The fall is my favorite time to try out new products. When my mileage and intensity are down it is a good deal easier to incorporate a new variable into my routines. This fall we were introduced to a number of new chamois creams.
Radio Freddy and I came up old-school, applying Noxema to the undercarriage to ward off saddle sores and miscreant chafing. Back then my issues were always chafing and saddle sores in an around my perineum. Somewhere along the line, pads improved and my trusty Noxema fell out of use.
And then I began using a wardrobe's-worth of team shorts that were poorly cut. As a result, I experienced chafing in some new places and on some pretty sensitive instruments.
Now chamois cream users fall into one of two camps. Either you put it on the pad, or you put it on your skin. I prefer to lather up my personal contact points as it were. I briefly went back to the old standard bearer of Bag Balm, for the simple reason that while I liked the cool feel of Noxema, I had never put applied it to the reproductive apparatus. The menthol effect felt not just alien, but a bit wrong. After being reminded that the active ingredients that produce the Vap-O-Rub feeling are natural antibacterial agents, I knew what I needed to do: Get over it.
The upside to the minty zing is that I know instantly if I missed a spot. The feeling does make for a lively start to the morning.
Since getting comfortable with the magical menthol experience, I've tried a number of new chamois creams. And while I never thought I'd get excited about a new chamois cream the way I can for a new embrocation, Friction Freedom changed my outlook.
I've noticed that a few of the chamois creams out there get absorbed fairly quickly and that my skin ends up feeling like I put a hand lotion on it a few minutes ago. Not so with Friction Freedom. I was three hours into my first ride with the stuff when I made a bathroom stop. I had some trouble with my grip.
Friction Freedom is paraben-free, and while I don't know much about parabens, I'd like anything that's going to be on my skin for longer than it takes to watch a Francis Ford Coppola movie to be controversy-free. These preservatives are cause for concern for estrogenic activity and as carcinogens, so leaving them on your skin all day might not be the healthiest option.
Getting to the end of a 5-hour ride with a surface slicker than a politician's pitch is just my idea of comfort. I kinda wonder if this stuff might not have a second life in a, uh, more amorous application.
Check out Friction Freedom.