Motoverde Drivetrain Cleaner
1 Litre £12.00
The Motoverde Drivetrain Cleaner, is designed to all kinds of two wheeled vehicle drivetrains clean and happy. Motocross and ATV, through to MTB, road and e-bikes. It’s one of those potions that takes a little while to work its magic but cleans deeper and thus far, hasn’t done anything nasty to painted, plated, lacquered, polished, or rubberised components.
Pros: Very thorough clean, effective on stubborn lubes and greases, seemingly kind to delicate surfaces and components.
Cons: Slower acting than some.
Not quite Coca Cola secret perhaps but Moto Verde would only say it was a blend of two degreaser components and another material. None contain salts, or aggressive chemicals, thus reckoned the safest on the market, yet reckoned to be very good at stripping gunky oils and waxes. It’s also biodegradable but as with most chemicals, be mindful around pets, plants and don’t be swigging it.
Being a pump spray, you’re getting all product, rather than propellent, which may be less convenient in some contexts, but the pump spray caters for larger surface areas. Ours was the 1 litre version but you can buy workshop sizes and decant to suit.
There’s more than one way to exorcise a filthy transmission. I’ve tended to go the old school mechanics’ route, i.e., cleaning drivetrains as part of a more general, deep down, sudsy bucket session. I’ve either sprayed it into the chain, ring(s), cassette and derailleur, or poured a little into an old, cut down bike bottle and basted on with an old, slender paint brush.
However, frugal fettlers will be pleased to note it's also deliverable via a chain bath. Whatever your preferred method, you’ll need to leave it standing a few minutes, agitate with a stiff bristle plot, leave it another five minutes, repeat and rinse with water. Tepid seems best. I’ve kept ours away from the lawn and tended to flush any residual puddles with fresh water too, in case a not-so-domesticated animal got a bit curious.
Circumstances led me to an interesting voyage of discovery. Chains, cassettes, derailleur jockey wheels, rings etc were the obvious candidates but I also needed to strip Peaty’s Speed Grease from Ursula’s Deore crankset spline, so deployed some drivetrain cleaner there, and the crank’s inner arms, pedals etc. My fixed gear winter trainer has been running some very stiff chain lubes for the past few months. Though generally hygienic, the ring and side plates were sporting a build-up of spent lube and impacted gritty stuff.
Though slower acting than some master blaster potions, the drivetrain cleaner has proven remarkably effective and with nominal effort on my part. I was particularly surprised by how well it worked on the tenacious Peaty’s Speed Grease. A liberal dousing, quick scrub, 5-minute marinade, another quick tickling and 3-minute wait.
Rinsed with tepid water, it was stripped bare and ready for fresh grease. Same story with Muc-Off Ludicrous AF Chain Lube and Bike Medicine Purple Extreme Chain Lube. All vanished without trace, first time, using this technique.
I simply dried the chains and rings, then added some fresh chain lube. (Moto Verde PTFE, in this instance since they were generous enough to send me some). Middleweight, most weather preps, such as Weldtite Ceramic Lube were a little quicker to dismiss- around six minutes. 4 minutes- marinate, quick scrub, leave another minute, then rinse.
Talking of which, it also did an excellent job of dismissing congealed PTFE infused maintenance sprays from these Shimano M540 and Wellgo RC713 pedals- in around 4 minutes, start to finish. Similar story with caked on wax formulas, including Bat Wax Chain Lube.
Blasting components in situ, left for the full 8-10 minutes hasn’t left any unsightly calling cards on seals and other sensitive, neighbouring components, or finishes. In a pinch, it will also strip stouter greases, including Park Tool Polylube 1000 but be prepared to apply the Motoverde drivetrain cleaner more liberally and scrub more vigorously. Or alternatively, pour some in a parts washer and leave headsets, hub, pedal bearings etc. marinating a while longer.
At the other extreme, it polished off more traditional dry lubes, such as Finish Line Dry and Zefal Pro Dry Chain Lube in around three minutes. I’ve also used it to purge a witch's brew of ingrained waxy, oily patina and spatter from my hard used work stand, with similarly impressive results.
I default to latex examination, or mechanics gloves, such as these Muc Off Mechanics Gloves . However, for the purposes of testing, I’ve done a few strips bare handed. Some skin types are more sensitive than others but an hour’s exposure at any given time didn’t result in dryness, or similar discomfort.
Taking everything into account, the Motoverde Drivetrain Degreaser is good value. Dirt Juice Boss Chain Cleaner retails at £14.99 for 500ml Weldtite Citrus Degreaser is £10.99 for 1 litre . However, while effective, the citrus part is a little aggressive, so needs careful deployment, especially if you’re leaving drivetrain parts in situ.
Squirt Bike Cleaner Concentrate has the advantage of being a degreaser stock, so arguably a little more versatile e.g., watered down to make a bike wash, used neat as a degreaser etc. However, it’s a little dearer at £16.99 for 1 litre.
I’ve been impressed by the Motoverde Drivetrain Cleaner. It’s not the fastest acting but is very efficient and with pleasing results. Then there’s the option of buying workshop sizes, which is great news for commercial use or riders with bigger fleets.