- Muc-Off Chain Doc
We don’t mind admitting that we’re generally pretty bad at cleaning chains. Or rather, we’re pretty bad at getting round to it. So anything that eases the path is welcome. Geared chain cleaners with chain-driven whirly brushes have been around for years, but we’ve always found them to be a bit of a faff – dismantle, reassemble round chain, top up with degreaser, spin pedals, take it all off again – and tend to stick with the low-tech pan brush and degreaser method.
The Chain Doc, from X-Lite’s cleaning/lubricant wing Muc-Off, aims to be a more user-friendly chain cleaner. The two cunning features are the trigger-operated cleaner “jaws” and the way the whole assembly fastens to the top of an aerosol degreaser spray. To clean a chain, you simply pull the trigger to close the mechanism, whirl the pedals and press the top of the aerosol with your thumb to get a blast of degreaser in there. Then give the pedals a few more turns to let the brushes do their work before releasing the trigger and lifting the whole thing off the now-shiny chain. Relube and you’re done.
It’s certainly a lot more convenient than a conventional chain cleaner and quicker than manual brushing, although you can get equally good results by hand and it’s considerably cheaper. The Chain Doc is fairly sensible money though, given that you get a 500ml can of Muc-Off Chain Cleaner degreaser (about a fiver on its own) with it.
Positives: Quick, easy, effective, one less excuse for leaving that chain all manky
Negatives: Doesn’t do anything that you can’t do yourself with a brush
The Chain Doc works well – it’s convenient, quick and easy. We wouldn’t consider it an essential purchase, but if you find your way to clean-chain nirvana blocked by perceived hassle then it’s well worth a look – it doesn’t have to extend the life of a transmission all that much to become a thoroughly worthwhile purchase.