Although we have a number of keen product reviewers, when asked who wanted to review Weldtite’s Dirtwash offerings, the usually vocal reviewer pool kept strangely quiet, and so it fell onto yours truly, who is perhaps one of the worst at maintaining a clean bike, to review the products.
What we got: Weldtite were generous enough to send a box full of goodies for us to use, included in this review are the Bike Cleaner, Citrus Degreaser, Chain Cleaning Machine, Lubricant, and Protect and Shine. We also received a bunch of different chain lubes, which will be reviewed separately.
As a rider in the Peak District – the true breaker of chains due to the gritty consistency of the mud, my post ride maintenance is usually a case of a quick blast of degreaser on the drive train, a brush, rinse, dry and lube; general bike muck is just a sign you actually ride and don’t just write about it! But with a full gamut of Weldtite products to review, my trusty Vitus was to get the full works this time.
Following the instructions, the bike was rinsed and sprayed liberally with the bike cleaner. An obvious citrus smell followed, albeit a slightly toxic one, as you’d expect. Left for a short while, brushed and rinsed, and what do you know, the mud slid off. Onto the drivetrain.
Following my own usual process, a liberal amount of degreaser was sprayed on the cassette and chain and the bike run through the gears, again left for a while and then brushed and rinsed, I must admit my cassette didn’t look quite as clean as normal, but then I don’t really spend a lot of time studying its cleanliness, so it could just be due to the closer inspection or the diminishing light that I noticed anything. It was certainly cleaner looking that it was before!
Stage 3 was a thorough chain clean, putting it through the supplied chain cleaning machine. I have had a Park Tools cleaner for a while and while pretty effective, it has always been a bit of a faff to hold and invariably ends up with spillage at some point. The Weldtite machine however, was great. The supplied concentrated citrus degreaser (disappointingly only enough for maybe 2 cleans, but pretty standard it appears) is poured into a reservoir for correct “dosage”, and the machine is hooked around the jockey wheel for a hands-free approach. Backpedalling to cycle the chain through the machine, the chain pops out of the end covered in soap suds with a hint of shine beneath almost instantly. It is recommended for dirty chains that you may have to repeat this step and drop the degreaser from the reservoir slowly as the chain passes through to ensure all links receive their medicine. I was honestly impressed with the chain cleaner, for a man who loathes cleaning his bike, I was actually smiling at my rewarded cleaning efforts.
The chain was then rinsed and dried while I lubed my forks and pumped to clear the seals of any residual gunk. Back to chain and each link was given a drop of Weldtite TF2 All Weather Lubricant (after all, winter is coming!), run through the gears and then the excess wiped off.
The final stage was to give the bike a polish using the Protect and Shine. As you might have guessed, I’ve never actually used one of these types of products before, so didn’t know what to expect. What I got was what I can best describe as furniture polish. It was applied carefully to selected parts of the bike and buffed off. The result was what I hoped, a shiny bike. The unfortunate part of that is that all my scrapes really show when there is no mud to hide them.
I was suitably impressed with everything Weldtite had to offer, the chain cleaner in particular will become a staple of post bike maintenance, heck, with the products I now have available, maybe I’ll even give my steed a proper wash more often.
Ed: Apologies for the Game of Throne references, but it is pretty epic!