Muc-Off – First Look
Muc-Off is a name that is becoming synonymous with bike cleaner. We check out some of their finest from the line-up
Everyone recognises the pink spray bottle. If you don’t, have you been living in a cave?! Round about 1991, fresh from designing the world’s first dual crown fork, the Trimnells created the now iconic pink bike cleaner spray we all know. Over two decades in and the company is still going strong with an impressive 4 stage line-up to Clean, Protect & Shine and Lube your bike, followed by Rider Care for your own sweaty carcass. We’ve got our (frankly grubby) paws on a selection of products across the line-up and also talked to the guys about some of the new stuff that is on the way.
The classic 1litre bottle of pink stuff, which now contains Nano Particles. Those of you who paid attention in school will know that “Nano” means very small, and these tiny particles within the cleaner mean they can get deeper into the microscopic surface of the grime, and tackle a bigger surface area. Following? Well it doesn’t matter, it works, and works well; gone are the days of bike cleaner not getting on well with disc rotors and pads too. Happily it is also fully biodegradable so as you sluice it out of your race pits into the nearby stream you can sleep easily at night. As well as the 1L you can get 500ml spray bottles, and 5 & 25 litres containers of the cleaner.
Many of Muc-Off’s products are now available as refills, and the Nano Tech Cleaner is no exception. A Concentrate pack of 500ml makes 2L of cleaner, and you can refill you existing cleaner bottle, or clean out an old bottle of Flash once mum has finished with it. It is great to see companies stepping up to the environmental mantle with solutions (pun intended) like this. Less packaging, less transportation cost as you aren’t carting lorries about, and that can only mean good things for the costs! If you have some especially tough grime (the sliders on my chain device were minging!) then you can use the solution neat without any damage to your parts as well. As well as the 500ml size, you can buy a flagon of 5 litres that will make you 20L of cleaner.
At Eurobike we were shown the X-3 chain cleaning device, but sadly these are not in stock yet. We can tell you they are fully replaceable, and looked built to last. As soon as we get one wrapped on our chains we’ll bring you an update!
We have got their Biodegradeable Chain Cleaner, again water soluble and safe to launch into the drains, this just strips the most stubborn of filth away. We’ve been using it along with an old rag to keep things shiny for the time being. Next up in the spray can line-up is their disc brake cleaner. Residue free, this fresh smelling aerosol again leaves discs sparkling in the morning sunshine without knackering your pads, or your paint job.
MO94 is a wonderful spray that will penetrate and lubricate, as well as driving out any moisture using a PTFE based formula. Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethene (PTFE) is used in layers as Teflon in non-stick pans, and as the membrane in Gore-Tex garments, as well as coatings for all sorts of high wear items like the hulls of boats. It has an obvious competitor in the market, but MO94 works at least as well as it’s blue and yellow rival in all the right ways on your bike. It goes without saying that getting this on your braking surfaces would be a rubbish idea!
Keeping us lubed are the C3 range of ceramic lubricants. Billed as no compromise products for those that demand the best, the C3 products contain an exciting mix of chemicals, none of which are toxic. A super neat touch is the addition of a tiny UV torch with the dry lube that will allow you to inspect your chain to ensure it is properly coated and into the links. A bit of a gimmick perhaps? but it certainly allows you to really thoroughly inspect your chain. C3 is available in Wet and Dry formulae, and both are just the right consistency to be easy to apply and penetrate the chain, but not end up all over the living room floor. As with their bike cleaner, you can also purchase 1L refills of all of their lubes – nice work Muc-Off!
One for the weekend away… The dry shower is a coconut derived foam that doesn’t contain any alcohols so as it dries it doesn’t dry out your skin like that nasty handwash stuff in hospitals. It does seem to leave me feeling fresher, and while I probably wouldn’t risk it before a job interview or a friend’s wedding, for taking the edge of a commuter’s ming, it’s just the ticket. At Eurobike I was also shown the new Ice Fresh Sports Towel – as well as being super absorbent it will cool you down a treat after a hard session. As with the chain cleaner, they will be in the post as soon as and we’ll bring you an update on them.
Wrapping up the rider care series. Safe on most of the materials is likely to be made from it does make your helmet that bit more sparkly, and seems to stop the filth sticking to it as much.
We’re privileged in the UK to have some truly foul winter riding conditions to look forward to, and the whole Muc Off selection is going to get a serious work out over the next couple of months. We’ll bring you a full look at how it’s got on as the days start to lengthen and we dream of dust again…
Pictures – I am extremely grateful to the talented Year 13 Photography students of Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno, North Wales for taking the product shots for this article. Thanks guys!