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?
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
So if you don't have any now, follow
this link and buy a pack. And no, we're not on commission...
STOP PRESS. This is a late submission
from 2005 but certainly qualifies for entry to the "Product
of the Year" shortlist