Grease and grime seem to have an uncanny ability to stick to hands and other surfaces far more effectively than it ever sticks to your bike, quickly leading to dirt getting everywhere when you are doing bike maintenance.
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Silca’s Gear Wipes look to tackle this, offering multi-textured clothes soaked in a cleaning solution to tackle stubborn dirt on bikes, surfaces, and hands alike. Opting for a wipe means they give a far more targeted grease cleaning performance than the sprays and aerosols used for the best bike chain degreaser. We have been wiping down all manner of bikes and surfaces to see how they perform.
The large tub has a pop top and a nice clicky lid that seals over the rubber hole in which the wipes poke out off. Inside there are 110 wipes ready to be pulled out and used, connected with a perforation so when you remove a sheet, the next one is poking out ready to be used.
Each wipe is soaked in a non-solvent-based cleaning agent and features two different cleaning properties. On the colored side, there is a textured design that gives the wipe a rough finish to work at stubborn grime while the other side is smoother to clean and polish frames. The smooth side is claimed to be safe on matte and other delicate finishes as well as skin.
I found the wipes to be super handy for general cleaning and drivetrain wipe-down. The tub is easy to access with just one hand when juggling greasy components and keeping the wipes moist inside. The degreaser is pretty potent and will cut through grease easily, especially when combined with the rough textured side. The smooth side is great for quick frame and component wipe-downs when bikes are dusty rather than muddy, leaving behind a nice streak-free finish. Silca recommends that you stick to the smooth side for delicate surfaces and I haven’t seen any dulling of paint work following this recommendation.
I could get a surprising amount of cleaning out of one cloth if I carefully utilized both the rough side on the drivetrain and the smooth side on the frame. In fact, I could give a dusty bike a respectable spruce up with just three wipes and a spare 10 minutes.
While they are rated as safe on skin, it's probably best to keep direct use on your hands to a minimum, especially if you have sensitive skin. The aggressive degreaser will strip and dry out our hands as efficiently as it does a chain and the general rough nature can leave fingerprints less pronounced after hard scrubbing. That said I have been using these for a while and had no ill effects, even after using many wipes to tackle particularly big or messy tasks.
I can't help but feel that disposable wipes are inherently a bit wasteful, not to mention costly, however, there is no denying Silca’s Gear Wipes work really well.
They are noticeably tidier and quicker than a bottle of degreaser and a rag when it comes to quick cleaning, making them a worthy addition to your workshop if you often need to quickly wipe down bikes, components, worktops, or hands.
Tech specs: Silca Gear Wipes
- Price: $45 / £38
- Number of wipes: 110
- Wipe Size: 30cm x 20.5cm