The Ryobi Power Washer is designed to travel with you to the trails - battery powered and compact, the idea is you can dip into any water source and get your bike clean again, post-ride.
The Ryobi 18V One+ Cordless 22bar Power Washer is one of the best mobile pressure washers to date. There, we’ve got that out the way from the off. It’s a proper challenger to the excellent Worx Hydroshot we tested a few years back, here’s why.
This is the Kit version of the Power Washer and as such you get a 4.0Ah battery included in the price. You can buy a bare bones version instead, but it’s only a fiver less so you may as well go ahead and splash out on the big boy here. (Oh, and check out our guide to the best way to wash your mountain bike)
The base unit looks like a nail gun and it’s really big at nearly 40cm high. It’s also heavy thanks to the big battery, at over 2.5kg. You grip the Power Washer like a gun, with a lovely tactile rubbery finished handle and a trigger-activated release. You’ll be pleased to know Ryobi has fitted a safety switch to lock it out so you don’t accidentally misfire and shoot manky water into your car. The battery is housed inside a waterproof box at the bottom, which is a sensible touch.
The lance comes in two stages, the first threads into the unit, then clip the second stage directly to that. There’s a quick release button for that second stage, and while it’s easy to clip into you’ll need to tug to get it out. Turn the end of the nozzle and you’ll access three pressures settings, a rinse mode, a powerful strip mode concentrated to a 15degree exit angle, and a Turbo setting.
Also in the box is a 6m long hose with a filter and a float on the end so it sits well in a bucket, letting you access water on the go. You can run it straight off your hose at home, or it’s possible to attach a water bottle to the unit if you like. And if you want a collapsible bucket Ryobi will sell you one of those two, alongside a host of other lances, brushes and trilliallies.
The Power Washer is really powerful for a mobile unit, on paper it’ll deliver 182 litres per hour at 22bar pressure. In practice it lives up to expectations, cutting through dirt a bit like a high powered hose, with enough grunt and water delivery to shift a decent amount of mud. Of course it’s not as aggressive as a full on pressure washer plugged into the mains, and you do have to do some scrubbing with a brush too. I found the 15º nozzle setting the best option because it concentrated the water into the ideal size for working over a frame, with the Turbo mode unfocused and pretty useless. More helpful is the long lance because you can blast the bike’s rims without having to bend down.
That big battery is more than enough to clean multiple bikes in one go, I found it’ll run for more than 30 minutes and the lights on the battery will still be blinking green with enough in the tank for another go. In fact, it’s not the power in the battery that’ll stop you, more the rate of water, it’ll suck up a bucketful in just a few minutes and this really is the limiting factor to trailside cleaning if you’re bringing your own water.
There are a couple of niggles, first is that it won’t quite stand up on its base when you put it down. I also want it to come with more attachments – the Detergent Bottle for example works really well, dousing your bike in foam, but you have to buy it as an add on for a tenner more. It’s also pretty heavy and after cleaning three bikes in a row I was ready for a sit down and a cuppa. And finally I want the 6m hose slightly longer, its propensity is to coil up and shorten the effective length as you lap round your bike.
I own a proper pressure washer, the kind that can blast the chrome off your car from a mile away, but my go to at home is now the Ryobi Power Washer. It’s just too darned easy to use. There’s no more faffing with wires and plugs and you don’t have to drag a heavy pressure washer out of your shed and set it up each time. It doesn’t necessarily require charging between washes either, and you don’t even need to fill a bucket as it plugs straight into your garden hose. The cleaning is also good enough, like a powerful hose it’s ideal for your e-bike without being reckless, and if you’re cleaning your bike at the trail side it’s the best option we’ve come across.