Halfords three assorted finishing pads, £2.99
Time tested: Two years
What’s good? A paint sprayer friend of mine first showed me the many uses of these pads. Strictly speaking they’re for preparing surfaces prior to painting, however I’ve found them extremely useful for cleaning metal surfaces on my bike. Teamed with a squirt of brake cleaner, I gently rub clean my bike’s expansion pipe after each use, the medium pad doing a perfect job of buffing off any baked-on oil deposits. I’ve also used the fine grade pad to restore my frame’s brushed aluminium finish and remove a curious, brown fibreglass splodge from one of the inner spars. And this stuff is great for gently removing sealant from the mating surfaces of crankcases prior to re-sealing.
What’s not? You need to be gentle with them, especially the coarse grade pad – as it’s very easy to scratch your delicate metal parts.