|People who ride mountain bikes on a regular basis know how quickly they get dirty and how often they need to be cleaned to keep them running at their best. Then again many people just leave them dirty and continue to ride them but those people are going to run into problems sooner than those who keep their stuff clean because a clean bike is a well performing bike Of course your riding areas and conditions will determine how much cleaning your bike gets but for the most part you will have to do it at some point!||
There are many products on the market for cleaning bikes and most of them do a good job. But what do you use to get to those hard to reach places that often get neglected? Sure you can stuff a rag inside those tight spots but you never get them really clean. And you don't want to blast your bike with water to clean it because you will be asking for trouble down the road.
Finish Line makes a wide variety of bike cleaning products from chain cleaners to complete bike cleaners like their Super Bike Wash. Now they have a product called Gear Floss which can be used to get that stubborn dirt out of those hard to get to spots. Gear Floss is a microfiber rope that you can use to "floss" things such as your cassette, chanrings, hubs and so on. It can be used with or without cleaning solvent to get that dirt out that has been sitting there most likely since your first ride. The grooves in the ropes are designed to trap and remove dirt rather than just move it around. The floss looks kind of like a puffy shoelace and even has shoelace ends on it holding it together.
We decided to give the floss a shot on a dirty bike to clean out the cassette, chainrings and derailleur pulley gears. The floss does a decent job of removing the grime but tends to make the greasy dirt ball up and it takes a little more work to get it out. The floss is fairly strong and we didn't have any issues with it breaking but it did shred a little on the teeth of the cassette. When they get dirty or greasy they lose a little of their thickness but still work well. To clean the 3 items mentioned it took 4 ropes and the results were pretty good. Finish Line claims the ropes can be washed and reused but it's hard to say if you would want to run something that dirty through your washing machine and if the ropes would actually hold together after being run through the washing machine.
To summarize, Gear Floss is an innovative invention when it comes to bike cleaning tools and is worth checking out. We wouldn't use it every time we cleaned a bike but maybe for a once a month detailing to get the dirt out that you normally wouldn't get to. You can get a box of Gear Floss for around $9 for 20 ropes and that should last you awhile unless you use it every time you clean or use the whole box in one cleaning.