It’s always nice to be able to spray a cleaning product onto a bike, let it dwell for a little while and then, simply rinse off; we all love it when cleaning the bike takes no more effort than that to bring it up spick and span.
However, the reality tends to be a bit more involved. Road muck, dead insects, mud and grime can all cling to the bike with determination and mean that some form of agitation is necessary to get it to loosen its grip on your pride and joy.
This is where cleaning brushes come in. You should know this from various walks of life, not least of all the washing up; stubborn grime needs a combination of proper chemicals and agitation to get rid of.
Because there are various different areas of the bike that need slightly different cleaning regimes, you may find you need several different types of brush. For example, you may need a stiff shaped version for wheel spokes, that you won’t use on paintwork as it will be filthy with chain-fling, brake dust and all sorts of other debris.
Related: Muc-Off Pressure Washer review
Similarly, a chain-cleaning brush is a very specific tool that will help bring your chain up nice and clean, ready for lubricating and protecting once again. And you need a nice soft brush for paintwork, for example, so that the dirt is carried away but not held on by the brush and scratch the paint.
Here is a selection of the best types of brush to keep your bike nice and clean.
Saibangz Nine-Piece Set
This all-in-one kit might be aimed at bicycles as well as motorcycles but there are plenty of useful options here. There are two chain-cleaning brushes, complete with cassette-cleaning ends for cycles as well as two shaped brushes, perfect for bringing wheels and spokes up nicely.
There is a detail brush as well as a soft brush and a microfibre washing mitt, perfect for delicate paintwork, dials or seats.
All you need in one kit
Good reviews online
Durability may not be the best
Oxford Scrub And Brush Set
This kit from British kit and accessory giant Oxford may only contain four brushes but it will get you going when it comes to cleaning your bike. There is a large, soft wash brush for areas like the tank and bodywork; a long-reach wheel brush for rims and spokes; an angled double-density brush; and a pronged brush to clean in and outside of spokes. Reviews are good, as would be expected from Oxford.
Basics to get you going
No chain brush included
Muc-Off Five-Piece Set
One of the other large players in the bike-cleaning market, this kit from Muc-Off includes five brushes and is Amazonu2019s Choice for u2018Motorcycle cleaning brushesu2019. Its contents are very similar to the above kit from Oxford; a soft wash brush; a detailing brush; a two-pronged brush for wheel spokes, for example; a claw brush for inner and outer cleaning surfaces.
In addition to the previous kit, it also includes a detail and component brush that will help with wheels or chains – though not a full chain brush.
Great starter kit
Rubberised handles for grip
Bike-it Bristle And Foam Brush
Weu2019re now getting into the realms of specialised brushes and this one from Bike It comprises a section of stiff bristles and one of abrasive foam. As the bristles and the foam are both quite abrasive, itu2019s better suited to hardy but dirty areas, such as wheels, frames, footpegs and around swingarms, for example. Best leave the paintwork to softer bristles...
Bristles and foam
Abrasive for stubborn dirt
Long plastic handle
Kungfu Mall Chain Cleaning Brushes
Notwithstanding the dubious name, there is little not to like about this two-brush set of chain-cleaning products. Admittedly they are aimed at motorcyclists and cyclists alike and the long, thin end of the brush is intended for cycle rear-gearset cassettes but youu2019ll find something useful to use them for on a motorcycle.
The three-sided end is perfect for cleaning drivechains ready for re-lubricating and protecting against the elements.
Simple yet effective
Handy double pack
Highly dodgy name
Bike It Claw Bristle Brush
An odd-shaped brush this one but another handy addition to your cleaning armoury. The bend prongs mean it will find its way into or around a variety of odd shapes and clean on both the inside and outside of its hefty prongs.
This would make it ideal for cast-wheel spokes as well as swing arms and if you need a bit more clearance, you could always splay the prongs or close them up.
Armorall Wash Mitt
While admittedly not a brush, this wash mitt from cleaning giant Armorall effectively replaces the soft brush that you use for delicate areas, such as the tank and bodywork, seat, gauges and forks for a large mitt that you either dip into diluted shampoo or use to spread cleaner around before rinsing off.
It has two surfaces – microfibre on one side and mesh on the rear - to help get dead flies off screens, for example.
Easy to use
Microfibre and mesh
Hands can get cold when wet
Oxford Tyre Brush
Another reasonably specialised brush but this one from Oxford is perfect for cleaning the sidewalls of tyres and the wheel rim at the same time, with the stiff bristles removing dirt and the out-sized head preventing it from picking up dirt rorm the ground.
Clean tyre and wheel together
Rubberised edge prevents damage