Lithium bicycle grease review

OK, I've been sent some bike maintenance products to review, one of them being a grease. How do you review a grease?? It's grease!

Anyway, here goes....

Here in the UK us mountain bikers face some horrid conditions. The weather isn't extreme; we don't really have cold, and we don't have hot either. What we have is a kind of near constant wettness that just erodes bike bits. Even on nice days the trails will always feature mud, and it is very rare that we have dry days and dry trails. So we have a gritty, sandy, mudy wetness that works its' way into bearings and grinds them away or turns everything to rust. So to a degree we are obsessed with oils, greases and cleaning products.

Greases perhaps not to the same degree as, say, chain lubes but we want something that works and will last for more than a few months. Much of what we have to do can be limited in fitting good quality components to begin with. For instance I run Hope hubs and bottom brackets. They are seemingly sealed for life and I've never had to bother with them. So my experience of using grease really is limited to seatposts and headsets. For some reason whilst I'll stump up for Hope in most places, the headset I'll use cheapo crap that needs maintaining.

So, grease. I want it to lube, to stay there and not be washed away. I don't want to suddenly find that my handlebars do not rotate smoothly thanks to the stuff having just given up.

First to fail is the eco range of Pure Bike grease that I bought from Halfords. Just fancied trying the eco stuff. Now their cleaners I like, and will comment on later in the year, but this stuff? Nah. It's thin and does lubricate initially but it gives up too quickly, breaking down into the sponge carrier and lubricating oil that just dribbles away. Even in the tub the bottom is full of runny oil that has leached out. Gave up on it pretty quickly, mentioning this to the chatty bloke in Halfords. He was of the same opinion. I used it once, didn't like it, and it's happily rotting down in my shed now.

The second and third greases are both lithium based; one from Weldtite the other from Nimrod. Both are white, both are sticky, and both are lovely. There's something satisfying about using the lithium based products. You get a lovely smooth action to bearings, and feel as though the job was well done. They also last a good few months, certainly in the upper headset or on the seatpost.

So, conclusion; if you are in a bike shop and have to chose between an eco grease or lithium, then go for lithium. The notion of eco is all fine and good, but really how much of an effect does a bit of bike grease have on the environment? Go for the lithium.

Today Muddy Ground has been reviewing grease. The one I was testing? TF2. Ironically the TF2 is from the same distributors as the eco stuff. One good, one bad. Go figure.