I’m sure I’m not the only person who always has at least one can of WD40 and a can of GT85 sat next to my bikes. They’ve always been the go to sprays when I need to get anything done on the bike. Well, now they’ve got a new companion. I say companion actually it’s more like a family. Let me introduce the XCP Professional range from XCP Corrosion Technologies.
Never heard of it? No, me neither, but it turns out the range of lubricants and cleaners have been on the market for a while getting used by car guys and motorcyclists. The company behind the brand is now looking at us – cyclists. The first step has been supporting the grass-roots road racing team – Andy Moore Autocentres/J.E. James Racing Team.
Being the sceptical sort that I am, before I cracked open the box of goodies XCP Professional had sent me for review I got in touch with Andy. I thought it would be good to get the team’s feedback on the products and so far it’s all good.
So just what is the XCP Professional range made up of? Deep breath here goes; ONE High Performance Multipurpose Spray (£5), Green ONE High Performance Multipurpose Spray (£6), Rust Blocker (£14), Chain Lubricant (£10), and Universal Parts Cleaner (£8).
One of the issues with reviewing products like oils and lubricants is that it can take a long time. How many applications of chain lube do you need to make before you can say a lubricant is any good or not. Similarly, how long do I leave it before passing judgement on a spray that says it stops rust? This is where talking to Andy Moore and the Autocentres/J.E. James Racing Team race team become useful.
I’ve been using the XCP products on my own bikes but it’s still too early to give definite feedback on how well they’re working, but the initial diagnosis is good. However, over to Andy.
“The key to success is consistency, and consistency is achieved through reliability, if we can strive for 100% perfection in this key area, it will give the riders total confidence in the machinery, and ensure the results. With this in mind, the team worked closely with XCP in the development and application of the product range, and a thorough programme of product testing achieved the desired objective.”
So, okay, Andy and the team were involved from the start but are the products any good? “Over the seasons we have used XCP, we’ve had no mechanical issues, no failures, and no detectable wear of any note on drivetrain components, and we’ve achieved the reliability targets we set out to achieve.”
Looking at my own bikes I’ll agree with him. The drivetrains are looking good and they’re quiet, which is not always the case with my mountain bikes which regrettably often get left encased in mud between rides. This is definitely not the case with the Autocentres bikes as Andy explained to me just how well they are looked after.
Occasionally, I’ll remember to run my chain through a chain bath with some degreaser in it and then give it a spray of whatever is to hand. However, having said that over the past month, I’ve been making use of the XCP range and the chain is looking better than it usually does.
To really test how good XCP Chain Lubricant is I’ve been using it on my motorcycle too. Where I can count the miles I cycle in hundreds over a year for the motorcycle it’s thousands and the chain takes a lot more abuse too. Fortunately, it’s gone from looking very tired and dirty to just used. Even better than that is that the oil stays on the chain. As you can imagine a motorcycle chain rotates a lot faster than a bicycle one so if the oil is going to get flung off I’ll know about it a lot sooner and the rear of the motorbike is, so far, oil free.
Before applying the Chain Lubricant to my bicycles’ chains I’ve been giving them and by extension the derailleurs a drenching in XCP Universal Parts Cleaner and it does just what it says. There’s the suggestion that you should use a brush on really grimy parts but I’ve not felt the need for that. For me it’s simply been a case of spray, wait a while, as in wander off and have a cup of tea, and then on with the XCP Chain Lubricant. You can see from the accompanying picture just how well the cleaner works.
I’ve followed this up with a quick squirt of either XCP Green One or XCP One on the mechs and that’s it. The next time I give a bike a ‘proper’ service I’ll be spraying some Green One or One down the cable outers too.
The one XCP product that I really can’t say too much about is the XCP Rust Blocker. So far all I’ve done is pull the seat post, forks and bottom bracket out of my old Roberts mountain bike and liberally squirt the Blocker inside all the tubes I can gain access to. I have a near paranoid dread of the steel tube rusting away from the inside out where it meets the bottom bracket shell.
In the past, I’ve used WD40 for this and reapplied it several times a year but given the viscosity of the XCP Rust Blocker, I’m hoping I can now leave it longer between applications. Still, only time will tell.
Going back to Andy Moore and his race team for a moment, because they’ve had a lot more time with the XCP products. “You’ll often hear cyclists chatting about having to replace chains, sprockets, chain-wheels and transmission components on a regular basis due to wear and tear, the reality for us is that we’ve not needed to replace a single component in four years of hard racing due to the XCP maintenance plan, and we’re not talking ordinary bike riding, this is challenging criterium and open road racing, which expose the machines to extreme stresses and strains in all types of weather conditions.”
Whether he’s simply saying this because he’s sponsored I don’t know but so far the sprays are working just as well as he’s told me they do. The cost is a higher than the likes of WD40 but that’s countered by the fact that I’ve been using much less.
The real test will be what condition my chain and derailleurs are in next spring after I’ve put in a full winter of foul weather riding.