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I actually avoided chamois cream for the first few years that I raced bikes. Back in the early days, Adam got me a tub of the Assos stuff that he uses, but it never really caught on with me. However, after the winter of 2010 when Emily and I endured so many long, cold, damp winter rides, I began to rethink my position. Then Velo Bella scored Hoo Ha Ride Glide as a sponsor, so I decided to give it a shot. It turned out that I really liked it, and half a bottle or so made my failed attempts at both the Ouachita Challenge and Syllamo's revenge that spring much more pleasant.
2010 was also supposed to be the year that I started "taking 'cross seriously" again. Equipped with a new bike, I was ready to conquer the whole OVCX series from start to finish for the first time. And, wanting to be a real hardcore CXer, I realized I needed to order up some embrocation when start time temperatures started dropping below 50 degrees.
After considering my options, I decided to order Winston's Brand, a regionally-popular make produced in Fort Wayne, IN. My only hesitation was that one of the humans in the two humans and a dog company was my very first cyclocross "rival". Or at least as I understand it. She denied me the Cat 4 state championship that I'd foolishly thought I had in the bag back in 2006, and then beat me by approximately one position in about every race I did the next year. So I had an unspoken rivalry with her, and it may have been mutual, but we never confessed it while sharing post-race libations like with most of my recent crossresults.com victims and nemeses, which is unfortunate, really. Regardless, since I'd solidly been on the "victim" side of the relationship, I figured I shouldn't be too worried about having my order of "warm" embrocation secretly switched with "nuclear". Sure enough, not only did I receive my order as stated, but I also got a free full-sized tub of "Cobble Cream", which made me an instant fan.
As you may know, 2010 would not be the year I made it to the bitter, snow-tastic end of the OVCX series, thanks to a pancreatic cyst. After a couple of months off the bike, I found myself getting ready for one of my first rides back and contemplating my chamois cream selection. It was just too cold for the Hoo Ha Ride Glide tingle, so I inspected the free Cobble Cream more closely. I must have been spending at least of some of my non-riding time on the beginnings of my Liz Wolf indoctrination (although I hadn't yet given up store-bought lotion, facial cleanser, deodorant, or laundry detergent). Because when I read the ingredients, my beloved Ride Glide was full of a long list of "FDA approved" ingredients, the Winston's Brand list was pretty short and centered around the magical ingredient that's beneficial in so many ways that it's like an edible version of duct tape, coconut oil. And thus began a new chamois cream love affair that lasted until Winston's Brand went of out business last summer.
The last tub actually lasted until a couple of weeks ago, but, knowing that it was coming, I've been considering my options for a while now. I considered Mad Alchemy, the go to brand for "serious CXers", but from perusing their website, they seem to put soy bean oil in just about everything and seem sort of proud of it. (The exception is their "Pure" chamois cream, but it just looks too greasy to me.) In reality, using soybean-oil based cycling skin-care products is probably not as bad as my unfiltered tap water drinking and plastic-container microwaving habits, but I have a special hatred for soy among all of the gnar gnar neolithic foods that are best avoided. Finally, it occurred to me to just Google "coconut oil chamois cream", and I came up with this:
I wouldn't call the ingredients list quite edible, but pretty clean for a manufactured skin-care product. I only got it last week after returning from training camp, so I haven't tested it on any super-heavy rides yet. However, it's been good on the couple of short rides where I did use it. The look and feel is very similar to Winston's Brand Cobble Cream, although it's a little thicker and most tea tree oil scented than Winston's. Overall, though, I think that the many folks in the region who have been missing their Cobble Cream would be quite happy with this as a substitute.
Late Edit: I also just stumbled on this more in-depth analysis of the ingredient list: