We grabbed a few minutes at the Tour with BMC’s head mech Ian Sherburne at the Stage 2, Team Time Trial in Les Essart. Ian’s in charge of seeing that Cadel’s bike is in tip top shape, and this was the day the UCI decided to change how it was enforcing rules on TT bike saddles, so all the mechanics from all the teams were under even more pressure than normal, but Ian still found a few minutes for us.
As head mech for Team BMC, Ian Sherburne knows more about tuning bikes than most guys.
Pez: We know the brand has been around a while and is very well established in MotoGP, but a lot of cyclists are new to it – how do they fit with BMC?
Ian: “They’re our lube sponsor. We originally got connected with them because Motorex is just a town away from where the BMC Racing Team is in Switzerland. They’re in Solothurn and we’re in the same area.
Motorex makes a very complete line of bicycle products: grease, lubes, cleaning products, and they supply us with those.
At our Service Course, we also use their glass cleaner, their car brake cleaner [i.e. they use Motorex for the fleet of team vehicles as well as for the bikes.]
If you go to their website, it’s a huge line of all kinds of lubricants and industrial products, the stuff you see on locomotive axles and so on – they do all that. They have a very in-depth ability to figure out what it takes to formulate the right products to lube a bike, to clean it, to refurbish it with bike shine. They have carbon paste, regular grease, copper paste, anti-seize. They make everything we could possibly need.
They’re a very enthusiastic, supportive sponsor and we’ve had a great relationship with them for the last several years with the team.
Pez: You guys are using these materials in all racing conditions, on all terrains. How does the feedback process work between BMC Racing Team and Motorex?
Ian: We let them know, and I’m not always sure how the turnaround goes in terms of how that changes any sort of formulations …
What we do is sort of at the extreme level of the sport, of cycling in general. Motorex, and all of our sponsors, are always very interested in how things work and hold up and what we run into that might be outside of what a normal person would ever come across using a lube or a grease or a product.
We’re harder on equipment and we’re also much more detail-orientated about things so we notice little things where an ordinary person might just think: ‘It’s probably always like that.’
For us, we have thousands of samples of every activity that we do throughout the course of a year.
We glue on a thousand tyres in a season, we lube a thousand chains multiple times over the course of a season, so we see these situations in all conditions – dry, hot, wet cold, in mountains, in deserts. Motorex have always been really receptive to us pointing out: ‘This lube could be a little stickier’ or ‘This lube could be a little less sticky’. They’ve always been a good partner.
Cadel gets a fresh shot on rainy stage 3 at the 2011 Tour. (PS:Don’t try this at home.)
Pez: Are there any specific Motorex products that you can say are demonstrably ahead of the competition?
Ian:Their ‘Easyclean’ works really well (Note: PEZ reviewed it here). It’s something that you basically just spray on the bike, leave it to sit and then rinse the bike off … and you have a clean bike!
How their products integrate with each other works very well. If you use Motorex lube and Motorex Easyclean it all comes together to leave you with a clean drivetrain and you put on a little more dry lube or wet lube depending on the conditions. It’s a full ‘vertical integration’ of products.
The goal is always the same: keep the bikes clean, keep them running smoothly, keep them quiet, and for us the benefit with the Motorex products is that they leave the bikes easy to clean after a race. Every bike gets washed after every ride. Today, we’ll use almost every bike: TT bikes, spare TT bikes, road bikes, spare road bikes. We bring a phenomenal armada of bikes to a race like this.”
Our thanks to Ian for his time and thoughts.
• See more and find your local dealer at the Motorex website: MotorexBicycle.com.