Review: Brush-XBy Scot Jarchow | Published Jun 11, 2015
In my dream, I am racing in a farm field with 100 of my closest friends, the course is peanut butter mixed in with quarter inch gravel pebbles, six inch tall grass and matchstick sized wood chips. After just one lap, my Specialized Crux begins accumulating a substantial amount of debris and mud on canti’s; surprising nothing is clogging the derailleur. On the second lap my bike is getting heavier by the moment, while on the long straight sections I am frequently reaching my Castelli gloved hand down towards my wheels to dislodge everything I can in order to keep my wheels moving. As the race drags on, with every turn of my cranks the rear wheel is churning out chunky peanut butter. On the final lap, each pedal stroke is incredibly power sapping and lung busting, it seems I am dismounting every minute, trying to remove everything from clogging chain stays and my front fork. I am awakened from my dream by a flash of lightening, deafening ear-piercing thunder, and sudden torrential downpour, only it isn’t a dream, it is Kruger’s Crossing CX from last November! Oh only if I had a Brush-X at the time, maybe it would not have taken an hour to get rid of the bird’s nest and peanut butter from my Crux! For those who are not familiar with Brush-X, Brush-X is polyester bristles brush with, I would guess, about 250 bristles and a water supply via a six foot hose, which is great for quickly removing mud off bikes or just simply cleaning your bike post ride.
Honestly I haven’t had the opportunity to use Brush-X in ultra-muddy conditions, like the racers experienced at last November’s Kruger’s Crossing CX, but I have used Brush-X after riding in slimy mud, and many times in cleaning off the road grime after my countless encounters with wayward spring showers. Actually thus far I found that Brush-X actually works best on slimy mud, I had no problem getting all the slimy mud off the frame, wheels, and drivetrain with sparkling results! The Brush-X has the right balance of flexibly and stiffness, which does a great job of cleaning those nooks and crannies that cross bike to accumulate debris in. Brush-X did such a great job on slimy mud, you could likely get bikes clean without soap; however the same cannot be said of road grime. Unfortunately during those times I used Brush-X to remove road grime, the oily greasy nature of it, made it too difficult to deep clean everything without soap. Ultimately I found the Brush-X to be an effective way to quickly remove mud and debris from muddy cross bikes, without endangering one’s valuable bearings that a pressure washer would!
Brush-X is a very versatile tool! Damn those soft, silky, polyester bristles feel so good against one’s legs! Since receiving Brush-X in April, I have used it quite a few times to clean trail mud and road grime off my legs. It also makes a muddy jersey, shorts, socks, and shoes easier to clean as well! I can also envision a day in the near future, when I will breakout the Brush- X on myself, to quickly rinse sweat off my frame and cool the engine down!
We Didn't Like
Really there is not a lot to dislike about the Brush-X it is a creative design, but I would like to make two observations. One; the first time I used the Brush X to wash my bike; I quickly created a pond under my feet, despite having the water flow on very-very low setting. Subsequently I have attached water shut off valve to prevent wasting water. Two; I have noticed blackened bristle marks on the white portion of my Crux’s paint scheme. I noticed a few blackened brush marks a little bit after the first time I used the Brush-X, but I was not certain it was Brush-X that was leaving them. Now after using the Brush-X a few times, I am certain those blackened brush marks are indeed coming from the Brush-X. I did find two solutions; the simplest is never use the brush on a dirty greasy drivetrain, second do not buy a white bike. If you already own a white bike, I would recommend using a gear brush on drive train and using the water flow from the Brush X to assist the gear brush. The second option is to use Brush-X on everything, then use a little degreaser and elbow grease to rub the greasy brush marks off and then quickly rinsing the frame with Brush-X.
The Final Say
I want to give credit to the creativeness of the Sacramento crew, over the last couple of years the Central Valley really hasn’t had much rain to inspire such a creation, but apparently it has rained enough… I think Brush-X is a very good tool to have in one’s bike cleaning arsenal. Brush-X is excellent purchase for cross riders who worry about power washers pushing the grease out of critical bearing and creating unnecessary expensive repairs. Personally Brush-X will definitely come in handy for those muddy rides and races in just four months time!
If a Brush-X comes out with a Brush-X 2 in the future hopefully they will design it with a shut off valve, so we can conserve some water! Especially if your family doesn’t have water rights dating back to the California Gold Rush days!