SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
PEATY'S SPEED GREASE
Peaty’s Speed Grease is designed for bearings and other components where friction is a dirty word. Arguably a racer’s potion, mile-munching commuters who prefer major annual overhauls are better served by something stouter, but it’s held on better than I was expecting. Aside from competition, fettlers may find performance gains worth more frequent inspection/repacking.
Pros: Easy to apply, tangibly reduced friction.
Cons: Better suited to racing/summer riding.
Specification/ Science Lesson
This is an EP00 grease, meaning it has semi-fluid consistency, so quite runny/oozy. This is hardly a new construct-lithium based products have been used in automotive contexts for a long time. This one is made of base oils formulated using synthetic Esters with marked polarity. Esters are a group of synthetic oils collected from natural sources and apparently, synthesised in much smaller quantities than ordinary synthetics.
Their main advantage over standard synthetics is their ability to bond to metal surfaces. A natural electrical charge continues this theme, ensuring lubrication is distributed evenly over the host. Peaty’s went on to say its fully biodegradable and carbon friendly but the usual cautions apply-wearing gloves, washing hands and don’t ingest-it's not a smoothie, or constipation relief.
Now, while intended for bearings, it can of course be applied elsewhere-say contact points, if you’d run out of something suitable. I’ve found a little to be highly effective on hybrid spring/including the Kinekt 2.1 Suspension Seat Post .
Thoroughly cleanse components of any existing/residual grease, inspect surfaces for wear/pitting, as appropriate, and deliver via gun, or hand, depending on surface area. Oh, and it is much closer to a heavyweight motor oil, than a grease-something to bear in mind, when squeezing the tube.
Aside from the Kinekt 2.1 Post, I have applied Peaty’s Speed Grease to my Univega’s Hollowtech II bearing bottom bracket and crankset splines and my Yak Homage trailer’s wheel bearings.
In some respects, unusual choices. However, while examining the bike’s bottom bracket and crankset, the Green Oil Eco Grease was still doing its thing but had clearly been ravaged by winter’s wrath. The Speed grease was an obvious choice.
My trailer’s hub was also due a strip and repack. The fluid consistency means it’s easy to achieve even coverage and true to claims, clings to the host very convincingly. A single modest helping was perfect for the crankset splines and bottom bracket, although I was more liberal with the hub, laying a bed of grease to the races before placing the bearings back and adding another layer atop.
A moot point with cartridge and needle roller bearings, but, unlike stiff greases, more care is needed with loose balls when reassembling the hub, otherwise they’ll roll into the hub body, or on the workshop floor. Generally temperature stable, on days when the mercury’s been hovering around 30 degrees, I wasn’t surprised by some slight seepage from the bottom bracket shell.
Simply rotating the cranks, they spun with palpably greater ease, but the wheel was the most obvious improvement, inducing a gleeful, child-like giggle from your truly. Resistance was perhaps unsurprisingly like synthetic motor oils-which I have fed track hubs from time to time. A very modest drop to the Kinket 2.1 post’s powder coated springs also induced plush silence, although in this instance, I needed to wipe off the excess, so as not to attract dirt, or transfer to shorts and luggage.
It took a few rides and alternating between bikes to confirm that the speed grease’s benefits weren’t merely placebo. Peaty’s marketing team say wheels fed the speed grease will roll 2.5 times faster, which is difficult to critically challenge without laboratory testing equipment. Nonetheless, less effort was required to keep tourer and trailer pairing at a decent tempo. I still needed to drop a gear, or two but otherwise, resistance was tangibly lower. Fresher legs reaped on longer 40–50-mile outings.
During the test period, I decided to re-grease my 1991 road bike’s Thompson Seatpost with the Peaty’s Assembly Paste (Not a moment too soon, since the existing grease had all but gone).
This prompted a quick strip and re-pack of the extremely well-sealed (and no longer produced) Woodman Saturn Headset, using the Speed Grease. Handling has always been razor-sharp and very frisky. However, the speed grease brought this up another notch, making split second corrections to avoid holes, hares and other unexpected hazards that bit more rewarding.
This theme continued riding my Univega solo-particularly with the K-Lite Bike Packer Ultra LD (Low Drag) lamp (review to follow) The Kinekt post has remained progressive and serene, despite regular exposure to wet, sometimes gritty lanes. It hasn’t done anything nasty to the seat post’s elastomers, or other composites. No hint of corrosion or similar on the other hosts but again, not something I’d expect during this time scale.
Bit early to comment on longer term staying prowess. However, five weeks and 1,000 miles later, there’s plenty clinging to bearings, spindles and other moving parts. Reassuring given my tubby tourer serves, whatever the gods chuck at. We were traversing a good deal of gloop, and standing water during the first two weeks testing. Oh, and my trailer’s wheel isn’t particularly well-sealed from the elements.
£9.99 is seemingly the going rate for modern, synthetic greases. Muc-Off Bio Grease is a slightly different middleweight blend that covers most bases and is £19.99 for 180ml. Then there’s White Lightning Crystal High Performance Clear Grease is £9.99 for 100ml Again, a much stiffer offering, better for situations where staying prowess is king.
Peaty’s Speed Grease blend of low viscosity and decent adhesion is great for giving bearing components a cost-effective performance boost. Arguably a racer’s grease, its durable enough for general spring/summer riding.
White Lightning Crystal and indeed, Peaty’s Assembly Grease are better options for commuters and utility riders in harsh weathers.
Verdict: 3.75/5 Decent grease for racers and fair-weather riding.
PUBLISHED AUGUST 2021
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH