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IGL Coatings started out creating protective coatings for the automotive trade and now it's launched this Ecocoat Bike package to keep your pride and joy looking unbelievably shiny and protecting it from the elements. It's pricey, but the finished results are hardwearing and it makes keeping your bike clean easy, especially when the weather turns nasty.
I'm a sucker for a shiny paintjob and have always polished my bikes with the same wax I use on the car. Not only do the bikes look great in the sun but the winter bike is well protected against all the salt and rain being sprayed up from the road. The Ecocoat Bike package therefore makes a lot of sense to me, especially as it reckons one treatment should last about a year.
First up, you need to wash your bike and dry it to get most of the contaminants off. IGL offers plenty of products for doing this, but I just used plenty of hot water and a brush.
After you've done that, it's time to get started with the kit.
First up is the Precoat, a powerful cleaner designed to remove everything from wax, oil and grease to polish, adhesives and the like. It comes in a 60ml bottle and IGL provides a spray nozzle. It's surprisingly effective and removes plenty of stubborn stains from components and paintwork.
As you go, give the bike a good wipe over with a cloth to make sure it's as clean as it can possibly be. The whole thing dries quickly and is then ready for the final finish coating.
In the box you will find a sponge applicator and a couple of microfiber cloths to wrap around it. The Bike coating is literally dripped onto the cloth and rubbed over the paintwork or bare finish of the bike.
It covers easily as a liquid and anywhere you can't get to you use the applicator wands – glorified cotton buds, basically.
Once applied, the coating leaves a glossy sheen which you then need to leave to dry for two to four hours; don't touch it in the drying phase otherwise you'll leave fingerprints.
Once dry, it gives the paint an unbelievably deep shine, as if a deep lacquer top coat has been added, and while the photos don't quite capture the depth of shine, my Kinesis T2 is about five years old and has covered around 25,000 miles in the crappiest of weather: it looks better now than it did when it was new.
IGL says that this protective layer should last for around a year, so this is going to turn into a long-term test and I'll be back to update it at the end of winter – the T2 gets a lot of test kit added to it and only really goes out in the worst conditions, so I'm interested to see how well the IGL stuff lasts.
For now, it is shrugging off the worst of the rain and associated mud and road spray with little bother. Everything just beads on the surface so a wipe over with a bit of kitchen roll leaves the bike looking like new again.
Ecocoat Bike works on pretty much any material apart from rubber and it's recommended that you don't use it on the actual gearing of the bike. It's fine to be used on raw titanium and matt carbon fibre finishes, and any other metallic surface or vinyl is absolutely fine.
The overall price for the pack is £79.99 which is quite an initial outlay, though IGL says it'll do two bikes – which I'd agree with.
When I was commuting 200 miles a week throughout the winter, bike cleaning became a chore every weekend, washing and scrubbing all of the salt and mud from the bike outside on a freezing cold patio. If this Ecocoat continues to work as well as it is, with just a daily wipe over with a paper towel keeping everything spic and span and just a weekly clean of the chain required, for me it would be worth the outlay.
Washing and polishing your bike is a cheaper alternative and will provide similar results in the short term, although even some of the best waxes I've used haven't given such a finish as this. If this continues to give two years worth of protection then I'd say it is money well spent.
There is some competition out there, such as the No Quarter Complete Cycle Detailing Kit for £34.99, although it doesn't look much different to what I've been using for the car: a shampoo and Carnauba-based wax.
And Muc-Off charges £64.99 for its Muc Dirt Bucket Kit, which brings a few other components to the party but doesn't look to have the long-lasting effect of the IGL.
Overall, if this Ecocoat Bike kit continues to keep this up for even six months I'd say it is well worth the money for easy maintenance and a paintjob you can see your face in. If it's all about your best bike looking awesome on the Sunday club run then this is the stuff for you. It gives a hugely deep finish and even if you're on a matt black carbon steed your bike will still look the business.
Also in the package is a 60ml bottle of Ecoclean Air, for removing odours from fabrics. IGL has included it for use on your helmet pads, to stop them from ponging without having to wash them, and it works a treat on that and whiffy shoes. It comes with a spray nozzle and kills the odours as it dries.
Makes your bike look the best it ever has for a very long time
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road.cc test report
Make and model: IGL Coatings Ecocoat Bike
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?
IGL Coatings says, "The unique and ground breaking Eco Coating designed specifically for road bikes, race bikes, mountain bikes and frankly any kind of bike! Made by IGL Coatings, the Ecocoat Bike coating is rigorously tested (by TÜV Rheinland), ecologically friendly (made from natural ingredients) and easy to apply. Once applied it provides the following benefits to your bike for up to 2 years"
I'm very impressed with the overall finish and protection.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
IGL Coatings says:
Protects against harsh weather
Repels water, oil & dirt
Prevents micro marring
Creates a solid barrier (8H hardness, silica coating) between the elements and your bike
Makes your bike much easier to maintain and keep clean
Enhances the colour depth of your paintwork (even on Matt black carbon frames)
Protects the paint against UV degradation
Suitable for carbon, aluminium and steel
The package contains everything you need to get started:
10 ml Bike Coating (enough to protect 2 bikes)
60ml precoat surface preparation solution (for preparing the surface)
Coating wands for reaching tricky areas
Application sponge for applying the Ecocoat Bike
60ml Air – additional product (to make your helmet smell nice)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bike can't get much cleaner or shinier.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Gives your paintwork an amazing finish.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
On the website there doesn't look to be a way that you can buy the components separately, particularly the Ecocoat Bike which will run out before the others.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
A bit hard because there is little on the market the same, but if it lasts the two years you're looking at less than 50p a week to clean your bike.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The IGL package is easy to apply and has very impressive long-lasting effects; it's not cheap, but if it continues to deliver I'd say it's a must-have for big-mile commuters.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!