PEDRO'S PRO BRUSH KIT
428 g £ 17.99
The Pedro's Pro Brush Kit is, on balance, the best designed and nicest of bundles I’ve used to date. Surprisingly enough, it’s also markedly cheaper than several rival brands.
A penny shy of £18 buys four brushes. Unusually, these come complete with nylon carry sack and, better still, the brand’s lifetime warrantee against failure, which inspires confidence. I’ve only needed to call on this once; eight years ago (having snapped one of their otherwise excellent tyre levers). Pedro’s honoured it, sending me replacements without quibble or hesitation.
Ergonomic is one of those words that’s been done to death but, all brushes feature beautifully moulded plastic handles. These sit nicely in the palms and are very pleasant to use. For me, cleaning bikes is all part of riding, not a chore, the opportunity to keep things at their peak, while checking for any potential problems. That said, while I also use this time as useful, reflective “head space” fettling needs to be time-efficient.
Removing wheels isn’t essential but makes thorough cleaning that bit easier. Degreasers can do their thing, without seeping behind seals and into bearings. Doing so also prevents oily residue from cassettes and tyres spoiling clean frames-especially true when sprucing hard working ‘cross and mountain bikes.
Large frame and wheel brush
This is the traditional “big softy” with a rectangular head for maximum coverage.
Getting a bristle plot firm enough to shift embedded mud and stones from cross or mtb knobblies, yet gentle on paintwork, is a tricky balance to get right. For the most part, Pedros has.
Bristles retain a useful amount of water, lessening the need to dip into the bucket, although frequent dip, swish and reapply moves are best when bikes are caked in winter’s dirty, gritty cocktail.
This technique, coupled with bristle texture and the head’s softer sides are kind to all finishes, even lower rent wet spray enamel and 2pac paintwork. Bristle moult has been a moot point, despite intensive use across the fleet and friend’s bikes through November and December.
Parts degreaser brush
This is a welcome deviation from the traditional mix. Resembling a make-up artist's brush on steroids, it’s designed for basting degreasers into components for a deep lube strip and does exactly what it says - to a very high standard.
Ours has proven surprisingly versatile, tackling a wide range of components and surfaces, whether overhauling hubs and headsets, pedals to deep cleaning cranksets, rings, cassettes, seat posts and other contact points. No surprise then that it also doubles as a nifty detailer. Perfect for getting sudsy stuff around the saddle rails, undersides of narrow section mudguards, brake mechanisms and fork crowns.
The long handle and cone shaped bristle plot are perfect for reaching bottom bracket shells and head tubes prior to bearing replacement or preparing a frame for refinishing. Then of course, there are the fiddly detail jobs, I was talking about earlier.
Again, the bristles have retained their shape and virility. These days, I try to minimise my exposure to strong petrochemical solvents but leaving ours marinating overnight in a pot of white spirit hasn’t done anything nasty.
This is the brands’ take on the ubiquitous two-way brush cum transmission comb. These are usually the lowest grade in any kit, even those commanding £25.
Usually bristles splay, or succumb to a matted colic of lubricant and contaminant. Leaving them marinating in solvent, then rising through with hot water extends their useful life but soon enough the bristles splay and become fairly ineffectual. Either that; or the plastics soften, turning it to blancmange during a vigorous purge.
Pedro's has decided to forgo the claw function in favour of two lengths and densities of bristle. The shorter, stiffer plot is good for mech bodies and not bad on chains either-assuming these are relatively clean and just needing a quick top up of pre-existing lube.
Its longer counterpart is soft enough to snake around the jockey wheels, cages and between the cassette spacing. Again, for this latter job and congealed gloop, it needs a helping hand from the degreaser brush and chosen anti lube. Take note if your default move is to pop your bike away and hitting the shower after wet, wintry rides.
The cone brush I slightly more generic and for those hard to reach areas - soft enough for tickling between tyre and seat-stay on those occasions where bikes just need a quick post ride spruce. I’ve found it more efficient than the frame and wheel brush when weaving between the rims, hubs and spokes.
Though kind to polished and anodised surfaces, the bristles have just the right amount of bite for coaxing grime from ball burnished hub bodies.
Again, even on cold days, the handle’s dimpled texture offers plenty of purchase for, speedy, yet thorough cleaning. Overall performance is very good and compared with several similar patterns hanging from my tool board; the Pedro’s seemed less prone to harbouring contaminant within its bristles
Summing up, the only way to get a perfect brush-set is to build your own collection. Bike specific brushes aren’t essential for all duties, especially when it comes to paintwork and drivetrains.
I still use soft decorator’s brushes and narrow “pound shop” paint brushes for washing and daubing degreaser stock deep into to dirty chains, cassettes and rings-say when changing lubricant to suit the season. That said; compared with most off-the-peg bundles, I’ve tested to date, the Pedro’s is nicer to use and will probably outlast them by a decent margin too.