Is Your Grease Better Than Mine?

by Chikashi

marine greaseThe new Speedplay pedals found under the Christmas tree want to be fed waterproof grease. So does my Chris King headset. However, I had never taken notice of ‘waterproof’ in relation to grease until recently. Actually, I thought there was just Campagnolo grease and all other grease.

I still have an untouched 1kg pot of Michelin pink grease that I had picked up for a few cents at a bike shop that shut when the proprietor died and the children, one of whom is married to an acquaintance, had no interest in taking over. 1kg of grease should last a few lifetimes, but the label does not say that it is waterproof. As I actually read the label for the first time, I realised that it was made for Michelin by Zéfal. Every Zéfal product that I ever tried was crap, so those five letters didn’t exactly inspire confidence. Therefore, I started reading up on grease and waterproof grease in particular.

Speedplay offer their own branded waterproof grease at a suitably premium price. Within the cycling world, many people seem to get all gooey about Phil Wood’s waterproof grease, also at a suitably premium price; apparently, it smells nice too. We’re not talking about retail prices that will make your bank manager winge, so I was tempted to get a tube of Phil Wood goop (unrelated to Gwyneth Paltrow or her steamed gash). However, branded grease from bicycle component makers begs questions, particularly with respect to whether they are better at all compared to those targeted at automobile and marine markets, at a fraction of the price, particularly when the conditions endured by bicycle components are nowhere as harsh and stressful as those in other applications such as boats. Many people seem to think that the most sensible choice for waterproof grease is marine grease, which sounds a bit too obvious once someone says it…

So, I got a 500g tin of Granville marine grease and a syringe from the pharmacy. The Granville stuff is certainly not for aromatherapy, but it does look and feel the business. And 500g should be more than plenty.

If anyone has greasy stories, I’m all ears.