The No Quarter Complete Cycle Detailing Kit is a luxurious ensemble designed to get bikes sparkling clean. Its price of £34 is hardly small change but No Quarter is also a small-scale custom finisher which offers a bespoke service, so should know a thing or two about preserving and beautifying paintwork.
Delving inside the waterproof carry bag, we have a bike shampoo, two micro-fibre cloths, a tub of hard paste Carnauba based wax, a detailing brush and a fine-pore detailing sponge.
Though relatively small, the bottle is a concentrate, thus little is needed. Somewhat predictably, No Quarter doesn't give much away ingredients-wise. However, it promises to do the usual dirt-dislodging stuff, be kind to all surfaces and not strip their wax. No Quarter does have a number of videos on its website to show you how to use its products.
Rinse any road salt off with cold water first – warm will simply accelerate the caustic chemical reaction. Then get your bucket rinsed and ready, give the bottle a shake and pour in four capfuls. Fill the bucket with warm tap water until it assumes that familiar sudsy state. Now work around your bikes in the usual fashion.
I'd left the Univega caked in slimy cack for a week or so in anticipation of the kit's arrival. Said tubby tourer disappeared under the sudsy lather, and impacted bovine dung and generic spatter cascaded from the bottom bracket shell, fork legs and rear triangle – pretty much the result you'd hope for from a product at this price. Derv, oil and more sophisticated winter weight chain lubes required more persuasion from the sponge, but still relented fairly easily.
That single bucket was enough for two relatively dirty bikes.
The sponge doesn't harbour abrasive grit, and the 'makeup', or detailing, brush came in surprisingly handy for tickling harder to reach, ingrained dirt from bottom bracket shells, fork legs and chainstay regions.
I then found an empty 750ml bike wash bottle, poured 25ml of the shampoo inside, then topped it up with warm water. Using a more potent trigger produced a livelier foaming blanket, and made the washing phases that bit quicker.
Whatever route you've gone, prompt rinsing with fresh water and drying with the micro-fibre cloth reaps pleasing rewards. Like many bike washes, extending waiting time, or being blown dry on a breezy afternoon can result in dulling, but nothing serious. Not sure about the bubble gum aroma No Quarter promised, but still!
This fragranced purple hard paste blend is made using carnauba based wax, long popular in car circles, and it seems to go a reasonably long way. Just as well given, bought separately, the pot costs £17.99. As with most formulas, bikes should be washed and dried first, then the paste applied in thin layers, out of direct sunlight.
Air temperature has an impact upon curing times, but once it assumes that familiar haze, buff to a shine with the second micro-fibre cloth.
Results are pleasing across most gloss paint types, including powder coating and wet spray two-pack. In common with other hard pastes, it will also remove light oxidisation. While aesthetics are easy to appreciate, waxing is also designed to provide a long-lasting defence against UV light, salts, acids and similar nasties. On the plus side, several grotty weeks in, my Univega and winter training bike remain resplendent after their first application.
Greasy spatter and heavier grime have been easily dismissed post-ride with a damp cloth and are less prone to sticking in the first place. Leaving more corrosive elements such as horse dung and embedded road salt lingering suggests it's a decent preserve too.
That said, results don't appear vastly superior to a wealth of similar formulas. Some, including a pump-spray silicone/polymer fortified brew have achieved a richer sheen – especially on my Univega's 20-year-old flamboyant stove enamel.
If price is your measure of value, 1 litre wash 'n' wax car formulas, jumbo sponges and brush sets (such as the Oxford Big Softie and triple brush set) will do a decent job of cleaning and protecting bikes from the elements. It's a route I often take, especially during winter when time and daylight are at a premium.
Being a self-confessed polishing zealot, I've discovered similarly sophisticated kits costing £20-odd that seem every bit as gentle. These feature spray-on waxes that achieve better lustres and comparable longevity with zero buffing, saving quite a bit of time. Once washed and dried, the polymer-based formula is applied in a fine mist and left to dry – simple.
Nice to use and good results on glossy surfaces, but boutique pricing will alienate some
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road.cc test report
Make and model: No Quarter Complete Cycle Detailing 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?
No Quarter says: "The complete No Quarter 8 piece cycle detailing kit.
"Whether you've purchased a new bike or need products to clean your existing bike, our complete detailing kit has everything you need to detail your bike. Decontamination products and tools for primary cleaning, wax and wax application tools for secondary protection and enhancement.
"We've made 'How To' videos on this site, showing you everything you need to know about detailing your bike."
My feelings are that it's a boutique wash and wax kit that, though expensive, seems genuinely very good. Whether it is genuinely superior to less exotic polishes in the longer run, remains to be seen.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Shampoo – specifically designed to be kind to your bike.
Strong enough to dislodge mud, salt, grit, light oil and general contaminants from your bike.
A little goes a very long way! 4 capfuls is enough to wash your bike. This shampoo produces a lot of foam. The smell is amazing...
. Wax – our custom Carnauba based wax is the perfect product for protecting your frame and components.
Apply a small amount to your bike with the provided wax applicator foam. Not only will it enhance the finish of your bike, it'll also make future cleaning and maintenance much easier. This product also smells amazing...
. Microfibre cloths – we've included two of them! One for drying your bike after using No Quarter shampoo and the other for wax removal.
. Detailing brush – the perfect tool for agitating dirt in those hard to reach places. The brush is also very easy to clean grit, dirt and oil from, meaning you won't spread it around your bike, causing scratches and swirls to your paint.
. Fine pore detailing sponge – a high-quality fine pore sponge that soaks up the dirt. All you have to do is rinse it in the bucket to remove all the dirt and contaminants and it's good to go again.
. Waterproof pouch – Perfect for storing your cherished kit safe and clean for its next use.
Pleasing results so far and longer term testing may reveal some distinct advantages. However, at present it's not obviously better than some kits costing considerably less.
Difficult to say if the wax protectant is any superior than others of similar composition. However, the bike shampoo seems economical, kind to finishes and effective on grease, oil and impacted road slime.
Pleasant to use, gentle on finishes and operator alike.
Difficult one to call. Products all seem of decent quality and do their job competently. However, on the face of it, while value cannot simply be attributed to price, similar wash 'n' wax formulas, polymer waxes and jumbo car sponges can be bought for a fraction of the price and by and large achieve excellent results as cleaners, polishes and preserves.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the No Quarter kit has done exactly what it says on the tin, and though expensive, both the bike shampoo and wax go a surprisingly long way. The glossy finish seems universally good on painted, plated, polished and anodised surfaces. Like most pastes, it will also remove light tarnish/oxidisation and seems to provide a decent barrier, which not only protects surfaces but makes them easier to clean.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Bike shampoo is really nice to work with and surprisingly effective. Ditto the wax.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Obviously, price is relatively cheap compared with refinishing framesets and components, but there are a wealth of sophisticated (and less so) formulas that achieve superficially similar effects for quite a bit less.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, but I'd like to see performance data sheets proving the products' superiority over others.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Makes a lovely present, but this market is very competitive.
Use this box to explain your score
Expensive but not necessarily bad value, since products are very economical to use. However, many others will achieve superficially similar results and are quicker to use, or cheaper.
About the tester
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, 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)