CRANKALICIOUS CRISP FRAME WAX
The Crankalicious Crisp Frame Hybrid Frame Wax is described as “a hybrid wax/sealant designed to enhance and protect the frame.” £12 for a 30ml tub, might see some jaws drop - mine included, and its not intended for matt finishes. That said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its alluring and protective barrier.
Crankalicious Crisp Frame Hybrid Frame Wax - to give it its full title.
So what’s this hybrid business, then? Well, it refers to a mix of synthetic and naturally occurring waxes, which are blended for lasting protection and easy application. It works to the same basic science as any other wax polish, locking in a glossy sheen, masking minor blemishes and locking the elements, including sweat and salt out.
Rain, mud and other grot doesn’t stick so readily and is easily dismissed when it does. UV repelling compounds help prevent colour fade and/or oxidisation.
You know the drill. Give the bike(s) a good wash first. This primes the surfaces and prevents any residual grit leaving swirls, or scratches behind. Dry thoroughly with a soft, lint free cloth.
Apply the crisp very sparingly to the bike, out of direct sunlight, avoiding braking surfaces and leave it to haze. Air temperature and moisture have an effect upon curing times but this typically ranged between 2 and 5 minutes during late summer.
Then buff using another, soft, clean rag. Further coats can be applied, for additional protection - chainstays, fork crown and bottom bracket areas being prime grot spots. However, a little goes surprisingly far, so resist temptation to slather it on.
From a beautifying perspective, results are on par with other boutique blends. The rich, glossy sheen is very apparent and it removes light dulling/oxidisation from polished and plated surfaces, such as fork ends, with modest effort. Titanium was good, rather than great, even after I’d used a dedicated cleaning formula first.
Unsealed powder coated and wet spray 2pac/enamel paintwork looked great, lacquer sealed counterparts, factory fresh. Provocatively applied to matt effects, it produced a slightly oily gloss but this fades, given a few weeks and several washes.
Longer term, real world
I’ve tested it across the fleet and have been pleasantly surprised by its staying prowess.
Tackling wet, dung strewn lanes for several damp weeks, it resisted mucky spatter pretty convincingly. I left this to accumulate on my fixed gear winter/trainer for a few weeks ...
By that point, I needed to drizzle some more lube into the chain, so took that opportunity to give the bike a good wash 'n’ rinse. Impacted, gritty mud dissolved with the first soapy sponge, although second helpings and a final rinse-over were needed.
Having rinsed and dried everything, I was pleased to discover the slippery layer remained in tact. Repeated exposure to changeable weather and weekly bucket washes had limited impact upon the waxy layer, although by the eighth week, it was time for a second, more generous application. Much the same story with my rough stuff tourer, which has been doing a fair bit of mixed terrain donkeywork during this period.
Its glossy cream and satin black powder coated finishes, though expertly applied and super durable aren’t lacquered. Consequently, non/organic spatter tends to stick and the frame collects oily finger prints with greater ease. These and its titanium seatpost have stayed cleaner longer, than when treated with more generic, car based waxes.
By contrast, machines such as my Holdsworth were still on the original coat, which bodes well for riders who put a machine, or two into seasonal storage/hibernation. Six bikes and two applications each, I was surprised to find a healthy amount of wax left in the tub.
There’s no getting away from the fact £12 is steep, especially for 30ml. I have used other boutique brands, which offer bigger tubs and comparable performance for proportionally less.
Playing Devil’s Advocate, and if price is your definition of value, then that tin of hard paste car wax on the garage shelf will do a decent enough job on metal, or painted/lacquered composite framesets/components.
I’d be inclined to go this route with bikes doing extended service or indoor trainers, giving them a quick furniture polish blow-overs in between. However, the crisp frame wax is much easier to apply, surprisingly durable and also makes a very nice Christmas present.