It's that time again. Well, it's been that time most everywhere for some weeks, but now we've had time enough to try a few new embrocations. From Milano come Record products. They make a wide selection of embrocations for conditions that range from Hampsten on the Gavia to July in Provence.
Kanadian is made for the broadest range of conditions in a single day: from armwarmers at the start to unzipped at the finish. My favorite thing about the Kanadian is how easily it goes on. Some creams don't seem to flow well--some seem downright tacky, so to the degree you are inclined to give yourself a bit of massage to make sure everything is ready to fire like the old Saeco leadout train, this stuff allows my hands to glide over my legs.
I must confess a love that should not be named. For me, what I most love about embrocations aside from the smell (I'm with Radio Freddy, the smellier the better) is how they look after four hours of racing. The flypaper road grit look on the shins couldn't be more PRO even if you rode around with a signed contract from Slipstream. Pulling up to a coffee shop with legs that look like you just beat Eric Vanderarden in the sprint at Paris-Roubaix and getting strange looks from patrons and management alike makes me grin with glee. Anything that can make cycling appear more brutal, more ... Daniel Craig-style James Bond, I'm in for.
Overall Heat Rating - virtually none
Euro Style Rating - High, a bright sheen
Smell - Vaguely floral (tea tree oil and rosemary come through) and unlikely to upset the race HQ's hotelier
Durability - Extremely high, five hours plus
Torelli Imports is the U.S. distributor of Record products. I asked Torelli's public face and Guinea Pig in Chief Bill McGann how hard the stuff is to remove before trying it and he said it wasn't bad. He was right; Kanadian cleans up easily, which I like. When I asked his advice on some embrocations that seem to be part pine tar he suggested steel wool. Bill has a sense of humor ... or he takes delight in my misfortune. Pick one.