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Silca Ultimate Graphene Spray Wax

8
£54.00

VERDICT:

8
10
High-end graphene frame protection for those who want the very best and can afford it
9H hardness coating
Looks great
Easy to apply
Should last a long time
Expensive
Weight: 
537g

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Silca Ultimate Graphene Spray Wax is a sprayable liquid frame protector that contains graphene and offers around 12 months of protection, with a formidable 9H hardness rating. Unlike professional graphene coatings it's very easy to apply, and is relatively good value – although it's still very expensive.

Silca's Step 3, or 'Seal' stage as it's also labelled, is the product within its Bicycle Spa Collection that you use after you've degreased and cleaned your bike thoroughly with Step 1 and Step 2 (though you could also use other products).

According to Silca it's 'the ultimate in paint protection' for your bicycle frame, thanks to its graphene-infused formula, which offers amazing hardness and durability. It's said to work on all kinds of finishes – clear coat, matt, titanium and carbon fibre.

Unlike professional graphene coatings, which run into the thousands and are very difficult to apply, Silca's aim was to make its graphene wax as user-friendly as possible. According to Josh at Silca, it contains about 0.5% of the miracle material, whereas the pro-level stuff can be upwards of 7% graphene. The spray incorporates as much graphene as possible, while still being a liquid that's sprayable, he says.

The main advantage of using a graphene coating over a more conventional sealant or carnauba wax is the level of protection you're getting. It even tops ceramic spray coatings. The ASTM pencil hardness test (I talked about what this test means in my review of the Silca Ultimate Ceramic Waterless Wash) rates the Ultimate Graphene Spray Wax at a 9H, which is the second hardest. The professional stuff will get you to the hardest 10H level, but is incomparable in terms of usability. For reference, a carnauba wax will have a pencil hardness around 6/7H.

As well as giving your frame a tough graphene barrier to protect against scratches or chips, the surface tension means water should also run off your frame a lot easier, and it's also less likely grime will be able to stick to your paint. That'll keep your bike looking better for longer, and make it easier to clean with subsequent washes.

Easy to use

Using the spray wax is easy – you have to shake it before you start, in order to get the graphene moving around in the liquid. You can spray it onto your bike or, as I did, spray it directly onto a microfibre cloth and then onto the bike. The reason I went about it this way is to prevent any of the spray getting onto the discs and pads, which you definitely don't want to do (you'll have a hard time removing it).

You then wait a few minutes and buff it off, then stand back and admire the results. According to Silca you can spray multiple layers on top of one another, in order to increase the amount of protection, though I stuck with just a single layer, even though it only took me about five minutes to do this.

I applied it to three test bikes: a matt grey Bombtrack Beyond+, a Ribble CGR Ti, and my wife's brand-new Cannondale Topstone 4 in gloss black.

There was really very little difference visually between the first two, which doesn't surprise me as matt paint and titanium don't tend to look any different no matter what you apply – they aren't meant to be shiny, after all. The Topstone, on the other hand, looked amazing, with a noticeable improvement in gloss levels.

Aesthetics aside, I wanted to find out how effective the Graphene Spray Wax is at fending off the elements. After a very wet and muddy gravel ride, which was often more boggy mud than gravel thanks to recent torrential rain and subsequent flooding, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of dirt that had stuck. A day later, the bike didn't actually seem that dirty all things considered, and it only took a spray of water to get the majority of the muck off.

Oddly, Silca doesn't specify just how long your paint will be protected with a single application of the spray wax. However, looking at other similar spray waxes in the automotive sector, at least 12 months seems to be in the right ball park, although without knowing how much graphene these products contain compared to Silca's own, it's hard to say for sure. I wasn't able to test this theory as I only have a fraction of that time to test and write this review.

Value

Interestingly, the automotive-oriented versions are much cheaper than Silca's. This could either be because of the aforementioned relatively high concentration of graphene pushing the price up (graphene ain't cheap), or it could be a case of Silca putting a bike label on it and skyrocketing the price tag, because cyclist rules. Both Turtle Wax and 303's own versions cost under £20.

Though the price is clearly out-of-this-world (as it usually is with Silca), in testing I found that I could coat an entire frame (including wheel rims and some other areas) using very little product. If 12 months of durability is feasible, then in theory that ultra-expensive bottle should last you an incredibly long time.

Putting it into perspective, even if you had a fleet of around five bikes (which seems to be the N+1 norm, at least in my household), with a single layer applied each year, then that 500ml bottle could easily last you five to ten years, which is a pretty sound investment given the protection you're getting in return.

Fenwick's Professional Protective Coating is a spray sealant that is said to last about six months (Shaun tested it in 2019). A 250ml bottle will set you back £27, so the price works out almost the same as the Silca Graphene Spray Wax, and that will probably give you at least double the durability (and more protection), so it works out being the more cost-effective option.

Alternatively, if you want to get in on the graphene spray wax scene but don't like the idea of ponying up the £52 asking price, the aforementioned 303 Graphene Nano Spray Coating is just £19.99 for a half-litre bottle, while the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Pro Graphene Flex Wax is even cheaper at £17.50 for a 680ml bottle. Again, the manufacturers don't state how much graphene is in their products, so they might not be as effective. Plus, they're designed for car paint – whether that makes a difference or not is anyone's guess.

Conclusion

This is a high-end product that, at least on paper, delivers the goods. The combination of protection, durability, and ease of use goes some way to justifying the eye-watering price tag, but as I mentioned earlier, this is a product that should in theory last a very long time.

Verdict

High-end graphene frame protection for those who want the very best and can afford it

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Silca Ultimate Graphene Spray Wax

Size tested: 473ml

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?

Silca says, "Ultimate Spray Wax with Graphene, seals in the clean while adding a nano scale layer of protection to your paint. Simply spray onto microfiber towel or buff, wipe onto painted surfaces and buff to a shine, you will literally feel the difference! Avoid Brakes."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Silca:

* Protects against scuffs and swirl marks for 90 days

* Keeps your paint looking factory new

* Easy to apply

* Margarita Scent

* 16oz spray bottle

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

High-end paint protection.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

Though there's no official word on this, a graphene coating should last at least 12 months. Given what Silca says, I expect it to last even longer.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Fenwick's Professional Protective Coating offers six months of sealant protection and costs about £54 per half litre, which is roughly on a par with the Silca Graphene Spray Wax. You'll get a lot more protection and durability from Silca's offering, though.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Looks great, offers amazing paint protection (according to the pencil hardness test, anyway), and seems to keep the worst of the dirt from clinging to the bike. It's also very easy to apply.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The level of protection – any help fending off scratches and stone chips is very welcome.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Initially hyper expensive, but in the long run it's not actually that bad as you don't need a lot to coat one frame. Fenwick's Professional Protective Coating offers six months of sealant protection, and costs about £54 per half litre, which is roughly on a par with the Silca Graphene Spray Wax. You'll get a lot more protection and durability from Silca's offering, though.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely – it's hard not to see the benefits.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Yes, it's a huge investment, but there's value to be had in the long run, and it could pay dividends by helping your frame to look better for longer. That it's easy to apply and adds a dose of shine makes for a very tempting purchase.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

Add new comment

6 comments

Avatar
bobinski | 5 months ago
0 likes

What is the ecological impact of this and say the ceramic coating being ouches on GCN?  

Avatar
Bristol Bullet | 5 months ago
0 likes

What an absolute load of bollocks your review is. You were unable to verify the graphene content or longevity of the product and yet swallowed all of Silca's bull.  Your guess that it would last 12 months was plucked out of the air being based solely on how long other similar products claim to last. Oh yes, you used it on your wife's brand new bike and it made it the brand new paint shiney, quelle surprise. A pencil hardness test rating of 9H means in testing, a 9H pencil did not scratch the coating it was tested on, so good protection against washing scratches yes but no protection against chipping from a stone thrown up, for example, by a front wheel. And just because this product is very expensive doesn't mean it's "the very best" as per your verdict.

Avatar
HollisJ replied to Bristol Bullet | 5 months ago
7 likes

Ignoring the unfortunate rude remark...

Unfortunately, I dont have the means or the knowledge to carry out nanoparticle tracking analysis of the product, so until then I'll assume the manufacturer isn't lying. As we normally publish the specs of products we test, it's not unusual for us to take things on face value - we are normal people who test things in our sheds, not in laboratories, so unless there's a measurable way of us rating something, we have to fall back on the specs.

In terms of longevity, yes that's my claim. I'll let you know how that goes in another 9 months time. So far the product appears to be active on my gravel bike which gets dirty every week.

As for the hardness test, I didn't invent it - I'm merely using the same test that all these products use to measure their hardness. The rating is normally used for paint protection products in the automotive industry, where stone chips come a lot faster and harder. I've no reason to believe this isn't a valuable way of measuring protection against real world particles.

And finally, yes I believe it's the best product out there - my opinion. Feel free to disagree, that's your right. I feel like I've qualified why I think it's the best. 

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to HollisJ | 5 months ago
2 likes
HollisJ wrote:

Ignoring the unfortunate rude remark...

Good for you. I think I would have found it difficult to take the rest of the post as constructive criticism after the first line but you managed it very well.

Avatar
Glov Zaroff replied to Bristol Bullet | 5 months ago
0 likes
Bristol Bullet wrote:

What an absolute load of bollocks your review is. You were unable to verify the graphene content or longevity of the product and yet swallowed all of Silca's bull.  Your guess that it would last 12 months was plucked out of the air being based solely on how long other similar products claim to last. Oh yes, you used it on your wife's brand new bike and it made it the brand new paint shiney, quelle surprise. A pencil hardness test rating of 9H means in testing, a 9H pencil did not scratch the coating it was tested on, so good protection against washing scratches yes but no protection against chipping from a stone thrown up, for example, by a front wheel. And just because this product is very expensive doesn't mean it's "the very best" as per your verdict.

You could have done your own research. It's all on the Silca YouTube channel. Instead you cam on here and acted like a child. Maybe you are a child. 

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 months ago
1 like

Dagnammit - I was hoping this was a chain lube

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