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Fenwicks foaming degreaser… the death of the chain bath?

Watch the vid: foamy fun with chains… okay, 'fun' might be stretching things

Chains, eh? Tricky little blighters. One second they're spinning silently round your cassette, the very embodiment of the word 'efficiency', the next they're a noisy, mangled, rusty mess. And cleaning them is a sisyphean ordeal, no sooner have you finished with your chain bath and toothbrush than it's time to strip the whole thing down again.

Until now, that is. The clever chaps at Fenwicks have been applying their encyclopaedic knowledge of things cleaning to the problem of the humble chain, and the solution they've come up with is a novel one: a foaming degreaser. Degreasers are (mostly) good, but they're not without their problems. You can't easily see where you've put them, they drip off the chain and they're messy. Fenwicks FS aims to tackle these problems… with pink foam.

You can see from the video above that the degreaser has a consistency something along the lines of shaving foam. you can spray it on while spinning the chain and it sticks to every surface of the chain, even the outside of the plates. The idea is that you leave it to work on the grime for a bit – you can clean the rest of your bike in the meantime – and then give your chain a scrub. Fenwicks were keen to point out that it wasn't the idea to take the elbow work out of the job; they don't use aggressive formulas for their cleaners and can, bizarrely, claim to have eaten every single one of their products to prove that they're safe. Sounds like a job for the work experience boy...

You can work the degreaser into hard-to reach areas with your finger or a stick, and it really is very low on mess: the foam gradually resolves into a liquid but you need a lot less of it to cover the chain than you would if you started with the degreaser in liquid form.

The proof of the pudding, of course, will be in the, erm, eating. Actually we'll pass on ingesting the stuff but we will be getting some in on test soon, and we'll report back with our findings. And we'll make sure it's not kept next to the shaving foam.

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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powenb | 14 years ago

Looks good news to me!!  3

dave atkinson | 14 years ago

that's because they'd been covering it in foaming degreaser every half an hour for the previous four days  1

effemm | 14 years ago

Also verrrrry interesting for those who can't be arsed with chain cleanliness. Anything that makes the whole painful process easier might make it fractionally more likely that I'll clean the chain in the first place.

On the other hand, when a new (singlespeed) chain can be had for not much more than a fiver, why bother?

effemm replied to effemm | 14 years ago

PS It strikes me that the chain in the pic (and video) doesn't *need* cleaned... not compared to mine, anyway.

neilwheel | 14 years ago

Verrrrry interesting stuff for those overly obsessed with chain cleanliness. Perhaps I might really be able to eat my dinner off my chain after all, thanks to this stuff!

Hope it lives up to its promise.

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