SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
WELDTITE CITRUS DEGREASER
1 litre £10.99
The Weldtite Citrus Degreaser is another, fruity smelling formula that does a decent job of dismissing lubes, grot and indeed, some greases. In a pinch, it also makes a decent bike wash. However, while results are pleasing, look elsewhere if you’re seeking a warp speed striper.
Pros: Effective, Versatile and economical.
Cons: Slower acting, especially on heavy duty wet lubes and greases.
Now, this citrus smelling, lemon colour solution is made from Limonene, a major component extracted from citrus fruit peel and plants. It’s commonly found in industrial/household cleaners and behaves in much the same way as solvents.
These can also be a little caustic, so need careful application and to some extent, storage. Gloves and eye wear are a good precaution, especially if you’ve sensitive skin, or are doing an extended clean of several bikes. In keeping with similar products, it’s designed to be rinsed with clean water.
Method of application
The Citrus degreaser can be applied in several ways, depending on what level of clean you’re looking to achieve. When it comes to light-moderately soiled chains, pour a little into a chain bath and run through as usual. Aside from minimising wastage, the bristles will agitate the mixture and tickle lube/contaminant free.
Bearing caustic properties in mind, it can be applied via a brush to drivetrain components such as cassettes, derailleur jockey wheels and ring(s) in situ, say when giving bike(s) a good wash. I’d be inclined to remove the rear wheel when tackling the cassette with a stiff brush, to avoid splashing the frame and other painted finishes.
For deep component cleans strip and place them in a parts washer/bucket/old sweet tin. Pour in the citrus degreaser, scrub periodically with a stiff bristled brush, extract ingrained gunk from cassettes with a claw type end. Leave marinating as required. Unless these are really congealed, I’d be inclined to rinse anodised/aluminium alloy parts promptly and would avoid letting it linger on seals/other rubberised components, too.
In a Pinch Bike wash 3.5/5
With these other caveats in mind, it can be deployed as a relatively powerful bike wash. Mix 100ml with 900ml water into an old trigger spray bottle. Round up your bucket of warm water, brush/sponge first, then spray over the bike. Leave it 30 seconds before working into a lather using your brush/sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Overall results are very good, but its slower acting on heavily soiled components, especially those fed stiff wet lubes/greases. Chains fed Zefal Extra Wet Ceramic Chain Lube being a prime example. Applied via chain bath, it did a decent job of stripping the remnants but made relatively little impression on the gunky congealed stuff coating the cassette and derailleur jockey wheels.
Time pressed, I stripped these with a shot of Weldtite Jet Blast and the residual using a rag dipped in white spirit. By contrast, using the chain bath method, a middle weight prep, such as Muc Off –50 was dismissed and the chain ready for fresh lube, in under two minutes.
If you’re a disciplined cleaner, or during the drier months, a tour de chain bath and superficial scrub of the cassette/sprocket may be all that’s required. Otherwise, when it comes to tackling stocky wet/ceramics, whip out the rear wheel and really blitz the cassette with your chosen stiff brush (long handled kitchen types will serve well, in terms of coverage and abrasion).
Bargain on 20 minutes, using this technique although when performing a mid-season deep clean, I’ve been inclined to leave heavily soiled polished/stainless and electroplated parts soaking overnight. Come morning, give these a final tickling with your chosen scrubber, rinse with warm and then cold water and refit.
Mixed 1:10 as a bike wash, it’s been very effective on organic and petrochemical cocktails that get collected along wet, greasy winter roads. Lathered and rinsed promptly, bikes have been squeaky clean with no sign of streaking or water marks. That said; I’ve been inclined to give gloss finishes a quick blast of furniture/ polish product and buff to a sheen, afterward.
Talking of brushes, nylon bristle plots can become quite heavily contaminated. Pouring residual citrus degreaser into a fresh pot, it will do a decent job of gobbling these and even after a few days standing, these seem unaffected by the citrus solution.
£10.99 for 1 litre is very reasonable, especially since it doesn’t evaporate and can be reused. Bike Hut Citrus Degreaser 1 Litre is probably its closest rival and is £1 cheaper. Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Super Concentrate Bike Cleaner comes at £11.99 for 1 litre and works noticeably faster on comparable grime. Cankalicious Pineapple Express Rapid Acting Bike Cleaner Concentrate also smells citrusy, similar versatile and faster acting than both. However, it’s almost twice the price.
Weldtite Citrus Degreaser is a useful addition to the workshop, but not all things to all people. What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in cleanliness and economy - a little goes a long way and can be reused a few times. However, it suits disciplined mechanics who perform scheduled deep cleans. Not everyone has the time, or the inclination to strip and leave drivetrain parts marinating, especially during winter. There are several, similarly priced competitors that work faster and/or require less effort to achieve similar results.
Verdict: 3/5 Versatile cleaner with good results but slower acting on stubborn, ingrained grot.
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2021
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH