Should lubricant biodegrade ?

Should bike oil biodegrade? Agreed that biodegradability is good, but also the longer the lube stays doing its job without degrading, the better, right?

These are great questions. Clearly it is important for a chain lube to perform well and be long lasting so why would you want it to biodegrade? The following provides a quick look at how biodegradation works and reasons why choosing biodegradable chain lube might be a better for your bike, for you, and for the planet.

Biodegradation of the oil will not occur in the bottle or during use. Biodegradability is defined as the ability of a substance to be digested or consumed by naturally occurring microorganisms present in water, air and soil systems. The conditions a bike oil experiences during use do not provide the conditions needed to biodegrade. Pedro’s Biodegradable oils are engineered to match or exceed the performance of full synthetic and petroleum-based oils. If all we wanted to do were to offer biodegradable products we’d use vegetable oil from the grocery store. Our lubricants contain bio-based additives to provide high efficiency and excellent oxidization and wear protection. Bicycles are used outside and are often come in contact with the environment in general and specifically water, dirt, and plant life. Bicycle chains require frequent lubrication and cleaning. Due to the open nature of a bicycle drivetrain it is easily contaminated by dirt, mud, sand, water, etc when riding. Biodegradable oil will have little to no ill effect on the environment when the bike is washed.

Consumer products have to be transported from the manufacturer to the user. In an ideal world this wouldn’t be the case but it is the current reality. Accidents are bound to happen during transit. Though our consumer products arrive to the customer is small volumes, the other pieces of the puzzle see much larger volumes being transported. As has been shown many times by oil spills, this can have drastic effects on the environment. Biodegradable oils will cause far less harm if spilled during transit and would readily biodegrade if it entered soil, water, or similar environments.

October 07, 2014 — Lars Hellsten
Tags: Lubrication