Environmentally friendly bike maintenance - question from a 1980's cyclist to modern people

As a relatively new returnee to cycling whos’ not worked on a bike for about 40 years I’ve realised the world has changed, and cleaning chains with white spirit/petrol(!) or mystery caustic ‘degreasers’ is no longer a responsible thing to do (of course it wasn’t back then either)

So…what’s the modern way? And what are eco-friendly chain oils and general lubricants?

Looking for recommendations, and whether these can be part of our bike maintenance kit at the Space

Ive been using 3in1 and WD40. There is also a tub with lubricant I don’t remember name of.

I’m trying to avoid both of those…I’ll check the lubricant when I’m in

I’ve used this range in the past:

Although they do have some lubricating properties, WD-40 is more for getting water out of gear mechs etc once you’ve washed them (IIRC the ‘WD’ stands for water displacement) and 3-in-1 is a bit light and picks up dirt quickly. Both can be used in a pinch, but will wash off at the first sign of rain.


‘Muc off’ products tend to go for that market. Worth having a look at their range!

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There is an Ecover equivalent brand of plant based lubes and greases.

I forget the name, pretty sure I left a tub in the space so can check.

I find running the chain through a chain cleaner ( a lil plastic box gimick with some nylon wheels and foam inside ) then a re-oiling keeps things going and only do a deep clean once every few years…

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I use lukewarm water and detergent, and have been for years. Since covid I’ve been also using anti-bacterial wet wipes (from a plastic bucket dispenser) which are plentiful in my place of work but drying up and going to waste, so repurposed as chain cleaners and they work quite well. Not the eco-friendliest of solutions, granted, and the chain is far cleaner than it needs to be.

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