SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
PRO GREEN MX TRIPLE PACK
ALSO AVAILABLE INDIVIDUALLY
The Pro Green MX triple pack contains 1 litre versions of their bike wash, drivetrain degreaser and Aftershine. Time pressed mechanics looking for blow 'n’ go convenience should look elsewhere but overall, these have proven surprisingly competent alternatives to mainstream labour-saving bike cleaners.
Cycle Wash 1 litre (£4.99 when sold seperately)
First up is their bike wash. Bucking the trend for one does all, Pro Green MX have devised this specifically for organic, muddy gloop rather than grotty transmissions. They’ve been suitably coy ingredients wise but confirmed it’s a biodegradable solution free of acids and other corrosive components. Therefore, totally safe on painted, plated, polished composites, seals and other rubberised parts.
Start by parking your bike(s) in your designated outside spot, give the cycle wash a quick shake and blast liberally, in the time honoured way... As the photo shows, it doesn’t foam, rather slithers around like an emulsion. Habit urges us to whip out that soft brush and lather up after thirty seconds, or so. For best results, leave heavily soiled bikes marinating for the full five minutes, using this time to harvest buckets of warm water, sponges, brushes and other scrubbing implements.
To be fair, it’s been better than I expected with embedded petrochemical grime. Worked into a rich lather, splashes of chain lube, derv and other contaminant flicked up along winter lanes lifted pretty convincingly. Ditto embossed cork wraps, saddle covers and jaded tyres.
Even with the best intentions, most of us tend to be lazier with lube during the darker months, requiring more intensive purging in between. For efficiency’s sake, I’ve tended to introduce the drivetrain degreaser first, meaning I only need do one rinse cycle.
Generally speaking, 20 minutes - start to finish is my deadline for race mechanic style bike washing and the overall effects proved better than several popular brands.
Watching dirt and grime slither away, forming a sullied creamy green pool beneath is deeply satisfying. Extending waiting times hasn’t had any negative impact. Matt finishes tended to sport some glossy looking spatter-par for the course and easily dismissed using specialist matt protectant.
Some formulas can leave hands feeling dry and sore. I’ve had no problems, even after two hours and several bikes. People with sensitive skins, should still wear gloves and I’d work a safe distance from water ways but so far, plant and pet life seem very happy.
Drivetrain Degreaser 1 litre (£8.95 when sold separately)
The drivetrain degreaser contains some not so friendly chemical elements though careful concentration means it should be completely harmless, used correctly.
Put it this way, I’ve not felt remotely nervous when it’s sloshed over paintwork when tickling cruddy looking cassettes and chains.
Generally speaking, I’ve removed the rear wheel basted the mix into cassettes and into the chain with an old rag beneath, or decanted it into clip-on chain baths when moving from dry to ceramic/wet lubes. So long as you’ve rinsed it away within sensible timescales, caustic calling cards, jaded paint and nibbled seals should remain the stuff of folklore.
No surprise perhaps but this one is a bit tougher on the skin, so wear disposable gloves and avoid any contact with eyes. A stray speck proved excruciatingly painful and required much dousing with cold water-you have been warned.
On the plus side, a couple of minutes was all it needed to strip stodgy wet formulas, less for simpler PTFE fortified blends. True, some high octane solvent based aerosols will do the same job in thirty seconds but these are very flammable and given the wastage, don’t work out very cheap in the longer run.
Sophisticated petrochemical ceramics needed second helpings and more enthused scrub. Used carefully, it’s also done a good job of removing brake dust and other contaminant from disc rotors, rim sidewalls, hub shells, crank arms and derailleur jockey wheels.
Aftershine 101 1litre (£7.95 when sold separately)
Third in the pack is their Aftershine 101. This formula is infused with polymers and silicone for leave flawless protective finish. Primarily intended as the finishing post-wash touch, it can also be applied to dry but clean bikes. Either way, it is literally spray and go - it mustn’t be buffed, or polished, just left to cure naturally.
Aside from masking off disc brake rotors an generally keeping it away from saddles and handlebar coverings, simply twist the pump-spray nozzle and apply in a fine mist from 25cm away.
This takes a little practice, especially coming from rub in, or aerosol polishes but by the third attempt, I’d got it sussed. I was a bit concerned when it tuned a bit like runny custard but like the bike wash, this is so you can easily gauge even coverage
Thankfully, so long as you’ve not been too enthusiastic, the formula seems very forgiving. Minor runs/streaks such as those in the photos won’t tell in the final finish but judge the weather carefully. Nice breezy afternoons and frames were touch dry and could be relocated to the garage in around 15minutes. Total curing time is around 30. That said, move bikes to a warm, dry space and apply there if rain looks imminent.
Initial results were impressive, restoring a jewelled showroom shine to those small areas of the Univega’s paintwork that have, despite extensive owner involvement dulled with over 114,000 miles and eighteen winters.
Obviously, it’s completely useless on matt or satin finishes but otherwise, the song remained the same on powder coated and 2pac paints, carbon fibre, lacquered, anodized and polished surfaces
This wasn’t unexpected, even relatively basic silicone infused preps look great to start with. However, the aftershine 101 doesn’t leave behind that filmy layer, which eventually gets contaminated by dust and other airborne particles, let alone the greasy witches’ brew synonymous with winter roads.
Bikes in seasonal hibernation are gleaming and dry to touch-no sign of dust or similar contaminant three months in. Allowing for a relatively dry autumn, my Univega and cross inspired winter/trainer are still on their original coat.
It behaves much like a good polymer car wax. Rain beads up and just rolls away. Really wet roads littered with dung, straw and similar detritus have left a superficial patina around the forks and rear triangle but this and stray drops of chain lube are easily dismissed with a cloth, leaving a sound layer of protectant behind.
It’s too early to say how well it protects against salt until the gritting lorries have gone home but chips and similar flaws remain free of the dreaded orange taint.
Some will baulk at £7.95 and I can see their point given neat 1 litre car wash n’ wax can be bought for a couple of quid. However, mine haven’t matched the Bike Shine’s lustre or staying prowess.
The triple pack covers most bases and work well together. Once depleted, I would be inclined to purchase the Bike Wash in larger quantities, economies of scale means it works out even cheaper, which is good news if you have a big fleet; or fancy clubbing together with your mates. The aftershine, though more expensive than alternatives is also economical and effective. Only the drivetrain degreaser falls into the good but not great category. Personally, I’ve found it a little harsh on the hands and performance isn’t good enough to coax me from Fenwick’s FS1, which is gentler, arguably faster acting and can be diluted to suit.
Overall Verdict 3.75/5 Unusual and very effective bike care kit but degreaser merits improvement.
Cycle shine 4/5
Drive Train Degreaser 3.5/5
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2016
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH