It works very well at what you want to do, it gets the gunk out of hard to reach spots like between chain rings and in all the hard to reach spots on derailleurs. It will leave an easy to wash off residue on the surfaces of the components. I have not noticed any problems with carbon.
I'm going to revive this old thread. I bought some of this today and it worked really well. Maybe too well as I went a little crazy and used the whole $11 can in about 15 minutes. Does anyone know of any cheaper alternatives that work as well. Is this stuff really just carburetor cleaner? Will carburetor cleaner work without causing damage?
I've used auto brake cleaner and degreaser with a lot of success. It's like 5 bucks a can - less if you buy it by the case. There are some out there - i think a company called maxima makes one for example - that are listed as "environmentally friendly and cirtus scented". Pretty much pedros in a blast can is what it sounds like to me...
"The heavy-duty shop formula is quick drying and safe for most plastics"
And they're talking some of the cheap plastic on street bikes...Sounds like you're good to go to me. I've used it on my Ti bike but have yet to need to use it on the new carbon rig. I'll do it if you'll do it...
I guess I’d like to weigh in on this one … and I guess I’ll admit in advance that I’m a bit of a curmudgeon on some of this stuff.
So, a couple years ago I, like most of us, spent a fair amount of money (to me) on a new bike that I was very proud of, and I wanted to keep it clean, quiet and shiny new. So I went through a typical list of alternatives, some already mentioned in this tread:
- First tried WD 40 on the running parts and expensive cleaner on the frame. Got stuff clean, but made my hands a mess, and left a big black stain where the WD 40 drained off. Tended to drip down the spokes and stain the wheels and tires, creating additional cleaning chores.
- Tried various degreasers, including auto parts degreasers, bio degreasers, bike-specific degreasers, citrus cleaners. All worked to some degree, but tended to leave either the heavier gunk or some other residue. Each created as many problems in my view as it solved. Many were pretty darn expensive.
- I used to work on cars, and remembered those handy-dandy carb and brake cleaner/degreasers. Sprays out in a stream, dries fast, breaks up and blows out the gunk. But wow, the fumes and all those VOCs. And the stuff is really, really effective at what it does, namely “de-grease” and it tended to get into the places where I actually wanted the grease to stay, namely hubs, BB bearings, etc. Oh, and they still cost money.
- Started to get frustrated, and cleaned stuff a few times with plain old soap and water (sponge on most stuff, stiff plastic bristle brush on the rings, cogs, chain and a few other mech parts) just to get the bike clean while I tried to find the ideal solution.
Know what worked best – by a LONG shot – on all the parts, mechanical as well as painted? Good old soap (I’m using a liquid soap made for washing cars – I think it’s an Armor All product) and water. And, leaves my hands clean, breaks up the gunk, OK for the various finishes, few if any fumes or VOCs so comparatively good for the plants, air and fishies, cheap, easy to use, doesn’t leave stains, compared to most of the prior products, soap water is more easily blocked by the various bearing seals, etc. All good.
And watching Tour and Giro videos, I could be mistaken, but aren’t those team mechanics using soap & water on the team bikes out behind the team bus?
Couple caveats: Obviously, getting rid of the water is important. I use an air compressor to help blow the water out of the little places where the town doesn’t reach. I use a low pressure hose, or just run-off from the sponge so that I’m not blasting the water past any seals, I use a superlink on the chain, and using soap & water is GREATLY facilitated by being able to remove the chain, adn no, I haven't used all the products suggested here, so my experience isn't a full comparo of everything out there.
Some of you may use this but let me share it with rest of you who may not know. I have been using Simply Green liquid to clean my chain and rest of the bike for a year now after a recommendation by a fellow rider. It is not a sprap but you could get a spray bottle for 99cents and use it. Let me tell you that you can not beat the price. Go to your local Home Depot and get a "gallon" of this stuff under $8. I use Pedro's chain cleaning device along with this and my chain is clean under 2 minutes. It is also not harmful to enviroment.
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