Promotional feature with Gtechniq
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere takes its toll on cycling equipment. When temperatures drop and roads are saturated with salt, rainwater and grime, heading out for a ride usually means spending some time with the hosepipe and cleaning kit once you get home. We all have our own method for keeping our rides clean and running smoothly, but we can all agree that standing outside in wet kit, scrubbing away the day’s grime is no fun when a warm bath is calling indoors.
The materials used to keep roads safe for drivers are particularly harsh on bike components. Combine this with all manner of dirt and grime from traffic, field runoff and who knows what else means that we chew through brake pads, chains and cassettes at a much more alarming rate than in the spring and summer months.
The worry doesn’t stop there; scrubbing layers of dirt off the frame and wheels after every ride wears down the paint and lacquering finish much faster, even if we are being as gentle as possible. We cast our minds forwards to drier, warmer riding days to remain positive, don’t we?
The good news is that by taking some steps to preserve and protect our bike’s surfaces from the mistreatment we subject them to through the colder, wetter months, we can help speed up post-ride cleaning and keep them looking their best for longer.
British surface and material experts Gtechniq do just that. The brand’s approach to the issue of cleaning and maintenance came back in 2001, when founder (and quantum physicist) Drew Gill found that the waxes, new-fangled polymers and PTFE based paint treatments on the market were underperforming for their purpose. With a deep understanding of material science at the molecular level, Gill set about modifying and tweaking his own set of finishing coatings to see if he could add any more useful properties, such as UV protection and dirt-repellency to cars, boats and bicycles.
The material science knowledge paid off, and today Gtechniq offers a range of cleaning, preservation and protection solutions for cyclists. Taking things back to basics, the idea with ceramic paint protection works by reducing the surface energy of the existing paint. Siloxane technology in Gtechniq Bike Ceramic bonds to the top layer of paint on your bike (effectively becoming the new top layer) which cannot be easily washed off. Once applied, the reduced surface energy of the top layer of paint now means that dirt, grime, oil and suchlike has a much more difficult job of staying attached, so cleans off much easier.
Gtechniq’s idea was to “engineer the world’s most beautiful, perfectly finished, smartest and most intelligent surfaces. Surfaces that do much more than simply look great when new.” That’s a principle which it put into practice with the Bike Ceramic product. The coating lasts for up to two years, and alongside the benefits of keeping your bike cleaner for longer with the material science mentioned above, it will also prevent scratches and other accidental surface damage (such as a heavy-handed sponge technique when cleaning).
Gtechniq admits that the maintenance line was more of a challenge to develop. With so many different types of components and finishes, from chains and cassettes to brakes and cables, developing a product that was kind enough to the components yet strong enough to efficiently strip the grime was tricky. Working alongside two leading UK universities and with a rigorous R&D process, Gtechniq landed on a focused range of maintenance products, each designed for its unique purpose, rather than offering an ineffective single solution for a number of different problems.
In 2020, Gtechniq took its bike range to the professional ranks with the sponsorship of British multidisciplinary specialists Team Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus. Naturally, the pit lane of a Belgian cyclocross race is about as hectic a place as anywhere in the world, so the help in keeping bikes and components clean and running smoothly offered by Gtechniq was a natural fit for the team.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with little rainfall or cold weather, using a protective coating such as Bike Ceramic can help your ride looking its best for as long as possible, and will offer durable protection against UV, dust and oil. Unfortunately, If you’re also enduring a European winter, chances are that you’re still in for a few more cold, wet rides before things begin to improve and you can put away the jackets and overshoes for another year. Still, reducing wear on your chain and protecting the paint on your pride and joy no matter which part of the world you live in will help these last few winter months tick by pain-free, so there’s never been a better time to get started with Gtechniq.