The Bike List

Tools, Maintenance & Cleaning

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There are dozens of bike cleaning products out there, but more often than not, shops will stock Muc-Off. It's been the go-to brand for years now and recently became a proud sponsor of Team Sky. Their Nano Tech Bike Cleaner comes in a variety of sizes from one-litre spray bottles to 25-litre tubs to decant into smaller spray bottles. And naturally,...

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I hate getting punctures. It's not the actual puncture that's the problem, it's the hassle involved in getting back on the road. And there's nothing worse than smugly riding up the cycle lane beside queuing traffic only to have to let them pass you as you fiddle and faff around swapping tubes. Like most regular cyclists I'm well versed in...

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Most people will be content with a visit to their local bike store to find some bicycle cleaning products. Others more adventurous make seek to save a few pennies by visiting online retailers. But few, I suspect, will have been lucky enough to come across Chemicals Direct Ltd. Don't be put off by the name though, these guys have been around...

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Polishing frames isn't for everyone, nor for every bike. If you've got a steed that takes pride of place in the household, then this polish is the right product for you. Equally, if you've got an old alloy frame that you turbo on all year round, a six monthly polish is not a bad idea to protect it from the sweat and salt of your hard labour...

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Purple Harry clearly advertise this as a dry chain lube that is still suitable "for all conditions, but most suited to the usual weather mix we get here in the UK". Sounds promising, right? One size fits all? Strangely, the application instructions differ between the Dry and Wet Chain Lubes, as I found the hard way - under apply this lube...

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Wet chain lube is usually a safe bet for UK cyclists, you just never know when you'll end up pulling your waterproofs out. Even on the driest of days with the bluest of skies, you'll inevitably ride down some country lanes covered in muck, puddles, or you never know, a flooded junction or two. As a rule of thumb, wet chain lube is usually...

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It is with certainty that as you first slip Purple Harry's Bike Wash and Polish Mitt over your hand, you will turn to whoever is nearest, raise your hand, palm open and in some distorted voice say "ET phone home". The mitt has the otherworldly look of an alien hand with only three visible fingers into which all five of yours will fit. The material...

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Purple Harry is clearly a brand that seeks to innovate, coming up with multiple products and approaches that are new to the market. Their Sanitiser continues on this path, offering a product usually found in other closely linked industries like hiking or snowsports. The Sanitiser comes in a 250ml bottle with an ordinary spray nozzle. Apply it to...

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There are general cleaning products aplenty in the cycling industry these days and most cyclists will either get the cheapest they can, or the one their local bike shop stocks. Prices range from around £5-£10 depending where you shop, so Purple Harry's product sits closer to the top end. This Cleaner and Degreaser is a two-in-one product - there...

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The first thing you'll notice about Purple Harry's Bike Maintenance Spray is that the shape and size of this bottle is extremely misleading, so I feel it is my duty as a reviewer to provide a stark warning: THIS IS NOT A CLEANING PRODUCT, IT IS A LUBRICANT! Most manufacturers will sell this type of product in a compressed aerosol canister with a straw....

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Purple Harry's Bike Floss was their very first product to be launched. A simple, yet innovative and effective solution for anybody that enjoys riding a clean bike. We've all used these in our youth, fabricating various objects and calling them houses, or dogs - never quite understanding the frown of confusion on our parents' face when we showed them....

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Purple Harry's Bike Floss was their very first product to be launched. A simple, yet innovative and effective solution for anybody that enjoys riding a clean bike. We've all used these in our youth, fabricating various objects and calling them houses, or dogs - never quite understanding the frown of confusion on our parents' face when we showed them....

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Once you're done cleaning your bike, chain, lubed things up and polished the frame, it's likely you yourself will be absolutely filthy dirty. Fortunately, Juice Lubes have done the necessary to complete their bike maintenance package with their Hand Cleaner. If you've ever used exfoliating face wash, you'll understand how this wonderfully cherry-smelling...

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This product will appeal to any cyclist with a tendency to be a bit OCD, or perhaps OCP (obsessive compulsive poser). JL's Polish & Protector is served up in a compressed canister, much like you'd find for wood polish or window cleaner. And the effect is much the same - your frame will shine as if it were new. To make things even better, your...

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There are hundreds of different types of chain lube out there these days, and unless you know what you're looking for, it can be difficult to sift through the selection. Most local bike stores will have their preferred suppliers, and this may force your hand to whomever they have selected. Broadly speaking, there are three different types of chain...

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There are hundreds of different types of chain lube out there these days, and unless you know what you're looking for, it can be difficult to sift through the selection. Most local bike stores will have their preferred suppliers, and this may force your hand to whomever they have selected. Broadly speaking, there are three different types of chain...

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There are hundreds of different types of chain lube out there these days, and unless you know what you're looking for, it can be difficult to sift through the selection. Most local bike stores will have their preferred suppliers, and this may force your hand to whomever they have selected. Broadly speaking, there are three different types of chain...

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Chains don't usually like water - it makes them rust! Juice Lubes JL-69 is a very good option to chase out any water that may be lingering in your chain after cleaning. Once you've cleaned your chain and removed the Dirty Little Scrubber chain cleaning tool , spin your chain backwards gently while spraying the JL-69 onto it. This will give you...

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Maintaining the condition of your chain is a very important aspect of cycling. A clean chain will last longer, run quieter and allow better, cleaner gear shifts. Aesthetically, there is no doubt that a clean chain will always look better on a bike, arguably: even on mud-covered MTB! So the first step to keeping a chain in good condition is to know...

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Maintaining the condition of your chain is a very important aspect of cycling. A clean chain will last longer, run quieter and allow better, cleaner gear shifts. Aesthetically, there is no doubt that a clean chain will always look better on a bike, arguably: even on mud-covered MTB! So the first step to keeping a chain in good condition is to know...

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A clean bike is a quiet bike, and usually a quiet bike is one that runs very well, so Juice Lubes have developed a broad range of products to keep your bike not only clean, but to silence it further with various lubricants that improve the performance of gear shifting or braking. We've cleaned countless bikes with our samples and have been thoroughly...

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I'll be the first to admit I am always dubious about anti-fog products. They sound like self-cleaning glass or self-cutting lawns. But fortunately, Microclair have produced an effective product that does exactly what it says on the bottle. The application is simple: smear a drop of the product on both sides of the lens using your finger, allow to...

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Cyclists fall into two groups: those who use their bikes for leisure and those who use them as a practical means of transport. Of the two, the group most likely to keep their bikes clean and in good working order are those who ride for leisure; the daily rides tend to be ignored until dirt and grime builds up to the extent that gears stop shifting...

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Every cyclist with an eye on maintenance needs a good set of hex wrenches. Of course, you can use a multi-tool for workshop tweaks and nipping-up tasks, but tools designed to be used on the trail or roadside are built to be small, light and multi-purpose, and for frequent use, aren’t as comfortable as something more dedicated. Here’s...

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Tyre levers are an essential addition to any repair kit or home workshop. Unlike tyres of old, modern rubber can’t always be forced on with strong fingers and spoon handles, and having a good set of tyre levers to remove a stubborn tyre on a cold day or mid way through a timed event can be a godsend. The standard black plastic tyre levers...

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Storing more than one bike in your garage is a royal pain in the neck. For something that’s seemingly only an inch wide, cycles take up an inordinate amount of room, fall over regularly, and have a tiresome habit of grabbing out at untethered clothing as you walk by. The ubiquitous wall-mounted, top-tube holding, two-pronged rack largely solves...

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At just 96g, or 104g with the supplied silicon sleeve in place, the Birzman Feexman Cicada 10 is a wonderfully light option as your on-the-trail multi tool. As its name suggests, it offers 10 functions you're likely to need, and unlike most lightweight tools, you actually get a fully-functional chain splitter as part of the deal. This comes in two...

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The first thing that struck me about the Rennkompressor, apart from its mouthful of a name, was the sheer weight of it. This is a seriously solidly engineered piece of kit and, with all parts replaceable, should be a floor pump for life. It comes with an impressive heritage and, pay a trip to any international track meet, and you’ll see the lion’s...

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Everyone who services their own bike deserves a decent set of hex wrenches. Most of us fiddle and faff with our multi-tools or a set of loose Allen keys we got cheap from a DIY store, and while you can successfully build a complete bike with such things, it’s nice to have some classy, bespoke tools to make the servicing a pleasure rather than...

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As the axle of a bike, the bottom bracket is one of the main bearings that’s most exposed to grime and gunge, and as a result, everyone will need to replace a BB at some point. The first signs of a wearing BB is some play when you hold both cranks and rock them from side to side, and the worse this play gets, the more urgent your BB replacement...

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Whether you love to ride light with just the bare essentials in a jersey pocket, or like to be fully prepared with a backpack or barbag full of just-in-case kit, one thing that every rider needs is a decent pump. Even with 'puncture proof 'tyres, flats are a reality of cycling and as such, they need to be embraced just as much as headwinds, rain or ...

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A little while back we reviewed the 18 volt cordless version of this pressure washer and gave it 4 stars all round. We couldn't fault its rugged design, solid performance and versatility. The 12 volt version of the Nomad is essentially the same unit except it's powered by your car's battery via a cord that plugs into the cigarette lighter or power...

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We all know the importance of keeping our bikes clean but, for most sane cyclists, it's a pain in the backside and only Top Trumped by turbo training on the boredom stakes. It's a necessary evil though and, living in the Peak District with its drive chain eating gritstone mud, is an almost daily chore. Any product that makes it quicker, easier and...

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With carbon frames and components becoming more affordable, it's becoming critical to ensure you don't overtighten your bike's bolts. Crushing a carbon tube with the overzealous use of an hex key or ratchet can prove a hideously expensive mistake, and with some bike bits only requiring 3 or 4 Nm of force, it's not so easy to get it right on 'feel'...

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Although the claims of being "a toolbox in a can" might be a slight exaggeration, Silicon Shine is a great finishing product, particularly if you like your carbon weave to look especially bling. Spray on to clean and dry surfaces and then buff to a lustrous shine. It's quicker, easier and gives a better shine than wax products. It's also...

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You know the feeling. You've just hammered down that final rush of singletrack to finish another awesome day of mountain biking, but taking the edge off that perfect day is a cold, wet and windy queue at the bike wash. Or worse, no bike wash area and a very muddy car.  Cue the 18V Nomad portable pressure washer. They say it's, "the world's...

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Designed primarily to keep your helmet liner pads smelling sweet using Foam Fresh is a simple case of spray on the foam, let in soak in, wipe off the excess and hello citrus fresh smelling skid lid. It works brilliantly and my regular ride buddy and self-confessed sweat monster Rory now swears by it. Almost six quid is quite a lot to pay though,...

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In the world of cycling formulae there's always one constant when it comes to determining speed on the bike and that is weight. The lighter the kit you carry, the faster you might be able to go. However, there are limits, which this 20cm, Presta only mini pump seems to have reached. Yes, it's the lightest on the market, which may put you on a par with...

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A torque wrench is fast becoming a necessity for cyclists who like to maintain their own bikes. It's increasingly more common to find the recommended Newton-metres (Nm) rating stamped onto alloy and carbon components, and it makes a lot of sense to ensure items like stems and cranks are tightened to the optimum setting. Do them up too slack...

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The search for a mini pump that can match a full-size pump has become something of a grail-type quest for many cyclists. Personally, I have half-a-dozen different pumps in my toolbox, each promising the same thing, and each failing to deliver. It all reminds me of the father of my school French exchange partner who had an obsession with recreating...

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It's an irrational grievance, but I hate paying for air. Every other commodity carries a fee, from electricity to fuel to water, but air is the last life essential that's free of charge. (Unless you're a scuba diver). So it makes me bristle when I have to buy a token on a filling station forecourt to pump up my car tyres. I know that I'm...

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If Volkswagen chose to single out the satisfying clunk that their car doors made to highlight the quality of their manufacturing, fellow countrymen SKS might like to point to the reasurringly ergonomic feel of their mini multitool. The CT-Worx nestles neatly in your palm but manages to pack in 20 different functions through its array of...