There are two kinds of people; those who believe a clean bike is a happy bike and those who believe a dirty bike is happier. Either way, they need to be clean to achieve either result. It is also safe to say that most riders don’t enjoy cleaning their own two-wheeled companions if it doesn’t involve throwing their bike in a dishwasher (please don’t attempt this), while others may find the process extremely cathartic.
Fortunately, I am the latter…admittedly after much procrastination. Cleaning day came when I had become aware of the amount of crud that had accumulated on my bikes after weeks of neglect which included a few big trail days along with its share of crashes. Torture in the form of exacerbated wear and tear had me sympathetic towards my highly frequented bikes. Rather than use common under-the-sink cleaning methods or simple soap and water, I became curious of companies such as Muc-Off and their claim to make trail-weathered bikes showroom ready.
I have two dirty bikes and live in a salty, coastal climate. It was a no-brainer to try the Muc-Off Wash, Protect & Lube Kit (here
); as it has the degreaser to rid of my bike’s muddy skin, lube all the rust-prone joints in the rear mech and lube the chain of course. The kit comes with the iconic, pink Nano Tech Bike Cleaner in a 1-liter spray bottle along with a tall 400mL can of MO-94 for rust prevention/lubrication and a lasting 50mL drip bottle of Bio Wet chain lube for wet conditions (for which I substituted Muc-Off Bio Dry lube (here
) in its place).
I brought the first bike outside to the hose, placed it on the workstand and got to spraying the Nano Tech cleaner. First impressions were satisfying at the sight of a thick coat of white foam leaving the nozzle and clinging onto the blobs of dried mud once harbored by my frame’s tubes. I didn’t hesitate to cover my entire bike in this stuff as it is safe on all the materials, including all the often sensitive bits such as brake pads and rotors.
Letting the foam sit and run down the frame collecting and carrying off the dirt thrown up from my tires from the past few weeks was a sight to see, eventually leaving a foamy-brown puddle beneath my bike. While it took some extra spray and elbow grease to get some dried tire sealant off my seat tube after an attempted puncture, it ripped the dirt off my bike with no problem. All spray, no pray. Next was to try out the low-viscosity MO-94 and my rear mech was a prime candidate. Plenty of pivots, hinges, and steel springs inside to collect rust if no preventative matters are enforced.
A nice thin coat of the seemingly luminous blue lube made its way throughout my derailleur and had it smelling pretty good, too! After wiping off any excess, the final step of drying/lubing my chain remained. As previously mentioned, I replaced the kit’s wet lube with their Bio Dry, a wax-based equivalent, to suit my riding environment. I’ve used this lube for a couple months now, applying a few times a week with no issues.
Dirt doesn’t ambush my chain links, shifting performance is enhanced and it runs quiet when correctly applied. This Muc-Off stuff truly takes the dread out of caring for your bike to make it last and be happy, longer. Perhaps more bike owners will see it that way. I now believe that a clean bike is a performing bike, while a dirty bike is a happy bike.
Purchase your kit for only $24.99 here.
Photos and words by Mike Cartier