i could try the "i forgot" line of riposte, but it wouldn't be entirely true. granted, after the last 'cross ride of the season i may have been either full of euphoric achievement (unlikely) or possibly just so dog-tired that even climbing the stairs to the shower was something of a major accomplishment. but you and i both know that both of those excuses are manifestly untrue. you know this because, though the hakkalugi has been safely and untouchably stowed at the rear of the bikeshed for the duration of what passes as an islay summer, the gritty, grotty bits have still been visible.
of course, you can imagine the anguish i experienced each and every time i opened the shed to remove one of the road bikes. or one of the review models. sitting passively at the rear, midst enough cardboard boxes to start a business, the grubby window still let in enough light to show a magnificent selection of dried-in mud. and despite platitudes to the contrary, i'd swear it was grinning at me each and every time.
and not in a good way.
and though it hardly seems like any time at all since mud, dirt and foam tunnels were part and parcel of weekend life, here we are once again on the cusp of yet another season of cross. richard sachs is counting down the days. and good boy scout that i am (or almost was if the adjudicator had turned up on last day of cubs) i think it perfectly acceptable that a seemly degree of preparation was in order before entrusting myself to a total inability to clamber on and off a bike with anything like a sense of public decorum.
new bar tape that has sat in the box in which it is delivered for way too long, a shiny set of cantilevers with which stopping will hopefully be improved and an impressive pair of new tyres that meant a concomitant change of wheels. however, prior to implementing the foregoing, there was that embarrassing muck to disperse. which is pretty much where a can of proclean-gold enters the affray.
proclean-gold is a non-petrochemical, organically based degreaser and cleaner in an aerosol can. due to being plant-based, it's pretty inert on any surface you can think of. after shaking (the can that is), and making sure to be upwind when skooshing, 'tis but a simple matter to spray it over each and every nook and cranny that an ibis carbon frame offers. leaving its foamy coating for a few minutes, rubbing the frame with a cloth removed pretty darned near all the crud that has sat and baked over the past six months or so. granted, one or two morsels were more stubborn than others, but a smidgeon of elbow grease soon made those disappear.
so far, so good. but in keeping with my boy-scout mindset, offering the frame some protection from the elements so graphically attested to in the recent bbc series the hebrides, seemed like not too bad an idea. such a notion brings into play the proclean's family group, consisting of protecht 1 and protecht 2, both of which come under the category of transparent surface coatings.
number one would likely be the darling of many a night-club dj, for it resembles nothing more than the output from a smoke machine. in fact, such was the smokiness of each skoosh, that you'd almost think it was doing nothing at all, however, on closer inspection, protecht 1 offers a dry, transparent finish that is apparently moisture repellent, resistant to salt and acid and offering surface corrosion protection. rather obviously, there's no way any of this could be verified while the hakkalugi was on the workstand, but i intend to push the envelope (a phrase that makes me sound so much more cutting edge than is truthfully the case) over the next few months and see the result.
its sibling in the storage box is the snappily named protecht 2. this, according to the words on the label offers supplementary corrosion protection for extended periods of time and protects itens such as an ibis cyclocross bike in inclement environments. otherwise known as the hebrides. at which point, the circle comes full circle, for the dry, flexible coating applied by protecht 2 can be easily removed by application of the proclean-gold with which i opened my account.
i cannot tell a lie, but during the application of protecht 2, one or two patches of white remained on the carbon forks; something of a surprise i cannot deny. however, implementing a directed skoosh of proclean-gold and a brief dust with a cloth removed the lot. reapplication of the protecht 2 was seamless.
as one who has lost the use of a colnago c40 hp through serious corrosion of the rear dropouts and one or two spots of corrosion on my steel frames, these seem like a major solution to islay's salt-laden atmosphere. only time will tell, and either way, i'll be sure to tell you too.
proclean-gold retails at £9.99, protecht 1 at £14.95 and protecht 2 for £13,50.
sunday 25th august 2013