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Motorex Protex promises to quickly provide a lasting, water-repelling barrier when sprayed on fabrics, without compromising breathability. It works but doesn't deliver the lasting performance the blurb implies, and is expensive compared with better alternatives.
Motorex says this water/oil repellent spray is safe on various fabrics, including leather, textiles and microfibres such as Gore-Tex, and won't block the pores or compromise breathablity.
It's quite potent stuff and seems to have more kick than typical of aerosols... make sure you've got plenty of ventilation. I left the workshop door wide open. Curing times are just minutes – under five for a frame bag, some gloves and a hat, and around 15 for some booties and a trailer sack. That's practical enough for protection on a commute or quick errand.
In my experience, Protex adds a very palpable layer of weatherproofing, but it's short-lived. It makes water bead up and then roll off before it gets chance to seep inside, but in moderately heavy rain the effect begins to taper off after around 50 minutes.
By 90 minutes I found various treated things were very soggy, but thankfully (as subsequent outings in dry, warm conditions proved) not impaired at all for breathability. This is not the case for things treated with more permanent, wash-in treatments such as Nikwax TX.
Arguably the real acid test was the booties – an FLR mountain bike pair which are fabulous when it's cold and dry, but let rain or snow leach through the stitching. That results in very soggy feet after a couple of hours.
The FLR booties feature a relatively thick Codura nylon with a water-resistant membrane beneath, and Protex extended their resistance by 90 minutes.
I have also used it to waterproof some loafers and true to claims, it did darken the hide slightly, but not drastically. Talking of leather, products such as Crankalicious Leather Lacquer – though that's fairly spendy at £12 for 300ml – are far more durable.
£16.99 for the Protex spray (500ml) is expensive against formulas such as Nikwax Tech Wash, which is £4.99 for 300ml and lasts far longer, but there are similar products at similar prices – Storm Eco Proofer is £8.95 for 225ml, for instance, while Revivex DWR Pump Spray is an identical £16.99 for 500ml.
Given its low durability though, the value seems poor either way.
To some extent the Protex spray does what it promises, but it's hardly a magic bullet. The water-repelling qualities are effective but very short-lived, and at the price, Motorex Protex is difficult to recommend.
Conveniently adds short-term water resistance to fabrics, but it's expensive and doesn't last
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Motorex Protex spray
Size tested: 500ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Motorex says "Textile and leather impregnation is ideal for shoes, bags and clothing. Simply spray over dry, clean items before hitting the roads or trails for highly effective, long-lasting protection against wet conditions and oil. Suitable for leather, textiles and microfibres (e.g. GORE-TEX) and preserves the natural breathability of the fabric."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Suitable for leather, textiles and microfibres (e.g. GORE-TEX) and preserves the natural breathability of the fabric.
Size - 500ml
Notes - The material to be sprayed must be clean and dry. Dyed materials must be checked for colour fastness and resistance. Light leather may darken. Do not apply to wood or rubber.
Does work, but the effects are not very durable, which is disappointing.
Disappointing given the price and promises.
Disappointing, given the benefits are short-lived.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very effective at preventing water from penetrating fabrics, but the effect is short-lived. It's fine for short commutes or training loops, but of very limited use on longer wet rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Convenient and while it lasts, effective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not a very durable water repellent coating, and expensive compared to longer-lasting wash in products.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£16.99 is expensive against formulas such as Nikwax Tech Wash, which is £4.99 for 300ml and lasts far longer, but there are similar products at similar prices – Storm Eco Proofer is £8.95 for 225ml, for instance, while Revivex DWR Pump Spray is £16.99 for 500ml.
Given its low durability though, the value seems poor either way.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
Convenient to apply and effective while it lasts, but durability is poor against wash-in water repellent products.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)