Portable Jet Washer – a must have?

Portable jet washer, a little electric wonder to clean the muck off your bike.

The portable jet washer is a common site at cyclo-cross races. The big petrol ones produce a jet strong enough to blast every last bit of mud off in seconds. Stand next to the wash-area at a big race and the ground will be reduced to a muddy swamp. We’re not looking at these monsters though, but the electric versions. Small enough to stow away in your boot and running off battery power, what’s available?

Portable jet washers in action, how will an electric one stand up to the petrol monsters?
Portable jet washers in action, how will an electric one stand up to the petrol monsters?

A portable jet washer is something I have coveted at many a late-season ‘cross race; along with a pit monkey! It’s demoralising to claw your way up to another rider’s wheel, only to have them disappear into the pits and reappear on a clean bike. All your hard work blown away – along with the cloying mud – by a jet-washed bike; I must have one!

A quick google will produce a decent list of devices that fall into two camps. The first is what I called the ‘tethered’ type, these need to connected to a mains supply That’s no good for when you’re knee-deep in a muddy field; we can discount these. Next are the portable versions and these are the ones I want to look at.

Power tools

Many of these portable jet washers are part of a family of power tools, all running off a common battery. Examples of these are the Worx Hydroshot, De Walt DCPW550P1, Ryobi 18V Cordless ONE+ and the Black & Decker BCPC18B-XJ. These will draw water from a bucket or a bottle, which means you’ll need to carry that to the pits. While they may lack the oomph of their petrol counterparts, they are cheaper and a lot easier to carry around.

Self-contained washers

Next in the portable jet washer group are the self-contained variety. These combine power and water into one unit like the Bosch Fontus or the Aqua2go Pro. With wheels and carry handles to make transportation easier, the question is whether their reservoirs are big enough for a race; or would you still need extra water?

Talking of ease of transport, if you’re going to be washing your bikes at a ‘cross race, you’ll need a way to carry that water. Remember water weighs one kilo for every litre; that can mean a hefty carry. Which is where a product like the Aquaroll can be of use. This is a rolling 40 litre water barrel, perfect for transporting your water.

I’ll be trying out some of these portable jet washers over the coming months at local ‘cross races. How will they fare? I’ll let you know!

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