James Langton is the director of No Quarter, a business he started 5 years ago at the age of 17, after leaving college. He’s just launched a unique cleaning product and process, which he’s going to give an insight to for Cycle EXIF.
“I can usually be found blasting around the countryside of my hometown on one of my bikes — I have a bit of ‘thing’ for Italian bikes… particularly Campagnolo-equipped Colnagos. I keep on purchasing modern road bikes, but I always end up going back to classic frames with modern components!
No Quarter was born when I started buying and selling vintage racing bikes, I then moved onto customization, which led to No Quarter Paint. I regularly deal with bikes from Cervelo, Canyon, Bianchi and unique hand-made steel and carbon frames that are in for custom paint. It’s amazing to handle some of these bikes and it’s something I love.
All my cycling life, I’ve enjoyed cleaning my bikes as much as I do riding them. The feeling of rolling your spotlessly clean bike out of the garage on a crisp morning and going for a ride is a feeling that is satisfying and unmatched.
I have a history with automotive detailing; I regularly detail my car, where I’ve learnt the processes of detailing and how to achieve a truly stunning finish. I adapted these skills and used them on my bikes over the years.
Detailing is the process of cleaning, restoring, protecting and enhancing. It’s huge in the automotive world and something that I am now introducing to the cycling world. With my understanding of detailing, passion for paintwork and experience with putting projects together, I knew I was the right person and business to offer detailing products for a bike.
I approached numerous UK-based manufacturers to help with the R&D in creating the products. I had a fantastic response and we started working on dedicated products; shampoo, carnauba wax and our fine pore sponges are the ones which took the longest to create and develop.
When creating the kit, I wanted something that I’d like to use on my own bikes. Bikes come up against some tough stuff; mud, salt, grit, UV and general dirt from riding.
All of these things slowly break down your paint, eat into your metals and generally wear down your bike. There’s a lot of cycle cleaning products on the market, but I didn’t find any of them to ‘hit the spot’, and a lot of them even damage your bike; breaking down lacquer and paint, discoloring anodizing, stripping logos and eating into your bearings. I also found them a little bit limiting to how much protection they offer.
The shampoo safely cleans your bike, you then apply the carnauba wax to all finishes once you’ve dried your bike off. It’s just a simple case of buffing it off and it’s ready to ride again, cleaned and protected from whatever your route will throw at your bike!
The R&D time that has gone into the complete kit is crazy. It was actually a very hard kit to produce; an example would be the wax applicator sponge. I tested just under 100 before settling on the size, shape and foam construction that was perfect for a bicycle.
The products also had to smell just right and be satisfying to use. Purple is our signature color, hence why it follows through to our products. I also spent a lot of time listening to cyclists and the problems they had with cleaning their bikes, this was invaluable as there’s a lot of things products in the market doesn’t cover.
It’s amazing what you can learn just by speaking with people, also giving them products and techniques to try out. I made sure that our shampoo was great at restoring matte paint. It also smells of bubble gum, win-win!
Introducing the cycling world to something new has been fantastic. I’ve created YouTube videos and will regularly be offering tips and tricks on our website and social media, showing in-depth techniques and products.
We’ve also got some fantastic products coming out very early next year; they will be solving a lot of problems for a lot of people! I’m also looking forward to working with smaller manufacturers, frame builders and retailers to offer the paintwork protection on brand new bikes.
Head to No Quarter’s website and social media for more information: