Properly cleaning your bike will have it running better and keep it on the road longer. Like any important task, bike cleaning requires the right tools. While you can dig up old toothbrushes, sponges and scrub pads, starting off your bike cleaning kit with the right brushes will make the job easier, faster and more effective.
The 5x Premium Brush Kit from Muc-Off comes with five brushes, each specifically designed to make cleaning any area of your bike a breeze. The first brush is the large Soft Washing Brush. We like using this as a general cleaning brush. It works much like a sponge would. You can fill it with soapy water and use it to cover the vast majority of your bike. It has nylon bristles but the ends are softened; they almost feel like terry cloth and do a great job holding on to water and soap. The bristles are tough enough to scrub off mud and muck, but soft enough that they won’t scratch your paint, even if it is a matte finish. Like the rest of the brushes, it has a rubberized handle that is easy and comfortable to use without losing grip, even when covered in soapy water, or if you are using it on a 20-degree-Fahrenheit day in Vermont like we did.
While the soft washing brush is likely the brush you’ll use the most, the other brushes shine when applied to hard to reach crevices and bike components. The wheel and component brush is built like a round hairbrush. Covered with tough nylon bristles, it’s great for sneaking between your spokes and scrubbing your wheels.
The two prong brush also works great for cleaning spokes as it has two diverging but close bristle “prongs.” This makes it easy to slide narrow things like spokes, brake rotors, pedals, etc. between the prongs to give them a full scrub down. And you can be confident you are cleaning every inch of whatever slides between them.
For more persistent grime, you can really grind away with the claw brush, which has shorter, tougher bristles and a short handle. This makes it great for applying leverage to get a serious scrub. It works supremely well on dirty areas like your chain and sprockets.
And for those supremely hard to reach places, the detailing tool cleans up all the rest. It has three different stiff bristle areas of varying lengths to make sure you can get into even the most cramped components. And for tackling baked on grime, the brush has a variety of plastic scraping surfaces. There are two hard points that hook at different angles to help scrape off dirt no matter where it’s hiding, as well as a curved hard plastic toothed section to give you as many angles as possible for scraping off bigger areas.
While all these brushes work great for your bike, they’re versatile enough for cleaning whatever surface you have that is getting dirty, especially with confined and hard to reach areas. Think dirt bikes, motorcycles, car vents, wheelchairs, wagons, anything really.
Yes, you can throw together a cleaning kit. But low quality tools mean slow quality cleaning efforts that will increase the likelihood of you picking up dirt dirt and scratching your paint, missing dirt that will add wear to your components and chain, and make riding your bike (left dirtier) harder than it needs to be. So when you’re getting started in bike care, start off right with this Muc-Off brush kit.