Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Product Review: Mad Alchemy Embrocations PRO Chamois Creme--Thumbs Up.
As you may have gathered, I am a big advocate for chamois creme. I get by in cross season without it since the races are so short, But during road season , when saddle time usually exceeds 2 hours, and once or twice a week reaching 5-6 hours, a layer of undercarriage lubricant is essential to keeping everything running smoothly. If you have ever had a saddle sore, you know how important it is to avoid them.
I was lucky enough to be one of the first purchasers of Mad Alchemy Embrocations PRO Chamois Creme (MAEPCC). I have tested it on three rides, one long (4+ hours), one short and intense ride with lots of sweating and a 2 hour mountain bike ride.
The short review: Good chamois creme, you should try it.
In Depth Review:
When you open the lid of MAEPCC you will find yourself trying to place the smell. It is vaguely citrusy and grassy, not medicinal. When you check the ingredients list you will find a number of essential oils, which will describe the complex aroma.
The texture is greasier and smoother than most other chamois creme, like a white gel, as opposed to a confection or frosting.
MAEPCC is not as thick as other cremes. It has the consistancy of a thick lotion, which made me initially skeptical of its efficacy on a long ride.
No tingle upon application, just a cooling sensation on the underside. While I have grown accustomed to Yash's "100 tiny angels licking my ass", I have found that this is not an essential feature of chamois creme.
The chamois creme stays in place. I have found that MAEPCC offers plenty of protection over a long ride. When using MAEPCC, I didn't think about my saddle, my riding position or my grundle. At the end of my rides, I took one for the team and checked my chamois for residue (sorry Cort, I had to check) and sure enough, there was the characteristic greasy streak proving that the chamois creme was still present and protecting my goods.
On the MAE website, Pete Smith offers that "The best cycling gear is the gear you never notice" and I have to agree with him. While MAE Warming Embrocations announce their power immediately by burning and continuing to burn, MAEPCC is a subtle product that does its job silently, but no less effectively.
I must admit, that I have been on the fence between MAEPCC and Assos Chamois Creme. I have been switching back and forth between the two. In a demented moment, I considered mixing the two. In the end, I decided that they are both great chamois cremes, but I will be using Mad Alchemy after I run out the ACC.
Mad Alchemy uses natural ingredients and is made locally by a real human, a good guy in fact. These three features are usually enough to sway me, as I am a huge advocate for buying local and personally knowing your suppliers.
Next time you are buying chamois creme, I encourage you to try the local stuff, you won't be disappointed.
Once I get a little more money in the coffers, I am looking forward to trying MAE's
PURE Chamois Grease and Skin Protectant.