SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
JUICE LUBES DIRT JUICE SUPER CONCENTRATE BIKE CLEANER
(1 litre) £11.99
The Juice Lubes Super Concentrated Bike Wash is basically a stock degreaser that can be used as a neat degreaser, diluted to custom strengths and 9.1 to produce their stock dirt juice bike wash. I’ve used in several strengths, these past few weeks and found it a very versatile and cost-effective concentrate, for general workshop use.
Pros: Versatile, effective, yet kind to all surfaces and good value.
Cons: Slower acting than some on stout petrochemical greases/lubes.
Juice were tight lipped when discussing ingredients. They would tell me it’s a PH neutral, biodegradable blend. No salts, acids or anything else that can take a bite out of finishes, and even scorch lawns. That said; there’s an element of “own risk” if you deviate from the script and brew to “to taste”.
OK, so with that last statement in mind. I have used ours neat,
as a degreaser on drivetrains, bearing surfaces, contact points, oily work stands, mothballed electroplate and indeed, impacted cocktails of road slime, spent chain lube, diesel etc. I’ve made another batch 8:2 for a more intense, “winter” bike wash. Not that the stock version is poor, just less efficient than I’d like, when it’s been bitterly cold, the bike’s filthy and I’d rather be thawing out indoors.
I’m the first to admit, I much prefer concentrates as they are more versatile and the most cost-effective way of buying degreaser and making bike-washes. By no means poor, I wasn’t wowed by Juice Lubes stock bike wash, but found 8:2 a much faster and more effective grime gobbler.
Having rinsed bikes with cold water, I delivered liberally over the entire bike and left it activating for 90 seconds, or so. Impacted mud, road grime and accumulated contaminant literally slithered away, once I’d introduced a warm, saturated jumbo car sponge.
Oily imprints, particularly those tainting sophisticated handlebar wraps, or rear wheels required a little moderate-stiff brush persuasion, given a minute, or so. However, these also shifted cleanly. Streaking, or similar post-rinse imperfections have been a moot point, thus far. Regardless of finish type, even if I’ve left it marinating a few minutes longer. This improved can really save time, if you are designated group mechanic, or have a fleet of bikes.
Used neat, it makes a very effective degreaser. Because it requires rinsing/flushing with water, its most obviously deployed while performing a deep cleaning. Rather than a quick drivetrain blitz.
However, this is also true of other concentrates and arguably, something like Crankalicious Gum Chained Remedy or their latest version of Dirt Juice Hero Degreaser are better options, for localised work.
All of these can be delivered via chain-bath, which levels the playing field somewhat. Their brushes also aid the grot agitating phase.
Given the wet, wintry conditions, I’ve tended to whip out the rear wheel, brushing it into the rings, cassette and derailleur jockey wheels, cages etc. Then giving bikes a sudsy blow-over, afterward (thus keeping to a single rinse).
Middleweight petrochemical blends and contaminant, including Weldtite TF2 Performance All Weather lubricant or Zefal Pro Wet needed 90 seconds marinating time. Agitating with a transmission brush, lifted the lion’s share of engrained dirt.
Left to stand for another 90 seconds, then rinsing with tepid water got things close to surgically clean. Heavy duty wet lubes, and their accumulated grot needed another couple of minutes and repeated agitation to achieve similar results. On par with some of my favourite concentrates.
It was also very effective on more basic frame preserves that had leached, during warmer weather, or those used to mothball electroplated sections on framesets, in long-term storage. In these instances, I’ve brushed liberally into the preserve and then left it a full five minutes before dripping a little more degreaser in a rag, giving it a final rub and rinsing with tepid water.
Poured into a rag, a little has made short work residual greases clinging to contact points and headset races. Bearings treated to stiff marine, or ceramic preps benefitted from being immersed for a few minutes. Then tickled with a stiff/transmission brush before being rinsed and reinstated.
£11.99 is a little steeper than some long-term favourites, such as Fenwicks FS1, though markedly cheaper than an iconic pink formula. Crankalicious Pineapple Express Rapid Bike Cleaner Concentrate works a little faster, but is nearly twice the Super Concentrate’s rrp. Green Oil Green Clean Bike Cleaner is that bit faster acting, and versatile. Clandestine kitchen fettlers might like to note you can clean hands and domestic surfaces to a very high standard afterward. The Citrus formula not only races through grime, it leaves a lovely scent too. That said, be more vigilant with standing times and rinsing, to avoid streaking/blotches.
The Juice Lubes Super Concentrated Bike Wash is another decent staple that can be blended to suit different workshop jobs. As a stock degreaser, it's comparable with, rather than superior to several we’ve tested.
Green Oil Green Clean had a definite edge, if you’re really looking to race through congealed, or heavily soiled drivetrains. However, the Juice Lubes Super Concentrated Bike wash is likely to be gentler, on seals/rubberised components, which balances things out.
Verdict: 3.75 Reasonably priced and generally effective cleaner/degreaser stock.
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2020
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH