Spring is here, and the air is fresh and clean. The crocuses are past their prime here on Long Island, but the forsythia are blooming, the trees are budding, and the cyclists are all over the road like dog... Well, let's just say there are a lot of them out there.
And, speaking of things found on the roadside, have you ever had a flat, a busted chain, or a balky derailleur that you had to mend on the road? I know that I have, especially since, honestly, I rank mechanical time with my bike to be about as much fun as getting poked in the eye with a stick. So, I tend to deal with mechanical issues on the spot, when the problem elevates to the level of keeping me from getting home. Because of this lethargic propensity toward procrastination and sloth, I often arrive back from the ride with hands that resemble a full time auto mechanic's from back in the day before they all started wearing those silly blue Nitryl gloves.
No longer! I have discovered CitraWipes!!! CitraWipes? Whazzat? something left behind when an orange skids to a stop? No, they are organically pure soil, grease, stain, and oil removing wonder cloths, packaged in individual foil packets, that you can store neatly in your seat bag, or even in the little secret money pouch (that everybody knows about) in the bottom of the bag...
So, here you are tooling up the back side of the Palisades and bango, your chain goes south. The last time you cleaned it was? Ok, so you never cleaned it, you just dumped used waste oil on the chain and figured it would wash the older waste oil out, right? Now, you are paying! So, you unthread the thing out of the bottom bracket trying not to make a mess (having given up on the mess part) and now your hands are filthy. That would be ok, but, you have to pedal home, and you'll get all this crud from your mitts all over your new (4 years old) handle bar tape. Ugh! Then you remember (In your secret decoder bike bag) CitraWipes, hooray!
Break open the pouch and the nice, clean, orange smell makes you wonder if you should wipe your hands or wring the thing out and drink it. (Not recommended). So you rub your hands with it and most of the gunk actually comes off. Scrub a little, and the rest pretty much disappears. You ride home with your repaired chain, and your "new handle bar tape" stays clean - well at least it doesn't get any dirtier...
Maybe you should re-tape that bar when you replace the chain? Well there's time for that. After all, the last link repair went for a year or two didn't it? Hey look on the bright side at least your hands are clean...
We ran our original test program for the wipes using Chain Grease (read as filth), Magic Marker, and Minwax "Early American" wood stain. As you can see from the photos, most of the crud actually wiped off with the first wipe. A little elbow grease with wipe number two and the job was mostly done. The small stains that remained on my hands washed off easily when I got back to the house as the CitraWipes had pre-digested it already. Once wiped, nothing remained to transfer to the bike or to clothing.
Nice product, and it leaves your hands... well like your hands were before you wiped them. My hands will never be soft and subtle so I can't attest to the emollient properties and the soft silky after glow from using the wipes, but I am told that they are very gentle on your hands.
Like I said, nice product. It works, and it does what it says it does. They will be a regular component of my tool box and bike bag. I like 'em! You will too.
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