Winter is upon us which can only mean one thing... wet, miserable, dirty weather!

One ride on a wet and grizzly day can turn a nice clean bike into gritty oily mess, which means essential bike maintenance duties become frustratingly more frequent. The worst job of them all is always the dreaded chain clean. If you are anything like me you reach for your old toothbrush and a tin of degreaser and get scrubbing. There must be an easier way...?

Enter the Muc-Off X-3 Dirty Chain Machine, Muc-Off's latest weapon against the winter chain syndrome.

The sturdy device is well made and has a nice quality feel about it. The handle can be fitted in two positions and whole unit strips down easily ensuring hassle free post usage cleaning.

It features a neat reservoir at the top which feeds the cleaning fluid in from above the chain which is a much better and well thought out solution then the usual lower reservoir found on chain cleaners which continues to spread the dirty solution over the chain. This means that the nice clean solution is always kept separate from the dirty solution, thus allowing for a better clean.

The X-3 comes packaged with a 75ml bottle of Drivetrain Cleaner, enough for a couple of cleans. The neat little bottle has a nice spray top to allow for even more detailed cleaning. Muc-Off also sell the Drivetrain Cleaner in 500ml bottles for £12.

The Muc-Off X-3 has abrasive cleaning teeth and rotating brush wheels which have 120 contact points to ensure each individual chain link is cleaned and I have to admit that it really does work in practice.

Once the reservoir is filled and the device is clicked onto the chain a few turns of the cranks ensures that the device is running properly before holding down the fluid release button to start the cleaning process. The idea is to spin the cranks anti-clockwise until all of the fluid has run through. Then rinse the chain with clean water and you are done. All in all it took about 2 minutes to completely clean the chain which was surprising to say the least. Just remember to put a little newspaper down as there is a lot of black fluid that drips off the chain in the process.

So, is it better then my old toothbrush and a tin of degreaser? Well yes! It really took all of the hassle out of scrubbing the chain. At £30 it is pricey but that said it is a quality piece of kit and in my opinion well worth the money.