Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Want It Wednesday: Doc's All Natural Chamois Cream

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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 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:


Kristen said...

Never knew you blogged! I'm with you on the Hoo Ha tingle! I will have to try this one out. I've recently tried Hammer's chamois cream - verdict is not in yet for me which might mean I don't like it!

Jez Andrews said...

Cheers for joining in again. I'm new to the whole chamois cream. I can sit in my comfy saddle for upto four hours without any noticeable discomfort. I felt compelled to get some for my 24hr race. I used the boring choice of assos. It worked well. I just find it hard to get past the wet feeling you have when putting shorts on. Feels like you've wet yourself lol.

Cervelo Girl said...

I never used chamois cream either, until I rode in my first double century. Let's just say that my girl parts were "unhappy." I have only tried one brand; Paceline Products' Chamois Butt'r. Yes Jez, it does feel wet when you pull up your shorts, but it beats the alternative! This one does seem to work just fine, but I am always open to trying new things, in the pursuit of feeling even more "post ride personal comfort." :)

Question: Does it come in little single use packages that you can throw in your pocket, or just in a big tub? Since my rides are so long, I need to re-apply periodically.

J-Booty said...

It comes in 5ml packets too. Check on Amazon.

Jason said...

Check out Chomper Body. click "about us">"ingredients". No soy that I can see and Tracy (owner) really supports local cycling. They are in NY but sent a ton of product for prizes for Kings CX and the Cincy winter MTB series. I love the chamios cream, embro (hands free application) and the muscle butter. I have zero affiliation with the company, just a customer.