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Finish Line's Speed Bicycle Chain Degreaser cleans your drivetrain and brakes quickly with little to no effort, and it dries fast as well. It's not perfect in terms of cleaning performance, but the biggest downside for me is just how wasteful and inefficient it is.
'Melts away chain grease' it says on the back of the can, and to be fair it does just that, even on a drivetrain wearing the worst a winter will throw at it.
Before testing the Finish Line stuff, I overloaded a chain and cassette with some thick wet lube and set about riding the bike through as much mud, dust and nastiness as I could find for around a thousand miles. The chain, cassette, and jockey wheels ended under a thick layer of gunge, but it still wasn't a massive challenge for the Speed Degreaser.
You give the can a 30-second shake, point it at the drivetrain and give the button a push. The propellant gasses (which Finish Line calls Turbo Sprayer) blast out the mixture of solvents which literally dissolves the lube, and takes away everything stuck to it.
Without the use of a brush or anything it removes the majority of nasty build up, but it can't quite get into the little nooks and crannies of the cassette. Even using the included straw, working the can to get at such places, or at all the pins on the chain, proves very wasteful. That's the biggest issue for me: just how much of this product ends up missing the drivetrain, even when you're being careful.
If you are super lazy and just want to give your bike a spray, let it dry (it only takes a few seconds) and bung some fresh lube on before you head out. Then you'll probably see the benefits.
If you want your cleaning product to remain on the drivetrain to soak in, however, and are happy to spend five minutes with a brush and some water, you are going to get better results and less wastage for not a lot more effort. It's got a place in your workshop, but for emergencies only.
Note that Finish Line says it can damage fragile paint too, so you'll want to keep it away from your frame and fork. It is also hugely flammable, so best put that fag out.
Price wise, it's £13.49 for a 558ml can. That's pricey compared to Oxford's Mint Chain Cleaner at £8.99 for 500ml.
Muc-Off's High-Pressure Quick Drying Degreaser is £14.99 for a 750ml can, so slightly better value.
Considering how much of this actually spends any time on your actual drivetrain, even if you're careful, this is massively expensive for all but the most urgent of cleans. They aren't the nicest chemicals vapourising in front of your face or dripping on the floor, either, and it's pricier than most too.
Pricier than the competition and very wasteful, but decent performance for the lazy mechanic
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Finish Line Speed Clean Degreaser
Size tested: 558ml
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?
Finish Line says, "Speed Bike Degreaser utilizes dry degreasing technology. As such, it leaves no residue and water rinsing is not required. Finish Line has recently added a turbo sprayer to its Speed Bike Degreaser which uses mechanical agitation to help quickly remove contaminants off the drivetrain.
"Speed Bike Degreaser is formulated with specialized solvents which break down grease and grime and other solvents whose specialty is removing organic soils like dust and dirt. Like its name suggests, Speed Bike Degreaser is the fastest way to clean a drivetrain. For most applications specialty brushes and tools are not required. Since Speed Bike Degreaser leaves no residue and dries rapidly, lubricant can be immediately applied and the bike can go on its way."
It works fast, but there is a lot of wastage.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Contains heptane, branched, cyclic and linear acetone, propane, ethanol, 1-methoxy-2-propanol monopropylene glycol methyl ether, and carbon dioxide.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Considering how much stuff it cleans off of the drivetrain without any input from you, it has pretty decent performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Works quickly on dirt.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Both the Muc-Off and Oxford products mentioned in the review are better value for money.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does a decent job of removing caked-on grease and gunge, but it's hugely wasteful and not a very nice combination of chemicals either.
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!