The Juice Lubes 3 x Brush and Cloth Pack Mixed Bundle is a collection of brushes and a microfibre cloth designed to make cleaning bikes straightforward. It's a little dearer than some similar quality bundles, though cheaper than others. And it's well worth a closer look if you're looking for a good starter-kit.
Your £24.99 gets you Juice Lubes' Big Softy Wash Brush, the Double Ender Two Prong Brush, Stiffler drivetrain Brush and Juice Rag Finishing Cloth. The Big Softy is, as the name suggests, a big brush with soft bristles designed for gentle, broad strokes for cleaning framesets and contact points. These are areas you want to get clean without leaving any nasty swirls or scratches. Features such as rubberised 'scuff bumpers' and handle continue the brush's paint-friendly narrative.
The suggestively named 'Double Ender' is a stiffer, flexible bristle plot designed for tricky-to-reach areas such as the chainstays, fork crown, suspension linkages and the like – areas where mud and grime tend to become impacted. For chains, chainrings, cassettes, jockey wheels, cages and similar parts, we have the Stiffler Drivetrain Brush.
This is essentially a long-bristled 'paint brush on steroids' that's also designed for refreshing your bike's hard-to-reach areas that neither the Big Softy nor Double Ender can. All three feature durable and efficient nylon bristle plots. However, be careful how much pressure you apply and after cleaning your fleet, don't dunk the brushes in boiling water. If you must, 80°C for 20 seconds, tops.
For the grand finale – drying – we have the Juice Rag Finishing Cloth. This is a big microfibre cloth that you can machine wash (though not dry) and without fabric softeners/similar. All are available separately should you wish to build a custom ensemble. If I was doing so, though this is a solid starting point, I'd add a couple of jumbo car sponges too.
As a collective, performance is on a par with several competitors I've used. During winter, where everything seems to stick and wet lubes quickly become unhygienically gooey, transmission-chomping messes, I tend to start by tackling the drivetrain – enter the Stiffler.
This has the stiffest of the bristle plots, so you can agitate oily, gungy stuff. The long handle and relatively narrow plot ensure you can get to the chainrings, baste degreaser evenly across cassettes and generally reach tight spots without grazing your knuckles.
For these reasons alone, it's much nicer to use than the multi-end claw types.
> How to clean your bike – from a quick lick to a full makeover
When deep cleaning, I've had best results dipping it into a gel-type degreaser stock and getting a satisfying lather going. The generous handle means digits and knuckles stay a safe distance and, assuming you've not gone for mechanic's inspection gloves, less time at the sink. That said, it's easy to angle so you can tackle the chain's side plates, chainrings, derailleur cages and jockey wheels.
It has also come in handy when tackling threaded parts – pedals, bottom brackets, derailleur hangers and the like. The length and added torque mean you can tickle these areas clean, gracefully and efficiently. Lithium preps can turn a bit claggy and difficult to shift. With a decent degreaser, it's taken a few minutes to remove all trace and apply something more suitable.
Like most of this genre, residual lubes and greases will stick convincingly to the bristles but are easily shifted by adding a drop of degreaser, working that into a lather (a clean concrete floor is idea) before dunking in hot, though not boiling, water, then finally rinsing with fresh tepid/cool water and drying with a clean rag.
The Big Softy
Measuring 280mm (11in) in length and with a tapered bristle plot that measures 150x100mm, it's made with convenience and efficiency in mind. The bristles are stiff enough to tackle ingrained grime beneath mudguards or saddle and embossed bar wraps, though seemingly gentle enough for polymers and silicone tapes.
That said, I've been cautious around the former, and though I've had no issues with painted, plated, anodised, lacquered or polished finishes, I've rinsed regularly. This is partly to avoid cross contamination, but also to prevent gritty stuff causing unsightly swirling. Indeed, if a bike is really encrusted, I'll rinse it with cold water and leave it under a layer of bike wash before using warm, sudsy water.
The rubberised scuff bumpers are welcome, and the handle has a slight edge over Pedro's Pro Brush, and as a result I've done four bikes in 90 minutes without my palms protesting. The bristles have also dismissed spent chain lubes and brake pad residue from rims, though the Green Oil Bicycle Brush has an edge here and when it comes to tyres.
The Double Ender is very efficient when it comes to rims, spokes, suspension linkages, fork crowns and chainstays. And the bottom bracket shell too if grease or internal frame preservative has leached out. Though very bendy, the bristles are more abrasive, so get them supple by leaving in hot water for 20 seconds or so and when tackling painted and anodised finishes. And be religious when it comes to the dunk, apply and rinse regime.
So far, bristle plots and plastics are still in rude health, despite regular exposure to hot water, grime and solvents, petrochemical and otherwise. I've been pleasantly surprised by the lack of bristle moult from the Big Softy. Some splayed a little but were tamed by dunking in 80°C water for 20 seconds.
Brushes such as the Double Ender tend not to lose bristles but rather splay with use – and there's no sign of that either.
At £24.99 the bundle is a couple of quid cheaper than the Muc-Off 5X Premium Brush Kit that I reviewed, which includes all the brushes found in the Juice Lubes bundle, along with a small 'detailing' brush for tackling small, harder-to-reach areas and the four-way claw brush. However, I found the bristles sullied faster than the Juice's bristles when tackling similar grot.
Peaty's Bicycle Brush is £10 dearer, and while Hollis found them a marked improvement over more generic brush sets, he did feel the tyre brush merited revision.
At the other end of the spectrum, there's the £14.99 Finish Line Five-Brush Set. This could do with a more convincing chain/cassette scrubber and a ball chain to hang them from when not in use.
Ash tested the £16.99 Oxford Brush & Scrub Set. This contains four brushes, and you could add the fabulous Oxford Tyre Scrub that I reviewed, and which is also effective at shifting ingrained dirt from bar tapes, and some supermarket microfibre cloths, which would make complete package for £25.
The Juice Lubes Brush Set is well made and does the job effectively, though the price is steeper than some of its similar competitors. But just as with some other bundles, you can save money over buying individual brushes. Personally, if I was building a starter kit from scratch from the Juice range, I'd be inclined to buy its Big Softy and Stiffler and add Oxford's Tyre Scrub and Wheely Clean.
Good bundle but faces stiff competition from similarly competent alternatives
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Make and model: Juice Lubes 3 x Brush and Cloth Pack Mixed Bundle
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?
Juice Lubes says "This new bundle contains each of our brushes and the new Juice Rag cloth, all presented in a recyclable and top quality cardboard gift box to give that 'bundle' feel."
1 x Big Softy Wash Brush
1 x Double Ender Two Prong Brush
Stiffler Drivetrain Brush
Juice Rag Finishing Cloth"
My feelings are that it's a decent bundle overall. However, there are several competitors offering similarly competent packages, some of which are cheaper.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rubberised scuff bumpers to protect the bike's finish, nylon, task-specific bristle plots. Big Softy for frameset, bar tape, saddle, and other areas needing gentle cleaning. Double-Ender for hard-to-reach areas, such as suspension linkages and wheels. Stiffler is designed for drivetrain cleaning, hence the stiffest bristle plot.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Seem generally well made and should last. Stiffler brush seems a notch better than similar drivetrain cleaners I've used – especially when coaxing ingrained oily grime from cassettes and chainrings.
Rate the product for performance:
Performs well as a bundle but while some brushes are better than those from competitors, overall performance is similar rather than obviously superior.
Rate the product for durability:
Some minor splaying early on with the Big Softy's bristle plot but you can correct that by immersing it in hot water.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Reassuringly weighty but without being unwieldy.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Generally pleasant to use and for extended periods.
Rate the product for value:
Good, taking everything into account, but dearer than some bundles that deliver similar performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the brush and cloth pack covers most bases. I was particularly impressed with the Stiffler's ability to agitate and dismiss grime from components. The Big Softy is kind and generally effective, although I've found Oxford's Tyre Scrub more effective for bar tapes – especially on engrained dirt – and without doing nasty things to more sophisticated and sensitive materials.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Covers most bases and is good to use. The Stiffler is definitely a notch higher than several bike-specific designs I've used on a long-term basis.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is a bit steeper than some. For example, I could buy some bundles for £15 and add other, task-specific brushes such as Oxford Tyre Scrub and still save money.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£24.99 for the bundle is a couple of quid cheaper than the Muc-Off 5X Premium Brush Kit, which includes all the brushes found in the Juice Lubes bundle, along with a small 'detailing' brush for tackling small, harder-to-reach areas and the four-way claw brush.
However, I found the bristles sullied faster than the Juice when tackling similar levels of grot. Peaty's Bicycle Brush Set is £10 dearer and Hollis found them a marked improvement over more generic brush sets. However, he felt the tyre brush merited revision.
At the other end of the spectrum, there's the Finish Line Five-Brush Set, which includes those discussed here, but could do with a more convincing chain/cassette scrubber and a ball chain to hang them from when not in use
Then there's the Oxford Brush & Scrub Set. Your £16.99 buys four brushes and you could add Oxford's fabulous Tyre Scrub, which is also really effective at shifting ingrained dirt from bar tapes, as well as some supermarket microfibre cloths, which would bring the complete ensemble to £25.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but there are cheaper competitors that do much the same thing
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps, I'd say it's worth a closer look but not necessarily superior
Use this box to explain your overall score
Decent quality bundle that is nice to use and delivers good results, but it isn't obviously superior to competitors I've tested
Age: 49 Height: 1m 81cm Weight: 70kg
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,
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