Whether it’s the dimples on a golf ball, or the kind of polish on a Formula 1 car, there is a huge amount of science that goes into the surface of sports equipment. So it shouldn’t be particularly surprising to find out that Dr Drew Gill, the founder of ‘Smart Surface Science’ cleaning and detailing brand Gtechniq, has a doctorate in quantum physics.
That background isn’t just academic. Frustrated by the performance of existing car and yacht care products, Dr Gill used his scientific knowledge to create Gtechniq’s first surface solution: C1 Crystal Lacquer. By 2006, Gtechniq was supplying lacquers and polishes to Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel’s fleet of Rolls Royces, and it now has an impressive range of vehicle, marine and – the reason why we’re talking about the brand here – cycling care products.
Gtechniq’s bike care range (below) includes everything from bike washes, cleaners and degreasers to microfibre cloths, towels and even a detail cleaning brush. But most exciting of all – and the finest example of Gtechniq’s commitment to a scientific approach to cleaning – is the brand’s ‘Bike Ceramic’ treatment.
Ceramic coatings help to make surfaces hydrophobic, which in simple terms means that water and dirt is less able to stick to them. Then, because hydrophobic surfaces encourage water to bead, when you finally get round to giving your pride and glory a good spray down, the muck doesn’t linger.
There are a number of products on the market that promise hydrophobic coatings for your bike, but many of them offer nothing more than a surface spray. That can be perfectly fine for what it is, but Gtechniq’s Ceramic treatment is a proper ceramic coating that chemically bonds to the surface of your bike.
In this case, the Ceramic coating is made from silanes – or silicon compounds – which form a bond with the lacquer on a bike’s frame or wheels. This makes Gtechniq’s treatment far more hardy than a wax or quick silicon spray product that simply sits on the surface.
So let’s follow the science and look at Gtechniq’s products in more detail.
Gtechniq’s most exciting bike care product comes in a handy box containing everything you need to successfully protect your bike’s finish with Gtechniq’s Ceramic coating. This includes: two Microfibre Towels; one Ultrasoft Foam Filled Applicator Pad; one pair of latex-free gloves; one bottle of Bike Frame Prep; and one tincture of Bike Ceramic. That 15ml of Bike Ceramic solution might not seem like much, but it’s easily enough to do a whole bike.
All you have to do is apply it, which is pretty straightforward. Wash your bike thoroughly and then go over all painted surfaces with the Bike Frame Prep, which removes grease and other impurities from the surface, and allows for better bonding of the ceramic coat. (Avoid getting this on brakes, drivetrain components or, in the case of MTBs, stanchions.) Then, using the applicator pad, wipe the Gtechniq Ceramic solution onto the frame, working in small areas at a time. Let it dry for a couple of minutes then remove any excess. Leave your bike for 24 hours to cure and don’t wash it for a week.
Do all this correctly, continue to clean your bike regularly, and your ceramic protection could last for up to two years.
We mentioned there are quicker ways to give your bike a hydrophobic coating, and Gtechniq even makes its own in the form of Ceramic Quick Coat. Rather than offering Bike Ceramic’s up-to-two-year protection, Gtechniq says Ceramic Quick Coat is more likely to keep your bike easy to clean for up six months, but that’s not to be sniffed at.
To apply, simply shake the bottle well then spray it onto a clean microfibre cloth. Wipe the product all over the surfaces you’d like to protect, then buff off any excess. A bit like wax, you can build up layers for extra gloss and protection. And because there’s quite a lot of product in the 500ml bottle, if you store it carefully in a cool and dry place, it’ll be ready for a top-up application whenever you need it.
It’s not only hi-tech surface preparations where Gtechniq can help you care for your bike – the brand is quite happy to get down and dirty with cleaning products too.
Gtechniq’s Bike Clean solution spray contains high-quality surfactants and natural citrus oils designed to dissolve and breakdown the toughest dirt and grime. It’s also biodegradable and has been specifically formulated to look after your bike’s finish, providing effective cleaning without damaging or discolouring surfaces.
Also available as 500ml Bike Clean Concentrate – which makes 3 litres of useable cleaning solution – for £13.95.
Gtechniq’s hghly-concentrated but water-based and biodegradable Drivetrain Degreaser is just what you need when it comes to keep the muckiest parts of your bike running smoothly. The fast-acting formula – which is made with premium surfactants – breaks down grease and oil within seconds and is even suitable for use with chain cleaning tools.
Another highly-concentrated solution, simply add two capfuls of Gtechniq’s Bike Wash to a 20-litre bucket of warm water and you can get to work cleaning your bike. This biodegradable formulation contains high foaming, premium surfactants that help to break the bond between dirt and cycle, and contains no caustic elements or thickeners. The Bike Wash is ideal to use periodically to deep clean a Ceramic coated bike. This rejuvenates the coating, restoring its hydrophobic properties.
OK, so Gtechniq’s Tri-Clean isn’t for your bike, but it is great for other essential cycling kit. Suitable for use on helmets, shoes and other non-washable items, Tri-Clean is an all-surface cleaner combining odour control, anti-soiling and antibacterial technology. It’s clinically proven to be effective against 99.9% of bacteria and it contains stain-resistant agents to eliminate tacky residues, and an odour neutraliser to keep things smelling fresh.
As we mentioned Gtechniq has a whole range of kit that is perfect for applying its cleaning solutions. For example, there’s the Microfibre Wash Mitt (14.99), the Bike Drying Towel (£9.98), the Microfibre 3 Pack (£12.99), the Ultrasoft Foam Filled Applicator (£1.85), and the Bike Detailing Brush (£3.98).
Finally, what if you want all of this bike cleaning goodness in one big hit? Then you need the Gtechniq Ultimate Bike Care Kit. This contains: 1 litre of Bike Clean; 500ml of Bike Clean Concentrate; 250ml of Bike Wash; 500ml of Drivetrain Degreaser; 500ml of Ceramic Quick Coat; 15ml of Bike Ceramic; 500ml of Tri-Clean; a Bike Microfibre Wash Mitt; a Bike Detailing Brush; a Bike Drying Towel; and a Bike Microfibre. All it doesn’t contain are the excuses you'll need if your bike is looking anything less than perfect.