From the Weldtite stable, three ground-breaking products that promise to keep bikes being ridden in demanding conditions in top shape. Singapore?s Weldtite distributor, Andr? Kader of Klimax Imports, kindly provided us with the following Weldtite goodies for evaluation.
Weldtite Disc Brake Cleaner Spray
One thing that has been sorely lacking on the present worldwide bicycle maintenance inventory has been a dedicated disc brake cleaning product. Automobiles have disc brake cleaning solution, and people have used those to clean their bike brakes. But more often than not, such solutions are only available at petrol kiosk mechanic shops and car service centers ? and are seldom readily hawked to bicyclists besides.
Oil, lubricants, mud, sand, microscopic grit, and other forms of detritus, upon contacting the breaking surfaces of disc systems, inevitably lead to losses in brake performance. Serious cases have seen entire rotors and brake pads replaced when braking power has gone the way of the dogs. In addition, squeaking disc brakes may result, and are a problem that discerning cyclists would rather do without. Various practitioners have recommended cures from isopropyl alcohol, to dish washing detergent, to Coca Cola, to baking in a conventional oven to solve disc brake woes, all with varying degrees of success.
Enter the Weldtite Disc Brake Cleaner, a liquid aerosol product that promises an end to dirty rotors, contaminated brakes, irritating squeaking, and poor brake biting power.
In use, this product could not be simpler. Sprayed liberally onto the rotors, the rapid air drying formula evaporates within 1 minute, with perhaps some excess liquid in the cooling holes. Wipe off the liquid with a dry cloth before it completely evaporates from the rotor surface, and it is possible to see dark smudges and lines on the braking surface literally disappear. Brake pads have to be removed and likewise liberally doused in the stuff, then allowed to be scrubbed clean and dried using an old, clean toothbrush and some tissue paper.
Upon re-assembly of the disc brakes, it takes several squeezes or perhaps even a short ride to get the biting power come back on again. This is due to the cleaning liquid not having completely evaporated along with the contaminants yet. When it does, you will appreciate the marked boost in braking performance. Dry weather squeaking was also made non-existent ? remarkable for my set of Hope brakes, a brand known for producing some of the loudest brake squeals ever to pierce the ears.
This product works not only for disc brakes but for rim braking surfaces as well, and will lift much of the common ?black stuff? off the rims with alacrity. It comes in a 250ml aerosol can, which is plenty enough to last a couple of years or to service several bikes each season.
Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Synthetic Lubricant
Extreme riding conditions demand ?Extreme? chain lubrication, now available from Weldtite.
The Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Synthetic Lubricant is a brand new product that boasts of extracting smooth, all-terrain, all-weather performance from one?s bicycle drivetrain for long-distance cycling. Having previously tried out the ?dry? version of Weldtite?s TF2 chain lube, I was certain I could find what I was looking for in the ?wet? variety ? something that could provide noise-free pedaling and silky shifting through some long course, nasty off-roads. I took the Extreme Wet and put it through its paces under various trying conditions, both in training and racing.
For starters, the gold-coloured lubricant looks and feels much more viscous. Upon application, the tail end of the droplet that emerges from the bottle nozzle stretches into a thin strand, much like how UHU glue would behave. I was conservative the first time, and applied individual drops to each individual roller on the chain, wiping any excess off with a rag, according to the instructions. It seemed to work fairly well, but the chain turned quite black and sticky, even on the link plate surfaces, after a couple of rainy days on the roads. To be fair, there was minimal noise. Accumulated gunk on the chain rings and rear derailleur pulley wheels was typical for rainy riding. Easily cleaned off with a rag and a screwdriver.
The acid test came during one adventure race in Sabah, where all semblance of my routine bike maintenance schedule went down the drain. Multi-tasking and rushed for the morning start of the second race stage, I applied the lubricant in the layperson?s fashion: Letting the nozzle dribble drops on the links as I cranked the chain backwards. More as an afterthought than protocol maintenance, I dabbed a couple of drops into the rear-D pulley wheel bearings, as well as the rear- & front-D swing-arms and moving joints. The end result was proper shifting throughout the day (which had 48 kilometres of mostly sunny, dry gravel fire-roads), although the chain and most of the lubed parts were substantially caked in a dull brown-grey coat. Note to self: The Extreme Wet Lube is sticky, and this property is more apparent in dusty environments like the day we just had.
I did a repeat performance ? without cleaning off the accumulated grime – for the third and final day, but like the second day, experienced flawless, prompt shifting. In retrospect, the proper way to do things would have been to start with a clean chain and carefully lube each individual roller, as per my very first application and the provided instructions on the bottle. The one gripe I have come to have about TF2 Extreme is how quickly the lubed parts (even if they were just the rollers) turn black with use. Something neatnik cyclists might have issues about.
For a chain-specific lube, few others can match the TF2 Extreme. It comes in a handy 75ml applicator bottle with contoured sides for easy grip.
Weldtite TF2 Lubricant Spray with Teflon?
The Weldtite TF2 Lubricant Spray is not your average can of WD40 or GT85. In the tradition of the well-known spray-on lubricant brands, this TF2 Lube boasts the ability to clean, lubricate and protect moving parts and mechanisms.
However, unlike the other brands, TF2 functions on the basis of leaving behind a microscopic film of Teflon particles upon evaporating. Teflon, a long-standing product of chemical giant Dupont, has wide ranging applications from non-stick frying pans & fishing reels, to high-speed, high-temperature machinery & automotive products ? many of the technological marvels the modern world makes use of daily would not have been developed without the advent of Teflon. Having this stuff as part of your bike lube ensures unparalleled smoothness of movement between the interfaces of all parts, whether plastic, composite, or metal. Non-Teflon impregnated lubricants do not offer that kind of lubrication.
In use, the golden guideline of not applying to excess must be heeded. The TF2 works great with only the slightest bits of spray necessary. As a fast-evaporating dry lube, excess tends to leave behind accumulated Teflon particles (visible as an opaque white, sticky paste) that will in turn attract grit, sand, mud and other damaging debris. TF2 works in all the usual places like derailleurs & their pulleys, pedals and shifter housings. I particularly liked applying the stuff inside the cable housings to produce smoother and faster shifting.
This TF2 lube variant is versatile and handy to use, and comes in a 150ml aerosol can. It would be wasteful to use this for cleaning or loosening applications ? stick with it as a dedicated lubrication solution.
I came away impressed with the range of maintenance solutions that this well-established UK cycle maintenance giant has to offer. The three products featured here kept my bike ticking in spite of human constraints as well as terrain demands.
To find out more about the Weldtite range of products, visit http://www.weldtite.co.uk.