Basic bike maintenance is something we would encourage everyone who cycles to learn. Pre-ride checks, and post-ride maintenance can be a messy business though. Many riders will have a box of gloves on a shelf or in a draw, ready to get their hands dirty – or not as the case may be. But latex style gloves are rarely strong enough to deal with even the simplest of tasks and for many before splitting. They can cause irritations and allergic reactions too. For those more serious mechanics out there, there are Nitrile gloves which are designed to be much thicker than that of latex and protect against harmful substances (should you be using these). However, if you are not dealing with hazardous substances or don’t want to go through 3 pairs of gloves just to do your pre-ride bike checks, we have been testing an alternative – Rath’s pr88 Skin Protection Cream.
What is it?
Rath’s or Ursula Rath GmbH to give the company it’s full name, are a German company that claim to have over 40 years experience in commercial skin protection. Offering a range of skin protection products for various industries such as building & decorating, motor mechanics and food, they also show evidence of their research and products at work on their website. Rath’s pr88 skin protection cream is exactly what it says – it isn’t designed to be a cleanser. Unscrew the lid of the little pocket friendly 100m tub and you are greeted by a white, foamy cream that would look more at home in the bathroom cabinet than the workshop or garage. It’s consistency is flaky and a bit greasy to touch and it has a powerful smell of almonds or more accurately marzipan which some may not like.
Scooping out a small amount (hazelnut sized is recommended) and working it thoroughly into your hands the same way you would apply soap or moisturizer, you are left with a coating that quickly dries. All you do then is crack on with your maintenance and repairs.
Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Sillicate, Sodium Tallowate, Ceteareth-5, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Paraffin, Parfum – ALWAYS read the label.
Rath’s pr88 skin protection cream forms a barrier against the likes of oil, grease, and paints which are non aqueous, making them extremely difficult to wash off. When you have finished working, the pr88 is designed to simply wash off with soap and water, taking the dirt substance with it. I had my reservations about using this product and how well it would work but the results are surprisingly good. Having tested Rath’s pr88 skin protection cream for a recent bike rebuild and removing a slightly neglected chain and cassette, I made sure my hands got sufficiently greasy. Washing with a standard bathroom soap and water, the dirt and grease literally washed off of my hands with little drama or scrubbing. On the first couple of tests I did find that I still had a little grime under the finger nails and some occasions did need a couple of applications of soap but remembering to work the pr88 hand protector into these areas really helps.
Rath’s pr88 Skin Protection Cream Review Conclusion –
At All About The Ride we like the products that make you think “is that really going to work?” – and Rath’s pr88 Skin Protection does work. Apply correctly and thoroughly and you will find that the usual grease, dirt and grime that you pick up during bike maintenance washes off much easier without the need to buy a specialist cleanser. As it is designed to wash away with water, obviously cleaning your bike will wash this away. Some may not been keen on the ‘marzipan’ based smell and a neutral scented cream would probably have more of an appeal. If the cream isn’t applied thoroughly, you can expect the usual ‘dirt under the fingernails’ problem but for it’s £3.50 RRP for the 100ml tub, it is very good value. We picked ours up from Wiggle which so far seems to be the only online bike shop we have found it in.
For quick maintenance fixes and times when carrying maintenance gloves isn’t convenient, we think this product is ideal.
An unusual alternative to wearing gloves for bike maintenance, but it actually works very well despite its strong almond scent.