Juice Lubes' Dirt Juice Hero is in fact a drivetrain degreaser – the "ultimate" – and one it reckons is the fastest going. Spray on, rinse any residual gloop and kaboom!!! Your drivetrain is gleaming...
Other than telling us that it's a super-flammable cocktail that is toxic to fish, mustn't be used near sources of ignition and stored in cool dry places, the exact ingredients are a mystery. However, it seems based around butane propellant and petrochemical rather than organic solvents. Common sense suggests minimising contact with rubberised components and unsealed finishes.
Its arrival coincided with several new chain lubes, the sort that spit the dummy unless recipients are surgically clean. My Holdsworth TT bike had been fed a fairly bog standard Teflon/mineral oil formula for several months, my Univega a highly sophisticated ceramic.
Given the blurb, I was literally expecting to blast one minute and be introducing new lube the next. While organic debris literally fell away, even the more basic 10w/40 and PTFE-based preps needed three applications and stiff brush coaxing in between.
Clipping on the chain bath and squirting inside while turning the cranks certainly helped. By contrast a store brand degreaser virtually licked both variants clean on contact and promptly evaporated.
While marketed as a drivetrain cleaner, I couldn't resist testing its prowess on other oily, greasy stuff.
Having stripped my fixed-gear winter bike/trainer ready for the frameset's powder coat makeover, I bundled chain, sprocket, crank bolts and headset races into an old 5kg chocolate punnet and blasted them with the Hero.
Credit where due, it certainly loosened the PTFE and lithium pastes pretty convincingly, but subsequent squirts and more stiff brush action were needed before the surfaces were satisfactorily clean. Two liberal helpings, followed by enthused scrubbing, had the stainless steel chain gleaming.
Overall performance isn't bad, the blurb just promises more than it can actually deliver. Even allowing for the fact that lubes are increasingly resilient and anything too potent has implications for seals and other rubberised components in the longer term, several cheaper competitors do a much better job.
Reasonable anti-lube but distinctly average when pitted against other brands
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Make and model: Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Hero
Size tested: 600ml
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 Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Hero is a drivetrain degreaser with considerable promise.
Juice Lubes says: "If you want superhero-like speed and power when it comes to getting your drivetrain looking and working like new again then look no further – Dirt Juice Hero is here to save your ass! Nothing else gets rids of grease and drive train gunk quicker than this".
In reality, it's good but performance doesn't match the hype, or indeed several cheaper formulas.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
600ml aerosol (butane propellant/solvent mixture) which isn't particularly kind to the environment, so use in well-ventilated areas away from waterways/aquatic life and store in a cool, dry space away from sources of ignition.
Fair but disappointing given the hype.
Generally convenient to use, so long as the usual precautions are observed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall performance is reasonable on most types of lube and more traditional lithium/PTFE fortified grease, but citrus-based formulas are more economical and two spray-on brews (one budget, the other similarly priced) blitzed chains, cassettes, sprockets and chainrings within seconds.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Convenient and fairly efficient at tackling more traditional 10w/40, mineral oil/PTFE chain lubes and their organic contaminant.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lacked the same bite as many costing considerably less, especially when dismissing sophisticated petrochemical lubricants.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd say it was slightly mediocre – there are more potent formulas with much smaller price tags.
Use this box to explain your score
Distinctly average given the ultra potent hype. I was expecting something that would literally strip chains and cassettes in seconds. Other cheaper blends work a lot faster – without any input.
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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)