Review: Ernesto Bike Lube

Gear Pro Reviews

If you are the kind of person that likes to support the “small guy” than Ernesto Lube definitely qualifies. Ernesto is a one man shop, based out of his home in Wisconsin. I first learned about Ernesto Lube via an email from Ernesto, so I did a quick scan of the Mtbr discussion forums and decided to give it a try. Ernesto Lube has been around for five years now and it is part of a growing number of biodegradable lubes now available on the market.

I’ve been using Ernesto Lube for the past 4 months now on various bikes. It does go on a bit thick, so you’ll definitely want to use a rag to wipe off the excess. I had hoped to test the lube in the wet to see how it holds up, but with such a temperate winter here in Norcal, I never really got a chance to use it under serious rain or mud conditions. For the wet-ish rides I did go on, the lube held up fine. My chain worked squeak free with no noticeable build up.

One thing that people always say when they find out that the lube is made from soy-based vegetable oil is, “Why can’t I just go to the grocery store and use off-the-shelf vegetable oil?” As Ernesto explains, the problem with cooking oriented vegetable oil is that it doesn’t stick to the chain enough. Ernesto Lube contains a tacky additive that helps the oil stick to the chain instead of just fly off. The tackifier is not soy based, but it is also biodegradable as well.

I also asked Ernesto, “Besides being biodegradable and eco-friendly, what is the number one benefit of using a bio-lube?” Ernesto replies, “Skin and soil absorb liquids to a degree… who wants to be the shop mechanic who gets a synthetic in their skin, and then later in life pay for it health-wise?”

Overall, the lube worked great and I had no problems using it. If you are concerned about the environment (shouldn’t we all?) and are looking for a good lube, give Ernesto Lube a spin.

The features of the lube are:

* Made from renewable USA-grown crop-based vegetable oils
* Biodegradable – Friendly to the environment
* Non-staining formula
* Better adhesion-reduces amount of product required
* No need to apply excessive amounts unless you want an oily mess
* Out-performs conventional petroleum-based oils
* smells good…for good application
* Contains no toxic chlorine or sulfur or regulated chemicals
* Vegetable oil base reduces dermatitis
* Petroleum is dirty and harmful for the environment
* Easy clean-up (Soap & Water)
MSRP: $7.50 for a 4oz bottle

From the manufacturer:
“Ernesto Lube…is a readily & renewable biodegradable soy-based metal lubricating fluid made for your bike chain…and for you to not feel guilty about wwthe environment. It is in par with synthetic oils, yet, there’s a degree of friendliness to the environment. We’re in Wisconsin, and we like our fields green where the girls are pretty…”

“Yes, made in the Midwest, in the USA, out of select soy beans. That simple. You’re either a yuppie or a hippy. Don’t matter. The bicycle you ride is your choice, but the lube you use should be kosher with the times.”

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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