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Muc-Off Bicycle Chain Brush
74g £13.00

The Muc-Off Bicycle Chain Brush is a long-handled, double ended design, which will be familiar to those who have a chain driven motorcycle among their fleet. It’s efficient, nice to use and the long handle keeps knuckles a nice distance from the drivetrain. Depending on the grot factor, you may find yourself using more degreaser, compared with a chain bath and in my experience, better deployed when coinciding with a sudsy bucket bike clean.

Pros: Pleasant to use, efficient, solidly made, caters for other parts of the drivetrain.

Cons: Consumes more degreaser than a traditional clip-on chain bath, better for deep, rather than cursory cleans. 

bicycle brush test review


Measuring 25cm (useable handle length and width 11.5x2.5cm) made from sturdy, seemingly solvent resistant, Polypropylene there are two ends A trident type short bristle  plot designed to mate with the chain’s side-plates, pins and rollers and the other longer, coarser bristles designed to tickle congealed lube and grot from jockey wheels, derailleur cages, rings, crank spiders, cassettes and other drivetrain components.

Theory being you’ll just switch between the two, saving time and faff. The holy grail of drivetrain exorcists? Well, yes and no... You’ll still need to add degreaser, clean between chains (especially if they’re using different genres of lube) and of course, before putting it away. With this in mind, the bristles work by mixing degreaser/chain cleaner into the lube and contaminant, lifting them from the chain’s rollers, side plates and pins. 

Test Bikes & Contexts

Ours arrived in a particularly grotty February. Flooded roads, mud, wet lubes and the associated witches’ brew. The sort that leaves drivetrains and chainstays dripping in a toxic looking sludge within a matter of rides. Not what most of us would aspire to, but perfect for testing. Conditions where only Ursula (in full monster cross guise) and fixed gear winter/trainer have been leaving the workshop. Syrupy wet and stubborn petrochemical ceramics being the chain lubes of choice.

Ursula runs a 2x10 Deore, 11-25 cassette and short cage Tiagra rear mech, which is arguably a less intricate clean than contemporary 1x10, or 1x11 “mullet” setups but still a potential chore during the winter and early season-assuming you want a bog standard 10spd chain to last longer than 800 miles.  The fixed runs Genetic Tibia Track Cranks , 42 tooth ring, 1/18th track chain and 16tooth Fix-G sprocket . Though simple and relatively minimal maintenance, with lanes bearing closer resemblance to a ‘cross meet (or Paris Roubaix), come the close of a week and 150plus miles, the rings, inner arms and sprockets are suitably soiled. 

Technique (The Devil’s in the Drivetrain)

bicycle cycle chain brush cleaner test review

Now some of you would, with some justification, argue this is obvious but there are some subtle tricks to getting the best from the bicycle chain brush. First up, degreaser gels, such as Squirt Bike Cleaner Concentrate  are arguably the most economical and effective strippers, since they’ll cling on, liquid degreasers will work fine but there will be some ruin off and ultimately wastage.

I’ve found decanting some neat into a spray bottle and spraying into the bristles is the most effective and economical means of delivery. That out of the way, slot the brush over the chain and turn the cranks backward-very carefully with a fixed. Either way, watch as the bristles and chemical romance blossoms, lifting the grot.

At this point, I will typically assume a religious fervour, muttering about the first sin being a dirty drivetrain and all that good stuff. Ahem, we’ll put it down to my Calvinist ancestry.


Remove the brush. Drip, or spray your chosen degreaser into the cassette, apply a quick shot to the jockey wheels, chainrings etc. Leave a few seconds and agitate these with the willowy bristle plot, watching as they flick out the congealed, ingrained filth. Maybe I’m in a minority, but I find this exorcism really satisfying.

Repeat as needed, depending on the lube’s tenacity and the amount of crud you’ve accumulated. Rinse with warm (not hot) water, dry with a clean rag and take a moment to admire your gleaming drivetrain. Oh, and treat the Muc Off Chain Cleaner’s bristle plots to some neat degreaser, scrub to remove any residual gunk and rinse before putting it away. 

Performance 3.5/5

Obviously, and as I hinted earlier, factors such as chain lube tenacity, accumulated grot and degreaser potency will play their part. However, I’ve transformed really skanky drivetrains in around 15 minutes start to finish. This and the turnaround times have remained consistent through the last six weeks and regular chain cleaning- of my fleet and others. 

bicycle bike drivetrain
bicycle bike cassette

Aside from derailleur cages, jockey wheels and rings, the longer, coarser end also does a decent job of cleaning derailleur, pedal and similar threaded components- say when doing a bigger, seasonal service. Now, while I’ve achieved excellent results with the fixed’s drivetrain, it took me a little while to get the cleaning technique right. Several weeks down the line I still find a more traditional, open bristle plots more efficient for tackling track and road fixed builds.

The Polyamide feels solid, inspiring me to apply a reasonable amount of pressure while turning the cranks. It’s also comfortable for long periods-I've done an hour or so, back-to-back without any discomfort. Hands also stay cleaner and safely away from the chain, minimising contamination and potential for grazed knuckles. That said; expect to wash your hands afterwards, or before tucking into a snack.

I’ve gone from Muc-Off Wet Lube , Zefal Extra Wet Nano Ceramic Chain Lube and Blub Ceramic Chain Lube (review to follow). Experience suggests a chain bath fed quick drying solvent will win in terms of outright convenience-say when you only need to clear the residual and top up. However, the Muc-Off Chain Brush wins hands-down when it comes to tackling the sort of grot pictured here.

bicycle bottom bracket crank chain ring dirt
bicycle drive train
cycle drive train chain set

Durability/Care 3.5/5

The bristles seem of good quality. As a side note, I find petrochemical solvents tend to soften and ultimately shorten the lifespan of brushes, so stick with gels, or bike wash concentrates, such as Weldtite . 

test review chain brush muc off
tst review bicycle chain brush

A couple of splayed bristles is the only sign of regular use-I'd hardly call it deterioration. However, I’ve been disciplined when it comes to post use cleaning and rinsing.

Value 3.5/5

Thirteen quid at full rrp! A couple of nail brushes and degreaser’s all you need! Maybe, if you’re obsessively tight (and yes, I’ve gone that route on a few occasions when I’ve not been able to reach for the chain bath, or similar). However, it's hardly comparing like with like.

Joking aside, there are several competitors promising to do the same job, only a bit cheaper at full rrp. Tru Tension Muck Monkey Looks superficially similar and is £9.99. Finish Line Gunge Brush also looks remarkably similar, although has a slightly curvier profile and is £12.99.

Peaty’s Drivetrain Cleaning Brush is £8.99 and made from waxed beech wood. More of a traditional bicycle mechanic’s staple, it employs a sculpted centre channel for the chain to sit into, while the wider plot is designed to nimbly work around the side plates. A chisel cut tip is for chasing grot from the jockey wheels. However, Muc-Off have since reduced the Bicycle Chajn Brush to £9.10 and at this price, it’s a much closer race. I’m tempted to say the Muc-Off would get my money. 


Bottom line, there are cheaper ways of keeping your drivetrain clean and indeed, competitors offering similar designs, promising to do the same job for less. However, I cannot comment on their performance, or durability. (Some would also argue a complete kit, such as Finish Line Easy Pro Five Brush Set F is a better purchase for those starting out).

Traditional mechanic’s brushes, such as the Peaty’s are in my experience, more efficient on fixed drivetrains. These caveats aside, the Muc-Off Bicycle Chain Brush is a solid, effective and efficient way of keeping derailleur drivetrains (and to a lesser extent, hands) clean. Its length and efficiencies keep knuckles and fingers from cuts and grazes when you’re engrossed and arguably best appreciated by riders with bigger fleet or cleaning several bikes in succession.

Verdict: 3.5/5 Solidly made, user friendly drivetrain brush for deep cleans.


Michael Stenning


Muc-Off UK | Bicycle & Motorcycle Cleaning | Lube | Tubeless





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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