Review: El Duke Degreaser Oct 26, 2009

Degreaser is like (bike, etc) lube; everyone has their favorite. There’s so many options out there and I usually use what’s kicking around the shop. No one wants to buy 4 different brands of degreaser and test them all. Naturally when Nick from El Duke Degreaser offered to send me a bottle, I figured sure, why not? I usually use Simple Green or something toxic to degrease my bottom-brackets and headsets. With everyone being green and sustainable, it’s easy to see why an all-natural degreaser would be a good product to develop.

The branding is really spot on. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and the wrapper gets nice and dirty, adding to the character of the label. As an initial run, I degreased a Super Record bottom bracket and was really impressed at how easily the bearing cages cleaned. I didn’t have to remove the bearings, or roll the cages around in concentrated solution, it literally just gunked off with some slight agitation. Since I didn’t have my camera that day, I had to find another part to degrease.

I pulled this Campy Contax headset off my old Merckx. The Contax models are one of the nicest-looking headsets ever made (only slightly biased). They’ve got a massive stack height and consequently, are too tall for some frames where the fork’s steerer has been cut to a lower-stack height. That was the case with this headset. It wouldn’t fit on my other bikes so I had to put it back in a bag and there it sat for a while.

I took it out and put a 3:1 mixture of water to El Duke Degreaser and began to agitate the water and call it names. As you can see, the grease gunks off and without any effort. I rubbed the bearing cages a bit and just like the bottom-bracket’s the grease was easily lifted.

Pretty clean. Look at the threads and the bearings. After 5 minutes, it cleaned up perfectly. All I did was wipe it down with a cloth to dry it off.

Now with a nice thin layer of lubricant on the headset, I can put it back in my parts bin. Or, if you wanna buy it, shoot me an email. It’s got a few tool marks from the previous owner, but it’s in great shape. Mention the review in your email subject.

Writing reviews takes time and I’m not getting paid to do so. Instead I’m staying up until 1am on a Sunday night typing this up. There’s a reason I’m doing this, I really dig that Nick has going on in Chicago with the El Duke brand. It’s simple, environmentally friendly and grass-root. This stuff is legit. Hell, it even got a big grease mark out of a shirt I own and cleaned my nasty hands after I built my Bruiser back up from Tokyo. The smell is pleasant too, unlike some of the toxic shit I’m used to using.

Since I keep this stuff under the sink, with other cleaning products (i.e. dog shampoo) I’m waiting to come home one day to my dog smelling like it at the hands of the unknowing girlfriend.

I think I found my product. From the looks of things, so did these shops. Thanks Nick!

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  • http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/ Andreas

    That’s cool, too bad its not available in the UK :( When I clean my bike I usually just use Muc-Off Degreaser which I think is also “eco-friendly” because its bio-degradable.

  • Jeff

    fyi simple green is both non-toxic and biodegradable.