Words by Chris Southwood, Flow Mountain Bike
It’s always good to get a chance to support a local start-up in the bike industry. Born and bred in sunny Brisbane, Ride Mechanic produce a range of lubricants, cleaners, body maintenance products and more. It’s all manufactured in south-east Queensland or northern NSW, right down to the labels and bottles. We’ve been trialling their Avaqua, Bike Juice and Bike Milk recently.
On the ‘keeping it clean’ front, the Avaqua and Bike Juice both serve quite different purposes. The Bike Juice is more your traditional bike wash and degreaser – spray it onto a damp bike, let it work its magic for a couple of minutes and hose it off. Grimy drivetrains and muddy bikes are where it does its best work. The Avaqua is described as a de-watering fluid. We’ve found it most useful as a cleaner on more precision-oriented parts of the bike – places like pedal mechanisms and brake callipers – or for getting any greasy film off brake rotors. It dries without leaving any reside, so we even used it to clean our sunnies!
The Bike Milk is listed as a cleaner, lubricant and protector all in one, so we ran it recently at four-day stage race to give it the ultimate test. The instructions call for you to ‘soak’ the chain on the initial application, so this is what we did. It took longer than expected to completely dry out, so make sure you leave at least 24hrs between the first application and your first ride with Bike Milk.
Once dried, we were impressed by the clean running and protective qualities of the Bike Milk – it really does give the chain a coating that was both quiet and very low friction. At the end of each day’s racing, we simply gave the chain a wipe over with a rag and a very minimal re-application and it was good to go. Given the dry, sandy conditions at the race, we were very impressed by how little grit remained on the chain each day and how quiet our drivetrain continued to run while all around us the dust was turning bikes into squeaking messes.
Good weather has denied us the chance to test Bike Milk in the wet, but it’s designed to be highly repellant of water, so it should hang about and keep working through rainy rides.