Muc-Off Ultimate bicycle care kit  £58.00

7/10

A good assembly of cleaners and brushes in a handy box, but a chain cleaning device would be a good addition

Weight 3520g   Contact  www.muc-off.com

by John Whittington   May 13, 2012  

Muc-Off Ultimate bicycle care kit

The Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Kit brings together bike cleaning pioneer Muc-Off's main products to cover all stages of bike cleaning. Let's see if it's better than my usual bucket, sponge and washing up liquid.

The first step is to spray on Bicycle Cleaner, Muc-Off original product. The solvent is supposed to penetrate the dirt, getting between it and your bike's surface so that after a few minutes work it should wash off. The results are fair; on a lightly soiled road bike it does do a good job of cleaning the frame. That heavy road grime that builds up and sticks to everything it touches needs a little more work though.

Next, Chain Cleaner. Muc-Off Chain Cleaner comes in a smaller bottle with a spray or drip attachment. It is a biodegradable degreaser and works well at removing that horrid black gunk we just mentioned.

The Claw Brush helps a lot with this stage. It has lots of different-sized bristles, about the width of the teeth spacing on a cassette. It's very handy but I can't help feeling a chain cleaning device is missing here, especially when you're paying £58.

The trouble with that black gunk is that once on the bristles of your brush it just spreads around, requiring more degreaser. A chain cleaning device is the best way of really getting a drivetrain clean, although you do then have the issue of what to do with all the black gunky stuff collected in the reservoir.

Three other brushes and a sponge are also included in the kit, all designed by someone who has obviously cleaned a few bikes in their time. The idea is to use them after the spray has had a few minutes to work, to agitate more stubborn dirt, something I had to do most washes.

All the brushes have nice rubberised grips with premium bristles at just the right density, which don't get twisted or warped. There's a nice big one for the frame; a smaller, double-pronged pipe cleaner for seatstays, forks, and so on; and a tiny cone-shaped one brush fit in narrow gaps such as cleaning the hubs.

The sponge comes vacuum-packed and puffs up in water. That's a neat piece of packaging once it's opened, you can't vacuum it up again and placing the sodden thing back in the kit box isn't great.

At the agitation stage I still needed my trusty bucket and hose. The idea that you can just spray on Bicycle Cleaner and wash it off is something of a pipe dream. There is still a fair amount of elbow grease involved and I started to wonder whether washing up liquid in the bucket would be doing just as good a job, as I was still regularly dipping the brush/sponge in the bucket.

In fact, I started using washing up liquid again but with the other Muc-Off cleaning equipment, after the initial spraying of Bicycle Cleaner. Perhaps the cleaner still made the process easier but it felt like a fine line.

Once all the cleaning is done, out come the final three items: PTFE Bike Spray, Wet Lube and a Microfibre Polishing Cloth. The spray works like any other water displacer, driving out water and leaving a protective layer that dirt has trouble sticking to. It does a good job but a tube applicator would be a nice addition, to get into delicate areas such as brake calipers.

The Wet Lube was thick and long lasting, perhaps a little too heavy for summer road bike use though. I like the Microfibre Cloth for really getting that shine going on the frame.

Keeping it clean is a tough task though. Some of that black gunk always manages to hide, ready to soil it and then spread around everywhere. Only the deepest of cleans will get it out, a bit like chamoising your car!

The Ultimate Kit is a great package to bring the spice back into the garage. I couldn't wait to clean my bike once we received it - that might make it priceless for some! I still remain slightly doubtful of the effectiveness of the Bicycle Cleaner but the rest of the kit certainly makes cleaning a bike easier.

Everything's contained in a strong toolbox (with empty compartments at the top for small parts), so bike cleaning is just a cupboard away.

It's not amazing value at £58. Add up all the bits other than the toolbox and they come to £65.50. Ditch one item and you may as well do a pick and mix of the bits you really need. For £58 I'd expect a chain cleaning device, though at £45 from Wiggle the package looks much better value. If you're lacking any cleaning/maintenance stuff at all, the Muc-Off Ultimate kit is a strong starting point.

Verdict

A good assembly of cleaners and brushes in a handy box, but a chain cleaning device would be a good addition

road.cc test report

Make and model: Muc-Off Ultimate bicycle care 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 ultimate kit for anyone that needs to clean a bike, all bike owners I guess then!

I think it is missing a chain cleaning device to really be 'ultimate'.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Kit contents:

* Biodegradable Bike Cleaner (1 Ltr)

* Bike Spray (500ml)

* Wet Lube (50ml)

* Bio Drive Chain Cleaner (250ml)

* Luxury Microfibre Cloth

* Detailing Brush

* Soft Washing Brush

* Two Prong Brush

* Claw Brush

* Microcell Sponge

* Heavy Duty Parts Washer/Storage Tool Box

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

It is presented in a nice pink and black toolbox. All the brushes are ergonomic with rubbery grips. The spray bottle doesn't feel like it will break anytime soon so can be re-filled.

Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10

I question the bike cleaning spray's performance but the rest of the cleaning equipment is great. Wet lube is thick and long lasting but perhaps too much so for summer road biking. The degreaser works very well and is biodegradable as a plus.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

All the items are built well (brushes don't loose their bristles), you could get through the spray rather quickly though; I used around 1/6 bottle each wash.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Nice rubbery grip handles.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

It doesn't seem like you're getting much of a bulk discount here. If you don't need one of the items, you may as well do a pick and mix on the Muc-Off shop - if you don't mind not having the toolbox that is.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Make cleaning my bike that bit easier, even if the dirt removing action of the spray was hard to quantify.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The brushes, which have good dense bristles of just the right hardness for bike cleaning.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The Bicycle Cleaner spray - not that I disliked it but that I probably wouldn't bother with it once it runs out.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No, £58 is too much for me. I've got most the lubricants already and the brushes can be had for £15.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had nothing at all and perhaps as a gift, yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A great starting point for those who have no bike cleaning kit at all.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 184cm  Weight: 66kg

I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter  My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,

 

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