ZEFAL BIKE ALL IN ONE
Zefal Bike All in One: degreaser, penetrating oil, cleaner, and lubricant; in spray form, with a tube-nozzle for application; vegetable-based and biodegradable; easy to apply – sort of spray ‘n’ go. Well, there are likely to be compromises with a jack-of-all-trades, but there are distinct advantages, too. Overall, I’ve found this a pretty handy solution for getting going when time is short.
Pros: rapid application and generally effective.
Cons: dirtier work and longer mileage require job specific potions.
Well, you’d not expect Zefal to give too much away. However, the fundamentals are that it is vegetable based and biodegradable. The aerosol propellant evaporates quickly. That’s about it. Degreasing, penetrating, cleaning, lubricating are significantly different jobs. So, I’d not expect it to be as effective as potions brewed for those specific purpose – with green credentials or not.
Safety warnings focus on the flammable nature of the product, so take the usual precautions and keep away from high temperatures and ignition source, etc.
The hydrocarbons and other ingredients are common in lubricants, amongst other things, but try not to inhale and best to use in well-ventilated places.
The blurb suggests that All in One will make bike cleaning easy, but it is aimed at the drive train (chain, derailleurs, jockey-wheels, chain rings, cassette etc.), not the paint job and bar tape.
Just shake it up, remove the cap, point the short nozzle tube at the chain and fire away. There’s a good deal of foam from the propellant, handy for showing coverage. This rapidly disappears. Rotating the pedals backwards helps penetration, and a wipe with a cloth will remove both dirt brought to the surface and surplus fluid. Check your wheel rims or disc brake rotors for errant spray.
There’ll be some who will consider the application tube too short. I’m not amongst them, although hitting the exact spot on a cassette is not easy – or really necessary. At least it is part of the nozzle and can’t disappear somewhere in the workshop.
Degreasing, Penetrating, and Cleaning 3.5/5
Look, you’d not expect this to melt away the grime of days on the dirt trail or accumulations of country lane dung and mud. It will have a good go, but you’ll need to add a big dose of elbow grease. In my view, real filth needs stronger potions, such as Crankalicious Limon Velo or Oxford Mint Degreaser.
In that context, expect it to do a good job on relatively light dirt. Add a wipe with a cloth to get rid of residue and dirt driven out when rotating the pedals, and you’ll have a presentable, functioning chain.
I’ve given a seized-up cleat adjustment a good squirt and managed to work it loose shortly after. Using it to disperse possible moisture around some old cotter pins – seemingly lodged solid since 1950 – has helped to get them dislodged (that and a good bash with a hammer). A squirt up the cable outer has aided free movement of the cable. Even a badly rusted work stand mechanism has loosened up after a good spray and soak – mind you, old favourites, like WD40, are just as good in those contexts.
Although it may not be as slick as delivered by some specific lubes, I have not noticed it on the commute. Gear changing has been more than adequate, in the same context.
In relatively dry conditions, the All in One managed around 190 miles of mixed surface commuting, including a good deal of dusty crushed lime. With much wetter weather – including torrential, prolonged downpours, deep puddles, and standing outside in the rain for a working day – I have got 160 miles before the death rattle has sounded.
Such mileage is not bad for this kind of all-rounder, especially when you know that you can just spray-and-go first thing in the morning. Moreover, it has protected the drive train well, with no discolouration following day-long outdoor parking in the rain and two days of neglect in the shed.
The propellant evaporates to leave a protective film. On a diet of gravel and road, this has remained very clean indeed. Running my hand along it after 120 miles left nothing but a few slivers of detritus – almost totally without grease or gunge. OK, the heavy rain may have helped, but as a commuter, I was really impressed by this in the context of wearing needing to keep smart clothes presentable.
Boeshield T-9 goes further as a lube, but is around twice the price. Moreover, differences in effectiveness as a cleaner and protectant are not great – in my opinion. T-9 does come in both spray and liquid options – the latter being more appropriate in some contexts; cables, cleats, dripping onto a chain, etc.
Juice Lubes JL69 Maintenance Spray is cheaper and performs very well in the workshop, but is, in our experience, is a touch light for an impromptu chain lube.
Meanwhile, thee are store brands claiming similar levels of performance, at considerably lower cost.
As mentioned above, being a jack-of-all-trades can make things tricky when it comes to extremes. I’d expect the hefty degreasers to act more vigorously; a strong wet lube to be more durable over the autumn months.
The All in One is a real all-rounder – it performs almost equally well across all its functions. I like the get-up-and-go potential for either a commute or a day ride. Just wipe and spray on your next dose and you are away. General sprays like this are handy on multi-day road and gravel tours, too. In other words, there’s a lot to say for it in terms of convenience – and cleanliness.