Review – Mad Alchemy EuroPRO Chamois Creme
The cyclist and the saddle is a long term relationship and as such problems occur inevitably. If left unattended they can ruin the entire affair and take away the pleasure that is bike riding. Yes, I am talking about saddle sores. If you spend any time on a bicycle saddle you are for sure familiar with two words: discomfort and pain.
While just carefully building tolerance over time can solve a great deal of the problem, the fact that your legs are ever so slightly rubbing against the folds in your shorts many times per minute, plus your entire upper body weight being concentrated on a small sensitive area perched on a narrow piece of plastic with a thin layer of foam, is a problem in the making . While our immune systems do a fascinating job of fending off microorganisms, by creating the perfect conditions for bacterial growth, you are certainly pushing the odds against your nether region’s skin. Add some rainwater and road grit to the mix and things can get uncomfortable fast.
So what I mentioned above is quite a list of things to take care off. Over time I have considered the so called Chamois crémes a marketing bogus. Just ride more and harden up! It worked…kinda…not really. So I tried this and that and the enlightenment was immediate. Nothing too fancy, just things you can find at your local pharmacy in the skin care section. It worked ok, however, it left something to be desired, it never fully solved all the above-mentioned causes of discomfort. But which Chamois créme of the many that are out there????
I first came into the name Mad Alchemy when somebody on an internet forum mentioned embrocation and cyclocross. The brand got started in 2008 by Peter Smith in order to create cycling specific warming cremes devoid of the artificial and petroleum based ingredients found in most cosmetics. It was passion for enjoying the ride that drove it all; made by a cyclist for cyclists. Right next to the line of embrocating products, Mad Alchemy has developed number of Chamois Crémes. I decide to give the EuroPRO a try. Unscrewing the little jar immediately gives you the gentle scent of pine forests and pure mountain passes. This is no joke, you have to try it for yourself! The créme is thick, yet slippery so you don’t need much to get started; apply directly to the skin for less wasted precious product.
Half an hour into my first ‘test ride’ I realized, that there was…ahem…nothing to realize. No need to subtly and unconsciously readjust to find the perfect spot every once and a while. While hanging up my bike afterwards, I couldn’t believe that I did not have the usual eagerness to get out of the stuffy tights – freshness could be the right world for the situation, it seemed I was sitting ready to go out with bike in hand, rather than about to take a shower. Needless to say I am a Mad Alchemy Chamois créme convert, and after a couple of weeks the feeling remains. The whole Mad Alchemy is a one-man-operation made with quality ingredients, a fact only adding to the impressiveness of the product.
As far as I understand the whole line up of Chamois crémes share the same basic ingredients, the concoctions differ into the final touches that make them for example more suitable for women.
Unfortunately for people like myself, based in the EU, ordering directly is not an option. Petty EU bureaucracy would simply bury Mad Alchemy in paperwork before the products are allowed to be shipped directly from the manufacturer. So I had to order mine from one of the few US retailers that ship internationally via express carriers only. Shipping charges were nearly as much as the products I ordered.
Please stay tuned for my experience with Mad Alchemy’s embrocation products into the rainy and windy Dutch autumn/winter.