CRANKALICIOUS LIMON VELO DEGREASER
500ml £12 (Also 100ml £4)
The Crankalicious Limon Velo Degreaser is a powerful water-based drivetrain cleaner. It claims to remove “grease, gunk and grime.” In my experience it does so with the rapidity of Usain Bolt at his best. With this in mind, we’d minimise exposure to painted, lacquered and anodized finishes. Oh, and skin too.
Needless to say, Crankalicious are not going to part with too many secrets, but their Limon Velo is strong stuff. The faint-hearted might baulk at the danger symbols and dire warnings; this is one to make care with. Gloves, mask and eye-protection are recommended; and keep that cuppa covered during application. Likewise, the manufacturer’s advice careful disposal, keeping away from food, drink, animals, water. I had no irritation from contact with skin, but if the destruction wreaked on a gunk-engrimed MTB cassette is anything to go by, Crankalicious ain’t kidding!
Donning surgical uniform - or at least seeking out a sheltered, private spot - pump a decent dosage of the fine spray over cassette and derailleurs. For best results and in the interests of pretty paint and rubberised parts we reckon a bit of forethought and preparation pays off. Starting with the chain, clip on your solvent bath, blast some Limon Velo into the reservoir and whizz the chain backwards.
Depending on how liberal you’ve been, leave to marinate a couple of minutes, then flush through with clean water. Next whip out the rear wheel, give the cassette a quick blast or two, angling the wheel cassette side down, so the mix drains away from the hub, seals etc. While that’s gobbling grit ’n’ grime baste some into those derailleur cages with a slender brush.
At this stage, Michael goes one stage further, and tackles the rest of the bike with Crankalicious Mud Honey Foaming Bucket Wash. Can see his logic. If your drivetrain’s looking decidedly grotty, chances are the frameset and finishing kit could do with a good wash too. Don’t dawdle mind, lubes and their embedded contaminant has literally disintegrated before the eyes! Some really stocky wet lubes might warrant a second helping but no such need to date.
Come rinsing time, everything, including any residual Limon Velo will be flushed away. For more localised areas, my watering can technique works just dandy but a bucket and jumbo sponge, or garden hose rinse-off is the most efficient method, if you’re of Michael’s mindset. Catching the dripping remains of grunge in a sump tray or washing the remnants into the gravel of my favourite bike-cleaning spot has finished the job.
Deliberately taking the grubbiest cassette and derailleur in the stable - plenty of choice - Crankalicious Limon Velo frankly destroyed the caked on mixture of lube, mud and associated country delicacies. Love to ride, but hate to clean? This potion is powerful medicine for your cleaning pain. Nothing has required a second going-over and a simple rinse brings back the long-buried cogs.
The pump action spray which avoids use of propellants - handy for economical use - delivers a fine, penetrative spray into the targeted area. Easy enough out of the breeze, some may want to cover precious paint-work, though I have not noticed negative effects after wiping residue away.
Initial impact has seen grunge begin to drip away. Working in with the brush end of a drive-chain cleaner reduces thicker encrustations to slurry, easily rinsed away.
Careful application to the chain made even shorter work of forest trail detritus.
You’ll find cheaper degreasers, but for powerful, rapid removal of ingrained muck this is the nuclear option. Careful use means a little goes a long way, too. Power needs to be exercised responsibly, so a milder response to dirt may be preferable for general de-gunking and for frequent, disciplined fettlers. Even so, Limon Velo is powerful medicine for ailing drive chains, deserves respect.