SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
PURE BIKE GREASE
Mid Term (3 Month) Test 100g £6.99
Pure Bike Grease is another eco-friendly formula designed to mimic the properties of the ubiquitous and generally serviceable PTFE infused blends. It’s versatile and seemingly kind to rubberised components, user and wider environment alike. However, commuters and tourists will want something stiffer, especially when it comes to headsets and bottom brackets.
Unscrewing the top and peeling back the foil lid, reveals vibrant, yellow grease. Ours arrived in August, so I initially thought the lower viscosity was in part, influenced by the warmer weather but this soft, almost buttery consistency has remained precisely that in the months since.
This makes flooding headset and hub bearings a doddle, regardless of temperature, which isn’t always the case, especially with bog standard PTFE or lithium based greases. I wasn’t surprised to learn it’s made from vegetable based oils and polyol esters but that’s as candid as Weldtite got.
Biodegradable and non hazardous yes-I’ve had no problems using it sans gloves and for prolonged periods. That said; store out of harm’s way and wash hands thoroughly after use.
Rebuilding a pair of 26 year old, well maintained Campagnolo Athena cup 'n’ cone hubs, I packed them with Pure and was immediately struck by how smoothly and freely they spun. Excess was reclaimed and redistributed to their quick release skewers.
I also used the pure when overhauling my fixed gear winter/trainer’s Aheadset. As with the hubs, everything felt beautifully slick and well lubricated. Elastomer components, such as the Cane Creek Thudbuster ST’s bushings and a friend’s suspension forks were also given a measured lick.
Turning my attentions to contact points, a little goes surprisingly far. Obviously, carbon composites are non-starters but since galvanic corrosion (the chemical process, where metals of different parentage seize together) is supposedly a moot point, I whipped out my Univega’s titanium post, gave that a moderate coating then left unchecked for three months.
Formative impressions were very favourable and the lower friction, particularly apparent on racier builds. However, staying prowess is good, rather than great, especially on daily drivers, shunning full-length mudguards.
Cross and mountain bikes being prime examples. Two months into testing, I decided to upgrade my fixed gear winter/trainer’s Aheadset in favour one with cartridge bearings. Dismantling its existing unit proved quite revealing.
After six hundred miles, the ball bearings remained well lubricated and free of corrosion. However, the water repelling; protectant qualities were fast breaking-down. As we’d expect, this was particularly apparent around the lower bearing and race.
By contrast, Green Oil Eco Grease took 12 months of hard service, before reaching this state. I suspect the Brixton based brand’s rubberised tracking agent plays a big part. Although in retrospect, I’d still advocate six monthly strip and replenishment schedules, especially on a winter trainer, or daily driver.
Back to the Pure, adhesion to contact points was still reassuringly good.
Mind you, it’s worth noting both my Univega and fixed gear trainer employ mudguards and protective “boots” made from off-cuts of old butyl inner tubes, which prevents water and ingress being funnelled inside. I tend to re-grease seat post elastomers on a quarterly basis and was still pleased to find a protective layer still doing its thing three months hence.
The Pure Grease attracts more contaminant than a more sophisticated, synthetic polymer type, so remember to wipe away the excess, especially from headsets, fasteners, including derailleur and pedal threads. Otherwise it will cultivate a gungy beard, given a few weeks grotty weather. That said, it’s not markedly worse than the Green Oil, or indeed, their PTFE competition.
At first glance, £6 for a 100ml tub, coupled with modest longevity is poor, compared with Green Oil Eco Grease, which comes in a gun compatible 200ml tube. Moreover, the latter has staying power that’s on par with those bog standard petrochemical infusions they’re pitching against. That may not be a problem for racers, or fettlers who might be inclined to strip and inspect components more frequently. Plenty still adorns my bike’s seatposts and suspension components, three months in.
In its present form, the Pure is versatile and useful option for riders wanting a low-friction, eco-friendly grease. Track bikes are obvious candidates. Retro-mountain bike enthusiasts, still running Rock Shox/similar elastomer based forks, or even Girvin flex stems, should also take note. However, it wouldn’t be my first choice for a working bike’s headset, hubs or bottom bracket.
Verdict: 2.75/5 Slick, versatile grease but staying prowess does not rival petrochemicals.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2017
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH