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Buyers guide: best bike cleaning kits

Cyclist magazine
7 Apr 2020

Cleaner is faster. And with these kits, you’ve got no excuse!

Let’s be honest, staying on top of keeping your bike clean is a pain in the posterior. For many of us the last thing we want to do after a long ride is get down on our haunches and start scrubbing our bike. It’s just not fun, especially when you’re shattered.

But if you don’t want to spend a fortune on constantly replacing parts wrecked by dirt it just has to be done.

To make life as simple as possible, we’ve scoped the market to see what’s out there that might make cleaning your bike that bit easier.

Here are some of the best bike cleaning kits

Muc-Off 8-in-1 Kit

What they say: The Muc-Off 8-in-1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit is perfect for any lover of bikes. Complete with Nano Tech Bike Cleaner, Expanding Microcell Sponge, Soft Washing Brush, Detailing Brush, Claw Brush, Two Prong Brush, Bike Spray and Storage Tub this kit has pretty much everything you need to keep your bike looking nice and tidy. 

It makes a great Christmas or birthday gift for your bicycle obsessed friends and family.

What we say: This is a comprehensive kit including four brushes, a sponge, Muc-Off’s iconic pink Nano-Tech cleaning liquid, a bike protector spray and storage tub-cum-bucket.

After drenching our bike in the excellent Nano-Tech cleaning liquid, we brushed and scrubbed at it before rinsing it down. The variety of brushes worked well on the frame, including hard to reach areas, and the handy claw brush made a valiant effort at getting excess muck out from between the cogs on the rear cassette. 

Muc-Off’s famous pink Nano Tech cleaner lives up to its reputation in this great kit. If this set came with a drivetrain cleaner as well, we’d be happy to end the contest here - still given its low cost, we're nitpicking.

Read our full review here 

Buy now from Tweeks for £28 

Green Oil Eco Rider Deluxe Cleaning Set

What the makers say: The greenest bike maintenance set on the market, containing the world's greenest bike maintenance products. The Eco Rider Deluxe set contains both the world's first FSC certified bike product, the Bicycle Brush, and our frame cleaning cloth, EcoRag.

The Green Clean famously has a reclaimed fizzy drinks cap on the top, and all the 100ml bottles inside are made from 100% recycled plastic. None of the products contain PTFE or petrochemicals.

What we say: Even if you’ve met Green Oil before it may surprise you to learn that in each Deluxe set you get a pack of seeds, ours were basil, to plant in the bucket once you’re done with it. Other more helpful, to cleaning, items include a bike brush, a rag, bike cleaner as well as lube and a degreaser.

We were particularly struck by this last item as it’s a jelly so clings to the chain rather than falling straight off again so we gave this a trial straight off, it clings like lube and did a respectable job.

Our box came with an alternative natural bristled Green Brush that was great for generally working over the bike, although it might be a bit gentle for areas like the cassette. Either way, it combined with the Bike Cleaner to produced a pleasant foaming action.

We love where Green Oil are coming from - the effectiveness of its products. Still, we'd still supplement in a few items for really blitzing the drivetrain. 

Crankalicious The Works

What the makers say: Key parts of our range that the cycle cleaning enthusiast - whether new to bike detailing or an experienced professional - needs to achieve the perfect finish.

A selection of products, work cloths and accessories, this kit provides everything needed to clean, dry and protect any type of bicycle.

What we say: One for the perfectionists. You could well be forgiven for thinking that Crankalicious has got carried away with its cleaning bucket, it’s packed with 12 items that include cleaner, washcloth, degreaser, buffing cloth, frame polish and more - it’s not a surprise to learn that these Brits come from a car-care background.

We love the idea of the Gumchain Remedy for those hard to reach areas. Like others there are no brushes included Crankalicious instead prefer to use a wash mitt which makes problem areas like the bottom bracket or callipers difficult to get fully clean, without other tools.

Pineapple Express, the cleaner spray was effective enough and combined well with the Limon Velo degreaser to sort out those oily build-ups. It’s hard not to see the value here with so many items included, if you’re the really fastidious type then The Works has got to be on your shopping list.  

Buy now for £55 from Crankalicious

Juice Lubes Scrub & Buff Pack

What they say: Our Scrub and Buff pack includes everything you need to get your bike cleaned, lubed, polished and ready for the trail or the road.

This big value gift bundle equates to a 25% saving over buying these items separately.

What we say: Straight off the bat we liked the fact that this kit includes a chain-scrubbing machine. While this set may not have a bucket or brushes, the hardest part to clean on a bike is undoubtedly the drivetrain, so this little machine makes life a lot easier.

Unlike some chain machines, this one has a small metal arm that clips behind the jockey wheel, leaving your hands free to turn the crank and wipe up any excess liquid as the chain comes through. Using the big jug of super concentrate ‘dirt juice’ we broke the black grime on our bike’s chain with ease while also mixing some with water to wash the frame and components.

We then used the Viking lube on all our bikes moving parts and finished the job with the bike polish and protector. Which gave it a gorgeous shine that winter will devour. All things considered, despite its spartan appearance, this kit is an effective grime fighter. 

Buy now from Juice Lubes for £37

FWE Cleaning Products

What they say: The FWE 5 brush set includes gear, tyre, cog, tapered bristle and frame brushes which are all stored in a handy reusable mesh bag. 

Our FWE Disc Brake Cleaning Spray is a heavy-duty formula which effectively cleans, degreases, prevents squeaking and improves braking performance. FWE Citrus Degreaser is a powerful degreasing agent which effectively cleans and degreases drivetrain components. While our cleaner is a 100% acid-free cleaner that removes tough road grime, dust and oil.

What we say: With a collated cleaning kit still in the pipeline, we picked a few individual products from Evans Cycles’s own brand FWE. Value is pretty decent considering we got five brushes, a mesh net, a cleaner, degreaser and even a disc brake cleaner for 40 quid.

The degreaser works well, but the aerosol is hard to direct to a specific area, so could end up where you don’t want it. The disc-brake cleaner works similarly proficiently. Evans also makes its own mechanical chain cleaner which will set you back another £15.99 and could make your life both a little easier and less messy. 

Not a kit as such, the FWE range represents a great collection of cleaning items at a very good price.

Buy the brush kit now from Evans Cycles for £16.99 or the cleaning products here 

Read our guides on how to clean your bike chain, how to adjust your front derailleurs and how to change a tyre and inner tube without levers

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