What's Cool In Road Cycling

Swiss Slick: Motorex Cycling Specific Lubes

MOTOREX have been a stable of my other favorite two-wheel sport for quite a while.

It was at a Superbike (the kind with a “real” motor) race that I first noticed the funky green color bottle being used by a mechanic who was cleaning one of the bikes…

I then poked around the paddock and found them using the potions not just for surface cleaning (they have a full line of cleaning stuff for Bikes and moto’s) but watched the fastest chain scrub and lube I had ever seen. I also noted that the team were running Motorex Full Syn lube inside the Superbikes as well. Not too long after that, I tried some and have been using Motorex inside and out of my own motos…

It turns out this Swiss oil company knows a thing or two about lube…

Fast forward a couple of years and I bumped into Speed Channel’s Moto GP and Superbike front man (and Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team guy) Greg White who asked if I had tried Motorex bicycle stuff.

One thing led to another and it just made sense to give their product a go.
Motorex have too many products to review at one time, so we’ll start with Lubrication…


Most of the other lubes in cycling are from companies that re-label products that were designed for other purposes.

All lubes are basically a carrier (base) material and protection elements… You want max metal protection and min friction in cycling, the same as motor sport. But the carrier and protection elements that make up the lube can be completely different because you have completely different stress versus motor and aircraft applications.

Lots of people have seen teams use a special lube for their top TT guys (you’ve seen reports and pictures of the teams keeping a few sets of wheels spinning, leading up to the race start…). That specific performance advantage is what Motorex are doing but in formulae that don’t require the extra fuss and we’ll get to it…

Part 1 of the Fastest Complete Chain Care Ever
Motorex’s Easy Clean Chain cleaner for bikes is step one of the fastest and best lube job I’ve ever had.

It all starts with just a spray. Don’t bother with the extender tube nozzle. Just throw it away…

Instead start with a nasty greasy chain…

Then just hold the can close to the chain. Tuck a cloth underneath and blast the chain up close (hit the spray in the center of the chain), working your way down the chain.

Using the standard sprayer top means the spray blasts down and out with enough force that it penetrates and cleans the chain inside and gets into the gaps.

Just work a section, rotate the cranks and work another section…

The gunk will get blasted out of the chain and on to the cloth. Once you go round, flip the cloth and wipe the chain down. That’s it.

Part 2 of the Fastest Complete Chain Care Ever
You can use either wet or dry Lubes, squeeze bottle or spray.

I went straight on with the lube product I felt best suited to Arizona’s humidity.

“Dry” made some sense given we set an all time freakishly low Humidity level of 2% here a few days ago…

Spray it on and wipe down the outside and you’re set. Same easy step with the wet lube.

What exactly makes this the “fastest” complete care?

It all starts with Motorex engineering both the cleaner and the lubricants from the ground up.

They found that they could create an incredibly effective Chain Cleaner that is biodegradable and that they could use some of the same carrier liquid (kind of a “base” product) in the cleaner as in the lube…

That carrier evaporates VERY quickly in both the Cleaner and the Lube, but leaves the working products to do their job well.

Here in Arizona, that means a virtually ZERO wait from spray cleaner to wipe down to spray Lube. In less extreme climates you still only wait a fraction of the time going from cleaning to lubrication.

Only part of that is due to the carrier drying. Motorex also designed the cleaner so that the minimal residue left over will not harm the following lube and or leave enough film to block penetration…

My chain is as clean as if I used a chain scrubber unit and lubricated… IN HALF THE TIME it takes to fill a chain scrubber with fluid, use it and discard the fluid (never mind the wait to lube it).

So What About The Lube?
The lubes themselves are better than my standard choices as well… both are cycling specific formulations from the ground up.

Dry… Sure Motorex has a Motorcycle based Dry lube, but it’s completely different. I use their Race Lube and chain cleaner on my motorcycle and it’s incredible.

The lube shoots on thin and pretty clear and accurate and expands into a foamy coating to completely fill the gaps and get the proper chemical to all the parts of a motorcycle chain… (it also holds on better than any other lube I have ever used and doesn’t spin off at high speed and make a mess).

But neither the expansion nor the formula is the best for bikes. Honestly it’s better than most of the other bike products too, but it wasn’t exactly what Motorex wanted.

So Motorex did what Motorex does… Back to the lab.

Make the right formula for the application.

Most Dry Lubes have too much wax and or just have the wrong chemical mix for bikes all together.

Motorex Wax/Oil formula for their Dry Lube does have some wax component, but the formulation is notably lighter and thinner than what you’re probably used to… It soaks in VERY well and when wiped down, it leaves a chain looking particularly less gummy than most.

No clumped up material, no greasy hunks spun off on your bike and drive train. And the stuff has the staying power that I like with their Motor Bike stuff.

The Dry Lube is also now the after-cleaning lube for all of my components (front and rear derailleurs, brake pivots etc)… Not just the chain.

Wet Down
The Wet Lube is also a Bicycle specific formula and Motorex are particularly proud of it.

It’s actually being used by several pro teams at this point.

We caught up with the BMC guys putting it in use at the prologue…

But there are more than a few folks that don’t have the “MOTOREX” logo’s on the vans using it… It’s one of those things that the component companies have started suggesting and team mechs are taking note. Sponsorship or not, lots of folks have switched to green labels.

The lube itself feels different and handles differently.

It sits up on the cloth almost like it’s honey…

It’s also really clingy…

The weird part is that when things “sit up” as it hits cloth and are as tacky / clingy as the wet lube is, they are generally a lot heavier and thicker consistency than the Motorex product. This stuff is light but acts super heavy.

The strongest point for this product is its component protection. It has a lot of staying power, even in wet conditions and the character of the lube is dialed in well for the relatively slow, metal on metal grind that is cycling… The teams using it don’t have a data point on hand, but they’re using fewer cassettes and chains during this year than in past and the only variable seems to be the lube.

Grease 2
Of course Motorex have a “standard” grease…

It’s 100% synthetic and formulated to NOT attack rubber / elastomeric seals so it’s a prime choice around bearings used in a lot of newer applications. Super sturdy and pressure resistant and completely water proof, it’s become a default on all my builds.

It’s also light and clingy despite the toughness and though it’s a stupid little detail, I like the push down top and the finger wipe hole (because real men use fingers rather than brushes or sticks to grease parts)

But there’s that “OTHER” grease…

Carbon “paste” is one of the better product thoughts of the past couple years…

It’s also one of those products that everyone knew was needed, but wasn’t fully thought out.

Here’s the deal…

Motorex Carbon Grease on the left… Your current carbon “paste” on the right…

Yeah… They’re different.

Sure you want to keep carbon from seizing… And yes, you want to keep carbon from slipping

And yes, grit suspended in goo will both keep carbon separated and also dig into the surfaces a bit and prevent slip…

But over time, this (below) isn’t the best solution.

Motorex decided to figure out what products would create a slight binder and also not allow parts to seize, while not breaking down or scoring carbon…

The answer was “clear”…

The carbon grease from Motorex has none of the grit of the other pastes but still does the job well.

So that’s that.
Motorex have been making bicycle products for a long time… They’ve also been doing it in Europe, in one of the greenest facilities around (clean, not only relative to other chem and oil companies).

The company’s been at it since 1917 and touches auto, moto, marine and agriculture a well as cycling and the reputation for all of their products. They have a full line of cleaning products for bikes that we’ll have up next…

For more info hit them at MotorexBicycle.com.

Have Fun,
Charles Manantan

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