[Tested] Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner

[Tested] Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner

12/04/2016
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12/04/2016

[ad3] About one year ago we paid a visit to Muc Off’s world headquarters for a look at a company that used to make bar ends and is now one of the top cleaning product producers in the bike world. During our visit, Alex Trimnell, the owner of Muc Off gave us an insight to where new products come from.

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How magic is this stuff for making our lives easier?

Their latest drive train cleaner came from the world of road mechanics when the R & D guys spotted Team Sky race mechanics using their pink liquid for cleaning their hands and in their brush cleaners for chains. This got the Muc Off design team pondering to see if they could make a better cleaner just for drive trains that was also safe for cleaning hands and making skin contact. They came up with the sensibly named “drive traincleaner+” which we have been testing for the last few months.

Specifications

  • 500 ml with spray attachment.
  • €13.95 a bottle.
  • Fast and effective grease cutting formula.
  • Removes all chain oil and wax residue.
  • Safely Eliminates drive chain contaminants.
  • Biodegradable and safe for hands.
  • Ideal for use with chain cleaning devices.
  • Deep cleans all drive chain areas in seconds.

In Use

The proof is in the use, we took our very dirty caked on dried muddy bike and gave it the once over a few times a month.

Dirty 1
If you are anything like us, we tend to be lazy at times and our drive trains can end up looking like this, weeks and 10’s of rides worth of grime and oil and grease.

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However, to go with our testing we get to use the new environmentally friendly bike wash at our Punta Ala test center, which collects all residues we wash off our bike.

Instructions are fairly simple, spray on to the bikes drive train, let it sit for a at least two minutes, agitate if necessary and then wash off with a normal hose, not a jet wash. The formula is secret so we are not sure exactly how it works.  All we know is that it is not acidic and when you see it working, it does so without a strong smell or chemical fog hanging around it  so you can feel safe to use and won’t irritate skin if you get it on yourself.

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Clear instructions for use.

One quick note : while the instructions don’t indicate to avoid over-spraying onto your brake pads/rotors, we would recommend against doing so. It does caution against using this cleaner on painted surfaces though so spray carefully.

clean up

Each step of the cleaning process.

Once we sprayed the bike, the grime started to drip off of the bike. We left our cleaner for at least 5 minutes and then gently agitated the dirty drive train parts with our all purpose cleaning brush. We found with experience, that we could get our drive train, with no effort, 95 percent clean. If we wanted a showroom finish we would have to breakout a chain cleaning tool.

results

The drive train was 95 percent clean because only very small parts of stubborn dirt remained. If we re-passed with more cleaner and the brush they eventually came off. Here we have SRAM’s hollow pin chain which has a habit of collecting dirt in the pins. Also the narrow/wide chain-rings needed some firmer scrubbing with the brush as there was compacted dirt on the tooth beds.

The spray nozzle is not that precise and produces more of a fine mist, which means you probably use less than if you had a stream as each spray covers a wider area. Based on our first observations this fine mist was enough to start the dirt breakdown process and our bottle lasted about five to six deep cleans without the chain tool cleaning unit.

From what we can tell, the formula dissolves the grease pretty well and over a fairly short time. If you let the chemical do its work, the dirt just drops off. We found the really stubborn dirt eventually fell off, but we had to agitate it if we wanted to remove every last bit. Once we finished, we cleaned our hands off and experienced no ill effects on our skin.

Conclusion

Using the drivetrain cleaner+ in addition to the bike cleaner we discovered we could get our bikes back to 95 percent with little effort and no power washer. For 100 percent clean we just had to use the brush on the really stubborn dirt for a bit in multiple directions, letting it sit and it all eventually falls off when washed with a hose.

The purpose of this cleaner is clear, it works better on the drive-train compared to a standard bike cleaner.  It was quicker to use, required less agitation and encouraged us, due to its ease of use, to clean more often. When pedaling we had a smoother pedal action, as there was no more grinding.

Once clean, its fundamental to re-lube. We definitely think that drive-train cleaner should be in everyone’s tool box as it really keeps things moving well and best of all is environmentally friendly and is a pretty good price considering it save hours of rag and micro brush time on the chain.

Muc Off