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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
B'Twin's 500ml All-in-one maintenance spray promises to degrease, protect and lubricate in a single blast. Despite some 'don't they all?' scepticism on my part, this one will give some popular brands a seriously good run for your hard earned. If you're looking for a post-wash protectant, though, stick with one of the many watered-down mixtures.
Strength aside, these all work to the same basic science. Propane propellant and solvents serve to make the mixture sprayable and deliver the solvents to their intended hosts. Having arrived, the solvent displaces moisture and dissolves grease, grime and mud on contact. This then evaporates, leaving behind a slippery, corrosion-busting layer of PTFE.
These ingredients are comparatively potent, so use in well-ventilated areas away from sources of ignition, and minimise contact with hub/suspension seals and similar rubberised/plastic components. A stubby integral nozzle means there's no straw to lose, while still directing contents precisely where they're needed.
Since we're on the subject, said chemicals will also soften polymer waxes and unsealed stickers over time, so slip an old strip of card underneath when giving exposed cables some TLC. Cables, cleat mechanisms, jockey wheels, trailer hitches, recessed fasteners are all obvious candidates and so long as they're not caked in embedded cack, it's literally spray 'n' go.
Moving parts have remained slick and squeak-free for several weeks of all-weather commuting and training. The same goes for locks, which are largely forgotten until their cylinders start turning arthritic. I've successfully revived chrome plated frame ends and skewers and mothballed tools convincingly too. Yes, these do cultivate grimy patinas over time but it's easily dismissed with a clean rag. Sticky switchgear and corroded battery terminals on computer sensors/blinkies have been successfully brought back from the brink, too, but the Teflon part is still quite rich, so use very sparingly here.
Most blends boast that they'll free seized and rusted parts. Some are better than others and all require physical assistance of some kind. While not level-pegging with release sprays, wrapping an old cut-down envelope funnel fashion around the seat tube, then spraying a thick layer (so the lion's share cascades slowly inside the seat tube) liberated two seatposts and a friend's bottom bracket (we reckon the cups weren't greased at the factory).
Did I mention it also flushes moisture from metal frames and traffics waxy preserves around their inner sanctum?
Suggesting it's a passable chain lube is stretching plausibility somewhat; a decent post-wash primer or protectant for bikes entering seasonal storage, definitely, but even with two generous helpings, 90 miles (over the course of five days) was pretty much my lot. Nonetheless, it's done exactly what it says on the tin and seems better value than some widely revered favourites.
Versatile and long-lived workshop staple with scope beyond cycling
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Make and model: B'Twin All-In-One
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?
BTwin says: "A single product for maintaining your bike, roller skates, fishing rod, etc.
"Unjamming, cleaning, lubricating, preventing moisture and protecting your bike and everyday items (roller, screws, etc.)"
A versatile spray for keeping moving parts slick and corrosion free.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"CAUTION! Extremely flammable aerosol. Pressurized container: may burst if placed in a hot environment. Causes skin rash. Toxic for aquatic organisms, causes long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment. Causes severe eye irritation. May cause drowsiness and dizziness."
PTFE-based maintenance spray.
Long lasting on cables, cleats and similar mechanisms, but not stout enough for chains.
Relatively pleasant when used in well-ventilated spaces.
Much richer formula than most.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This is very much an old school maintenance spray designed to keep mechanisms slick and corrosion-free. Quick and convenient to use, the stronger solvent content dissolves minor dirt/grime on contact and the PTFE component means it lasts longer than most. Perfect for locks, cables, cleats, pivot points, fasteners and so on. Those looking for an everyday chain lube or post wash beautifying spray will need to look elsewhere, though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Beefy and long-lasting formula is brilliant for daily riders and winter bikes in particular.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer based around 4130 Univega 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, mountain biking
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)