If I’m reviewing something, it’s usually having covered a fair number of miles on the bike (in the case of a sportive) or the same really, but with calorific boosts every now and again (if we’re talking nutrition). In either case, it’s quite easy to go into detail and get carried away with the number of paragraphs I end up submitting. This time however, I am reviewing a sponge.
To be more precise, I am reviewing the Super Sponge from the proudly British brand emblazoned with a cycling hippo: Purple Harry’s. I have to admit that this is new (reviewing) territory for me, but seeing as I’ve helped a good few big yellow sponges to meet their gritty, oily and ultimately ripped up ends, I was intrigued to put the little purple disc through its paces and see if it would be a permanent addition to my cleaning kit.
So the Super Sponge comes in a little plastic bag and on first inspection, isn’t unlike those flannels you tend to get in your stocking as a kid that are perfectly formed into the shape of a dolphin (or something similarly cute) but expand in water so you have something to wash your face with. It’s manufactured in the UK and boasts as being “an incredibly durable and long lasting sponge”. Though I’ll admit to only using it a few times over the Summer on my road bike to get rid of some relatively superficial road dirt and the odd dead fly (so therefore maybe haven’t given it a ‘proper’ test), it does seem as though it would last a good long time. I think the reason behind this is because it’s really quite dense which means two good things: it holds a fair bit of water for a wee sponge and it won’t rip easily. Fingers crossed this means it’ll hold its own when Winter comes along.
Another good thing about its construction is that the numerous, tiny air pockets mean you can squish it pretty small and therefore reach lots of awkward places. One bit of feedback I’d put into Purple Harry’s suggestion box for their next R&D meeting would be to have a tear drop-shaped sponge made from the same stuff, so you can poke at any nooks and crannies while still getting a good bit of sponge for the rest of the bike.
I mostly used the Super Sponge in conjunction with a Bike Cleaner and Degreaser (also from Purple Harry’s) and this combo was pretty effective in getting the job done, but I do feel I ought to update this review sometime early in the New Year when my Winter bike will have been through the mill. Quite honestly though, I do feel like this little purple pebble (it goes rock solid again when it dries out) will make it through to the New Year relatively unscathed and in good working order. And while lilac doesn’t usually make much of an appearance in the world of cycling, this little scrubber washes out pretty easily so it’ll be ready to go for when you next get around to giving your bike some attention.
So there we are: six paragraphs on a sponge measuring about 15cm across (if you count this one, too). I hope that they have been informative paragraphs and that I have effectively communicated the edge that I believe the Super Sponge to have over the sort of thing you might grab from a 50p bucket on the way to the checkout. At £5.99 a pop, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it outlasted twelve of its yellow competitors to be good value for money. That requires a much longer period of testing though (and quite a significant commitment to cleaning my bikes).
Overall: 9/10 (not really much more you could ask for from a sponge?!)
Go find it: www.purpleharry.co.uk/shop/super-sponge
Originally reviewed for cyclosport.org.