Review: Mobi V17 Portable Bike Washer
I’m just gonna come right out and say it: I hate washing my bike. It just takes so bloody long, there’s all that faffing about, it makes my back ache from all the bending down and I’d just rather have a cup of tea after a ride rather than tackle a muddy bike. And after spending all that time poking rags into chainrings and trying to access my hub with a brush, it never even looks that good.
I ride a lot. I do spend a fair bit of time indoors on my Wattbike, simply because I’m sometimes unable to get out, but over winter I still take my lovely road bike down the lanes, where it gets so covered in mud that it looks like I’ve been on the trails. I also ride off-road a lot, which means yet more bikes to clean, whether it’s my Gravel bike, Cross-country or Enduro bike that needs attention. I’m of the school of thought that bikes aren’t ornaments and are there to be ridden; you just have to be sure you look after them if you’re going to do so in bad weather.
Which brings me back to the bike washing conundrum. Resigned to the fact that I just have to keep my bike clean I decided to try and find the best pressure washer for cleaning bikes, hoping it might speed things up or just make the chore a little more bearable.
I went for the Mobi V-17 Portable Bike Pressure Washer from Chain Reaction, partly as that’s the one that most people recommended when I asked for advice on social media. It originally cost £149.99 but I see that they’re currently being offered for nearly half of that.
The other reason I chose it is because I don’t have an outdoor tap so I wanted something I could fill up in the kitchen sink and carry to the garden. Plus, I figured it would be nice to take it in my van to rides and races so that I could hose my bike down before the mud dried.
How hard does it spray?
This bike washer has a variable pressure of 43.5 – 130 psi, easily adjusted by twisting a nozzle on the spray gun. In practice, I tended to just use the highest pressure, which still isn’t anything like as powerful as a car jet wash. But that’s arguably a good thing.
There are many people that believe that pressure washing bikes is bad for them – it blasts grease out of your bearing and stuff like that. I seem to remember GCN did a video dispelling that myth, but either way, I prefer not to spray water directly (or from close quarters) into the bottom bracket, shock or other vulnerable areas.
The pressure is adequate for washing wet mud from the frame and works really well for an initial hosing down. Despite my hopes that the bike washes would mean I wouldn’t need to scrub my bike, unfortunately that’s not the case. However it makes the task much quick and easier. Rinsing only takes a minute or so.
What’s good about it?
- Easy to use – just charge, fill, connect the hose and spray.
- It has a 17 litre capacity – plenty for hosing down a couple of bikes quickly trailside or one bike property at home.
- It’s entirely portable so you can use it at home or out and about.
- The water unit is sealed so you can fill it up and transport it without spillage.
- It’s on wheels so you can drag it around if you find it a bit heavy, though of course you still need to be able to lift it out of the sink.
- It’s easy to assemble and use.
- It charges via a UK mains plug or your car cigarette lighter – handy if you’re out and about.
- You can vary the pressure to suit your needs by twisting the nozzle on the spray gun.
- It’s not particularly noisy.
- The battery lasts a decent amount of time.
- It’s well made and of good quality.
- The hose is 3 metres long.
And not so good:
- You still have to scrub your bike to really get it properly clean.
- It’s not powerful enough to blast off dry or caked on dirt – you’ll need to soak it first, apply some bike cleaner then spray/scrub some more.
In conclusion, I’ve found the MOBI to be a good addition to my bike kit. It saves the hassle of going backwards and forwards with buckets of water, which always end up filthy and full of mud from my sponge. If you use some proper bike cleaning brushes, you’ll find the task even easier – why did I take so long to upgrade from old washing up brushes? The pressure is adequate, battery decent and the unit is reliable and easy to use. Yes, you still have to do some work but it makes the task more enjoyable.
I was sent the Mobi V-17 by Chain Reaction for review. All thoughts are my own!