How cycling comfort can improve your ride
Chamois cream could offer the smooth ride you need to improve your performance
Promotional feature with UNDRBUDR
Chamois cream is serious business - it’s the closest thing to your skin during a ride, yet until now there was little research on the topic.
It’s surprising considering we measure and track countless performance stats related to cycling. To better understand chamois creams, the fundamentals of chafe prevention as well as formulations can be explored.
UNDRBUDR targets three areas in order to prevent chafing:
- Friction reduction
- Skin conditioning
- Managing moisture
If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it. With this in mind UNDRBUDR has been able to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in kinetic friction compared to an average of the top three competitors. Friction causes heat and abrasion, leading to irritation and ultimately chafing, so the goal is to reduce friction. The coefficient of static friction (force required to move an object at rest), and kinetic friction (force required to overcome the frictional force while in motion) are key parameters to measure and improve upon. Using a standard method, static and kinetic friction of countless synthetic and natural ingredients were measured and then for fully formulated anti-chafe products.
What was learned:
- Natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil and many others found in UNDRBUDR performed just as well or better than some very exotic synthetics.
- Most off the shelf anti-chafe products appeared to perform well until test temperatures and moisture levels increased to that typical of a spirited group ride or training. Here many break down into an unstable emulsion, resulting in poor performance and minimal friction reduction.
Having a baseline for static and kinetic friction, countless combinations of natural ingredients were tested until UNDRBUDR achieved maximum friction reduction while balancing other key attributes.
Lightweight moisturisers aren’t going to cut it. Most barely penetrate the stratum corneum, our skin’s most superficial layer. UNDRBUDR’s natural pressed oils and butters ultra-condition and penetrate deep into the epidermal layer to provide lasting protection. This has many benefits in addition to reducing chafing. By penetrating rather than creating a barrier, our skin is allowed to “breath” as well as allowing moisture to pass through. This helps prevent rashes and other issues common to those that shave regularly.
Some formulations try to create a barrier to moisture, but once the emulsion breaks down the product rapidly become ineffective. UNDRBUDR uses a unique combination of hydrophobic (repels water) and hydrophilic (water loving) ingredients to create a super slick emulsion that increases glide with moisture.
It is important to consider ingredients as a percentage of the total volume. Many anti-chafe products have the obligatory “contains aloe” or “enriched with vitamins” but read the fine print, these are usually a very small percent of the total. By volume UNDBUDR is packed with botanicals with all functional ingredients being natural, organic or naturally derived. Most legacy chamois creams and balms fall into the following categories:
- Waxed Based: Wax sticks, balms and salves are great for preventing toe blisters, but not for areas sensitive to cyclists. The barrier they create can be problematic to sensitive skin, clogging pores, causing rashes and other issues
- Mineral Oil Based: Some of the original chamois creams use mineral oil as a main ingredient, an inexpensive byproduct from refining crude oil. These formulations create a messy oil slick, with performance decreasing as moisture increases.
- Chemical/Synthetic Based: Some go all-in on chemicals. They may highlight one or two natural ingredients, but by volume these formulations are mostly synthetic. From testing described above, synthetics do not offer any benefits that outweighs the potential risks.
UNDRBUDR is unique to any of the above, as the formulation combines the best attributes of each with none of the negative characteristics. With no harsh chemicals and high percent of natural ingredients, its formula is suited for both male and female cyclists.
What does all this mean to everyday cyclist as well as the pro peloton?
- Reducing friction prevents heat generation and abrasion which causes chafing
- This friction reduction just feels good. Riders sense the increased glide when riding, their kit feels more natural and there is less “grab” as it moves
- A proper chamois cream should penetrate deep into the epidermis to condition and provide all day protection
- The formulation should be able to manage moisture rather than fight it
- Look for natural ingredients as a percentage of the total volume
For more information on UNDRBUDR’s extensive testing and formulation details visit www.undrbudr.com
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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