Coaching client Ruth took on the challenging conditions of Torq 12:12 testing body, bike and the newly launched Muc Off Women's Chamois Cream.
The Gorrick 12:12 Torq in your Sleep event at Minley looked like rain, rain and more rain. If you’ve not come across this event before, it’s as many laps as you can do of an 8 mile cross country mountain bike course within the 6 hour time limit. We were going to get filthy.
Just the place to test the new Muc-Off Luxury Chamois Cream - Pour Femme.
For those who’ve not come across it, this stuff is called ‘Chamois Cream’ as the pads in cycling shorts used to be made of chamois leather, which got hard after a few washes. Cream was applied to soften the leather. Although pads are no longer made of leather, the name has stuck, with the purpose of chamois creams being to reduce friction between your bits down there, and your shorts.
With the 12 hour riders underway in the wet, I got myself organised. I was riding my new Simplon Razorblade SL 29er – a hardtail, so no suspension in the back end, and therefore with the already rooty bumpy Minley course, all the more reason for a bit of extra protection.
After a final portaloo trip, it was on with the Chamois Cream. I apply it direct to the skin, front and back, paying attention to any areas I know are going to come in for the most repetitive beating or friction potential for a 6 hour bumpy ride in/out of the saddle.
I had the 100ml tube – much preferred to a tub, just think ‘double dip’… - and the first thing I noticed was the consistency – a bit thicker than other products I’d used before. I took a moderate squeeze and found it went on really easily. I ended up using far less than I thought I would. It also felt really nice going on – hard to describe, but a bit ‘cooling’ and pleasant, without being more tingly.
Once I felt ‘covered’ I sorted out my bib shorts (I don’t tend to add any additional cream to the pad itself, but I’ll wipe my fingers on it, serves a dual purpose..), along with baselayer, jersey, light waterproof jacket, leggings, and overshoes. It really was tanking down with rain and I could see the state of those on the course. I could still feel that slight ‘cooling’ down below as I rolled round a wet warm up lap, which just added a little bit of confidence, felt like it was going to do its job.
We started at 3pm, and with my laps taking consistently just over an hour, I finished on 5 laps, no time for another, after 5 hours 9 mins and 65k of a really challenging course. I think it stopped raining at around 7pm but the course remained wet and muddy as the sun went down. And not just mud mud, some of that really gritty stuff that gets everywhere.
Throughout those 5 hours 9 mins, I can honestly say I didn’t think once about rubbing, chafing, or any discomfort ‘downstairs’ – which was brilliant as the course in itself took total concentration to stay on the bike and keep momentum. There’s no way you needed anything else to worry about and the chamois cream did its job 100%.
Price-wise – at £13.99 for 100ml which is in the ballpark for chamois creams. Some may look more competitively priced, but tubes (which I much prefer) are generally more expensive than tubs plus volume-wise, I am confident I’ll be using much less of this than some other brands.
Overall, I rate it. It got a pretty rough first test and came through with flying colours, keeping me totally comfortable throughout, meaning I could concentrate on the rest of the mental game and keeping the power down to take me to top step of the podium – 1st Female 6 hour solo and 30 mins clear.
Showering straight after a hard endurance ride like that is always a good idea, and brought no unwanted issues to light. My bib shorts went straight into the wash as soon as back to base and I actually had to put them through a second time before the grime cleared. Again showed the importance of keeping those contact points well-lubed with all that was thrown at them!