Stuff being waterproof is great, especially in the UK, so anything that makes more stuff more waterproof should be welcomed. This Motorex Protex spray promises to waterproof a range of fabrics, but ultimately the performance is a bit disappointing.
Protex is a water-repellent treatment spray that you can spray on just about anything. It's hydrophobic, so water beads off the treated surface and doesn't penetrate the fabric, but it doesn't affect the breathability of the thing you've sprayed. You can pretty much spray it on anything and most of the time you'd not notice, although it does darken leather and some fabrics a bit.
I've tried it on quite a few things and the results have been mixed, but ultimately not great. Before the Chippenham Flapjack audax I spreayed it on just about everything I was wearing: tights, overshoes, gloves, cap. Given how hard and long it rained on that particular ride (get a taste here: http://chutzpah84.posterous.com/ride-report-chippenham-flapkack) I wouldn't have expected miracles, and I didn't get any. The Protex spray worked best on the rubberised overshoes, beading water off them nicely for a good hour. The gloves managed about 30 minutes; the tights and cap were wet within 10.
The spray seems to work best on tight-weave synthetic fabrics, but most of those can be put through the washing machine and a wash-in treatment (like Nikwax TX) is a much more hardy solution for stuff like that. You can give your jeans a spray to shrug off a shower, or give your shoes a bit of extra weather resistance. Actually for a single ride in light rain the Protex spray does a decent job of keeping your trousers dry, but they need spraying pretty much every time you go out.
At £12.99 for a can it's not cheap, and the results are temporary at best. Hard to recommend, really.
Waterproofing spray promises much but ultimately the effects are pretty short-lived.
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?
Textile and leather waterproofing. Highly effective and long-lasting protection against moisture and oil. Suitable for leather, textiles and microfibres (e.g. GORE-TEX®), allows the fabric to breathe naturally. Ideal for shoes, motorcycle, ski and bicycle wear, convertible tops and other sport and leisure goods.
Works for a bit, then doesn't any more.
It isn't cheap, and it's not the best solution for most cycling stuff.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Okay, but I was expecting more.
Did you enjoy using the product? No.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.