The Crankalicious Kwipe (Quick Wipe) Gumchained Remedy Chain Cleaner sachets are, as their name suggests, pocket sized wipes impregnated with solvent. They could be used around the workshop – if you had money to burn – but they're primarily intended for cleaning chains and other drivetrain components mid tour or during an endurance ride.
Like most convenience products, they're not the cheapest option and not something I'd use for general transmission cleaning. However, they're easy to use and will cheer up a dirty drivetrain with minimal effort.
Each sachet contains a single surprisingly sturdy mesh wipe, which is generously saturated in 15ml of Gumchained Remedy. This is a petrochemical-based degreaser designed to soak deep into the links, stripping lube and contaminant.
Crankalicious declined to reveal specifics, but tells me they cook up their products in house using raw chemical ingredients. Ideally, you'd be able to wash your hands after use, but this isn't always an option on the road.
In the interests of investigative journalism, I used one to clean my hands, following a tube-killing rear wheel puncture, and then purged the chain, jockey wheels and mech of congealed wet lube.
The wipes did leave my hands feeling parched, so packing a pair of latex gloves is shrewd, especially if you have sensitive skin, minor cuts, or are prone to dermatitis. Avoid contact with your eyes until you've washed hands thoroughly. Dispose of the spent wipe and wrapper carefully too, since ingredients are hazardous to aquatic life – no worse than other petrochemical derived products, mind.
Public safety broadcast done with, these really couldn't be simpler to use. Tear off the top, pull out the wipe and wrap it around your chain, while turning the cranks backwards. Give derailleur jockey wheels, cages and cassette a quick cat-lick while you're there.
The wipes make short work of most lubes, although to some extent, ingrained contaminant can stunt their virility.
Traditional three-seasons blends such as Btwin lubricant and its more tenacious synthetic cousin were consumed in pretty much one hit, albeit with a quick secondary chasing of outer plates and jockey wheels.
The perforated fabric is surprisingly durable too, resisting some fairly intense scrubbing without wearing through, or ripping. I've managed two moderately spoiled chains, jockey wheels and cassettes using a single wipe.
Space age ceramics and really colicky chains needed a more thorough scrub, but we're still talking two minutes, start to finish.
Crankalicious recommends wiping the chain with a rag afterwards, but during typical summer temperatures the solvent evaporates within a few minutes. Then, so long as your chosen chain juice doesn't have a curing time, apply and scoot off. There wasn't any dilution of freshly applied chain lubes, regardless of their type/origin.
From the comfort of home, tending my relatively clean Univega, a single wipe stripped the chain, cassette, cassette body, rear mech and Green Oil eco-grease from the pedal threads.
Although, obviously, I'd start at the chain first, the fibres absorb and also seemed to retain the lubricant, so cross contamination was, to my surprise, minimal.
At 85p each, five for £4, or a box of 20 for £15, on paper at least they're relatively expensive. Syphoning some white spirit into an empty 50ml hand sanitiser type bottle with screw top lid and carrying a scrap of rag is an obvious, low-cost alternative, and one that I've often used, placing it and some chain lube in one re-sealable freezer bag, clean rag in another.
Nonetheless, the Crankalicious wipes are extremely convenient and could prove a godsend should you need to strip and re-lube chains or other components in the middle of a big ride or tour.
Convenient and very effective wipes but expensive compared with the alternatives
road.cc test report
Make and model: Crankalicious Gumchained Remedy Chain Cleaner Quick Wipe Sachet
Size tested: 15ml
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?
Crankalicious says: "Our high-performance chain cleaner, Gumchained Remedy, available in a single use quick wipe sachet, containing 15ml. The heavy duty wipe, combined with just the right amount of product, is enough for a full and complete clean of your chain.
"Perfect for taking on a multi-day ride without the hassle and weight of a bottle or cloth, or for use at home when storage space and convenience are paramount."
No quibble here.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Crankalicious also lists:
Sealed packet containing a single wipe impregnated with strong solvent.
Available in single sachets, 5 for £4, or a convenient box of 20 for £15.
Surprisingly rugged – copes with vigorous scrubbing and will clean a couple of moderately grimy chains, rings and jockey wheels before it's spent.
Solvent is surprisingly powerful and makes short work of middleweight lubricants.
Durable in the single use, disposable sense...
11g is next to nothing, so perfect for jersey pockets, seat packs or panniers.
Convenient in the main but strong solvent can leave skin feeling a bit dry. Either pack disposable gloves, or wash hands promptly.
Good in terms of effectiveness but pricey compared with some alternatives.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the wipes have pleasantly surprised me with their lube-stripping prowess and the fabric's durability. A single wipe has typically cruised through two chains dressed in middle weight lubes and any residual contaminant. Provided transmissions aren't caked in grot, one wipe will tackle two chains, derailleur cages, jockey wheels and rings.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Up to the job and very handy for mid-tour fettling.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief, although like most convenience products, they're not the cheapest solution.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, for an epic ride, or tour.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, in the above context.
Use this box to explain your score
Decent wipes for cleaning transmissions/tending roadside mechanicals on a big ride, but pricey compared with the solvent bottle and rag alternatives.
About the tester
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)