Describing Finish line Gear floss as the ultimate finishing tool might be pushing things a bit but they'd make a great gift for the rider who's otherwise impossible to buy for.
Working to the same principal as dental floss, the clever micro-fibre strips latch onto the dirt, preventing it from cross contaminating other parts of the drivetrain. Better still, they're machine washable so can be reused over and over again. Quite how often is unclear but suffice to say I'm on my fourth cycle without any obvious deterioration in performance. Common to similar grime gobblers, a preliminary purge using a cassette claw reaps best rewards, especially on really gruesome congealed gunge.
Prise open the pack and you're presented with twenty 51cm lengths of super tactile woven rope with crimped ends to prevent them fraying. Essentially the result of a steamy tryst between old school trainer laces and knitting wool, they consume literally zero space so hygiene freaks could always pop a few in the panniers or pocket for a spot of road-side sprucing. Getting the most from each strip is basically a question of tackling the cleanest areas first. Under the brakes, a trip around the cantilever bosses and on to the hub cones perhaps...
Clasping the ends between your fingers, adopting a push-me, pull you sawing motion sees the grease, grime and unmentionables vanish from derailleur cages, square taper bottom bracket axle/crank interfaces and those jockey wheels. This isn't simply an exercise in bike vanity either, since this sludge can become a mightily potent grinding paste, chomping through chains, rings and sprockets at a ruinous rate. Top to toe pre hibernation fettling had the Teenage Dream sparking in two strips whereas crusty 'cross and mountain bikes come closer to six. Curiously, the self-cleansing wax type lubes that float off in congealed clumps showed a tendency for engulfing the fibres but quickening the pace saw it run clean and ready to tackle behind the block, across the hub flanges, disc mounts and other intricate areas previously off limits.
Brilliant workshop/generic sprucing tool with the power to encourage obsessional cleaning.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Finish Line Gear Floss
Size tested: White
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?
"Finish Line Gear Floss is the ultimate detailing tool! Perfect for cleaning your rear cassette, front chain rings, derailleur pulley wheels, hubs and spindles, brake arms, bottom bracket / crank interface, and more".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from strips of washble microfibres designed to trap and reain dirt, thus avoiding cross contamination.
Still going strong
Pleasant to use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Despite some initial scepticism, the gear floss has proven an excellent addition to the workshop, allowing easy removal of generic grime from otherwise inaccessible areas.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy, efficient and moreover washable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 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)