Swiss brand Effetto Mariposa has launched a new line of environmentally-friendly cleaning and lubricating products in a bid to further sustainability in cycling.
The range consists of a bicycle cleaner, a degreaser and a chain lube all made using plant-issued ingredients as well as a chain cleaning device and cog brush.
This new line-up furthers Effetto Mariposa’s exploration of how to best reduce its impact on the environment while still, vitally, creating products that work.
The brand switched to eliminating any unnecessary packaging as far back as 2014 and in more recent times developed Végétalex – the first plant-based tubeless tyre sealant. It was this process that directly informed, and encouraged, Effetto Mariposa to explore using plant-based ingredients in other areas, most notably in bike cleaning products that have traditionally been harmful to the planet. And so the new range was born.
Allpine Light is a biodegradable product you can use to clean your bike; Effetto Mariposa says this product doesn’t require rinsing, making it e-bike friendly. It’s also designed to not remove lubricant from the chain. However, the brand says that if your bike is particularly dirty you can spray, rinse with water, let dry and then apply Allpine Light again to remove any streaks or remaining dirt.
Described as having an ‘intense pine scent’, no doubt inspired by Effetto Mariposa’s close proximity to the Swiss Alps, Alpine Light is available in 1 litre bottles that come with a trigger vaporizer for £14 as well as 1 litre refill bottles priced at £11.
The chain degreaser, called Allpine Extra, continues both the evergreen and the environmental theme. In pursuit of a degreaser that would prove effective against drive chain gunk while having a reduced ecological impact, Effetto Mariposa turned to pine oil.
A natural solvent, it says it's “harmless to chrome, painted parts and carbon” while also being biodegradable. Combined with vegetable-origin soaps and you have, according to Effetto Mariposa, a product that will leave your chain “perfectly clean”; with the continued rise of chain wax as a preferred lubricant it claims Allpine Extra is the ideal preparation before the wax is applied.
Interestingly, Effetto Mariposa also extol Allpine Extra’s effectiveness as a disc brake rotor cleaner. Traditional products for this intended purpose often come in aerosol form so Allpine Extra should prove attractive to those looking to ‘cut out the can’ from their bike cleaning ritual.
A clean chain needs fresh lubricant. With this in mind Effetto Mariposa has created Flowerpower Wax. While the name conjures up something Haight-Ashbury hippies might have enjoyed during the Summer of Love, it’s actually a chain lube made with natural ingredients including sunflower seed wax.
Lubes are notorious for containing lots of harmful fluorinated compounds, commonly referred to as PFAS, as well as graphene and sulphides. Flowerpower Wax avoids these, using a blend of natural waxy compounds instead.
Like all wax lubes, it’s designed with improved efficiency in mind. They collect less dirt, which in turns makes your drive chain quieter while also possibly saving a watt of two. Flowerpower Wax, Effetto Mariposa says, contains a higher wax-to-water ratio than many other competing products; over 50% compared to its rivals 30%. What this means in real terms is greater viscosity, which in turn helps to form a thicker anti-abrasion layer. The result, the brand says, is a better performing, more durable lube; a single application should be good for 300km of road riding according to Effetto Mariposa.
But why sunflower wax? Apparently, it's been favoured here for its adherence to metal alongside its water-resistant properties. Which sounds like a pretty decent combination for any chain lube.
This vegan chain wax is offered in 100ml bottles and costs £16.
To complete the line Effetto Mariposa have designed a chain cleaning tool and a brush. Named Mangiacatena, which translates as ‘chain eater’, it’s the first chain cleaning device to feature lamellar elements at both ends, allowing the chain to be cleaned by moving it in both directions.
But how does a plastic chain cleaning tool fit in with the brand’s environmental goals? In short, the Mangiacatena is designed to reduce the amount of cleaning solvent used. Less waste, greater efficiency.
But Effetto Mariposa has also looked into the tool’s construction, opting for elements made from Polyethylene plastic, which are said to be more durable when compared to traditional sponges. They also offer a set of replacement brushes so there’s no need to replace the entire tool when they eventually wear out.
The Mangiacatena tool is priced at £30, while the replacement brush kit is £9.
Finally the brand’s new cog brush has been designed to clean your chain and cassette with greater efficiency. It can be a frustrating job so Effetto Mariposa have opted for a brush with two sets of bristles: one features extended but short, dense bristles, while the other has longer but harder bristles designed to reach the dirt that's worked its way in between the individual sprockets.
The Cog Brush costs £9.
For more infromation visit effettomariposa.eu (opens in new tab)
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Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for over twenty years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.