When environmental awareness meets performance: 5 new products for cleaning and lubricating your bicycle at best, with plant-issued ingredients
At Effetto Mariposa we create products to keep our bicycles in top conditions to tackle any road. Living so close to the Alps, every day we marvel at what nature has to offer, and reducing our footprint becomes the obvious choice. Joining bicycle maintenance with environmental awareness, in 2020 we developed Végétalex – the first plant-based tyre sealant – and in the process we discovered there was so much more we could do, using plant-issued ingredients in bicycle cleaning products.
After extensive field testing, we’re now introducing a complete line of cleaning and lubricating products:
- Flowerpower Wax (a chain lubricant with sunflower seed wax)
- Allpine Extra (a degreaser with pine oil)
- Mangiacatena (a chain cleaning device)
- Cog Brush (you guessed that one)
- Allpine Light (a biodegradable bicycle cleaner)
Let’s have a closer look at each.
Flowerpower Wax - chain lubricant
Wax-based lubricants are an efficient and clean way to lubricate bicycle chains. With its sunflower seed wax content, Flowerpower Wax uses natural ingredients for record-breaking performance and reliability, all this avoiding fluorinated compounds, graphene and sulphides.
Here’s why using wax lubricants for bicycle chains is becoming more and more popular: the chain treated with these products does not dirty, runs silently for a long time and absorbs less power, all this while increasing the number of kilometers traveled before a chain has to be replaced.
Flowerpower Wax is a water emulsion of natural waxy compounds, with the right viscosity to penetrate inside the chain links, where lubrication is most important. Once the water has evaporated, a thick layer of wax remains firmly anchored to the metal, creating a real anti- friction pad. The chain will not be dry to the touch - given the layer of wax that also protects the outside - but it will not be greasy or sticky and won’t retain dirt.
Flowerpower Wax has a high percentage of wax. While many competing products are around 30%, Flowerpower Wax exceeds 50%* of wax-to-water ratio. The result is the formation of a thicker anti-abrasion layer for the same quantity of emulsion applied, with great benefits in terms of durability and efficiency.
* percentage by weight (dry residue after evaporation of water)
Another exclusive feature is its content of sunflower wax. The wax obtained from sunflower seeds has really interesting characteristics for cycling use. It adheres strongly to metal and is water-resistant, prolonging the effectiveness of lubrication even in the event of rain or involuntary washing (creek crossing etc.). It also has excellent mechanical properties, necessary to withstand the continuous stresses of pedaling.
Thanks to its formulation, Flowerpower Wax is ideal in any season, riding both on and off- road.
We have decided to avoid adding further additives (such as PTFE and fluorinated compounds in general, graphene, sulphides, etc.) to keep Flowerpower Wax totally harmless to the health and the environment, also because the current formula - among other things, vegan - has satisfied the most demanding testers and racers in the long development phase. Together with sunflower seed wax, other waxes of natural origin complete the lubricating mix. The emulsion is water-based without the addition of alcohol.
A single application of Flowerpower Wax allows you to travel around 300 km on an asphalted road, in the absence of heavy rain. Off-road use may require more frequent chain lubrication. Considering that a complete lubrication of the chain requires about 4 ml of product, a 100 ml bottle allows 25 lubrications, for an approximate total of 7,500 km traveled.
Store and apply the product at a temperature between 5 and 35 ° C (41 - 95 ° F). Once applied to the chain, the temperature limits of use are those at which you decide to ride.
Allpine Extra - chain degreaser
With its pine oil content, Allpine Extra is a powerful yet biodegradable degreaser: after rinsing with water, it will leave your chain perfectly clean. Ideal to prepare the chain for wax-based lubricants, which can adhere to clean metal, without the oily trace left by some common solvents. Great for cleaning brake discs.
In the development of Allpine Extra, besides effectiveness, we prioritized low ecological impact. The addition of pine oil, a solvent of natural origin, has proved invaluable for these purposes and Allpine Extra is rapidly biodegradable. While it doesn’t require special disposal precautions, maybe your lubricant does: if in doubt, refer to the legislation in force. Allpine Extra is harmless to chrome, painted parts and carbon: we still recommend an abundant rinse with water after use on the different surfaces.
A deep chain cleaning is possible with Allpine Extra, either by immersion – removing the chain and immersing it in Allpine Extra – or leaving the chain on the bike and using a brush or a chain cleaner (Mangiacatena recommended). Let Allpine Extra act a few minutes to dissolve all the lubricants. Rinse the chain with water to completely flush Allpine Extra, bringing every oily trace with it. This is made possible by Allpine Extra formulation, which includes surfactants (i.e. soaps) of vegetable origin. Your chain will thus be perfectly clean: dry it thoroughly and lubricate it (we recommend Flowerpower Wax).
Allpine Extra can be applied to brake discs to degrease them: apply to the disc surface with a cloth soaked in the product, leave to act for a few minutes, wash off with water. Dry the disc with a clean rag.
Mangiacatena - chain cleaner
If you want to clean the chain in a thorough way and reduce the amount of degreasing liquid used, Mangiacatena is the one for you. It’s the first chain cleaner equipped with lamellar elements at both ends, so that the chain can be cleaned by moving it in both directions, very useful also for e-bikes. Equipped with six rotating brushes and a sturdy handle.
There is nothing wrong with cleaning the chain with the classic brush and solvent liquid in a tin. In that way, however, a lot of solvent is wasted without getting to a deep cleaning, unless you want to disassemble the chain and immerse it in the solvent. To avoid disassembly and clean in depth, we have developed Mangiacatena: the best cleaning with the least amount of solvent, in a short time, leaving the chain on the bike.
The chain runs straight inside Mangiacatena, squeezed at both ends between lamellar plastic (PE) elements with the task of keeping as much solvent inside as possible. The washing is performed by six rotating brushes, continuously soaked in the cleaning liquid, which actively remove dirt on each side, pushing the solvent inside the chain.
Thanks to the lamellar elements at both ends, Mangiacatena allows - without wasting solvent - to pedal in both directions. To do this, we recommend keeping the rear wheel of the bicycle off the ground (using a workshop stand or other support).
It’s easy to operate, you can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/nPuW-tYSd2o
Although nothing lasts forever, we have selected Mangiacatena materials and construction for a long life. We also provide a complete set of replacement brushes, Mangiacatena Replacement Kit, to replace what you wear without having to throw everything away. We have chosen to use lamellar PE elements for their greater durability and resistance compared to the more common sponges.
As the chain runs straight inside Mangiacatena, instead of following a tortuous path, it is also suitable for single-speed transmissions (for a chain with a maximum width of 9 mm). No problem for traditional 5 to 13 speed chains.
Cog Brush – brush for chain and cogs
This brush, equipped with sturdy nylon bristles, is designed for cleaning chain, chainrings and cogs, removing dirt even inside the cassette.
Cog Brush is specifically designed to remove mud and dirt from chain and sprockets. It’s equipped with two different sets of bristles: the lateral one, more extended and with short and dense bristles, is ideal for chain, chainrings and cogs; the one on the tip, small but with longer and harder bristles, reaches the dirt inside the cassette, in the spaces between the sprockets.
The curved and thin handle can be slipped between the cogs and act against the mud deposited in the cassette (up to 10 speeds), thanks to the teeth in the lower part.
Cog Brush is made of nylon, shockproof and resistant to solvents.
Allpine Light - biodegradable bicycle cleaner
With its intense pine scent, Allpine Light is a biodegradable cleaner that will leave your bike clean and shiny. Its formula is very effective against dirt and does not require rinsing, making it ideal also for e-bikes.
Allpine Light is harmless to the environment but very effective against dirt. After using it, you can get on a clean bicycle with a nice pine scent: a good way to start an epic ride.
It’s ideal for e-bikes, as there’s no need to rinse. When you are in a hurry and a quick cleaning is sufficient, or you want to limit the use of water close to electrical contacts, Allpine Light and a rag are enough to clean the bike, without the need to rinse with water. Allpine Light does not remove the lubricant from the chain, so it is not necessary to re-lubricate it after such a cleaning.
On the other hand, if the bike is very dirty and / or muddy, Allpine Light can perform a serious cleaning: generously spray Allpine Light all over the bike and wait a few minutes to let the product act. Then, rinse with plenty of water. A sponge or brush are recommended for an optimal result. Dry with a clean cloth. If needed, use more Allpine Light - without rinsing - to remove any streaks or traces of dirt. Lubricate the bicycle (chain, suspension, moving parts) after such a thorough cleaning.
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