Renowned for its high quality pumps and tools, Silca now offers a range of bike cleaners and lubes. Does the performance justify the high price tag though?
At £36 for just over half a litre, Silca’s Ultimate Brake and Drivetrain Cleaner is easily the most expensive cleaner I’ve ever tested. I’m also a little bit sceptical of the ‘Ultimate’ tag because a lot of bike cleaners purport to be that, but often just have a fancy colour or smell. So how does its performance and value stack up against the best mountainbike cleaning kit from the go-to maintenance brands?
Silca’s Ultimate Brake and Drivetrain Cleaner is a bit different to the norm because when you spray it on your drivetrain it actually changes colour, which Silca claims encapsulates and removes any oil and dirt. If you know anything about car detailing, you’ll know there are plenty of wheel cleaners that do a similar thing. These ‘fallout removers’ actually absorb contaminants from the car’s brakes.
While Silca’s Ultimate Brake and Drivetrain Cleaner works on mountain bike disc brakes and can eliminate brake squeal, I noticed the biggest colour change and cleaning power was when I sprayed it on the chain and cassette. A single application removed a ton of built-up grime – it was amazing.
It also has a nice cinnamon smell and the spray gun/trigger is also pretty solid – most are not and often fail before you finish the cleaner inside.
There’s no denying this cleaner is expensive – you can buy four 1 litre bottles of Muc-Off for the same money. There’s also a cheap three-step process where you use petrol, degreaser and alcohol to really strip the chain back to the bare bones, although that does involve removing it from the bike.
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Although Silca’s Ultimate Brake and Drivetrain Cleaner is more convenient it's also expensive. To make it worth the money you just need to focus on the chain and use a cheaper alternative everywhere else on the bike.