Slow guy on the fast ride, USA 07.2022
Effetto Mariposa launched its FlowerPower Wax Chain Lube following the trend of environmentalism. It’s an important development: cycling requires a lot of harsh chemicals and decidedly un-eco-friendly products. So any move away from caustic chemicals into more environmentally friendly ones is a welcome development.
Of course, in order to truly slay the caustic chemical dragon, any eco-friendly option also has to perform equally good, if not better. The FlowerPower Wax takes existing technology and research into what makes a fast chain lube, and redevelops the formula with — you guessed it — wax derived from flowers. In this case, sunflowers specifically.
You can read a bit more about the details of the FlowerPower Wax Chain Lube here.
So does it indeed work as well, if not better, than other wax lubes out there? It’s hard to say without some in-depth lab testing, but there are indications that the FlowerPower Wax Lube is a promising development.
Star Rating: ★★★★ ☆
What I like: Eco-friendly is good!; seems to last as long as other wax lubes I’ve tried; keeps chain fairly clean; performed well in the rain
What I’d change: This eco-friendly product comes in a very not-eco-friendly (recycled) plastic bottle
My call: It’s hard to say whether this lube is ‘fast’ without an independent test, but it stacks up well against other wax lubes in terms of longevity and cleanliness. Since it’s made with plant-based materials, it’s a no-brainer.
Effetto Mariposa Flowerpower Wax chain lube: the formula
I wrote about Effetto Mariposa’s lineup of eco-friendly products here. You can learn more about what’s in the FlowerPower Wax lube, though the specific formula is proprietary and therefore not completely available to the public.
That said, the wax itself is derived from plant-based sources and Effetto Mariposa has done a lot of development to ensure its eco-friendly lineup of products biodegrade quickly and safely.
And we know what’s not in it. Effetto Mariposa says the FlowerPower Wax Lube does not use PTFE and other fluorinated compounds. No graphene, no sulfides, no other stuff that isn’t eco-friendly. The wax lube features over a 50% wax to water ratio. The water evaporates once the lube is applied; the water helps the wax seep into each link in your chain. Then it evaporates, leaving just the wax behind.
When you apply the lube to your chain, you’ll be greeted with, well, no surprises at all. It looks like any other wax lube, applies the same way, dries the same way…it is exactly the wax lube experience you’re used to. Apply to a clean chain, let it sit, wipe excess. For best results, let it dry overnight before riding.
Notably, the FlowerPower Wax Chain Lube comes in a plastic bottle. It’s made from recycled plastic, but it’s still plastic. That’s decidedly not eco-friendly. Like just about any other company trying to safely and efficiently ship liquids, plastic unfortunately rules the roost. This, to me, is the next big step bike companies need to take: smarter, biodegradeable packaging. That’s challenging, but not impossible, for lubes and other liquids.
Using the Flowerpower Wax lube
Before I applied the FlowerPower Wax Lube, I used my ultrasonic parts cleaner (with a healthy dose of Effetto Mariposa’s Allpine Extra parts cleaner) to ensure my chain was as clean as it could be. If you apply a wax lube to a dirty chain, you’ll be in for a filthy and inefficient surprise. It’s best to choose your lube when you install your chain and stick with it over time. If you cana’t, be sure to clean the chain thoroughly before applying FlowerPower Wax.
I let the lube dry overnight, then rode my Merlin Extralight for about 40 miles. By the end of the ride, it was clear there was still plenty of lube left. My chain looked slightly dirty, but no more so than it would have with any other wax lube.
My second ride was much shorter and I did not re-apply the FlowerPower Wax lube. About halfway through my 20-mile ride it started to rain. I waited until my bike dried off later that night to assess the drivetrain.
After 60 total miles, 10 of those miles in a rain storm, the lube was basically gone and there was a bit of sand and dirt accumulation. Again, no surprises here.
So the FlowerPower Wax seems to last just as long as other wax lubes I’ve used. And subjectively speaking, it seems to pick up about the same amount of dirt.
In between coats of lube, all you should have to do is wipe down your chain. The FlowerPower Wax Lube doesn’t appear to accumulate a lot of road grit, so it should suffice to take a rag to clean the chain between coats. Of course, after a lot of miles of riding, it’s probably best to give your chain a more thorough cleaning, as is the case with any chain and lube combo.
Is Flowerpower Wax lube fast?
According to Effetto Mariposa, its independent lab testing data should be available soon. And the company assures me the data is very, very good. Of course, we as consumers are left to either trust or dismiss a company’s lab testing data, since it’s in the company’s best interest to only present the flattering data.
But I’m inclined to believe Effetto Mariposa’s claims to an extent, as I would with most reputable brands. That said, the only way I could fully endorse this lube is the same way I could fully endorse any lube: With third-party, independent testing.
That’s costly and this little media-title-that-could doesn’t have the budget for it, at least not yet.
The final word
Fortunately for Effetto Mariposa, if you assume it works just as well as the leading wax lubes, or even perhaps not quite as well, it’s still a win. Eco-friendly products are the clear future for all bicycle products and this is a big leap in the right direction. I would love to see Effetto Mariposa invest in research to find alternatives to plastic packaging in order to truly be considered eco-friendly. Otherwise, I’ve been pleased with the FlowerPower Wax Lube and would recommend it for daily use, especially if you live in rainy locales.