Maxima SC1 High Gloss Coating review

A polish that's straight from the world of powersports

BikeRadar score4.5/5

If you're one to enjoy petrotainment (meaning gas-powered, throttle-twisting recreation), then the Maxima Racing Oils brand is probably already on your radar. If it's new to you, Maxima is a Southern California company that formulates, develops, manufactures and distributes high-performance oils, lubes and ancillary products primarily for powersports.

They have now branched into mountain biking because many of their moto products can be used on their mini-brap brethren, too. 

Maxima's SC1 claims to be a
Maxima's SC1 claims to be a

I've seen Maxima around at various trade shows, and have heard whispers of its seemingly miraculous ability to keep not only your bike looking fresh, but also the tall order of keeping your suspension running smoother, cleaner and preventing maintenance. "Yeah, sure, that's great," I thought dismissively. I've used numerous different types of cleaners and polishes throughout my time as a bike shop mechanic, tour guide and on my personal bikes, and they were all just okay, not bad, just not worthy of the praise the Maxima stuff was getting.

I left it at that, until I was talking to the suspension gurus at DirtLabs. Every bench had a can or two of SC1 on it, and they swore by SC1. Okay, that was enough, I had to see for myself. 

SC1 is on every bench at DirtLabs, a suspension warranty and service center
SC1 is on every bench at DirtLabs, a suspension warranty and service center

New bike in a can?

Maxima's SC1 was developed to keep motorcycle and ATV plastics looking factory fresh — both clean and shiny. Its other job is to keep the surface so slick that mud and dirt don't stick, or if they do, it cleans up quickly and easily and limits staining or discoloration. Sounds about perfect for both road and mountain bikes, huh?

What the testing conditions lacked in mud, they more than made up for in fine, silty dust. The kind of ultra-fine dirt that works its way into every nook and cranny, and definitely sneaks past fork and shock seals.

From doubter to believer, SC1 makes bikes shine
From doubter to believer, SC1 makes bikes shine

Lo and behold, it works. Spray it on, wait a minute or so, and wipe it off. SC1 shines up so much that it allowed me to see my bike's very subtle carbon weave for the first time.

It's a bit hard to believe, but the bike's finish remains slick and doesn't hold as much dust. More importantly, the suspension feels smooth, not as smooth as a brand-new tear down and rebuild, but noticeably smoother than if only wiped down minus any spray. 

Happy seals equal fantastic small bump compliance, which equals super fun riding
Happy seals equal fantastic small bump compliance, which equals super fun riding

The smell was also something of note. Many folks claim it smells great, my nose must be calibrated a bit differently. It's in no way unpleasant, but it's also nothing I'd search out.

Pay attention…

If you are using SC1 you're going to have to ride as well as your bike looks. Seriously now, as with any polish or lubricating spray, getting SC1 on your bike's disc brake pads or rotors will cost you. This stuff holds up on smooth, slick frame finishes, so it'll definitely stick to porous brake pads and rotors. Hopefully, the only cost is a new set of pads, and not a crash. 

Also, as the name implies, it makes your bike gleam. It works on shiny gloss or matte finishes. However if you prefer to keep a low profile, or like a more subdued matte style, this will likely be too blingy for you.

Maxima SC1 High Gloss Coating pricing

12oz aerosol can: £9.99 / US$10.50 / AU$19.99

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 6'3"/190cm
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Waist: 34in/86cm
  • Chest: 42in / 107cm
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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