Green oil eco rider maintenance kit contains the brand's ensemble (bar two) of cleaning/lubricating goodies in a single, ice cream sized tub. Performance easily matches its environmental credentials, competing handsomely on price and prowess with the more traditional petrochemical types. Pedants will point out the bucket is made from polypropylene-plastic which most councils cannot recycle but ours will be reincarnated as a handy storage bucket. One minor criticism concerns the sponge, which could've been softer-ours left telltale swirls on some thin enamels/lacquers so contrary to the claims I'd use cautiously-especially around carbon goodies.
Prise open the lid and you're greeted with one litre of bike wash, chain lube, degreaser, 100ml of eco-grease, sponge and bike brush-pretty much all that's needed for dressing and maintaining the bike top-to-toe. Everything's genuinely biodegradable and harmless to creatures great and small (but obviously not intended for human consumption so store out of children's reach). First we have the sweet smelling citrus-based cleaner. Identical to others of this genre, you simply spray liberally over a grime-encrusted bike, watch it fizz away for thirty seconds or so before tackling the bike's more delicate areas (frameset, finishing kit etc) with the bike sponge. This is a matted type derived from the Luffa plant and has to be marinated in warm water to become supple. Then we've the forestry stewardship council (FSC) approved brush for chasing grime from the cassette, around the rims, tyres and beneath the saddle.
Once satisfied all is ship-shape, rinse using clean water, dry with clean rag and watch as the solution consumes any residual puddles. The 100ml tube of degreaser forms the basis of this-simply top up with 900ml of rainwater and you're away. For chains you simply open the spout, dribble over each link and either take a spin around the block or hop on the indoor trainer for ten minutes to ensure full penetration. Rinse and then add the green oil chain lube in the time-honoured fashion, one link at a time, collecting any excess. The exact composition is a closely guarded secret although rumoured to be derived from oil seed rape. Either way, it enjoys a rich, middleweight consistency closer to that of old fashioned, pre synthetic types. We've grease too, with a yellowish consistency reminiscent of pureed swede, complete with handy spout for precise, mess-free application.
Having used the range individually for 18 months, I've been pleasantly surprised by their performance and frugality-especially the bike wash and degreaser. Pit against a leading brand and two filthy cyclo-cross bikes, the bike wash works more efficiently without any traces of streaking or damage to delicate seals or plastics. Quoting economy to some extent is a bit like the old 'Piece of string' adage but a litre has keep a fleet of six (washed weekly) shiny for five months and the fact it cleans up after itself is a real boon. I've found the degreaser a little too effective neat but administered dilute from the firm's CF3 pump spray cleans the chain without sloshing water everywhere.
Aside from very occasional bristle moult, the brush gives short shrift to clogged cassettes, dirty rims and drivetrain too. Curiously, with periodic rinsing, it doesn't attract dirt, gloop and congealed grime so readily as more conventional types while the wooden handle shows no sign of turning organic despite marinating for long periods in buckets of hot water.
I'm not sold on the 'sponge' though. It chases through mud, grease and grime like the proverbial dervish but removed top-coats from a frameset finished in humble acrylic while showing a tendency for leaving telltale swirls/scratches on thinner enamels which brought my cheap as chips 'Jumbo' car sponge out from retirement. Long-term use of the lubes suggests they're every bit as dependable as semi synthetic types, returning around 125 mixed terrain miles (including river crossings) between reapplications. Common to other wet types, regular wipe-overs are advisable and dry variants have the edge if you're riding is very dusty conditions but it slips effortlessly inside seat packs doubles as a nifty grease substitute for carrier/mudguard fittings and even pedal/derailleur threads. Bikes living in coastal regions/in hard service sans mudguards will want something stiffer for headsets, seatposts and bottom brackets but ours has typically managed six-month service intervals despite regular wet rides and more enthused tickling from the garden hose.
Comprehensive cleaning kit that matches petrochemical types on price and performance
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Make and model: Green Oil Eco Rider bike mainenance kit
Size tested: n/a
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 Green Oil Eco Rider Deluxe set contains most of the things needed to maintain your bike, and even a pack of seeds to plant in it when you are finished with it".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Green Clean bike cleaner 1 litre
- EcoSponge for frame cleaning
- Green Oil chain lube 100ml
- Clean Chain degreaser 100ml
- Ecogrease 100ml
- Green Oil Bicycle Brush for wheel and sprocket cleaning
- Bioplastic stickers
- Tough bucket
- A pack of seeds - Rocket Salad or 'Sweet Genovese' Basil herb.
Biodegradable PTFE/Teflon free ingredients
Genuinely very impressive.
Very pleasant to use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
All the green oil range are on level pegging with established petro-chemical types while the bike wash and degreaser beat them hands down. The complete kit is excellent value for top-to-toe bike fettling and makes a lovely gift, although the "sponge" proved a little harsh and was the only product I didn't warm to.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Green Clean Bike wash and degreaser are the best of their genre I've used to date.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sponge proved a little abrasive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 37 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)