NAKED BIKES PRO WAX SPECIAL EDITION
Long Term (6 month) Test 60g Tin £37.99
The Naked Bikes Pro Wax Special Edition is a hard paste wax. At £37.99 for 60g, it needed to be something very special. Compatible with all surfaces and finish types, a single application is reckoned to last up to 12 months.
Pros: Beautiful, lasting protection, compatible with all finishes.
Cons: Premium price.
As you've probably surmised from my opening paragraph, this is a water-based, hand poured boutique blend, including Carnauba wax (a long-standing favourite in automotive circles due to its deep, lasting lustre) coupled with Si102. A silicone component similarly revered for its beading/water-repelling qualities.
Oh, and there's a liquid pro-wax, if you're not into paste types. Both blends are fully compatible with all surfaces, metal, or composite, gloss, matt and of course, satin. Naked Bikes reckon it’s possible to go a year, between applications, depending on conditions, and frequency of washing.
Unlike more traditional car products, this doesn’t contain “micro-abrasive” cutting chemicals. Chemicals that will chemically remove light swirling and oxidisation. So, tend these areas with Crankalicious Mayo Jaune or old school automotive cutting pastes, first. Now, another thing to bear in mind (and this applies to all waxes, using washing up detergents to wash down your bike will erode the wax, meaning you’ll need to reapply more frequently.
Despite being a paste, even at lower temperatures (8 degrees, or so) light, even coats are easily applied. This latter point is crucial to getting the best from it (and indeed, more traditional polymer types). Contrary to popular misconception, slathering it on doesn't offer improved protection.
Curing times are also slightly different to traditional preps, so I had to resist auto pilot.
We all know the drill. Give bike(s) a thorough sudsy bucket wash, rinse and dry, first. That done, apply Pro-Wax in small circles, via small sponge and avoiding disc rotors/braking surfaces.
Curing times are a little longer than some. Ranges between 7 minutes (summer day) to 17 (cool autumn afternoon) and doesn't "haze" so obviously. That said, it doesn't dry stubbornly either, should you get called in for dinner. Experience suggests, provided you polish within the hour, you'll get an effortless showroom finish. I missed a section of my Holdsworth's chainstay.
By morning, this had assumed a milky haze and unwelcome "lug lining". One that took several, enthused attempts to exorcise- using a clean micro-fibre cloth.
Primary Test Machines
My Univega and fixed gear winter/trainers were the obvious candidates, since they rack up big mileages, in all weathers.
I also treated Holdsworth and much loved early 90's road bike. All have a mix of gloss, matt, carbon, composite and polished surfaces. Initial results were as expected; showroom fresh.
Glossy surfaces literally gleamed, matt stuff looked nourished and satin stayed that way. Matt and unsealed surfaces, most notably my Univega's extra thick cream powder coat, benefit from a sealant type product, such as Crankalicious Enduro Frame Sealant Spray .
Results are almost universally superb, across the board. Almost? Well, remember what I was saying about the Univega's unsealed topcoat? The Pro Wax's silicone component seemed more inclined to collecting minuscule traces of oily spatter.
Otherwise, titanium, stainless, anodised, lacquered and painted surfaces turned heads. Run your finger along, and feel it glide. I wwas particularly taken with the matt sheen on these Coefficient Wave Carbon Fibre Bars. It'll also cheer up chrome plastic guards and breathe new life into glass fibre/composite bottle cages.
Dirt Repellence 3.75/5
Let's not beat around the bush, any wax will offer surfaces some protection from water, salt spray and make them easier to clean. However, while muddy spatter and other grot will still stick, its effortlessly dismissed. Yes, you'll still have to wash your bike now and then! Riding through steady, persistent rain, water formed tiny beads, before rolling away.
Three weeks of these biblical (some might say, apocalyptic) deluges and flooded coastal roads, both Univega and fixed gear winter/trainer were looking uncharacteristically grimy. However, this was superficial. Come the first sudsy jumbo sponge, a seemingly impacted cocktail of spent wet lube, mud, silt and grit literally slithered away.
Both Univega and Fixed Gear Winter/Trainers gleamed. Late August's heatwave induced plenty of rider generated coolant, which exploded like tear drops on the top tubes, stems and bottom bracket shells.
During this period, resisting the urge to polish. I was pleasantly surprised by a lack of water marks/staining in these regions. However, I noted more accumulated dust, compared with Velo21 Ultimate Paintwork Protection and Crankalicious Crisp Frame Wax especially beneath the bottom bracket shell, chain stays and rear wheel. Something I attribute to the Pro Wax's silicone component
Aside from beautifying and nourishing paintwork, waxes should offer a lasting protective barrier against salt, sap and UV light. Avoiding aggressive washing agents, twelve weeks in, and my fixed gear winter/trainer was still on its first helping. My Univega had received a light, localised top up coat-around the bottom bracket shell and chainstays.
However, stroking the tubes and components confirms an obvious protective layer remains. No surprise my Holdsworth and 1991 road bike (both in seasonal hibernation) were gleaming and obviously protected.
This caused a bit of a storm. On paper, £38 is halfway to the price of a decent single colour powder coat re-spray, and there are plenty of decent polymer waxes going for around the £10 mark. There's no getting away from the fact its pricey. Twice that of Velo 21 (when purchased in comparable quantities).
The Velo21 also offers excellent, lasting results, although in practice, bikes in harder service needed another helping after 12 weeks, whereas the Pro-Wax was good for four, in slightly harsher conditions.
Naked Bikes reckon it can last "up to" 12 months between applications. I'm a little sceptical but willing to accept this may be the case, for bikes in dry storage, and/or used in primarily arid conditions.
To get the best from this, and other boutique waxes requires a reasonable amount of front-end investment, including dedicated shampoos. That said, even without this, and through a wet and relatively challenging test period, I have managed four months between applications.
More time for riding without compromising protection. Even then, a faint but tangible barrier remained. Gift aside, I would be inclined toward the Pro Wax Special Edition if (a) I had a big fleet with different finishes (matt, satin and gloss) (b) I also had a motorcycle, or recumbent with fairing.