Thursday, November 23, 2017

Purple Harry's Bike Cleaning Perfection?

If you’re anything like me, having spent a lot of hard-earned cash on your race day steed (that’s a bike, by the way) then you’ll want to keep it clean, shiny and with the drivetrain humming nicely.

There is no shortage of cleaning options on the market, with wet lubes, dry lubes, bike waxes, chain cleaners and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

But one product from a British company caught my attention: Bike Floss from Purple Harry (or to give them their full name, "Purple Harry’s Bike Cleaning Perfection"!). In essence, it looks like a pipe cleaner, but the makers claim it can be put to some ingenious uses to clean parts of the bike other cleaning kit can’t reach.

Purple Harry kindly sent me a pack of the floss to try out, together with some samples of their degreaser, bike maintenance spray and bike polish.

Let’s first look at the floss and degreaser working together.

The bike floss comes in a pack with a few different sizes and materials, designed to be used on different parts of the bike. The thicker, coarser items can be used for the rear cassette and chain, while thinner and softer ones are more suitable for carbon parts etc.

I wasted no time in taking my race wheels, dirty from 40km of racing on wet roads and applying the degreaser, letting it soak for a few minutes and then attacking the rear cassette with the thick floss. I was really very pleasantly surprised by a) how easy the floss was to use and b) how effective the combination of the degreaser and floss was at removing the crap from the cassette (I had used a new chain for the race, so there was even more gunk on the cassette than normal).

The photos below probably illustrate better than I can just how effective the floss/degreaser combination is. It took literally no more than five minutes from start to finish (drying time aside).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also seen photos of the floss being used to clean the chain, although I have to confess I had less success with this application. The smaller flosses (?!) were useful for getting into tighter spaces around the front and rear mechs and the brakes. The degreaser was at least as effective as any other I’ve used, effortlessly removing gunk from the frame and any mechanical parts.

 

Next the bike polish. I admit, I’m a sucker for a shiny bike and the Purple Harry bike polish didn’t disappoint. Just like a liquid car wax, it went on easily and then buffed quickly to give a good shine which then worked well to repel both rain and sweat (turbo-fest, anyone?!). I can’t really say if the polish is any ‘more’ effective than a normal car wax, but it certainly worked for me.

Lastly, the bike maintenance spray. I’ve only left this till last as it’s the part of the kit I’ve used the least. The guys at Purple Harry say it’s not dissimilar in use to something like GT85 – and since I had a load of that around, I’ve continued to use it! But I did use the spray on the rear cassette, mech etc and can report it worked just fine. Probably no better or worse than other options on the market, but just as effective.

In summary, I have to confess I love the simple genius of the floss. Even if you only use it for the rear cassette, I challenge you not to be impressed with how well it works! Couple it with the degreaser and you have a winning combination, in my opinion.

Similarly, the bike polish does exactly what it claims and leaves you with a shiny, water-repellent frame for very little effort.

The bike maintenance spray I am less convinced about – not to say it’s a bad product by any means, but it’s the least ‘stand out’ of the Purple Harry items I tried. Everything else is well worth the small investment.

Now you have no excuse for a dirty frame or drivetrain!

For more information and prices, visit http://purpleharry.co.uk/ph