Chamois Creme – Group Review

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.

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Chapeau Menthol

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.

5/10

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Chapeau Chamois Cream Original

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.

Verdict: 7/10.

Udderly Smooth
Udderly Smooth

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

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Paceline Chamois Butt’r Eurostyle 8oz Chamois Cream

Conclusion:

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.

The Tour de France 2017

Towards the end of June I was offered the chance to go to Paris on the final weekend of the Tour de France.

This was too good of an opportunity to turn down so I got the flights booked and an extra night at the hotel (to make a nice long weekend) and dragged the girlfriend along!

This is my thoughts on TDF 2017 (limiting to 5 points) and also a short round up of my thoughts on the race.

Race Thoughts

  1. Peter Sagan was very unlucky to be disqualified – This point is pretty self explanatory. He can feel hard done to for receiving a disqualification for the crash. At first glance this was going to be detrimental to the Tour and we may as well all call it quits now because the man who animates the race is now gone. However, the battle for the Green Jersey was now wide open and at it’s most interesting for years as Sunweb and Michael Matthews showed their class in their attempts to secure. Michael Matthews was one of the standout performers of the Tour with his stage wins and consistent finishes that allowed him to claim the TDF Green Jersey. Every cloud and all that…
  2. Team Sky grind it out – Not really being a fan of a cycling team and having no particular allegiances; I just want an interesting exciting race. At times we got this, at times we didn’t. One thing can be agreed on though: Team Sky controlled the race from start to finish pretty much. Whilst it can be argued that Team Sky suck the life out of the race, I would disagree and say that it is Sky’s opposition (Movistar, AG2R and Astana’s responsibility to take the race to Sky.
  3. France finally get their Bastille Day win – Warren Barguil delivered that; and this Tour was arguably his breakout Tour. He looks like a real prospect for the GC in years to come.
  4. France’s new generation are coming of age – With the likes of the aforementioned Warren Barguil, Romain Bardet, Lilian Calmejane and Tony Gallopin it would appear that France now has a host of riders that can win stages of the TDF and could potentially go for the GC in years to come.
  5. The main challengers aren’t always the most obvious ones – With Quintana being burnt out, the sands of time catching up with Contador and Aru having no team mates left; Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet were Froome’s main challengers. This was refreshing as Bardet would probably not have got on the podium had these three performed as predicted. The real left field challenger was Uran, who has been in the wilderness for the last couple of years.

Final Stage

We (me and my girlfriend) were in Paris for the final stage of the Tour so decided to go down to the finish on the Champs Elysee and take in the experience. We walked in to the centre from our hotel as we didn’t know which Metro stations would be open and which would not. The walk was around 7km according to Google Maps.

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Suresnes Metro station with La Defense in the background.

Suresnes was a very nice part of Paris to stay in and felt more authentic than the last time we were there staying in the centre; but back to the cycling…

Walking in to the centre we appeared at the L’Arc de Triomphe and after getting through the security we had a look around.

The whole atmosphere was fantastic, almost carnival like. We arrived quite early as, having done some research, everyone recommended getting there as early as possible. In hindsight, we were probably there too early as we landed at around midday and the race was not getting into Town until about 6.30pm.

We decided to walk down to the Louvre after lunch to try and get a good spot.

Big mistake.

The further towards the Louvre we got, the busier it became.

We did a lap and ended up back where we started, on the Champs Elysee. As the Peloton was making it’s way round to begin with we were about 3 or 4 people back from the barrier as it was busy. However, the view was excellent and we had 8 chances to see the peloton pass by.

As they went by for the 3rd time people were beginning to get bored and leaving so we jumped at the chance to get to the barriers.

The pictures below were taken by myself and illustrate how good the view and the race was and; also, how quick they were actually going!

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The Peloton zooming by
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The Yellow Jersey Train
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The Cannondale Drapac Train

It was a class event and must do for any cycling fan!

Peace out.