- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 14 October 2012
GT85 is promoted as both a cleaner and lubricant for a number of different applications, including bikes. When Nick Jones from Perth got his hands on some GT85, he found that it suited his cycling requirements to a tee. He couldn’t find a Aussie distributor, so set up business importing the wonder stuff. A cleaner and lubricant? It’s a big claim; let’s find out if it really does both jobs.
GT85 is based on PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), or what we’d normally know as teflon. Teflon has a number of attractive properties: it displaces water, is non-corrosive, non-stick and can be used as a lubricant. While teflon lubes are not new in the world of cycling, when it comes to cleaners you are more likely to find them to be citrus or silicon based. To put this product to the test, rather than using it myself I wanted to get the opinion of someone who not only knows their bikes, but also knows their oils and lubes; an experienced bike mechanic would be perfect. Having recently pulled bearings apart in the Boca Bearing review, Aaron Dunford of Fusion Peak bike fitting was the person I had in mind for the job.
GT85 – the bike cleaner
Being the bike tech that he is, Aaron got straight into the technology of GT85, looking at the chemical makeup and properties: “The GT85 has Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in it and this particular fluoropolymer has a very high molecular weight composed of whole fluorine and carbon molecules, low coefficient of friction and it is hydrophobic, meaning water based liquids can not break it down. So on your bike it works very well for cleaning the dirt and grime on the frame, it cleans rubber, plastic and is perfect for spraying on after a bath, while the bike is still wet.”
As a cleaner, the spray it works in two ways. Firstly, it easily displaces dirt and grim; spray and wipe and you are nice and clean. The second effect is that after a coating of this teflon spray, the bike is better protected against muck and is easier to clean the next time around. Aaron comments, “I have been using GT85 as a cleaner in combination with an air compressor for my race bike and it’s immaculate.”
GT85 – the lubricant
In theory PTFE protects and lubricates moving parts. In practice, GT85 is not a “every-purpose” bicycle spray. Aaron explains, “as a lubricant for the chain it’s too thin and applying it can be messy, especially close to the [mountain bike] brake rotor. I like a nice drip bottle so I can squeeze the oil between the plates.”
As a general lube it works well, keeping derailleurs and exposed brake and gear cables in good working order. As a combined cleaner where moving parts on the bike get a light spray it is convenient, though a more suitable lube should be used for the chain. The spray bottle comes with a hose for the nozzle that can be directed, though care should be taken to avoid brake pads and rims (or disc rotors). When trying to use a slow controlled release, nozzle leakage was a problem, which speaks more for having a drip bottle for cycling applications.
Health and Safety
In reviewing the 400ml aerosol spray, Aaron voiced concerns about the health and safety of his lungs, though in the documentation on the company website, GT85 wasn’t noted as a health risk. Gloves and eye protection is, however, recommended, though we consider it unrealistic that people will actually follow this recommendation.
It is worth noting that there is a one litre pump pack that we feel is a more attractive proposition though this currently isn’t available in Australia.
Should I or shouldn’t I?
This is a good cleaner and handy for light lubrication, though you will need an extra chain lube. The good news is that it is not a bike specific product and so has a broad application as a cleaner and light lubricant on machinery. As a Teflon based lubricant, it will also do a better job that WD-40.
The GT85 is new in Australia and available from bike shops for RRP $19, if your local bike shop doesn’t stock it then you can contact GT85 in Australia via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or online: www.gt85.com.au