Tru-Tension Cycle Snow Foam is a waterless detailer, designed to allow quick and convenient sprucing of lightly soiled bikes. Saving time and indeed mess, I've tended to apply ours in the garage, but it won't betray clandestine fettling if you've got busy in the kitchen. However, we're talking light, filmy grime – it can't tackle proper winter filth and mud, and there's a definite knack to getting the very best from it. It's expensive, too.
Tru-Tension recommends spraying this foam on and then leaving it for five to 30 seconds, before wiping away the grime. You then buff the remainder to a shine, as the foam leaves a protective layer of slippery silicone to make it harder for fresh dirt to stick.
Cycle Snow Foam is recommended for frames, wheels and components – and is safe on plastic and paint – but for obvious reasons, swerve braking surfaces, saddles, bar wraps and the like.
In practice, speed is of the essence. Even applied in the shade with just 20 seconds standing time, Snow Foam is eager to dry out and leave a patchy effect. Getting rid of it requires a repeat application, since it won't buff out.
I tested the Snow Foam across my fleet, where it made short work of organic and petrochemical grime alike. It leaves a deep, glossy shine to frames, mudguards, rims and components, and generally takes around 12 minutes start to finish. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it can even shift a chain's wet-lube splatter.
The results on satin and gloss finishes are very pleasing, as they are on metallic, polished, anodised and plated surfaces. Avoid using it on matt finishes, though – it leaves unsightly oily splodges.
Once Snow Foam is applied, rain beads up and rolls away, and showery spatter is easily wiped off, even four weeks and 550 miles after the product went on. While furniture polishes will do much the same thing, they need redoing far more frequently – think weekly during summer, and after every session on the indoor trainer.
At £10 for 500ml, Cycle Snow Foam isn't cheap. Muc-Off High Performance Waterless Wash is £11.99 for 750ml – so around £8 for 500ml – while Duck Smart Bike Ezee is £6.99 for 500ml. The latter doesn't achieve a comparable lustre, however, so Tru-Tension does offer a little extra for the money.
Ultimately, the Tru-Tension Cycle Snow Foam does everything it promises, and to a decent, lasting standard. It's a good option for the time poor, when putting bikes into storage, or simply for extending washing intervals. It's quick but still takes a bit of work, though – and there are cheaper options out there too.
Convenient and effective, but needs fast buffing – and it's expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tru-Tension Cycle Snow Foam
Size tested: 500ml
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?
Tru Tension says: "Our all-in-one instant action foam cleaner soaks into the dirt, lifting it away from the surface for an easy clean without the need for water. Once dry it leaves a polish which is buffed in to leave a high gloss finish.
"Perfect for cleaning indoors and without the need for water. Ideal for removing light dirt from frames and wheels."
My feelings: Does exactly what it says in the blurb, but requires speedy polishing to get the best from it.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Perfect for cleaning indoors and without the need for water.
Ideal for removing light dirt from frames and wheels.
Safe to use on plastic and painted surfaces.
Quick and convenient for a spruce when time is at a premium.
Protectant layer seems to last longer than beeswax furniture polish.
Pleasant enough to use, even indoors.
More expensive than other dry washes, though the excellent results help tip the scales back a little.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Quick and convenient.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Requires equally quick buffing and polishing to avoid streaking.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It works out fairly expensive. Muc-Off high Performance Waterless Wash is £11.99 for 750ml – so around £8 for 500ml – while Duck Smart Bike Ezee is £6.99 for 500ml. The latter doesn't achieve a comparable lustre, however, so Tru-Tension does offer a little extra for the money.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good option if you're rushed or before laying up a bike for some time, but while it's quick it still needs some effort.
About the tester
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)