Like many, I've dragged the winter bike out of the shed and started the ride, clean, ride, clean routine, and thankfully the Bike7 Carepack has made it an easy cycle to follow. It contains a simple range of cleaners to make your dirty bike shiny again, you just have to provide the brushes.
I'm not renowned for my bike cleaning skills – it's too fiddly and if I've just spent four hours riding around in the cold and wet the last thing I want to be doing is messing around with a hosepipe when I get home.
The Bike7 Carepack kit does make it a pretty quick job, though, and thanks to the high-powered triggers and spray cans you can do a decent job without having to be too thorough.
So, what do you get in your little goody box?
You get two bottles of degreaser, and thankfully more imagination has gone into the ingredients than the name. First up, you cover the drivetrain in DEGREASE, a silicone-based aerosol which is no different to that used in many engineering and mechanical cleaning applications. It's impressive, though, and will clean the dirtiest of chains with little effort.
Keep the nozzle close to the chain and fire short blasts otherwise you'll end up spraying it everywhere. Wipe the worst of it off with a cloth and job done. It's not as thorough as a chain cleaning tool for getting into the plates and pins, but for a quick clean up it's pretty good.
Next up is the CLEAN. This is water based and with its lemony smell it's obviously a citrus-based cleaner. The mild formula is suitable for every type of bike-related material so it can be sprayed liberally over the whole bike from the trigger-equipped 1l bottle.
It's strong enough to remove the majority of road dirt, though the really dried on stuff does need a bit of agitation from a brush or sponge. It won't remove oil or grease either, so you'll have to use DEGREASE for that.
After a quick rinse and a dry, the SHINE & PROTECT silicone-based spray can be applied to the frame and components. It displaces any water left in hard to reach parts and coats everything it covers in a thin, water-repellent film. Once you've let it dry and given it a quick buff up with a cloth the shine looks very much like a polish and it gives a depth of colour to any paintjob.
The best thing, though, is that film makes cleaning dirt and everything off the next time you wash the bike so much easier as the dirt can't stick to the frame. The coating lasts for a good week, or less if it's raining hard, so it's something you need to apply regularly.
The final application is the chain lubricant, of which you get two very self-explanatory 500ml spray cans: LUBRICATE WET and LUBRICATE DRY.
They're both PTFE-based lubricants, with the WET being a weightier version, but saying that they are both very thin liquids, much lighter than an oil-based version.
The spray nozzle and straw applicator make the job straightforward as you can direct the liquid to the edge of the pins and chain plates. Both lubes need to be left for 10 minutes after application to allow everything to settle in.
Through the summer months the DRY version worked well in keeping the chain smooth and squeak free. I have a couple of bikes that never see any rain whatsoever, so I was only adding a drop of the Bike7 once every couple of weeks, and was certainly impressed with how little dust and stuff was sticking to the chain. The PTFE leaves a sort of waxy finish which isn't tacky at all.
Now that the rain has turned up, a switch to the WET version has shown equally impressive results with, again, very little in the way of crap and crud sticking to it. The finish means the chain cleans easily and only on the wettest of rides have I had to reapply it as soon as I've got home.
So, Bike7 scrubs your bike up pretty well indeed, but it uses a lot of chemicals to do it. The amount of skin irritation and environmental contamination warnings you find on the back of each tin might not be ideal if you value your own wellbeing or that of the land around you. That's not to say I had any health concerns from using it, but if you're sensitively skinned I'd say gloves are a must.
The price of £34.99 seems pretty decent value for the kit. You could make one up from various brands and no doubt save a couple of quid here and there, but the Carepack has everything you need all in one kit. Some at this price point offer a sponge, brushes or a bucket, and while it's not a deal breaker a receptacle to keep all of the products in would certainly have kept things tidier.
Overall, the Carepack offers a good selection of products and a sensible price to make cleaning and maintaining your bike pretty straightforward. I would have liked a bucket and a sponge chucked in for the price, but on the whole I'd be happy to splash the cash.
Effective bike cleaning kit at a sensible price, but could be costly to the environment
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bike 7 Care Pack
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?
Bike7 says: "Everything you need to let your bicycle gleam and shine and function optimally is packed together in this handy maintenance pack."
Bike7 is right, it converts your bike from a grubby, dirty mess into a shiny showroom model.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Clean - Water based degreaser used for frame, fork, components etc.
Degrease - Solvent based degreaser for drivetrain use
Lubricate Dry - PTFE based chain lube for dry conditions
Lubricate Wet - PTFE based thicker chain lube for wet conditions
Protect & Shine - Silicone based spray coating to dispel moisture and provide a shiny finish to your framework.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Bike7 has used a sensible list of ingredients to get what it needs from each product, although what's great for the bike isn't necessarily great for the environment.
Rate the product for performance:
It's all very easy to use and makes cleaning the bike straight after a wet ride a simple task.
Rate the product for durability:
A long lasting finish to both the Shine & Protect plus the Lubricate Wet.
Rate the product for value:
Pretty much on par with the opposition.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Each of the products does a good job, but there is nothing exactly groundbreaking here in terms of ingredients or price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The Shine & Protect makes each subsequent cleans easier.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
High pressure spray nozzles mean you can waste the products with ease.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The products themselves aren't exactly groundbreaking – silicones, citrus degreasers and PTFE are not exactly new in this market place – but the Bike7 Carepack has pretty much all the stuff you need to get a dirty bike back to a very clean one. This makes it a simple singular purchase for yourself or as a gift. Each bottle does a good job and as far as price goes it's not exactly cheap, but it is competitive with its rivals.
Age: 37 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
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