So, is Muc Off just over-hyped Fairy liquid or is there actually something to their formula?
As a test they compared it to the MyCycle bike cleaner from Ponudland and here is the result.
As you can see the cheaper cleaner starts to corrode the aluminium almost immediately. The black coating is a porous oxide/hydroxide layer and, although it is not structurally damaging, it’s far from ideal. Muc Off’s Jason Bradwell said: “This is clearly not good! In layman’s terms, cheaper formula can dull certain metal parts on your bike.”
So what’s different about Muc Off? Basically it comes down to the composition of the liquid. Bradwell said: “Our formula is alkaline-based. This means that it is free of acids and won’t attack the metal on your ride, no matter how long you use it for.”
Obviously this isn’t a perfect test. After all, who leaves their bike soaking in concentrated bike cleaner? But it does go to show that cheaper cleaners can do long term damage and you might just get what you pay for with bike cleaners.
Of course, it’s also easy to be sceptical of a video produced by Muc Off’s marketing bods so here’s an independent test done by someone on anodised spacers.
Other perfectly good bike cleaners are available, but hopefully this encourages you to think about what you wash your bike in after every ride (or two). Or, if you are going to use a cheaper brand, make sure you give it a good rinse afterwards!