Red Ant Carbon bicycle frame cleaner is specifically formulated for the kind and speedy dismissal of gloop and grime from the mighty weave, though it works handsomely on glossy painted/electroplated surfaces too.
Exact composition is decidedly top-secret but essentially a blend of PH neutral base fortified with less than 5% anionic surfactants. This latter component is designed to cut through grime more aggressively than its ionic cousins but also attacks proteins, so keep well away from children, pets and aquatic life, and avoid contact with eyes/skin.
Seeing identical ingredients and accosted by a similar aroma within matt and titanium sibling products raised suspicions of badge-engineering. Deliberately applying traces of their matt cleaner to a retired carbon cage distressed the lacquer top coat, verifying Red Ant's surface specific, non-interchangeable claims.
Modus operandi will be intuitive to regular users of spray on bike washes. Park machines somewhere convenient outside, away from direct sunlight; connect the trigger and being the family's most gentle member, engulf the entire bike in short blasts from around 20cm.
While this subtle fizzing cocktail beavers away on a molecular level for three to five minutes (depending on filth factor) run yourself a nice big bucket of tepid water and round up that jumbo sponge, ready to rinse off.
Results are pleasing and it's notably better than bog standard foaming brews on petrochemical based lubes/slurry, brake dust although the most tenacious, ingrained stuff occasionally required a second, localised helping.
Unlike many household bike washes, streaking, spotting/similar blemishes have been refreshingly absent first time every time. However, there's no getting away from the fact ten quid for 500mililitres isn't cheap and my favourite citrus based bike wash achieves similar, results in comparable timescales with no threat to surfaces.
Powerful, yet gentle cleaner for carbon and glossy surfaces but good quality bike washes achieve similar bang for less buck
road.cc test report
Make and model: Red Ant Carbon Fibre Bicycle Frame Cleaner
Size tested: 500ml
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Frame friendly, fast, effective and safe all over carbon fibre bike cleaner". No quibble here, though use sparingly and avoid contact with eyes/skin.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Unique PH Neutral formulation is effective at cleaning heavy dirt whilst protecting your frame and other surfaces
* Unique carbon fibre frame dirt release and degreasing technology
* New bio-degradable cleaning technology
Quite nice to use but mind your eyes and exposed skin.
A little goes reassuringly far when used carefully.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, this carbon cleaner works a treat on composites, painted and plated surfaces with no hint of residual/streaking. For best effects, seal in the shine using a good quality polymer based wax.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very effective and thus far, gentle to all surfaces.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in particular, although relatively expensive compared with good quality bike washes so use sparingly.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)