Home
Verdict: 
Very disappointing given the hype
Weight: 
385g

Peaty's XXX Solvent Degreaser is claimed to be a "max strength water soluble and readily biodegradable solvent degreaser", one designed for the complete removal of bearing greases, waxes and oils, yet kind to all surfaces. In short, I've been distinctly underwhelmed.

  • Pros: Seemingly kind to all surfaces
  • Cons: Pedestrian and relatively expensive

Science bit

Like many manufacturers, Peaty's is very coy when it comes to the specifics, preferring to focus on the biodegradable, surface-friendly elements. However, the key word here is solvent. Solvents, along with the gas propellant, make chemical components sprayable and then get to work on the host surfaces, gobbling the grot.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

It's reputedly safe on all surfaces, including paint, rubber and carbon fibre. Nonetheless, there's the caveat about testing small, discreet areas first. Peaty's has also gone to great lengths to make distinctions between this and its foaming drivetrain degreaser. Spoiler alert: It will strip a chain when delivered via solvent bath but, in my opinion, it's right to make this distinction.

How to use

Generally speaking, when doing a thorough degrease I strip parts and either place them on an old tray or, if rinsing's required, on an old section of concrete in my back garden.

Either way, give the Peaty's a vigorous, 30-second shake to get everything nicely mixed, pop the cap and spray over the chosen areas.

For heavily encrusted parts, repeat applications in close succession. Peaty's also recommends agitating with a suitable brush to help things along. Regardless, leave things marinating – ideally for a couple of minutes – before rinsing off with clean water.

Peaty's XXX ringmarinating.JPG

Although evaporation has been less problematic than I expected when the temperature's been around 23-25°C, almost without exception – regardless of lubricant or grease – I've needed two or three helpings to get components stripped.

Case studies

A quick rummage in the 'to be purged' stash uncovered some ready candidates: a 9-speed chainring with some congealed chainsaw oil and embedded contaminant, a cassette still wearing some residual wax lube, and a lockring that had been treated to a stoic but simple lithium grease.

I later progressed to an old headset (also treated to lithium grease), an old UN55 bottom bracket's threads (treated with polymer grease), and the oily spattered legs of my long-serving workstand. Some bars, pedals and other painted/anodised surfaces followed, to test its kindness and prowess on polymer/similar wax products.

Performance

Given the blurb and general experience with solvent-based products, I was expecting something special. Credit where due, it's done the job but it's not a patch on other products, let alone living up to the hype. Donning latex gloves, I shook the aerosol for 45 seconds then delivered three generous helpings to the cassette, rotating to ensure even coverage.

Following the 'few minutes' guideline, I filled a clean bucket with hot water. Flushed through, scuzzy black gunk oozed from the sprockets. However, a gungy glaze remained, so I delivered another liberal blast, left it 30 seconds and began scrubbing with a transmission brush. Doing so released another layer of grime, but it was still rather disappointing.

Another 15 minutes and three rinses later, it was clean but far from gleaming.

Peaty's XXX cassette after several helpings.JPG

Contrast that with B'Twin's degreaser which can strip cassettes bare in 30 seconds or so. GT85 Bike Degreaser takes a little longer, requiring more elbow grease than the B'Twin but still comparatively efficient. 

This theme remained unchanged when I tackled the chainring and the workstand's legs.

Compared with these products, white spirit, or degreaser stocks such as Fenwick's FS1, cleaning prowess was pedestrian. Four rounds of spray, marinate, scrub and rinse, results were similarly disappointing.

Peaty's XXX ring still gunky after several helpings & scrubbing.JPG

It consumed 20 minutes of my time before I'd got it acceptable. Twenty minutes is usually enough for me to get a bike washed and transmissions stripped, ready for re/new lubricant.

With this in mind, I decided to test Peaty's XXX Solvent Degreaser on painted/anodised surfaces. While products such as Green Oil Agent Apple Extreme Immersion are extremely efficient, they can also take a bite out of cosmetics.

Aside from softening some residual bar tape adhesive, left for 15 minutes there's been no hint of fadng or similar damages. Good news, if you were using it to consume some residual grot, as part of a working bike's weekly clean. That said, I stopped short of letting it dry out.

Value

There's a lot of choice, and while Peaty's XXL Solvent Degreaser Spray is within the competitor ball park at £7.99 for a 400ml can (apparently chosen for its toolbox compatibility), others represent much better value. GT85 Bike Degreaser, for example, is the same price, £7.99 for 400ml, but in terms of effectiveness it knocks the Peaty's XXL Solvent Degreaser into a cocked hat.

I've also been impressed by WD40 Bike degreaser, and that's £6.99 for 500ml.

These are all outdone on the value front by B'Twin's degreaser, though. I reviewed it as part of a pack a few years ago, now £12.99, but it's available separately for £4.99 for a 500ml can.

Conclusion

Ultimately, Peaty's XXX Solvent degreaser has been very disappointing. Aerosol degreasers are relatively expensive and, to some extent, wasteful. However, speed and convenience are their main draw. The relative impotency here, though, when pitted against the blurb, coupled with the need for rinsing, means it meets neither need convincingly.

Verdict

Very disappointing given the hype

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Peaty's XXX Solvent Degreaser

Size tested: 400ml

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?

According to the blurb, "PEATY'S XXX SOLVENT DEGREASER is a powerful, maxxx strength, water-soluble and readily biodegradable solvent degreaser and de-waxer, designed for complete removal of bearing greases, waxes, oils and bitumen & tar stains. For use on metallic surfaces but also safe for use on carbon fibre and many other plastics and painted surfaces.

"We've designed our 400ml can to be short and girthy to fit easier into your toolbox, while the coloured identifier rings help you quickly find the can you want amongst the stack of aerosol cans you already have."

It works but isn't particularly potent or better than a wealth of others I've tested over the years.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Peaty's:

Maxxx strength

Readily biodegradable formula

Removes bitumen, tar and roadfilm

Dissolves oils, bearing greases and waxes

Carbon safe

400ml of product in a compact can

Colour coded ring for easy worktop identification

What's the difference between this and your Foaming Drivetrain Degreaser?

While our XXX Solvent Degreaser has been formulated to quickly and easily remove all bearing greases, waxes and oils, our Foaming Drivetrain Degreaser is formulated to only be aggressive on chain lubricants and everyday dirt and grime, but will not attack waterproof bearing greases

Rate the product for performance:
 
3/10

Will strip but has required more frequent reapplications and user agitation to dismiss grease and grime.

Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

Poor when compared with other strippers. You need quite a lot of product (not to mention user effort) to make inroads into petrochemical greases and generic grime.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Given the blurb, it's been very disappointing. Several helpings and much agitation were required to strip a waxy cassette. The same genre of lube was dismissed in 30 seconds using B'Twin Degreaser.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nothing, given the hype.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Ineffective relative to the hype and most other degreaser sprays I've used in the past.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

GT85 Bike Degreaser is the same price, £7.99 for 400ml, but in terms of effectiveness it knocks the Peaty's XXL Solvent Degreaser into a cocked hat. WD40 Bike degreaser is better value at £6.99 for 500ml, but all are outdone on price by B'Twin's degreaser, £4.99 for a 500ml can.

Did you enjoy using the product? No

Would you consider buying the product? Not in its present guise.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

Very disappointing, given the potency promised. Aerosols are designed for speed and convenience. In its present form, this is anything but.

Overall rating: 3/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

4 comments

Avatar
ktache [2319 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

When Finish Line went for their Eco formula for its (non aerosol) citrus degreaser, which I do apply with a brush, I found that I needed to do a washing up liquid phase before rinsing, or the spray foamer stuff, which no one seems to do anymore, rather annoyingly.  Not doing it would leave a film of not true cleanlyness.  I think it had attempted to use an emulsion to achieve it's degreasing.  I was pleased when the moved back to their solvent formulation, but I still do the washing up liquid bit to get things really clean, especially when using the chain scrubber.

Reading up about how to service my Chris King headset, he advises against using citrus degreaser for cleaning anodised ali as it can affect it's sparklyness.  I will take this on board and only use it on steel bits.

Avatar
xerxes [55 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I use standard Gunk engine degreaser, works well enough and you can rinse with some water and washing up liquid, then just water. The only downside is that it smells quite strong and unpleasant; best used outdoors. Previously I had some Comma Hyperclean and that was even better and less smelly.

Both work out at around £20 for 5 litres, or you can get 1 litre containers and aerosols. I either put some in a garden spray bottle and spray it on, or pour some in a conainer with the parts I'm cleaning, then work it in with a brush.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1747 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Ktache - do you mean the yellow stuff in the trigger bottle? I agree, it's useless. You agitate it into the dirt on your bike and blast it off with water and it leaves a thin film of grease over everything, including your brake tracks. It's USELESS.

Avatar
ktache [2319 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Nah, I meant the citrus chain degreaser, and mostly I'm a big fan of their products.  I don't even know how long it was changed for, I tend to buy a buy 4 or 5 bottles at a go, so it was a bit of a long disapointment.  Very glad they changed back.  I used to use it in my chain scrubber, but now I've gone KMC on the chain, and decided to folow their advece, I use a lot less.

Never a big cleaner of the bicycle, drivetrain yes but the rest I prefer a lived in look.  I tend to believe that the filthy bike helps ward off the nasty bike thieving scrotes.  I might brush off the mud if it gets too thick and heavy.