Having always cleaned my bikes fairly regularly, I was interested to find out whether Juice Lubes Frame Juice Gloss Frame Polish could add an extra level of pizazz to my summer bike, and a protective layer to repel mud from my winter bike, minimising cleaning time. I'm happy to say it performs both functions well, making it a sensible purchase for those who want to keep their bikes gleaming all year.
Goodbye summer bike, enjoy your well-earned hibernation. But before we part for the winter, I'm going to show my appreciation by giving you a nice polish (and making you smell like cranberries). My summer bike is a shiny bright red and white carbon fibre Ridley with gloss-finish paint. Already cleaned a couple of weeks ago via my usual method of a rag and some warm water, how much shinier could this red beast get?
Spraying a test patch on a chainstay, my first impression was the smell – a strong cranberry-like scent that evokes powerful notes of 'cleaning product', which I suppose is perfectly apt. At first, the scent is maybe a little too reminiscent of a Portaloo, but I soon got used to it and actually started enjoying it – maybe because I'd worked up an appetite lugging three bikes up and down my basement stairs. Despite that, it's probably best to use this spray in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.
Cautious of the disc brake rotors, I liberally sprayed the frame, buffing the polish off with the cloth as I went. The colour became instantly more vivid and striking, and the contrast between the base colour and the white details intensified noticeably, leaving the showroom shine that Juice Lubes had touted on its website. Frame gleaming, I returned the summer whip to its slumber. See you when the weather gets better!
Next, I attacked my winter bike (a black Genesis Croix de Fer sporting a few battle scars from its 10 years of service). While the paint isn't matt, it also isn't a reflective sort of black and the top-coat has seen some action, so I didn't really expect much visual difference. The main aim of applying the frame polish to this bike was to check Juice Lubes' claims of mud repellency.
As predicted, the visual appearance of my winter bike didn't change too much after a coat of Frame Juice and a buff with a microfibre cloth; there's not much a polish can do against rust spots, chips, scratches and scuffs – this isn't T-Cut. Layering up a thick coat of polish around the bottom bracket, head tube, fork and other previously muddy areas of the bike, I looked forward to seeing how much grime, if any, had built up after the next ride, and how easy it would be to clean again afterwards.
Last but not least was another slightly battered steel bike (a vintage Peugeot), but this one has a chrome fork. I've always enjoyed trying to make this fork as shiny as possible, so I hoped a blast with Frame Juice would help it reach shiny-fork nirvana – and I was not disappointed. Having polished this fork in the past with the likes of WD-40, vinegar, steel and glass cleaner, to name but a few, the Frame Juice has brought it to a new level of shine, and should help protect it against whatever the road throws its way.
Following a couple of rides of the winter bike, it appears that Frame Juice does have good mud-repelling properties. Very little of anything has stuck to my bike, which is pretty surprising for winter riding in the rural lanes of the UK. Presumably, the Frame Juice has returned the mud to the ground from whence it came, and any of the polish that goes back with it into the environment isn't a big problem as it's biodegradable (unlike PTFE-based sprays).
Shiny but slippery
Juice Lubes' website says, 'It'll coat your bike in a slippery shield giving sticky mud nothing to hang onto', which is certainly true. After polishing three bikes in a row, there was also a slippery shield on my hands as well as the spray can, leading me to drop the can very close to the down tube of one of the bikes. Thankfully it missed, avoiding any further chips on the paintwork, but in future I'll wear gloves for this task.
My bike is now also reasonably non-stick and slippery. There's definitely a lot less friction between my hand and the frame, which is something cyclocross racers might need to consider if using Frame Juice before a race, or anyone else who needs to carry their bike.
While the cranberry smell didn't hang around, the protective sheen has left my summer bike gleaming, and has added an extra layer of protection and mud-repellency to my winter steed. If I had a brand new all-year-round bike I wanted to keep well protected and looking good, I'd buy Frame Juice in a heartbeat and use it every time I cleaned my bike.
It's decent value, too, priced at the more affordable end of the market compared with similar products, and it's biodegradable and made in the UK. Morgan Blue Polish is £11.95 for 400ml, Finish Line Showroom Polish & Protectant is £10.99 for 340ml, and Pedro's Bike Lust Polish is £19.99 for 500ml.
Muc-Off's Silicon Shine is slightly cheaper at £10.99 for 500ml.
If you've got a high-shine bike you want to keep looking its very best, Frame Juice is a tenner well spent. And if you're selling a bike, it may add more value than it costs.
If you have a high-shine bike you want to keep looking its very best, then Frame Juice is a tenner well spent
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Juice Lubes Frame Juice Gloss Frame Polish
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?
Frame Juice Gloss Frame Polish is aimed at those with a gloss-finish bike, or components, which they want to keep gleaming beyond what you can achieve with an oily rag or dry buff with a microfibre cloth. Additionally, Juice Lubes claims it will prevent mud and grime from sticking so easily.
Juice Lubes says: 'Frame Juice is your ticket to a box fresh bicycle after even the most miserable of mud baths. It's the final step in your bike wash and guarantees that your bike will return to the garage gleaming with no streaks and stains, blotches or blemishes. Use Frame Juice as a spray-and-polish part of your bike wash or lash it on pre-ride to protect your bike with a mud-repelling force field.'
That description is spot on. It does add another level of shininess to gloss paint, highlighting bright colours especially well. Dirt repellency is improved too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The spray contains no PTFE, and is stated to be biodegradable by the manufacturers. It leaves a lasting slippery coat on surface which it is applied to.
Juice Lubes lists this 'product info':
Restores bikes to a showroom shine status
Removes post wash watermarks and stains
Protects and leaves a deep lustre on metal, plastic, carbon and rubber parts
Reduces dirt, tar & mud cling
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for value:
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
When used exactly for its intended purpose, the Frame Juice works very well. Don't expect it to buff out scratches or shine up anything that's not meant to be – it's not T-Cut or Brasso.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It makes colours noticeably more vivid.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It does leave a slippery coating where applied – good for repelling mud, less good for carrying your bike.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's slightly more than Muc-Off Silicon Shine, but cheaper than many others.
Did you enjoy using the product? Somewhat. It has a powerful aroma.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if that friend has a shiny bike.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I've given this product an 8 as it's very good. It performed as described, is pretty good value, and easy to use.
Age: 33 Height: 174 Weight: 63
I usually ride: Ridley Fenix SL Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Bikepacking
Or maybe they're both named after the black mamba snake that features on the box?!
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