Spring has arrived for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere and for those who have not been on the bike in a few months, it could be a painful time of the year. Not only do the legs need to be dusted off and put through the paces of riding ’base’ miles, but just getting used to time in the saddle can be painful for some people. Even if the correct saddle is installed, the rider’s positioning is correct, and good, quality padded cycling shorts are being worn, sometimes soreness and pain can still develop in the area of the body that is directly in contact with the saddle. Hanging up the bike or cutting a ride short does not have to be the answer. To help relieve this pain, a chamois crème or ointment can be applied to the chamois area of the cycling shorts before putting them on or directly to the part of the body that is sore. This crème is not only designed to reduce chaffing, but also provide relief to that area of soreness through the addition other ingredients inside the product.
We have highlighted a number of different chamois crème products in the past, and all of them have the same goal of providing relief to the area of soreness – just with a different list of ingredients designed to tackle the issue in a slightly different way. The main difference between the two types of chamois crèmes are the ‘regular’ creams act as a lubricant, reducing chaffing; while the ‘European’ formulas, along with similar skin lubricant properties, also provide a cooling feeling through additional ingredients like menthol to stave off the growth of bacteria. Paceline Products, of Pleasant Valley, Missouri, has been developing and distributing both types of chamois crèmes since their ‘regular’ formula, under the name Chamois Butt’r, was introduced to the market back in 1997.
The president and CFO of Paceline Products, Steve Mathews, first developed the original cream in 1988 with input from pro cyclists, physicians, and chemists with the goal of producing a “non-greasy skin lubricant and chamois crème that would wash out of clothing and off skin with soap and water.” This crème lead to the incorporation of Paceline Products in 1993 and ultimately the release of the Chamois Butt’r to retailers and consumers in 1997. It wasn’t for another 11 years until Paceline released the EuroStyle chamois crème, after years of requests from their customers. This formula combined the anti-bacterial benefits of menthol and the astringent qualities of witch hazel with original non-greasy formula of Chamois Butt‘r to create a crème with a ‘cooling‘ feel when applied to the skin.
Both the original Chamois Butt’r and Chamois Butt’r EuroStyle are produced in an American facility that adheres to the Food and Drug Administration’s Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines. Along with being manufactured under these strict guidelines, the Chamois Butt’r crèmes are paraben free, gluten free and contain no artificial colors or fragrances. Paceline Products, nor it’s crème manufacturer, engage in testing of any of their products on animals – unless you consider pro racers and recreational cyclists animals. In that case, extensive ‘animal testing’ is conducted.
The Chamois Butt’r crèmes are available at better bike shops throughout the U.S. and are very competitively priced with no item being over $20. It should be noted that the EuroStyle formula may not be for every rider so it is best to find a retailer that carries both the original formula and EuroStyle in the small, 5ml and 9ml packets. To make sure that the EuroStyle agrees with your body, apply the crème to the skin at least 30 minutes before your first ride with the product. It will feel ‘tinglely’, this is normal; but if the tingle becomes more like a burn, the EuroStyle may not be for you. The original formula Chamois Butt’r should be used.
Don’t let the enjoyment of getting back onto the bike or riding multiple days in a row be hampered by saddle soreness. Adding just a touch of a product like the original Chamois Butt’r or Chamois Butt’r EuroStyle may just make the difference between a great day in the saddle or your ride becoming a pain in the ass.