Because insects have guts. . .

Product review and pics by Simon Bradley

Depending on the size of your screen, this is probably about actual size for the pack. Obviously not if you're using a Blackberry...Every now and again we come across something so breathtakingly simple and yet so astonishingly effective that it, quite literally, renders us speechless. Now those who know me will realise that my being rendered speechless, or even slightly tongue-tied, is something of a rarity. So for a product to have this effect it must be pretty bloomin' special.

Well, my friends, allow me to introduce you to the V2 Sponge. It's simple and effective, and just for once it addresses a problem that actually exists rather than one dreamed up by a marketing person. If you've been riding for a while then you'll be aware that, while summer is great for warm rides and lots of grip, it's less great for the amount of local fauna that explodes on you, your bike and, most critically, your visor. While if you're a recent convert to biking you'll have noticed the amount of crud that gets flung up from the road and again coats you, your bike and your visor.

We've already figured out how to make the bike easier to clean (Swissol bike wax, if you've forgotten) and now there's a solution to the visor side of things.

Up until now, the chances are when you've ended up with a visor covered in stuff, whether summertime insect suicides or winter road grime, you have either muddled along the best you can until you get home or popped into a garage and availed yourself of their toilet, paper towels or forecourt windscreen sponge. Or, God help us, you've tried to wipe the visor with your gloved finger. Either of the latter will almost certainly end up with scratches and ultimately reduced visibility as you spread the insect detritus over the visor, filling any gaps between the bodies with rubbed-in goo, while the first is just too scary. But how about being able to carry a cleaner in your pocket? One that doesn't use nasty sprays, doesn't have anything hard to injure you if you fall on it and actually works?

This is the bag that it lives in. Bright enough not to lose it, strong enough to survive being chewed by our pet rabbit without leaking.  Yes, really...Step forward the V2 sponge. A resealable plastic bag that contains a vee shaped white sponge made out of some super-duper material. Keep it moist and simply wipe it across the visor and lift everything off. Then dry with a soft paper towel, also provided in the kit (though a popular strong kitchen towel is as effective when you've used up those supplied).

I don't really understand why it works as well as it does. I know that the good folks at V2 tried an awful lot of different sponge materials before settling on this one. I know that it needs to be good and moist (the resealable bag helps keep it that way without flooding your pocket) and that when it gets all claggy and horrible you rinse it through a couple of times and it's fine again. Of course, eventually the sponge gets just too horrible and has to be thrown away. Not too big a deal at just a fiver for two or under twenty quid for ten.

I can regale you with tales of reduced visibility, of crawling along getting regular facefuls of filthy spray in the winter or Chironomids in the summer, but what's the point? You've been there and done it.

No, I'll leave it at this. I got this through the post after reading about it elsewhere. I thought that the fuss was just hype and that it couldn't possibly be as good as a certain weekly suggested. After all, a bit of hype isn't exactly unheard of on their pages, is it.

I was wrong. If anything the V2 Sponge is better than claimed. It works, it's cheap and it's made in England.

So if you don't have any now, follow this link and buy a pack. And no, we're not on commission...

SB

STOP PRESS. This is a late submission from 2005 but certainly qualifies for entry to the "Product of the Year" shortlist

 




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