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A good all-purpose grease is a workshop essential, and Peaty's Bicycle Assembly Grease is ideal for modern bicycle applications.
'Peaty' is, for the non-mountain bike savvy, Steve Peat, former World Champion downhiller and Sheffield legend. Since retirement, he's been involved in clothing brand Royal Racing and now Peaty's – his range of cleaning products, tubeless tyre paraphernalia and lubricants.
For anyone not still messing about with loose-balled bottom brackets and headsets, and with the noble exception of Shimano's stubborn adherence to cup-and-cone wheel bearings, the main uses for grease in modern bike maintenance is in stopping metal parts from getting stuck together. In practice, that mainly means when installing cartridge bearings and cranks, and on bolt threads. You might also want it for steel or aluminium seatposts. A smear on cable nipples stops them getting stuck inside shifters.
Peaty's claims its Bicycle Assembly Grease is ideal for just these applications. There's some science posted up on the website, to explain why it's been formulated with 'synthetic esters'. The advantage of these esters over regular synthetic oils is, Peaty's explains, their ability both to stick to metals and to flow easily. These properties are both thanks to their polarised molecules, which both attract them to the metals and repel them from each other. For reassurance, I dipped into an article published in 'Lube: the European Lubricants Industry Magazine' (I never miss an issue); and it says, 'Negatively charged oxygen from ester chemical function will bind to positively charged sites of metal surfaces.' So that's all right then.
Science out of the way, let's get greasy. I've been using this on all the bikes I serviced over this busy summer and there's been nothing to suggest this isn't excellent all-purpose grease. It's medium-thick, spreads thinly and evenly and is very smooth. It's easy to clean up any excess with a citrus degreaser.
It's not easy to test longevity and resistance to bad weather over a six-week summer test period. So far, though, it's stayed in place in brake and mech pivots – even in those exposed and vulnerable lower headset bearings. Peaty's says the grease has high resistance to being washed out and it's certainly thick enough to do a decent job in wheel hub bearings; but if you like ultimate protection where seals might be bypassed, you might like to investigate marine-grade greases.
Most greases seem to be sold by volume rather than weight, as Peaty's has chosen to do, so price comparisons aren't easy. However, as a marker, Finish Line's Premium Grease for Bicycles has a full retail price of £29.99 for 457g, so a quick calculation shows that's 6 1/2p per gram compared with Peaty's 10p per gram.
While chain lubricants drop onto the road.cc review desk on a weekly basis, we don't see many grease products. You have to go back to 2016 for Shaun's favourable review of Green Oil's Ecogrease, which currently costs £9.99 for 200ml; though I have no idea how much a millilitre of grease actually weighs.
Kudos points go to the tube being made from recycled materials, but on the downside I couldn't get the thread on the neck to work with any of the grease applicators lying around in my workshop (you need an M15 thread apparently), which was a bit of a hindrance when trying to squeeze grease into inaccessible pivots or wheel hubs.
One little surprise was the minty fresh aroma. Don't mix it up with your toothpaste.
Smooth, medium-thick grease that spreads happily over bearings and races, but not all grease guns fit the tube
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Peaty's Bicycle Assembly Grease
Size tested: 100g
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?
According to Peaty's website:
For general use in headsets, bottom brackets, bolts and axles, Peaty's Bicycle assembly grease uses the latest generation of base oils and additives to provide long-lasting, low friction performance under extreme pressures.
* Keeps your bike running quieter & smoother for longer
* Long-lasting lubrication under extreme loads
* High resistance to water washout
* Anti-corrosion protection
* Readily biodegradable
* Carbon safe
* 100% recycled packaging
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Peaty's scientists explain:
"In order for it to lubricate really well, a good grease needs molecules which flow over each other easily (less drag) and coat the metal surface thoroughly and evenly, to prevent metal on metal contact (which results in parts wearing out).
In nerd talk, our base oils have been formulated using synthetic esters with a marked polarity.
Ok... Who's ester and why is she in your oil?!
Ester isn't a woman, it's a variant of synthetic oil! Esters are more expensive than straight synthetic oils because the ingredients all have to be collected from natural sources and then synthesised in much smaller quantities than regular synthetic oil.
The number one reason to use ester oil is how well it bonds to surfaces. Ester oil has an electrochemical bond because the ester molecule is polar, sort of like a fridge magnet. It is attracted to metal and sticks like peaty's hand to a fresh cool pint of yorkshire ale.
Also, because of this electrochemical charge, the grease naturally distributes itself evenly over a surface since each molecule will repel away from each other - like trying to push two positive ends of a magnet together."
Peaty's Bicycle Assembly Grease is compatible with all oils of a mineral or synthetic nature except for PAG (polyalkylene glycol) based products.
It feels like a quality grease, easy to spread thinly and evenly over bearings. So far it's stayed where I've put it.
Peaty's claims it's got high resistance to water wash-out. While I haven't had winter conditions to ride in during the test period, it's still all where I put it in my bottom headset race (a notoriously demanding environment!) and mech pivots.
The use of Synthetic esters as opposed to ordinary synthetic oils means this product costs more than some all-purpose products, but even so, given the price comparisons outlined below, it's not outrageously expensive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This is a nice medium thickness blue grease that's ideal for coating sealed bearings, threads and axles. It goes on smoothly and economically and so far has stayed put.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Mmm, minty fresh!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
You need an M15 threaded grease gun to fit this tube. I tried it with the three (!) guns in my workshop and it didn't fit any of them.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Price comparisons aren't easy as a lot of greases are sold by volume rather than weight. However, Park Tool High Performance Grease is priced at £13.99 for 113g, and Finish Line's Premium Grease for Bicycles has a full retail price of £29.99 for 457g. Respectively these work out at 12p and 6 1/2p per gram of grease, compared to Peaty's 10p.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
Short of extending the test into winter conditions, it's hard to fault the performance of this grease. It feels like a quality product of excellent thickness and consistency for smoothing over sealed bearings and into the headset, and weather-resistant enough for wheel bearings without being stiff or claggy.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,