Fifty-plus years ago, WD-40 got its start in the aerospace industry. Now, the familiar blue-and-yellow can is found in almost every garage or toolbox. Admit it–you’ve probably used WD-40 at least once to clean or lube your bike. Capitalizing on that popularity, the WD-40 company launched WD-40 Bike, a subsidiary focused exclusively on cycling-specific maintenance products.
Developed over a 12-month period, the WD-40 Bike line of products was a collaboration between WD-40 scientists, professional bike mechanics, and independent bicycle retailers. The end result is a family of bike-specific products designed to clean, protect, and lube. WD-40 Bike sent us samples of their current product lineup, and we spent the past couple of weeks putting them through their paces.
Foaming Wash ($15, 1 litre)
When I read that WD-40 Bike’s Foaming Wash spray was biodegradable and safe for carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum, steel, chrome, rubber or plastic, I had my doubts that it would even make a dent in my commuter’s dirt and grime. It turns out that I couldn’t have been more wrong. After spraying the frame, front and rear derailleurs, chainrings, and rear cogs, it took only a few minutes for the Foaming Wash to do its thing. A quick rinse with a low-pressure garden sprayer left everything sparkling clean with no heavy heaving scrubbing required (Foaming Wash has out-performed many competitors’ dedicated degreasers). One (minor) change I’d like to see implemented is the ability to choose between wide and narrow spray patterns.
Heavy-Duty Degreaser ($15, 20 oz)
The first thing you notice about WD-40 Bike’s Heavy-Duty Degreaser is how thick it is (we’re talking maple syrup-like viscosity). The thicker formula stays put, so it can do a better job of breaking down grease and grime. Despite being thicker than other cleaners, the biodegradable formula can still be rinsed off easily with water. While I normally clean chains by soaking/agitating, I found that WD-40 Bike Heavy-Duty Degreaser worked best when applied directly to the chain/cogs and then rotated through a folded-over sponge treated with the degreaser.
Frame Protectant ($15, 8 oz)
Treating your frame/fork with WD-40 Bike Frame Protectant serves two purposes: one, it restores the finish’s lustre, and two, it helps prevent the build-up of dirt, dust, or grime. With a consistency similar to hand lotion, Frame Protectant is easily applied, and can be buffed out almost immediately with a soft cloth. After two-and-a-half years of hard use, my Salsa Vaya‘s finish has started showing its age, but application of Frame Protectant has brought back the paint’s shine and made cleaning the bike less of an effort. If you’re thinking the $15 price tag is a bit steep, don’t fret, a little Frame Protectant goes a long way.
Disclosure: WD-40 Bike provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.
Part-II will cover WD-40 Bike’s chain lubes and multi-purpose product.