OXFORD TRIPLE BRUSH SET Complete set 223g £9.99 Drivetrain Cleaning Tool 27g Wheel Cleaning Brush 89g Forked Cleaning Brush 97g
The Oxford Products Triple Brush Set is a functional combination of bike cleaning tools and brushes, consisting of a drive train tool, a wheel cleaning brush and a forked cleaning brush. There are a lot of sets of cleaning tools about and purists may get sniffy on the grounds some aren’t bike specific. We reckon this adds to their versatility and for the money, they’re hard to beat.
Let’s start with something the set does not include - a general bike washing brush. Oxford Products offer the Big Softy, so a general wash with that, or similar, is a wise investment.
Drivetrain Cleaning Tool
Logically, the drivetrain is the grottiest part and therefore the ideal starting point. This one is the classic three head “turkey baster”. Made from a robust plastic, with serrated, arced cassette cleaner and a couple of small spikes at one end and a soft long-bristled brush at the other, this follows a familiar pattern. Two stiffer-bristled brushes complete the tool.
The serrated curve slips easily between cassette cogs to dislodge unpleasant accumulations and ease them out, remaining sufficiently stiff to stay in situ against the turning of the pedals. The long-bristled brush is ideal for working potions into hard to reach spots, jockey wheels and the like. None of the brushes has started to shed bristles yet. Michael also had a play and says the bristles can suffer from gloopy colic; Steve would agree. So, it’s worth leaving the tool marinating in a pot of plastic friendly degreaser stock, especially when running wet lubes during the darker months.
It does what it says on the cardboard packaging and, frankly, you can’t ask more form a drivetrain cleaning tool unless you are of a very special breed.
Wheel Cleaning Brush
Most of us will recognise the iconic conifer shaped design. Very much a bottle brush on steroids, it’s designed to weave through the spokes, purging polished, plated and anodized rims of accumulated grime.
Ergonomic is one of those words banded about to the point of becoming meaningless. That said, the rubberised handle sits nicely in the palm, providing just the right amount of purchase for enthused scrubbing. At the other end, there’s a generous rubberised cap to prevent accidental swirls or scratching in paint and other pretty finishes. Perfect for when you’ve gone into horror-film-preacher-in-full-blown-exorcism mode.
Just like the household bottle brush, the flexible spine means it can be coaxed into various positions, so can also tackle the hub shell and harder to reach areas too. Bristles, though fairly stiff haven’t left any unsightly calling cards, although Michael urges caution around flamboyant enamels and similarly delicate finishes. We’ve also discovered it makes short work of stubborn adhesives, the sort that cling on when you’re pensioning off weathered handlebar wraps.
There’s a specific tyre scrub brush available, too.
Forked Cleaning Brush
This two pronged curiosity is intended for cleaning pedals, which it does rather well. Again, it’s easily manipulated for improved access. Add a shot of degreaser and it will weave usefully around cranks, rings and suspension/similar linkages.
Handle, tip, head and thumb-pad similar to the Wheel Cleaning Brush, the two-pronged head can be adjusted to fire around stems, stays, forks and tubes of just about any circumference, be it the pencil stays of the Eroica bike or the massively oversized boom of the Hase Pino tandem.
Love the efficiency, especially after finding concerns about scratches on the paintwork were ill-founded. Mind, stubborn marks are best dealt with by cloth and elbow grease. Having said that, these are cleaning brushes, not buffing clothes; shiny may look dandy, but you’d not expect these to dandify.
Playing devil’s advocate, you can build up a cleaning kit comprising of sponges, nail, part worn tooth and similar household brushes for a fiver. At the other extreme, you can pay well over £20 for bike specific kits.
Ultimately, this bundle does exactly what it says on the tin, is pleasant to use and won’t break the bank. A great starting point, especially, if, like Michael, you are someone who cultivates a bespoke collection of brushes for specialist duties. Add the big softy brush and they still represent great value compared with some iconic names and will do more or less the same job, to comparable standards.
Three way transmission combs tend to succumb first - hardly surprising given their exposure to oils, solvents etc but ours remains in ruder health than several we’ve lived with.
Verdict: 3.75/5 Inexpensive, yet very cheerful brush kit - a good starting point.
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2017