If you’re like me, you want to spend all your free time riding, not cleaning. You know your bike looks better when it’s clean, but why bother when it’s just going to get dirty again? Besides, a clean bike doesn’t go faster, does it?
ProGold’s Pro Towels promise to make bike cleaning less burdensome. Convenient, even. ProGold claims they combine “a powerful cleaning formula of solvents proven to be tough yet safe with strong 8″x12″ industrial strength dual-textured” towels. So how do these towels stand up to real-life grease and mud? Click “more” for a full description and review…
The folded towels are fed through a flip-top dispenser, and you tear each one off from a continuous, perforated roll. The wipes are saturated with pleasant-smelling, citrus oil-based cleaning solvents that also include aloe and sunflower oil to protect your hands. As advertised, the towels are dual-sided: one side is woven with orange threads, which act as scrubbers for tough grime, while the other side is smooth and intended to finish the cleaning. The wipes are suitably tough, admirably standing up to chain ring teeth, though snagging on cable ends did tear them. They feel thin and tough like linen, not at all like household paper towels. The 8″x12″ sizing fits the hand just right, while also being long enough to pull through to clean the back side of stays and forks.
The key to whether a product such as this works is to saturate the towels with enough solution to clean, but not to the point that the absorbency of the towel is negated. It’s a fine balance between utility and convenience, and the only bad mark I had against Pro Towels was that they were a little too heavy on the solvent. The towels stayed wet for as long as half an hour after dispensing. I hate wasting anything, so I tended to use the towels well after they had gotten moderately dirty, because they still felt wet. But what I ended up doing was pushing the grime around in a thin damp film rather than wiping it off. The frame looked clean until a minute or so later when the solution dried, and then the surface turned slightly hazy. They worked much better if I cast them aside when they started to get visibly dirty. Also, it seemed to work better to wipe everything down with the rough side first, then come back over it all with the smooth side. On the other hand, for cleaning your hands it is good having copious amounts of solvent. In either case, I felt like I still needed a clean towel handy to remove the final residue, be it on hands or bike.
During the review period, I got caught out in a rain shower on my mountain bike. By the time I got finished the ride, my bike was coated in clumps of thick, black clayey mud. I was so wet and tired after that ride that I put my bike in the shed and didn’t come back for 24 hours to clean it. After a hosing-off, I sprayed down the bad spots with ProGold’s Bike Wash and then I went to work with Pro Towels. The Bike Wash, which is biodegradable, helped clean the clods out of my rear cassette, derailleurs, and chain in an eco-friendly manner. I must say, these products took off all the muck, which even permanently stained the white base layer shirt I had been wearing under my jersey!
These wipes also cleaned my road bike of all the accumulated road gunk and chain lube drippings on several occasions, leaving my carbon frame pleasingly shiny. Combined with the Bike Wash, these towels were perfectly suited to wipe my chain and chain rings clean before applying lube. I also had a bottle of ProGold’s Chain Lube to test. This lube claims to be created with MFR (Metal Friction Reducer) technology to protect chains over long distances on road bikes or in harsh off-road conditions for mountain bikes. My drivetrain seemed to be quiet and efficient using this product.
All told, these are very helpful products to have in your own garage or shed. The Pro Towels are ideal for regular light to moderate post-ride wipe downs, and especially for cleaning your grimy hands after working on your drive train. Their convenience will have you reaching for one every time you notice those irritating smudges on your steed, or for those long-overdue stem-to-stern total cleanings.
- Pro Towels (90 count) – $30.00
- Bike Wash (16oz w/ spray nozzle) – $9.00
- Extreme Lube (4oz) – $12.00