Over the years chamois cream has gone from being something that was a secret passed down amongst cyclists along the lines of Asterix’s magic potion, to a product that is readily available in your local bike shop. It’s one of those things that can make the difference to your days riding between hellish pain and truly pleasurable.
Chamois creams can be split into two groups, thick Vaseline type balms, and thinner creams
As with most contact point products, each person has individual likes and dislikes. I would highly recommend a thorough hand cleansing after using, as most of these creams can make your hands slippery.
Probably the most known and used. Comes as a thick cream, and has a tingly cooling effect, works very well in both dry and wet/damp conditions. Endures heavy sweating well, but the cream can end up transferring to the outside of your lycra, leaving white cream stains until washed. I must admit I’m a little biased here as I really used to like the older pre-2011 formula. But on the other hand my wife loves the new formula. So, probably the most Marmite of all the tested creams, as you either love it or think “Meh!”
Chapeau Chamois Cream
Thin cream, which has a nice menthol smell. Whilst not being the best out of this test products for riding, it has proved to be the best for after riding when you actually have been chafed a little. Applied after a post-ride shower it will help both sitting down to dinner and making the next day’s riding a little more pleasurable.
Decathlon Aptonia Anti-Chafing Cream
A thick Balm type, this is essentially just easy spreading Vaseline, so much so they could have called it “I can’t believe it’s not Vaseline”. It has no smell or warming/cooling effects, but it works quite well for wet mtb/cx rides. Available in either a race bag friendly squeezable tube or tub format.
Sportsbalm Anti-Friction Balm 01
A thick balm type, thinner density and easier to spread than some of the other thick cream/balms. Works very well in most conditions. Has a very pleasant Dettol-like smell and a slight warming sensation. Will easily last the length of a four to five hour ride.
Sportsbalm Anti-Friction Creame 02
A thin type cream. After using the Sportsbalm No1 I was expecting this to be the holy grail of all creams, but alas, just about all the testers found this cream to be a little too light for anything much more than an hour of riding. It shares the same Dettol-like smell and slight warming feeling of the No1 Balm, but without the being able to last for long rides. It is quite good for use on the home trainer.
Morgan Blue Soft chamois Cream
The thin version of Morgan Blue’s cream, works a treat when it is warm. Smells a little bit like the Bluet in Nivea. It was one of the only creams that I have been able to use whilst been afflicted with skin irritation.
Morgan Blue Solid chamois Cream
This is the thickest balm of the test, it’s also my favourite of the whole test. It will easily last for a full seven hour wet ride as it doesn’t rinse away with heavy sweating or wet rides. Has a very slight warming effect. It has the spreadablity of thick lard, and can sometimes be a little difficult to spread if it has been left in a cold environment. It reminds me a lot of Deem Chamois Balm. Includes Olive oil and St John’s wort.
Soigneur Chamois Cream Hors Categorie
One of the thicker creams, a very nice menthol smell to it, and is similar to the older version Assos cream. It is very good on longer rides, as it lasts the distance. Contains sandalwood and tea tree oils. Probably my favourite cream alongside the Morgan Blue thin cream. It is easy to apply yet doesn’t disappear mid-ride.
Soigneur Chamois Cream Tempo
The thinner of the two Soigneur creams, it has a slightly odd smell with “cedar & sage” on the label. as with the previous cream it works quite well, but seems to be better at shorter rides. I have found this to be one of the best for short races, as it is quite easy to get off at the end of the race
Udderly Smooth Chamois Cream
A light cream, comes in a rather large tub, so you get good value for money, and has a nice smooth feel to it. unfortunately I found it to be a little light and easily washed away on a hot ride. Was also the only cream on the test that I got properly chafed with, and for added insult I ended up with a rash. I gave the cream to one of my riding friends who thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
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