A clean conscience
Guest blog: Greener bike maintenance
Duncan Palmer from madegood.org gives his opinion on some greener bike maintenance products.
As we all know cycling is an ethically sound pursuit. No pollution, less congestion and improved fitness are just some of its benefits. Of course, it isn't a one way street and you have to give a little love back to your beloved bicycle every now and then. If you don’t the consequences can be expensive.
I learnt the hard way. A winter of not cleaning my bike properly in 2011/2012 bit back at me and when I took my tourer to be serviced the bill shocked me. I had been lazy and the road crud of London and beyond had taken its toll. I vowed never to let it happen again, so I looked into getting a good cleaning kit.
My search for a solution to wear and tear threw up a problem: chemicals. I wanted to be able to keep my bike in good nick without impacting on the environment, and a lot of the main brands were unable to help me out in that respect.
Luckily, there are people out there who obviously share my ideals. So, fellow ethical consumers, here are a few cleaning products that are eco-friendly and effective:
Founded by Simon Nash, Green Oil only make green products. When he realised there was no alternative to petrochemical products to lube his chain that he felt were good enough he set up the company. They now offer more than just lube. Green Oil also makes bike cleaner and degreaser, all coming in recycled plastic bottles. You can also buy kits with brushes to make sure all your bases are covered.
Environmentally friendly product manufacturers Pedalite make a degreaser called Clean Chain. It is concentrated, so you simply add some of it to a litre bottle and top it up with water. Then bung it on your chain, ride around a bit and wipe off. Like Green Oil, it is not based on petrochemicals and also contains no palm oil.
Muc-Off is a big brand. They offer a multitude of products to keep your bike running smoothly. They are also keen to point out that they have green credentials. Their cleaning and maintenance goodies are biodegradable, containing no harmful acids, CFC’s or solvents.
The chaps and chapettes at PURE are clearly proud of their UK made lubes and cleaners. They claim to be biodegradable and environmentally friendly and their range is pretty comprehensive – degreaser, bike grease, oil, bike protector, bike wash, dry lube and wet lube…
So as you can see there really is no excuse for using nasty toxic bike cleaning products. What we have in this blog is only a few of the green cleaning gear out there. There are many more products vying for consumers’ attention. I personally use Muc-Off, but after reading about some of the others on offer I am considering moving over to Green Oil or PURE. Will you join me?
Disclaimer: Ethical Consumer has not rated or ranked the products mentioned and so this blog does not offer an Ethical Consumer best buy endosement.
Read more about cycling in our product report to bikes. This includes our unique quide to DIY bike projects.