SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 25th
NAKED BIKES CHAIN CLEANER
The Naked Bikes Chain Cleaner is an effective lube stripper that also does an excellent job of cleaning grease and gunk from other metal components. Cassettes, rings and derailleurs being obvious candidates. However, it’s very much a "Mechanics Staple" .
Take care around plastics, composites, seals and other rubber components.
Pros: Effective and efficient
Cons: Requires more careful use and storage than some.
Naked Bikes politely declined to disclose anything of the clear elixir's composition. However, they urged the usual cautions. i.e. Store in a cool, dry place away from children and animals, wear gloves, do not ingest and use in a well-ventilated area, away from sources of ignition...You have been warned. Mind you; it’s worth noting that some otherwise excellent, citrus based blends require very careful handling.
It can be deployed in a variety of ways. However, the official line is… remove chain(s), place them in a suitable container. Give the bottle a quick shake to wake the contents, then pour some chain cleaner over. Leave to marinate a few minutes, agitating midway with a stiff brush.
Makes sense for mechanics doing a thorough blitz of a bike's drive train. It can be poured into the clip-on chain bath, if you just wanted to purge the chain, ready for new/different lubes. I've also delivered the old-school mechanic's way i.e. poured into a pot, then brushed into the chain/cassette, wheel in situ.
That's not something I'd do with a carbon frameset, and it’s worth noting this co-coincided with my Univega's wash n' rinse. Otherwise, I'd whip the rear wheel out (or angle the bike in the work stand) and deliver methodically across the cassette, so it drained away from the hub and spokes.
Getting too carried away, will result in a thick, residual glaze clinging to the drive side spokes. Give derailleur jockey wheels, cages and cleat mechanisms a lick, as required. When the scuzz has gone, dry parts thoroughly with an old, clean rag.
Ease of Application 2.75/5
Though potentially more involved than a rag dipped in white spirit, its no messier than its competitors, including Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy , Velo 21 degreaser, or indeed, Green Oil Agent Apple . Nonetheless, I'd opt for outside, even if I were going the chain bath route.
In common with Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy and Green Oil Agent Apple Degreaser, it will turn a murky, sludgy colour but remains an efficient stripper. Pop a lid on your chosen receptacle, label and reused to suit. In common with Green Oil Agent Orange and Chain Cleaner Jelly, the solution will also consume those dirty puddles, excess chain lubes etc.
I've pitted the Naked Bikes Chain Cleaner against a wealth of chain and other lubricants. From barely there "dry" to waxes, ceramics (wet and dry), chainsaw oil, and lithium/PTFE infused greases.
Though slower acting than some formulas (particularly aerosols) it’s very efficient. The full ten minutes has only been needed when tackling space age ceramic lubes, or old school wet lubes, brimming with congealed grot.
Molten wax types, including Zefal and Muc-Off Dry wre dismissed in 2.5 minutes using the brush on and pot marinades. Using a chain bath, got this down to 100 seconds, thanks to the integral bristles (and arguably required less clear up).
Heavier duty wet formulas, including Nasty Siberian Chain Lube and Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet needed a good 3 minutes but only belt 'n' braces space age petrochemicals, such as Muc-Off Hydrodynamic demanded the full seven to eight minutes and more frequent stiff brush stimulation.anded the full seven to eight minutes and more frequent stiff brush stimulation.
Arguably if you're doing a more intensive service/seasonal overhaul, the best bet is leaving a chain and/or cassette marinating for ten minutes, while you concentrate on washing and general once-overs.
Regardless of method, though the solution will turn decidedly black, it had consumed both the wax, and any contaminant and remains effective. I've successfully re-used it 10 times, without any obvious loss of prowess.
Storing the pot on the garage bench, sans lid, evaporation has been very pedestrian. I'm also pleased to note it hasn't eaten, or softened plastic receptacles. This isn't the case with some solvent based strippers-petrochemical, or otherwise. It will clean up grimy, residual puddles. Not to the same standard as citrus based products, and I certainly wouldn't chance it on the patio.
£12.99 seems pretty much on par with competitors, including Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy High Performance Chain Cleaner.
This is pretty much its closest rival. Both can be re-used, employed broadly the same way and achieve similar results, in similar timescales.
Blends requiring freshwater rinses, including Velo 21 The Degreaser can be a little cheaper but are slightly more involved. Good technique and Naked Bikes Chain Cleaner goes surprisingly far. That said, a litre of white spirit can be had for £3 and makes a ferociously quick and efficient workshop standby.
Ultimately, with the right technique, the Naked Bikes Chain Cleaner is a versatile and efficient staple. One capable of tackling heavy duty lubes and middleweight greases. That said; while it certainly rivals some similarly priced and capable competition, I'm not convinced it's markedly better.
Verdict: 3.25/5 Efficient and worthy workshop staple that rivals some established favourites.
PUBLISHED AUGUST 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH