

Chain aside, for best results remove the offending components, pop them in a parts washer or thick-walled ice cream tub, shake the degreaser and pour in carefully. If you have a spare spray canister, say an old bike cleaner container, use it to squirt the degreaser into the parts nooks and crannies. Whatever your chosen method of deployment, leave it soaking for a few minutes while you find some brushes and disposable gloves as today's two part synthetic lubes are more tenacious than ever.

Simpler wet lubes and their contaminants scarper, ready for a freshwater rinse and drying off with an old rag in 5-10 minutes, though modern ceramics demanded two hours or so with periodic agitation, ditto the stodgy lithium greases commonly fed to headsets, bottom brackets and similar bearing surfaces.

In the name of investigative journalism, I sloshed 75ml worth over my elderly 8spd LX mech and left it marinating for three days. I ended up with lots of black, silty fluid, and some dulling of the anodised body. While we're on the subject of destroying surface finishes, acrylic paints literally vanish before the eyes, especially where they overlap electroplate. You have been warned.

However, slight spillages onto flamboyant or metallic enamels haven't resulted in any lasting damage when flushed away with clean water. It's disappointingly pedestrian by the brand's usual standards when presented with stodgy ceramics. While undeniably toxic, identical quantities of 95 octane unleaded literally strip super crudded cassettes, chain rings and so on, piranha fashion, in a matter of minutes.

[Editor's note: does NOT recommend that you use petrol as a cleaning agent unless your life's wish is to die in a domestic inferno.]


Promising concept but pricey given its distinctly average performance. test report

Make and model: Green Oil Agent Apple Professional Degreaser

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?

The suppliers site says " Agent Apple is differerent, using three different citrus plants together, each with powerful degreasing properties. The formula also utilises plant alcohol.

Agent Apple is a light fluid that starts work within minutes of the chain being dipped in. For lighter applications it can be sprayed on with the handy button spray". Yes but I can't help feeling the present formula doesn't meet its true potential.

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

Basically a blend of two naturally (plant) derived chemicals, limonene and linalool, forming a colourless, sweet smelling solvent cocktail.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:

Swift on old fashioned wet lubes such as motor oil but more advanced petrochemicals demand soaking and enthused scrubbing rituals.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Minimise contact with bare skin.

Rate the product for value:

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

While reasonably effective on more traditional lubricants and when used in conjunction with a chain bath, performance is pedestrian against stodgier/sophisticated preps.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quite tenacious in conjunction with a chain bath and/or applied to derailleur cages/jockey wheels etc.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Undeniably kinder to the environment, it remains very flammable and rather expensive for such modest quantities.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Not in its present guise.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I like the concept but feel it needs further development.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 39  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)

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Shanghaied | 10 years ago

Bit of a distasteful name surely? Was the name "Cyclone C" already taken?

edster99 replied to Shanghaied | 10 years ago
Shanghaied wrote:

Bit of a distasteful name surely? Was the name "Cyclone C" already taken?

What ?

Shanghaied replied to edster99 | 10 years ago

I'm not completely serious, but "Agent Apple" seems to be an obvious word play on Agent Orange (I mean why else even call something Agent Apple when it contains citrus extracts?), the highly toxic dioxin-containing herbicide used by the US military in Vietnam. The USAF sprayed 76 million litres of the stuff on Vietnam, exposing millions of people to extremely high levels of dioxin. Vietnamese deaths caused by its toxicity are in the tens-to-hundreds of thousand range, depending on who you ask. And that's excluding birth defects, which are still very common to this day in the worst affected areas. IRRC the manufacturers - Dow and Monsanto paid ca 150 million dollars in settlement to US veterans poisoned by the stuff.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it seems a very unfortunate choice of name for a company touting its green credentials.

As for "Cyclone", the German word for it is "Zyklon", and I think you can figure out the rest.

Shaun Audane | 10 years ago

In action...

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