Late this summer Muc-Off hooked me up with a bunch of products to test, including their Waterless Wash, Luxury Microfibre Polishing Cloth, Foam Fresh helmet and gear cleaner, C3 Dry Ceramic lubricant and the reason you’re reading this article in December; their -50° C chain lube.
Since then I’ve had the chance to try out all these cleaners and lubricants, and I found each did its job very well. I was particularly keen to shine a light on the UV-activated lubes, and see if I had in fact been lubricating my chains properly. Apparently I should be a bit more generous in the future!
Waterless Wash and Luxury Microfibre Polishing Cloth:
I was happy to try out Muc-Off’s High Performance Waterless Wash, as my local trails get very dusty throughout the summer. Most often, my bike comes home with a light dusting and no mud. The Waterless Wash is designed to clean, polish, and leave a streak-free surface behind. Its formula encapsulates dirt so it won’t scratch your paint as you wipe it off.
I used Muc-Off’s Waterless Wash to clean the Knolly Fugitive LT I recently reviewed, and it did a great job of removing all the dust. The frame looked perfectly clean, and the Knolly’s glossy finish shined through. I should note that the wash does not leave a gloss behind; when I used it on my matte black Trek, the frame’s finish remained flat.
For these pics, I cleaned off a section of my Trek Remedy’s top tube which was a bit beyond dusty. The Waterless Wash is only intended for cleaning dry, dusty bikes, but it can handle a little bit of muck; small splatters like I had will clean up just fine. True to claim, I didn’t have to buff off any streaks and didn’t see any sign of scratching from the dirt. The Waterless Wash is convenient, quick and easy, and does its job well. A 750ml spray bottle sells for €14.95.
I’ve been using Muc-Off’s Luxury Microfibre Polishing Cloth with the Waterless Wash, and it’s split-fibre surface did a fine job of lifting dust and dirt off my bikes. The cloth holds dirt deep within, so you’re not rubbing it into your paint as you wipe away. It’s also very absorbent, so it helps your bike dry off quickly.
If you wash your bike on your lawn, I’ve got one tip for you – don’t let the microfiber cloth touch your grass, as it will grab onto little bits and pieces and you’ll wind up picking them off like I did! If the cloth gets too greasy or dirty, it is conveniently machine-washable. The Luxury Microfibre Polishing Cloth costs €9.95, and will clean your bike much better than an old sock!
Muc-Off’s Foam Fresh offers a convenient way to clean and de-funk your helmets, pads, body armour and shoes. Its foaming action lifts dirt and grime from soft surfaces, and it carries a Citric Burst scent to freshen up your gear.
I decided to test the Foam Fresh on my well-used Dainese Trail Skins II knee pads. Right away you’ll notice the foam’s citrus scent, but if you don’t like it don’t worry – after the foam dries up most of that aroma fades away. Once dried, I found the pads weren’t completely refreshed from a single application but they looked clean and smelled much less than before. While shooting these pics I hit the pads with more foam, and after two treatments they have almost no scent remaining. You can wipe off the excess foam after a few minutes, but it dissipates fairly quickly so I just let my pads dry on their own.
The Foam Fresh also makes it painfully easy to refresh your helmet liner, as there’s no need to remove the padding. I should note the foam doesn’t fire out of the can (like wasp nest killer), so you can’t shoot it up or horizontally into your gear. Foam Fresh comes in a 400ml aerosol spray bottle, and retails for €9.95.
C3 Dry Ceramic Lube:
The C3 Dry Ceramic lube is a high-performance lubricant that uses nano ceramic particles and synthetic polymers to protect against corrosion and keep friction to an absolute minimum. If you’re eco-friendly (and I hope you are!) you’ll be glad to know this lubricant is petroleum free and biodegradable.
I rode the C3 Dry Ceramic chain lube on my Trek throughout the fall. I did enjoy some dry days, but on others I definitely pushed the limits of this lubricant’s intended use in ‘dry, dusty, damp’ conditions. Despite that, the C3 lube did a great job of keeping gunk from building up on my chain. Even my derailleur rollers stayed pretty clean after several rides in fall conditions. The lube seems to stick fairly well too, as my chain still felt oily after a ride and several days sitting in my shed.
I was really curious to see the C3 lubricant’s UV dye in action. On my first try I wasn’t seeing any glow from the UV dye, it just seemed like the little flashlight Muc-Off supplies was making everything look blue. However, upon a second attempt I realised two things- the glow from the UV dye isn’t easy to see in broad daylight, and I probably could have applied a bit more lubricant. I laid it on nice and thick, checked the chain again in a dimly lit room and there it was – a bright greenish-yellow glow wherever the C3 lube had stuck.
MSRP is €13.95 for a 50ml bottle, or €20.95 for a 120ml. For those living in damper climates, Muc-Off also offers a C3 Wet Ceramic lubricant.
-50° C Chain lube:
I just picked up a Rocky Mountain Slayer in October (review coming soon!), so I used it as the test mule for this cold weather lube. Temperatures here haven’t dropped anywhere close to -50, but dipped well below the freezing point several times. I did squeeze in one slippery snow ride too!
The -50° C Chain Lube is designed to last a long time in wet conditions, and to prevent your chain from freezing up in frigid temperatures. While Muc-Off does call it a chain lube, the -50° is also ideal for cables, shifters, derailleurs, pedals, etc., and is intended for all kinds of bikes.
I found the -50° C doesn’t shed dirt as well as the C3 Ceramic: there is a bit of grime sticking to the Slayer’s chain, and a considerable amount of gunk on the rear derailleur rollers. To be fair, this bike was only ridden in fall and early winter conditions and definitely got a lot muddier than my Trek.
I purposely left the -50° C lubricant in my shed to make sure it doesn’t freeze. Temps only dipped to about -10° C but the lube is flowing freely. Muc-Off’s -50° C Lube comes in a 50ml bottle for €8.95. The -50° C Lube is UV reactive, but to see it glow you’ll have to buy the flashlight separately for €9.95.