Cycling shorts have come a long way this last 30 years and if your pushing 50 you may remember the time when shorts insert where basically like a window leather that needed chamois cream applying before use to make it supple! Now I know people who don’t or won’t use cream swearing that their shorts are that good but why ruin a long ride or worst still run the risk of even getting a boil or cyst (remember Laurent Fignon loosing the 89 TDF to Lemond riding the final TT in discomfort with a boil!)
I’m a lifelong user of chamois cream and swear by it even if it’s a short ride or commute. Your bum is a key pressure point on the bike that need TLC. Having tried a wide range of creams over the years I find no two are ever quite the same and modern improvements in the formulas now offer ingredients akin to cosmetic products.
Muc-Off is a brand that is well know for a range of bike cleaning and lubricating products so when I was introduced to their Luxury Chamois cream I have to admit was not sure what to expect and at a premium price. Before writing this blog I did a long term test and went through a whole tub in different weather conditions. On opening the tub that comes packed in an hexagonal cardboard box the first thing that hit me was the sweat smell of the cream which I suspected must be the She butter in its formula that smells like one of my wife’s face creams! It’s enriched with natural Aloe Vera, Shea butter and Sunflower oils that provide deep moisturising and lasting protection.
On first feel it’s a thick white but smearable but not greasy. It’s also soothing on contact to the skin. You can apply it to both the shorts insert as well as direct to the skin for max effect if it’s a long day in the saddle but I’ve also found it works just as well just applying it to the skin for rides up to 3h. First thing first I have to point out now no matter how good the cream is it’s never going to make a bad pair of shorts more comfortable as I tried this cream with various shorts new old and worn! I do between 4-5 rides a week and was surprised a tub lasted longer than most due to its thick texture and for a lot of rides I’ve only needed to apply to the skin and not the insert. Found you only need to apply a couple of fingers worth not a hand scoop. One noticeable thing I’ve not noticed is what I call the shiny saddle situation where the cream is so viscous, greasy with sweating on a hot day your saddle ends up looking like it’s got a wet look to it due too to what seems like the cream soaking through the shorts onto the saddle!
Depending on mileage or should I say rides per week I’ve managed to get around 4 months use out of a tub! Winter or Summer, wet and dry its kept preforming but I tend to apply a little extra on hot days especially around the anus region to stop irritation or in basic terms a sore or irritation due to the cream having gone off or the pad is rubbing slightly which can cause discomfort from long days in the saddle. There has been an occasion when I have forgotten to apply cream and ended with minor discomfort but again this cream is so good it also works as a good moisturiser to repair minor skink abrasions. This may not be the cheapest on the market and ‘I’m sure some with think oh it’s all just marketing what with Team Sky sponsorship an all but after I had gone through my first test tub I’ve loved it so much I’m now on number 3 tub and counting. On a funny note your shorts still smell nice when you put them in the wash I’ve noticed lol. Chapeau Muc-Off!