Cream of the crop?
It is accepted wisdom that for any ‘proper’ riding, you need to use padded shorts. It just makes sense.
Chamois cream is a different matter altogether. It really is a binary thing. For some it’s just part of the routine, while the rest view the whole idea with horror. Personally I use chamois cream on most rides, even while commuting. I figure that, if by riding into work, I end up with a saddle sore that loses me a weekend ride I’ll be fuming!
Most chamois creams look very similar (like cream?!) with only slight differences in consistency and fragrance separating them. I usually use Udderly Smooth as it works, I’ve never had a bad reaction from it, and you can also get it in tubes which are handy for taking with you on a long ride.
A man with a dream with plans to make C.R.E.A.M.
Squirt barrier balm is different altogether. It has the appearance of bee’s wax and is very thick, so you can be sparing with it. Squirt include tea tree oil for it’s (debatable) antiseptic properties along with dimethicone (a form of silicone that provides the barrier function) and lanolin which acts as a moisturiser.
Barrier balm in use…
As mentioned above you don’t need to use a lot of barrier balm as it is so viscous, and sparing gory details where possible, it doesn’t spread easily on hairy skin (sorry!). The upside to this is that once applied there is no greasy or damp feeling and once out riding you forget it’s there. Initially this left me unimpressed but once you’re back home you realise it has done the job without any fuss.
So would I recommend it? Definitely, but with one proviso. Such is the tenacity of barrier balm I don’t think It’s one to take it on a long ride away from mod cons. Getting it off your hands without soap and hot water is a real struggle!
Last modified: 13th July 2018