Until last year, I never used any kind of skin lubricant / chamois cream for cycling. I can finish a century ride without a lot of discomfort, so it seemed like a waste of money to me.
But in 2012, I rode the Leadville 100, which takes anywhere from under nine hours to twelve hours to finish. (It ended up taking me 11:42, but I finished and got my buckle!) That’s a lot of saddle time.
Knowing that I was in for a long day, I bought a tube of Chamois Butt’r skin lubricant, and started trying it out on other rides before I used it on race day. I wasn’t sure if it was the best chamois cream, but I knew it was a very popular one, so it seemed like a good one to try.
There are a lot of different products in this category, with a lot of “clever” names like DZ Nuts, Enzo’s Buttonhole Cream, Assos (I know, it’s an entire cycling brand, but still), Belgian Budder, Nubutte, Hoo Ha Ride Glide and plenty of others like these written up at Bicycling magazine.
I haven’t tried all the other brands, so I don’t know if there’s a significant difference between them, or if they all work pretty similarly.
But I can tell you that Chamois Butt’r works just great, and caused zero negative issues for me. If you do have friction issues from your bicycle saddle, then this might be a great solution for you. I put it on and forgot about it, and successfully rode for almost 12 hours with no saddle sores later.
It is non greasy, and it washes out of your shorts (and off your skin) just fine. It contains no paraben. It has no detectible smell.
You can apply it directly to your butt, or you can rub it onto the chamois of your cycling shorts. I use about a quarter sized amount in my hand, or maybe a little more than that.
I bought one big tube and only apply it once during any ride, but I have read that among recreational cyclists who are doing longer rides, it is popular to carry the individual packets and reapply later in your ride for additional comfort. Sounds like overkill to me.
What’s it made of? Here’s from the ingredient list.
Ingredients: Water, Mineral Oil, Ethylene Glycol Monostearate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Vitamin E, Vitamins A and D, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe, Lanolin.
Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment and let me know, and I will update the review.