MUC OFF SILICON SHINE
The Muc-Off Silicon Shine promises to leave your bike looking factory fresh and reduce friction on suspension components, including fork stanctions and rear shocks.
It’s very convenient and offers lasting results, too. Not only on bicycles and motorcycles, car dashboards/similar plastics. That said; there are cheaper options, if you only wanted to give machines a quick, beautifying blow-over.
Pros: Convenient, great lasting shine. Lubricant properties a boon around the workshop too.
Cons: Only suitable for gloss and satin surfaces. Attracts more dirt than wax/ sealant type products. “Cherry Pop” scent divided opinions.
Muc-Off were understandably coy about exact alchemy. However, it basically boils down to a rich blend of silicone, solvent, butane propellent and “cherry pop” fragrance. As with most aerosol products, the solvent serves two purposes. Firstly, it makes the product sprayable. Upon reaching host surfaces, the solvent gobbles up any existing grime, curing and leaving the shiny, slippery “good stuff” behind.
As I said in my introduction, Silicon Shine is super convenient to use. However, unlike polymer and beeswax polishes, silicones can attract dirt. You certainly don’t want it on contact points (unless popping a bike in seasonal storage), or braking surfaces.
Ideally, give bikes a good wash first, to remove heavy soiling, road salt and/or other corrosive/abrasive grime. Machines sporting light, patchy patinas (the sort attracted by oily overspray, energy drinks etc) can skip the sudsy bucket phase.
Talking of which, to avoid wastage and unwanted overspray, give the silicone shine a good, thirty second shake and apply
via clean, lint free cloth. Buff to a shine and you’re done. Can’t bear to waste any? Why not apply the residual to glossy helmet shell, mudguards, pumps and other accessories. Aside from rejuvenating the finish, it’ll make everything easier to wipe clean.
As Muc-Off would point out, the Silicon Shine isn’t limited to polishing/beautifying duties, its also designed to lubricate and nourish rubberised components. Suspension seals/elastomers being obvious candidates. In these contexts, deliver short bursts, directly.
Powder coated, enamel, plated, carbon composite and plastic surfaces all gleamed. Literally like they’d been given a super-rich lacquer topcoat. This was particularly apparent (and welcome) on my Univega, which is unsealed. Framesets aside, I was particularly impressed by its nourishing effect upon composite bottle cages, mudguards, track pumps and indeed, my car’s fascia.
Not unusual for silicone, detailing products per se. I’ve had similar effects using Fenwick’s Frame and Shock Finishing Spray. No problems with satins, such as my Univega’s powder coated crank arms, or titanium finishing kit, either. However, steer clear of matts; unless you’re fond of oily splodges.
Unlike wax products, these leave a faintly oily sheen behind, so I wasn’t particularly surprised to find some staining/spatter along the chainstays and inside fork legs, over the course of a few wet rides. It might be worth noting these often involved dusty, freshly resurfaced lanes. Its single wheeled trailer (also sans lacquer) sported a thicker patina, and splodges of tar.
Then, again, that’s to be expected - it’s only a few inches from the ground! Otherwise, rain and water formed tiny beads up on the surface and any marks/patina are easily dismissed, caressed by a clean, dry rag. My Blackburn Track pump, which gets used several times a week, also looks resplendent, without any filmy layer-even around the base. As for the handle, this doesn’t feel oily to touch, either.
Staying Prowess 3.5/5
Through a changeable May/June test period, I’ve only needed to replenish the Univega’s light coating once. Holdsworth and other bikes in seasonal hibernation, still look showroom fresh and ready to go.
All of this bodes well for winter bikes and those serving on indoor trainers during the darker months. That said, while transfer is minimal (when applied sparingly), if you really eat up the miles, the Silicon Shine is no substitute for a decent hard paste waxing, or sealant products. Prolonged indoor trainer service would also merit a sweat net.
Rubberised components such as hub, fork, pump seals and brake lever hoods can become brittle, or difficult to remove, over time. I was expecting elastomers to flourish. However, the Silicon Shine has ensured easy removal/replacement of brake lever hoods and similarly miscellaneous fiddly jobs.
Muc-Off Silicon shine retails for £9.99. If you didn’t require the rubber nourishing/lubricating properties, then Duck Smart Bike Ezee is a waterless cleaner and silicone polish, proportionately much cheaper (rrp £6.99). However, the sheen isn’t quite so luxurious, and we’ve seen the Muc-Off quite heavily discounted online.
If you only wanted a product that kept bikes protected, without attracting a filmy grime, then sealants might be a better choice.These have an obvious edge, if you’ve a mixed of matt/gloss finishes and want a single, long-lasting protectant. At the other extreme, good quality furniture polishes can be very effective standbys, for fair weather machines, or those being stored for shorter periods.
Ultimately, Muc-Off Silicon shine does exactly what it says in the blurb, and to a decent standard. When applied sparingly, transfer to hands, and other surfaces appears nominal. The lubricant properties are a boon for protecting suspension and other rubberised components. Its also handy for miscellaneous workshop and other vehicles.