Words and photos: Mike Blewitt 

Frame protection is a pretty big deal in mountain biking, with boutique frames costing more than whole bikes it isn't surprising. Our playing field is full of boulders, water and generally abrasive materials, so trying to look after the light weight alloys and carbon fiber that most bikes are built from is just common sense! While the frame wrap protection is justifiably popular, some riders use frame polishers to add a bit of sheen to their bike, while also helping shed mud and water. Proteam Bicycle Care produce their Hydrocoating Set, and it takes that polishing idea to another level.

I frequently use Ride Mechanic Zalish, Krush Illuminate or Krush After Wash when cleaning my bikes, as they do slowly build up a nice glossy layer on the bike to help make it easier to clean. 

Hailing from The Netherlands, Proteam Bicycle Care take things up a notch or three. They have some pretty rubbish weather in winter (and autumn and spring); cold, wet, muddy trails AND the Dutch do ridiculous beach races in winter. So, most bicycle care products from that area tend to turn it up to eleven. 

Unlike a wax or polymer coating, Proteam use a ceramic coating for a much longer lasting coating that keeps a high sheen. It's said to create a hydrophobic coating so mud, water and grime sheds off easily. I was sent the whole coating kit from Full Beam, the Australian importers, so set about treating my frame and fork with the coating. You can do your wheels and major components as well, but given I change wheels as often as underwear, I opted for the frame and fork.

What's involved?

There's a very thorough video that you can watch, and once I got past the sense that a younger version of my Dutch neighbour was telling me what to do. The kit has a degreaser to use first up, plus nitrile gloves, applicators and a microfiber cloth to buff it all. There's the frame coat itself, and a shampoo that you should use for bike cleaning.

 

The clean up was simple enough, and then I removed my wheels and chain to get to work on the bike. The coating itself is in a tiny bottle, and you spread it on using the application pads. You can also use a spray gun at low pressure. It was simple enough, and didn't actually take that long, but that will depend on how many nooks and crannies your frame has. I did need to leave it set overnight, and you can't wash it for a few days. Asnd then, Proteam reckon it lasts for 2 years – and they back that up with a warranty, that can extend to 3 years with their Clean and Cure ($54.95). It's a simple spray and wipe product to use every few months.

So how did it go?

In a word, great. I've had the coating on for a few months, and while it has been pretty dry in that time, any muddy rides have seen my frame and fork running pretty clean – and cleaning up really easily as well. The frame has a great gloss finish that has water beading easily. I did use the treatment around the swingarm bearings so in the long run, their may be a slight benefit there if water runs away faster and not towards the bearings – but that would be difficult to judge.

 

The question is – is protection from the elements something you're looking for? This coating will do nothing for roost and rock strike, or shuttle rash. But it will keep your bike easier to clean up, and potentially looking better for longer as well. The kit isn't cheap, but doing the frame and fork alone I would have no trouble doing two frame and fork kits with the $139.90 kit – and $70 per bike is pretty cheap to keep pricey bikes looking good and easier to clean. Given how long the treatment lasts, I'd say it's cheaper than other bike polish products in the long run as well, which dramatically lowers the overall cost over a 2 year period. 

RRP: $139.90

From: fullbeam.com.au 

Hits:

  • Easy application
  • Easy bike cleaning
  • Look good, feel fast!

Misses:

  • No protection from damage

Read the Proteam Lube review here