By Colin Dennis
PTFE free and fully biodegradable, the Deluxe Bike Cleaning Kit from Green Oil contains all the necessary juices and lubes to get those dirty, post-ride jobs done without harming planet Earth – and then grow some!
But there's more ...
My wife is an avid gardener and holds a green fingered degree in Horticulture. Every time I clean my bike I know exactly what she is thinking, ‘he must be freezing cold out there in the rain cleaning his bike. I’ll make him a steaming hot mug of coffee to ease the pain.’
That’s just me dreaming, what really happens is ...
I feel her burning stare melt the back of my cycle helmet as effectively as Superman rescuing Lois Lane while my bike-oil contaminated water seeps into our local eco-system and damages the chances of her beloved vegetable plot and winter bloomers becoming prize winners.
So how happy and excited do you think I was when I first discovered Green Oil’s amazing plant based bike cleaning products? Well, very!
Like a Labrador puppy eager to please, I extolled Green Oil’s veggie-friendly virtues to my wife as she toiled the early autumn soil.
‘They use twenty seven varieties of plants and natural ingredients. Green Oli is fully biodegradable, you know?’ My opening gambit warrants little more than a garden-weary smile from my wife. ‘That’s nice.’ She replies. ‘Fair Trade too, I imagine?’
My eyes light up! ‘Yes, they are, how did you know?’
Another knowing smile ...
With tail between my legs I head off to the shed and pull out my mountain bike. It’s caked in mud from a weekend sortie and urgently needs attention. This is hopefully the proving ground for my Green Oil armoury.
Armed to the teeth with bucket of warm water, hosepipe, and Green Oil Deluxe Cleaning Kit, it’s time to show my wife that I really do care for things other than bike+1.
Included in Green Oil's Deluxe tub of goodies is sizable bicycle brush. The hard wearing and ergonomically designed handle that is also FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified to help guarantee the sustainability of wood.
The bristles are super-tough and I was initially a little worried about the effects the bristles might have on paintwork. Reality check: the bike is covered head to toe in abrasive British mud that’s probably done enough damage to the finish to last a life time.
Starting with a gentle hose down to remove the worst of the crud, I apply a small dose of the Green Oil bike cleaner to the gears, just to see how it deals with the inevitable build-up of debris around the jockey wheels.
There isn’t a bike cleaning product on the market that will wash away the toxic mix of mud and oil that perpetrates these often forgotten and abused little wonders that keep your running gear smooth.
A little gentle persuasion with the end of a small flat head screw driver as I turn the cranks backwards removes the majority of offending black grease.
The Bike cleaner liquid is thinner and runnier than the vast array of same-old bike wash products, and the colour reminds me that thre's a pile of washing up to do in the kitchen sink.
These irrelevant notions aside, the bike wash disintegrates what’s left of the grease around said jockey wheels with ease and we’re soon spinning free once more.
Returning to the bike frame once more, I pick up the small Eco Sponge and read the cheeky wording. Ss nice an idea as it is, I decide that it’s a little too small for the job in-hand and pick up my trusty old car sponge.
The familiar looking woman on the Eco Sponge tells me that it’s carbon fibre friendly, and to be honest I have tried it since this test on several carbon road bikes and there is no indication of scratching from the sponge whatsoever; I feel it’s just a tad on the small side.
The tub also contains four, one hundred ml bottles. There’s the oversubscribed wet lube, an optimistically dry chain wax (see current weather charts on appropriate TV channels) some Eco Grease for smoothing out the headset bearings and a bottle of super-effective chain degreaser.
100ml bottles of wet lube and dry wax is fine, but in the continuing wet weather, the poor old chain degreaser has long expired. Small bottles of lube are fine for out on long road or trail rides in bad weather, but such a small pot of degreaser doesn’t go along way – especially if you clean your chain properly using a chain bath.
On a positive note though, as an introduction to how well the Green Oil degreaser works at doing the job intended and being planet-friendly, it can’t be faulted. Just buy a bigger bottle.
Going the whole green mile, Green Oil include a packet of Basil seeds in the Deluxe Bike Cleaning Kit. They recommend using the container as a plant pot when the pot has passed its usefulness by using the lid as a water tray and putting a few holes in the bottom of the container – nice touch!
In summary: It’s a great effort from Green Oil, nothing goes to waste with the Deluxe Bike Cleaning Kit, and there’s no excuses for not doing our bit for the planet. Does it work as an effective bike cleaner?
Absolutely, it's equally as good if not better than the majority of so-called specialist bike cleaning fluids that don’t provide the same ethical ethos or background of Green Oil.