Elite has been making embrocations for many years, but this spring will be my first go with this hugely Euro company. Elite is one of the top sponsors of PRO teams, which of course makes it ideal for someone who is obsessed with the PRO style.
Today's conditions: Overcast, mild, rain showers developing, 4º C, wind at 25 kph, knee warmers as first layer of protection.
The Ozone product comes in various styles to suit almost any pre- or post-race need, from hair removal to post-ride massage. I believe they also make a car wax, but I have calls into some peeps to confirm. Thermogel Forte comes in a flip-top container making application easy and clean. The product is cloudy in color and has a thin, watery feel to it. The smell is amazing, and will remind you of any pre-race parking lot. Thermogel goes on easily and rubs in leaving a medium "almost too Euro for you" look. Pair this medium sheen with a subtle pair of Oakley M Frames and you have achieved the "sleeper" look: someone who is low-key, yet provides the group with cause for growing concerns.
What's most impressive about this Belgium knee warmer is the fact that once applied it disappears from your consciousness, leaving only a hint of shine, until the cold or wet arrives. On this particular day, the rain and cold settled in during the middle of the ride, and as the temps dropped and the rain fell, I could feel the embro punching in for its day at the office. With the rain raging full-on, we rode another 1 1/2 hours and, although I could feel neither my fingers nor my toes, my lower legs felt great!
Once home and into a warm shower, the Ozone gave me one last reminder that it was on the job. However, washed off with mild soap and a bit of elbow grease unlike the Qoleum Hot that required a wire brush and some paint thinner.
Like all great gear, the Ozone Thermogel only made itself known when it was called into action and, in my opinion, this is the mark of a great product. Like everything I feature in BKW, I paid for this product out of my own pocket, so I have no reason to sugarcoat a product that is not worthy.
If you're looking for a great embrocation for the early spring or late summer/early fall, this could be it.
Overall Heat Rating - mild to warm
Euro Style Rating - Medium, a light sheen
Smell - Medicinal, PRO as hell, and keeps on stinking even 2 hours into your ride
Durability - Extremely high, three hours total, two in the rain with no fenders and the Ozone kept things comfy.
The Thermogel will be my go-to embro until the sign-in temps reach the 18º C mark. At that point, I will move to a higher temp embro like cajaputi, which works well in the higher temps and helps acheive the insane PRO style. The month of May should provide pleasant enough temps for me to ditch the knee warmers and let my embrocation provide all the protection. If the Thermogel delivers at the knee level as well as it does on my calves, we are PROGRAM GO!