Since I have been cycling seriously I have found the need to have Chamois Creme. Now, admittedly, I am not using “elite level” cycling shorts; I’m thinking anything over £100 + e.g Assos or Rapha. (Although, if anyone wants to lend me some to review; I would, more than happily, take up the challenge.)
Chamois Creme can be a bit of a hot topic in terms of whether it should be used and how it should be applied. I won’t be going into the application; just the positives/shortfalls of the product.
Also, just for the sake of clarity, these were all bought by myself rather than being given to me so there is no bias on my part.
There are 4 different products that I have used. These are Chapeau Menthol, Chapeau Original, Udderly Smooth and Paceline Products Chamois Butt’r (Euro Style).
Chapeau Chamois Creme Menthol – £11.99
The first of Chapeau’s two offerings. This is my local bike shops stock hence the 2 different versions that have been tried.
At £11.99 (slightly more at the LBS) this is mid range of the creams I have tried and in all honesty I was disappointed by it.
I found this cream, although it had a nice fragrance, was very thin and did not really last that long. I don’t know whether that is because it is in a tube rather than a tub but whatever the cause; it didn’t last long, And I wasn’t being overly liberal.
In terms of feel, it is very thin and was greasy more than viscous which wasn’t a nice feeling. Futhermore, the menthol flavour/feeling didn’t really come through so that was not as advertised. Or at least, didn’t live up to expectations.
This is not a product I would consider buying again and would probably rate it around a 3/10.
Chapeau Chamois Cream – Original – £11.99
Another LBS special.
Now I must admit, I got this Original and used it and when that had finished decided to get the Menthol.
That, as I’m sure you will have guessed, means that I didn’t think that this version of the cream isn’t that bad.
In terms of differences between the Menthol and the Original the obvious difference is the lack of Menthol-ness. However, and the crucial difference is…it’s much thicker. Which is fantastic.
In terms of smell and feel it is streets ahead of the Menthol version. As it is much thicker it seems to last so much longer and as a result I was actually using less during application than the Menthol but was having better results.
Once again, it is in tubular form and I feel that it runs out quicker than a tub…but that may all be in my head.
Far better than the Menthol and if I was out of my preferred option and had no access to the internet/any other brands in the LBS then I would use it; but only if all else fails.
Udderly Smooth – £8.90 (Wiggle)
The Udderly Smooth chamois cream is an odd one. It was first developed for use on livestock, hence the name, Udderly.
As that is the case, I wasn’t sure what to really expect.
Upon opening it up it has a very distinctive, almost sterilized, surgical smell which threw me a bit. Once you get over the smell and actually dip your fingers in it is almost more solid and pliable. It is certainly less viscous but not runny in the slightest. That is comparing to the others.
The colour of the cream is white and if you put it on and then stick your shorts on there can be white looking stains coming through the lycra. Although, once applied the surgical smell is not present. It does however miss the tingle.
When actually in use the cream performs admirably and lasts well without a need for reapplication on longer rides.
This outperforms the Chapeau and is slightly less expensive than Chapeau’s offerings; whilst being in a tub, which is another positive.
In terms of the amount needed, there was less required which meant this goes further than the Chapeau.
Paceline Chamois Butt’r Eurostyle – £13.99 (Wiggle)
The Paceline offering is the stand out performer and is my preferred chamois cream (not sponsored, purchased through my hard earned cash). There are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, the smell is much more endearing than the Udderly Smooth and the Chapeau. The Chapeau Menthol does come close but the Paceline has a stronger menthol smell which I do like.
Secondly, with it being “Eurostyle” it is menthol which means that there is a tingle which is a nice feeling. Particularly on a cold winter’s morning. The consistency is also on the more formed side of viscous but it is still pliable. Also, a little seems to go quite a long way meaning that the tub actually lasts quite a while.
Finally, although this is the most expensive that I have tested, this comes with a significant increase in quality and there have been no saddle sores/need of reapplication on longer rides.
Verdict – 9/10
Paceline’s offering is the best I have used and is now my go to product. If I was on a budget I would use the Udderly Smooth. However, the difference in quality is quite noticeable.
As Saddle Sores are a pain in the ass (excuse the pun) I would rather pay ever so slightly more for better quality. However, it is worth pointing out Udderly was better than the more expensive offerings from Chapeau.
As I have mentioned, I am not sponsored and buy these products out of my pockets. This explains why the Assos chamois cream, Rapha, Muc Off & Castelli creams have not been tested. Due to the cost of these, £15 + per tub/tube for a smaller tube/tub than what I tested, I could not justify paying more money for less product.
Basic economics, unfortunately.
Hope you find this useful!
Any questions give me a shout back.