Century Riding Cream (Chamois Cream)
The Sportique Century Riding Cream is essentially a high end chamois cream; a friction reducing bottom butter that will help to avoid saddle sores, irritation and abrasion during long rides.
The product is completely natural (like all the Sportique formulas), so it doesn't have any petroleum jelly or other synthetics mixed in there.The natural botanical nature of the product is also reflected in the fragrance; it is a herby, subtle scent, which is very pleasant to use.
The cream itself is beautifully thick, and as a result does its job very well. Smother it onto your nether-regions and/or your chamois, and it stays put whatever the weather and mileage you can throw its way. I used it during the South Downs Way Challenge, and it stayed put with 14 hours of riding!
The cream also has the added benefit over many rivals that it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Your undersides tend to get rather warm and moist when you are out riding for a long time, which creates a perfect breeding ground for infection. This cream actively fights against that, and certainly seems to be effective at preventing infected saddle sores.
At just over £11 from Wiggle Bike Shop for 180ml, the cream is quite dear, but the thick nature of it, and the quality of it means it should last for a long time, as you only need to use a small quantity. As a result, it presents great value for money, and a worthwhile investment to keep your bottom happy!
Get Going Cream and Warming Up Oil
Pre-exercise muscle rubs are becoming increasingly common in the amateur peloton, and for good reason; using a warming up cream can reduce the time needed to get warm blood flowing to your muscles, and so help prevent injury and damage.
Embrocation doesn't have to smell like toxic chemicals though, both the Get Going Cream and Massage Oil from Sportique are completely natural and botanical. Yet they are both highly effective; giving a soft warming sensation as they stimulate the blood vessels under the skin, and increase blood flow to your muscles. I have been very pleased to have them to use before cold races, and on wet days.
Both products can also be used as after-exercise massage treatments, and they work very admirably for this; soothing your skin and muscles after a hard ride, and aiding the recovery process.
The Get Going Cream is £9 for 100ml from Wiggle
The Warming Up Oil is £14 for 100ml from Wiggle.
Both very reasonable for well performing products.
Post-Activity Muscle Cooling Cream
Post exercise, there are different benefits to warming muscle rubs and cooling muscle rubs, which I have explained in detail in a previous review (Link). Cooling agents are largely beneficial when a muscle is inflamed; they can help by reducing the inflammation and so facilitating recovery. The Cooling Cream from Sportique does this very successfully, and of course in a natural way.
The cream contains peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil which give a very notable cooling sensation to the skin and muscle beneath. The peppermint gives the cream a pleasant scent, and the consistency is both non-greasy and easily absorbed due to the soothing Shea butter used in the ingredients. I have found it very effective at helping to reduce soreness on small sprains or muscle tears that have occurred during hard training exertions and racing.
The Cooling Cream is available from select distributors in the UK.
When your day in the saddle has really been a tough one, you often find that your muscles and joints are tense, sore and stiff. The Joint and Muscle Relief Gel contains arnica and ginger, which have proven (natural) capabilities of calming and relaxing muscles.
The cream/gel also contains Scutellaria; a botanical extract that releases endorphins and calms over-active nerves to relieve pain and tension in joints.
I've used the Joint and Muscle Relief Gel on my knees and lower back after long rides, and have found it effective at relieving the tension in those areas. It has a very pleasant botanical smell, and is easily applied and absorbed; definitely one to pack in your bag when you head off for that hard ride this summer!
Fortunately I have not had the need to use the Road Rash Balm from Sportique in earnest yet. However, it promises to be a very effective cream at reducing the irritation and damage caused by road rash.
It contains cooling agents, antibacterial neem oil, and soothing wheat germ oil. It can be used on even the most minor ailments such as scrapes and cuts, and it is entirely natural like the rest of the Sportique range. Accidents happen in cycling, this kind of treatment can go a long way to soothing the pain.
£9.45 for 20ml tube from Wiggle Bike Shop
Last summer I had a real problem with chapped lips; sailing and cycling have to be two sports that are the worst for drying out your lips with the wind, and then baking them dry with the sun; leading to some very uncomfortable cracking. I have tried LOTS of lip balms, from many major brands, and have to say that this Lipguard from Sportique is by far one of the best. Mainly because it is highly water and sweat resistant; ideal for when you are taking regular sips from a drinks bottle, or getting bombarded in the face by constant spray. It will definitely be in my jersey pocket and lifejacket this summer.
I have been thoroughly impressed by all of the Sportique products that I have tried. I've always been a strong advocate of using natural products wherever possible, and Sportique has done a sterling job of harnessing the power of botanicals to provide effective skincare and recovery products. They are certainly worth a try.