Imagine a spray can of degreaser with a chain bath fixed to the nozzle: that's The Trigger Chain Cleaning kit. The degreaser is good. The chain bath is a waste of money.
Call me cynical, but whenever I clap eyes on the marketing blurb for a new chain cleaning product my natural reaction is to think 'Magic chain cleaning fairies in a can? They're having a larf!' One day I'll be wrong. This is not that day.
The Trigger's premise is simple: attach chain bath to can, clip that over the chain, back-pedal three times while holding down the trigger, and watch as your chain turns from a gunky rope of sludge to a sparkly necklace fit for a future queen. That's the theory. In practice, holding down the trigger (which keeps the top of the cleaner snug on the chain) while pressing the top of the aerosol and simultaneously back-pedalling against the resistance generated by the cleaner is a tricky operation that requires considerable dexterity or a spare pair of hands.
So it's awkward to use, but does it actually do the job? No. The two skinny brushes in the chain bath, along with some rather weedy rubber baffles, simply aren't up to the task. The degreaser is pretty good, but the chain bath just shuffles the loosened dirt around a bit. If you want a truly clean chain you'll need to spend some extra time with a toothbrush and some kitchen roll, in which case you may as well just buy the Clean Streak degreaser and not bother with the clip-on chain bath at all.
As an experiment I tried the degreaser in conjunction with a sturdy Park Tools chain bath. This was easier to use and its brushes offered much more chain contact. Although the chain still needed to be wiped down, there was much less dirt and grot clinging to it.
The Clean Streak degreaser alone would get 8/10. I've based my scores on the whole Trigger Chain Cleaning kit package, whose chain bath doubles the price while adding very little of value.
The degreaser is bang on target but the Trigger misfires
road.cc test report
Make and model: White Lightning The Trigger Chain Cleaning kit
Size tested: n/a
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?
"The Fast and Easy Chain Cleaning System
The power of Clean Streak™ plus the scrubbing action of a chain cleaner! Snap onto the chain, backpedal and pull the trigger
The Trigger is fast and EASY TO USE: just open the package, and you're ready to go. Place The Trigger over the chain, and close the lid of the chain cleaner with your trigger (index) finger. Spray Clean Streak through the chain cleaner and onto the chain while backpedaling for 3 chain revolutions. Stop spraying, but continue to turn the crank for several more rotations. You'll have a clean chain in under 20 seconds!"
Did you enjoy using the product? No - fiddly, awkward and ineffective
Would you consider buying the product? The degreaser, yes, but not the chain cleaner
Would you recommend the product to a friend? See above
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 5' 8 Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
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: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides