For any cyclist who has spent numerous days in the saddle back to back, just rides long distances or is treating a saddle sore knows that a bike seat can become a hot seat of sorts. Many a rider has probably used some sort of ointment or cream in the skin area that comes in contact with the seat. These creams and ointments are not designed for daily use to mask an improper positioning or poor quality saddle, but rather they are designed to aid and treat the irritations or sores that arise from excessive time in the saddle. A few months back we were sent a chamois ointment, Okole Stuff by Enduro Stuff, to put to the test.
Any type of cream or ointment product is difficult to review since ingredients can react differently to each individual. For the past few years I have been using a ‘Euro-style’ chamois crème on rides that are longer than 100 miles or times when I have a skin irritation in the saddle contact area of my body. I have become accustomed to this type of creams that contain menthol which have a ‘tinglely’ feeling when applied, but my wife cannot use those products containing menthol due to the irritation that they cause to her ‘lady parts’.
Okole Stuff has a different consistency than the typical chamois creams on the market, it looks and feels more like a lip balm than a cream. This is the first time that I have used this type of product so I had to get used to the waxy consistency. Typically I apply the cream to the chamois of my shorts before a long ride in areas that I know can become irritated by saddle contact and sweat grinding around mile after mile. Okole Stuff requires a little different application. At first I was applying it by swirling my fingers in the container and transferring it to the chamois, but that seemed to take quite a long time to apply the ointment. The solution to this was to dab the chamois into the Okole Stuff container similar to how an application pad is dipped into a car wax container – this made for an easier, more consistent layer on the chamois. The only issue with this application method is that container is tall and narrow, so this solution will probably not work towards the bottom of the container. Though the waxy consistency made the application tougher, it makes it less likely to over apply this product and waste it in areas that do not even come in contact with the saddle.
Along with application to the shorts, I also dabbed a little of the Okole Stuff directly to the skin area that was irrigated on my behind. I had ridden 120 miles in the heat the day before and so I was a little sore even before heading out on my planned 75 mile ride. The skin application was much easier with the Okole Stuff than the ‘Euro’ style cream that I normally use due to it waxy consistency.
After application, I hopped on my bike for my ride. I fully expected to be a little sore in the saddle area once on the bike, but that was not the case. Though the chamois stuck to my skin for the first few miles, there was no noticeable irritation. After being in the saddle for about five miles, the tackiness dissipated and the chamois stopped sticking. Through the entire ride, I felt no noticeable pain or irritation and the Okole Stuff prevented further irritation.
Okole Stuff has the consistency of lip balm due to its ingredients including soft paraffin, mineral oil and microcrystalline wax. They do not hide that fact that their product is not ‘all-natural’ and include those ingredients to keep the ointment from breaking down during use. The odd thing that I found with this product is cleaning up after a ride – I did have trouble washing the ointment off with normal soap and water in the shower. After drying off, I did not notice the Okole Stuff still being on my skin while walking around, but I could feel it upon touching the area of the skin that it was applied.
I have used the Okole Stuff on a number of longer rides after the initial test ride with similar results. This ointment does help reduce the chance of irritation, but can be difficult to remove with soap and water in the shower. There no ‘tinglely’ feeling with this product that accompanies ‘Euro-style’ creams that use menthol. Okole Stuff uses lanolin, tea tree oil and aloe to sooth along with the soft paraffin, mineral oil and microcrystalline wax to lubricate. If you have tried a number of creams and have not found one that works for you, a balm-like ointment may be what you need. The Okole Stuff is available a retailers or directly from Enduro Stuff for $22 for a six ounce container. If cycling chaps your ass and you have not found a solution to your irritation, give Okole Stuff a try!
- Easy to apply to the skin
- Waxy consistency means a less wasteful application
- No menthol for those with sensitive skin or body parts
- Difficult to apply to the chamois
- Hard to clean off in the shower
- Chamois sticks to skin for the first few miles