The Muc-Off 5X Premium Brush Kit delights and disappoints in equal measure. The brushes are lovely to hold and kind to surfaces. On the flip side, this package is only semi cycling specific.
Bursting open the packaging reveals a huge soft washing brush; a double sided wheel and component cleaner designed to weave between rim and spokes; another two-pronger with stiffer nylon bristles for tackling spokes, cranks, linkages and pedals. Then we've the classic four way claw brush for cassettes, chains and other frustratingly elusive areas, which looks and feels suspiciously similar to a tsunami of other brands.
Last but no means least comes a small triangular detailer. All (bar the cassette claw) feature really pleasant-to-hold rubberised handles and 'impact zones', enabling comfortable, enthused scrubbing without marking delicate finishes. Big, soft brushes are a must for sloshing sudsy water around, though this one lacks agility.
The two-tone wheel/component brush enables brisk tackling of the rims and spokes, and its noir sibling quickly restores sludgy rings, cranks and pedals to their former glory with a helping shot or two of degreaser. Detailer brushes need to be able to swerve around suspension fork crowns and hub shells. Credit where its due this one seems particularly effective on shot peened finishes common to lower mid-range mountain bike units.
Ironically with sustained use, bristles throughout the range became contaminated with residual lubricant, road grime, which has refused to budge despite regular overnight marinades in near-neat citrus based degreasers.
First to succumb was the claw tool, which still proved handy for raking out gunge from chains but whose nylon stands smeared sticky residue within jockey wheels, derailleur springs and cages. Others were slower to respond and in fairness, experience suggests this is a consequence of ever more tenacious, technically advanced lubes rather than a reflection of brush quality per se.
By no means a bad brush set but pricey and a little too generic.
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Make and model: Muc-Off 5x Premium Brush Kit
Size tested: Black
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?
Featuring all five Muc-Off brushes in a handy storage bag.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Our Soft Washing Brush sintered bristle compound is designed to clean your frame and components while caring for delicate finishes. It's all new design features a tough, impact resistant handle that won't slip in extreme conditions, an oversized head for fast cleaning of large areas and rubberised impact zones for maximum protection.
Our Detailing Brush is ideal for reaching hard-to-shift dirt on sprockets, hubs and other tight areas such as suspension mounts or fork crowns. It's new design features a tough, impact resistant handle that won't slip in extreme conditions, durable nylon bristles and rubberized impact zones for maximum protection on delicate finishes.
Our Claw Brush features high quality construction with triple brush heads with tough nylon bristles and an integral scrapper for mud de-clogging. It's ideal for chain, cassette and sprockets, and it's even 10-speed compatible.
Our Wheel & Component Brush is shaped and contoured specifically to clean rims and spokes with ease. It's design features a tough, impact resistant handle that won't slip in extreme conditions, durable nylon bristles and rubberised impact zones for maximum protection on delicate finishes.
Our Two Prong Brush is ideal for reaching hard-to-shift dirt on spokes, discs, shocks, cranks, linkages and pedals. It's design features a tough, impact resistant handle that won't slip in extreme conditions and durable nylon bristles. The twin brush heads can be altered and repositioned to reach the tightest of areas".
Generally well made with some nice touches.
Generally very durable but in common with most others, the bristles can become contaminated over time with super tenacious chain lubes/composite greases and foreign bodies.
Fit nicely in the hand.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, their performance has been reasonable but these are only semi cycling specific and with extended use, bristles became sullied by an extremely stubborn cocktail that refused to shift despite regular cleansing in concentrated degreaser.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ergonomic handles, good materials.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricey and only semi cycling specific.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, large and detail brushes would be useful for other vehicles too.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)