Green Oil Dry Chain Wax
Green Oil Dry Chain Wax 100ml (about 3.38 oz if we’re being ultra-pedantic), is as the name implies, a dry lube with a less waxy nature than more traditional blends. Intended for dry, dusty conditions, I’ve been impressed by its quality of lubrication and cleanliness. It’s also stayed put longer than Green Oil suggests on the bottle.
Green Oil cite 125km before reapplication. During a predominantly hot, dry and sometimes dusty summer, I’ve returned 273km (170miles). Admittedly, it had become very filmy by that point and some blends will exceed 600. However, it's close to that, typical of traditional dry lubes and doesn’t contain any nasty carcinogenic chemicals.
Pros: Clean, penetrates well, low friction, cures quickly.
Cons: Less durable than some semi-synthetic and petrochemical blends.
Ok, so if its free of PTFE and other petrochemicals, what’s it brewed from? Well, I can’t give you the exact recipe-Simon (Green Oil’s founder) would have to kill me. However, I can reveal it employs a plant-based ethanol carrier/solvent. Then there’s plant oil, plant-based antioxidant and graphite, which in this instance acts as a friction modifier. No surprise that the bottle and packaging is also made from high quality recyclable materials.
Application/Curing Times 3.75/5
Get drivetrains dinner plate clean before you do anything else, especially if you’re coming from a stodgy wet lube. Now, it might be plant-based but ethanol can create a big bang, so apply away from sources of ignition and ideally outside/on a concrete floor. Oh, and if Grandpa Joe still hasn’t kicked that Marlboro habit, show him the door.
A dry clean rag is advisable but not essential when the mercury’s crossing into 30 odd degrees. Lubes like these need to penetrate deep into the links, so there’s the risk of peppering the ground and of course, rim, tyre and chainstay.
That said; even at the higher temperatures, flow is more predictable than some. Give the bottle a good 30 second shake to really blend the cocktail. Then twist the spout and deliver the deep grey potion to every link. Rotate the pedals four times and leave curing for 7 minutes. I’ve found leaving it 10-15 ideal. Either way, it’ll turn clear and I’m not going to split hairs. This is perfectly practical for pre-race, or commute, mid tour or at Sunday run rest stops.
To date, I’ve not needed to give side-plates a cat lick, or similar post lube clean-up. It’s also effective on other components you want to keep mobile and not mucky-pivot points, control cables, trailer hitch, lock and cleat mechanisms.
I’ve tested ours for six weeks, through a notoriously dry August through to September. However, there have been a few showery outings during this period. Ursula and my fixed gear winter/trainer see most service, so their chains were the obvious hosts.
Once cured, chains feel deeply penetrated, although it’s worth noting my fixed gear winter/trainer is presently running a cheap but cheery model, so feels a little less refined than some, fed this genre of lubes. Personally, I’d go for something thicker- Green Oil’s Wet stablemate is a good bet. Predictably benefits are most palpable on derailleur setups. Shifts were crisp, quick and silent-as you’d expect and right to the point of needing replenishment. Same story for cables, derailleur pivot points and other metal-on-metal surfaces. I was surprised to discover it staved off tell-tale freckling, even with the thinnest of films remaining. By this point, friction became more palpable though, so ideally top up before then.
In common with Momum Mic Dry Oil Lube and its wax counterpart, the Green Oil Dry wax is incredibly clean. Indeed, of the two, its closest to the dry and doesn’t break down and flake off, rather just doesn’t attract grime. Frequently hustling along tinder dry dirt roads confirmed this and transfer to skin is similarly minimal.
No issues with calf branding when shouldering bikes, great news for tackling flats and other roadside mechanicals or commuting in smart trousers. Minimal contaminant also means faff-free replenishment. Assuming you’ve not been through a boggy trail, or waterlogged roads, it's just a matter of topping up.
In these contexts, I’ve consistently returned 170miles from a single application. This may sound low rent, compared with some synthetics including Momum MIC Dry Oil Lube, Rock 'n' Roll Dry , Oxford Mint Cycle Dry Lube , or indeed Peaty’s Link Lube Dry. However, its way over and beyond what Green Oil suggests. Some of these have PTFE and other petrochemicals (which are not kind to rider of environment alike) or need several hours curing.
Following on from durability, it depends to some extent how we’re measuring things. At bottom line, face value, there’s a lot of competition and some considerably hardier at this end of the market. Momum MIC Dry Oil Lube is £13.99 for 120ml, Peaty’s Link Lube Dry is £9.99 (although admittedly for 60ml), Oxford Mint Cycle Dry Lube is £7.49 for 150ml. Zefal Pro Dry Lube is £ 5.99. However, despite some definite charm, it’s a petrochemical blend that also transfers very readily to hands, bar tape and other surfaces.
While some formulas will knock the Green Oil Dry Chain Wax into a cocked hat when it comes to durability/economy, it is by no means a poor lube. One with some very redeeming and favourable qualities. It is easy to re/apply, cures quickly, attracts minimal dirt, is eco-friendly and doesn’t commute to other surfaces. Environment aside, this is great news for drivetrain health, roadside mechanicals, not forgetting domestic harmony.