CRANKALICIOUS PINEAPPLE EXPRESS RAPID BIKE CLEANER

 Concentrate 1 litre £20.00

The Crankalicious Pineapple Express Rapid Acting Bike Cleaner 1 litre Concentrate is the cheapest way, of buying their rather effective Pineapple Express bike wash. Concentrates also permit easy brewing of different strengths. From faster acting bike washes, through to a suitably potent degreaser- perfect for grotty drivetrains. 

Pros: Versatile and good value for home workshops

 

Cons: Less caustic than many I’ve tested but use and store carefully. 5 litre workshop option would be welcomed.

Ingredients

Don’t let the rich yellow colourant and authentic citrus odour fool you. This is brewed in a chemist’s lab, from “a proprietary blend of non-ionic surfactants”. The grime and gunk gobbling components, in other words. 

Take a swig and you’ll be heading to A&E, or worse. Crankalicious pride themselves on a philosophy of making products that perform to a standard, not a price. Therefore, everything is blended in house, from raw chemical components, rather than bought in, pre-made. 

Mixing

To make the stock Pineapple Express, pour 250ml in a 1 litre bottle and dilute with rain/tapwater. I’ve tended to stir and then (with the top/trigger spray screwed tight!) given the bottle a vigorous, twenty-second shake.

Technique

In the stock form…Douse bikes top to bottom, from 30cm away and leave for 2-3minutes. In winter, when the gritters have been busy, give bikes a quick cold-water rinse, first.

More ingrained grime and oily spatter (such as spent chain lubes, or diesel thrown up along the roads) benefits from being agitated with a suitable brush, halfway through. After three minutes, rinse off with a low-pressure hose/bucket and sponge/watering can. Reduce to 90 seconds, with the more intense versions described.

Performance

 

In its stock form, Pineapple Express bike spray is pretty much on par with M16 Podium Stage . More effective than Fenwicks Fs10 and some other, respected competitors. Visually, the suds are very subtle. While big, sudsy bubbles look potent, products that cling to surfaces, are dissolving contaminant more effectively.

Light to middleweight, organic and oily grime literally disintegrates, slithering from surfaces when graced by the hose/car sponge etc. The same goes for gritty, ingrained stuff clinging to chains and cassettes but in this strength, doesn’t banish welcome lube.

Its worth mentioning that I regularly wax my bikes, nourishing painted, plated and polished finishes, while keeping them easier to clean. That said, while slower than SKS Wash Your Bike , results weren’t worlds apart on other people’s machines. Light, filmy, spring typical grime was banished first time and bikes, gleaming in around twenty minutes.

Extending standing times, by a minute, or so hasn’t resulted in dulling, or unsightly streaking, either. Engaging the brakes, I wasn’t surprised by some minor brake squeal, especially with discs. It seems common to this breed of cleaner and soon passes.

A diet of waterlogged roads, dirt, silt, dung and other contaminant proved perfect testing ground for the more intense “custom” versions. Increasing the concentrate ratio to 300ml, seemed optimal for tackling this level of grime. 

Within 90 seconds, the deeply ingrained dirt, literally fragmented and slithered away into a grimy puddle beneath. As before, this won’t dismiss welcome lubes, just contaminated particles.

Jaded bar wrap, and other, dimpled textures benefitted from, quick medium-stiff brush once-overs. This came into its own when I was tackling my Univega and ‘cross builds’ fast accumulated and very stubborn soiling.

 

Again, used regularly, there has been no adverse effect upon finishes, surfaces, or seals. Nonetheless, this more potent preparation requires a similar disciplined approach. Rinse promptly and thoroughly.

Stick to something gentler when treating polymer or silicone bar wraps, dry leather coverings, such as Bobbin Leather  and treat them to a lick of leather specific preserve, to nourish and protect.

         

Degreaser

For serious component/transmission exorcisms, pour a little into a tub (or cut down water bottle) and baste on with a clean paint-brush (Pound shop specials are perfect for these duties). 

Leave the full three minutes, agitating midway-as before. Then rinse with tepid water. This technique also works for cassettes and chains; although it can also be deployed via clip on solvent bath. 

 

Either way, its proven very effective. Most ceramic/wet chain lubes, including SKS Lube Your Chain, Nasty Lube Siberian chain lube  and Finish line Ceramic wet (review to follow) have been dismissed, given a full three minutes and briefly agitated with a transmission brush. Worked into a lather, left 3 minutes, or so and flushed through with tepid water, cassettes, rings, derailleurs were all licked clean, Piranha fashion. 

Given their consistency, greases required warmer water and more enthused/sustained scrubbing. Stiffer ceramics demanded repeat applications and typically, two warm water rinses. Less effective than Green Oil Agent Apple Extreme  . Immersion in that respect, though kinder to finishes and broadly on par with my favourite; Fenwicks FS1   

 

Summary

As a concentrate, Pineapple Express will make 4 litres of their Pineapple Express bike wash and represents good value. Though I’m not convinced its twice as good as Fenwicks FS1, which has been my go-to potion for a few years.

The same is broadly true, when used neat, as a degreaser. Chemical composition is harsher on the skin than Fenwicks FS1 (Which also comes in a 5-litre workshop version) but a lot nicer than some bargain basement, auction site specials.

Verdict: 3.5/5 Good quality, versatile concentrate bikewash/degreaser.

Michael Stenning

 https://www.crankalicious.com/products/pineapple-express?variant=19448805383

PUBLISHED JUNE 2018

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