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Product Review: Tirox Chain Cleaner

I've had a can of Tirox cleaner on the shelf in the garage for a little while now, just waiting until I had a little time to break it out for a test. My chain was good and dirty so this would surely be a true test of the cleaning power of Tirox. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a "before" picture - but trust me... it was really, really dirty!  Tirox - it's pronounced "Tie-Rox" by the way, or at least according to the manufacturer.

There's a few things that really created some interest in the Tirox brand for me, and this motorcycle chain cleaner in particular.

Firstly - I was looking for an easy to use product that didn't involve a lot of effort. I didn't want to have to remove the chain or break out any tools to get the job done. When researching on forums what people use to clean their chains one thing regularly sprung to the top of the list - kerosene. In fact, kerosense is recommended as a cleaner from most leading chain manufacturers.

I didn't want to buy kerosene and research just where to get it in a small quantity, deal with storing it, and after the chain was cleaned - disposing of it.  It seems just plain easier and more convenient to have an aerosol can of product that I know is specifically designed for cleaning chains.  It just so happens that Tirox chain cleaner contains mostly kerosene so you can be sure it's not going to cause damage to the o-rings in your chain.

Second - I wanted a product that worked. I had to take the word of the guy at the parts counter at the shop I'd bought it at but figured I'd give it a try and see for myself. Given the thought that seemed to have gone into the product it seemed that they likely had put some similar thought into a product that worked.

A prime example of the thought put into their product; their 360 degree chain brush that comes with the cleaner. With thousands of bristles, this handy little brush comes packed in the cap of the cleaner and you stretch it out and spin it on your chain. It's a patented design. And yes, it's a huge leap in effectiveness over the old paintbrush or toothbrush option. Once the 360 degree brush is in position you just spin your back wheel and hold the brush in place to give it a good scrub. My bike has a center-stand so it's a pretty simple process.

Don't be 'too' delicate with the 360 degree brush when trying to get it on the chain; it seems to require a somewhat forceful effort to spin it on. Once on, it scrubs the chain from every angle. When the chain is cleaned to your satisfaction you just spin the brush off and give it a spray with the chain cleaner to clean it up a bit. Fold it back up and back in the cap it goes. Easy!

And finally, but not least importantly - this product is Canadian! That's a big bonus. Tirox is based in the southern Ontario manufacturing hub. So buying this product is supporting a Canadian company and Canadian workers.

The instructions on the can tell you that it works best on a warm chain. A version of the instructions on  the Tirox website doesn't but I cleaned my chain on a bit of a nasty day in my garage so I skipped the chain warm up. I suspect a warm chain might help the cleaner penetrate quicker and you might get away with using a little less product.  I'll perhaps give the warm chain a try next time to compare.

I'd definitely recommend getting yourself a set of gloves for this job. It's messy!  I have a big box of blue nitrile gloves (Costco, Princess Auto, or any hardware store ought to have'em) in the garage for just such jobs. I also grabbed a bunch of papers from my recycle bin and laid them out on the floor to absorb all the drips and to keep all the gunk off the rear tire too.

I paid $16.95 for a 312 gram can. It took about half the can to do a thorough cleaning. If you didn't let your chain get quite so dirty and used it on a warm chain I suspect you could probably stretch out the number of cleanings you'd get out of a can up to 3-4 cleanings.

The Tirox website shows that you can buy the 360 degree brush separately now too. Their MSRP is $12.95. So, that makes the $16.95 for the brush and can of cleaner seem like a pretty good bargain.

This product is available at most motorcycle dealerships in Canada and is indicated to be manufactured for Parts Canada on the can. If you don't see it on the shelf at your local shop then they should be able to order some in for you.

Final Thoughts:

- Great product!
- Convenient and easy to use.
- Makes cleaning your chain pretty easy.
- Would definitely buy it again and highly recommend it to others

- Cons: There's only one that I can see, it's more expensive than using simply kerosene. That's not really a con for me because using kerosene just isn't practical for me. I have a limited amount of space in my garage and desire a simple and quick chain cleaner. Tirox fits that need - kerosene doesn't.

I might have to pick up some of their other products: Ultra-Lube, and Bike-Wash and give them a try.

Links of interest:

More details on Tirox can be found on their website HERE.