New UK company Wickens & Soderstrom have sent us a couple of their products that promise to keep our pride and joy shiny and rust free through the grimy winter months. Wickens & Soderstrom may be a new name for many of you, but they have been creating a bit of a stir in the bike industry and are aiming to keep our bikes running smooth and looking good, all while protecting the environment.
First up is the Wickens & Soderstrom No.1 bike cleaner, this is the first EU Ecolabel accredited bike cleaner and promises to be “tough on grease and dirt but gentle on your bike and the environment”. The Eu Ecolabel is a European voluntary scheme that is designed to help consumers choose products that have a reduce environmental impact “from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal”. Seeing how the bicycle is touted as the green-machine par excellence, it makes sense to choose products that fit in with that whole ethos. When I think of the amount of de-greaser and lube I have washed into the drains it’s not good. Although in my defence I have switched to citrus based de-greasers and have tried to choose ‘clean’ lubes.
The No.1 Bike cleaner comes in a novel package, you buy a 500ml spray bottle that only has the concentrated cleaner, you then add water before using. This means the bottle is lighter and easier to ship, less weight mean lower carbon emissions produced when it is being shipped in bulk, smart. When you need a refill you can buy smaller 120ml bottles, these will make up six of the 500ml spray bottles.
I generally use a squirt of good old washing up liquid when washing my bikes, but with most of these not being great for the environment and paint experts(!) telling me that I’ll ruin the finish using washing up liquid, maybe it’s time I switched? Unfortunately my two main bikes come in matt finishes, they look great, but you don’t get that shiny bike satisfaction at the end of a cleaning session. Thankfully I still have the winter hack and that is a good old steel frame, with down tube shifters and a glossy finish, so I’ll be making sure she’s kept in show room condition over the mucky winter months.
Wickens & Soderstrom have also sent me a bottle of their N0.5 Drivetrain Lubricant. With a full season of ‘cross racing and generally grotty winter riding to get through I go through a lot of lube. I figure it’s better to clean and lube regularly, that way prolonging the life of your drivetrain. The No.5 Drivetrain Lubricant comes in a 125ml bottle with a neat little screw cap that even I can’t lose. Wickens & Soderstrom claim that it’s blend of oils, waxes and nano particles will not only reduce friction, vibration and noise, but will clean as it lubricates. Sounds good to me.
I’ll put these two through the winter cleaning rigmarole and will let you know how they perform.
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