Chamois cream is one of the greatest necessities for the serious cyclist regardless of the discipline you follow. In the early days of cycling, when chamois cream or the chamois itself, was yet invented, the hardcore cyclists of the day reverted to quite natural cures to ailments that became common to the nether regions of the cyclists’ anatomy. Though there isn’t a lot of written knowledge that I came across about how often cyclists in the days of yore experienced saddle sores, and raw perineal skin – I was able to find that cycling clothing was in of itself more comfortable and natural to ride in. Think of wool materials or leather shorts that had a more natural feel and dissipated friction with greater ease, and the days of the long nosed hard assed saddles didn’t exist because it was a leather saddled era. Times were perhaps more comfortable. Materials have gotten more complex since then and so have the plethora of saddle types. One common element that holds all these choices together is that inevitably, your butt requires a little more lovin’ if you want to keep on the endurance pace of the coveted long ride.

Some information I gleaned was that old leather shorts would stiffen up but would easily become supple with the treatment of oil to feel soft and supple against the skin – the combination of the two made for a self healing process that would allow the hardcore of yore climb to the heavens with comfortable grit. The concept of chamois cream is no different – you are applying a layer of healing lubricant against your skin to provide a smooth experience for the most sensitive regions of your body. It’s one thing to have hands like a mechanic, rough, dry, and tough from hours of abuse changing tires, dealing with solvents, and greases – your hands don’t necessarily benefit greatly from being soft when bar tape and grips do wonders to keep your hands comfortable, gloves withstanding. Your taint, quite fortunately, does not receive this type of day in and day out punishment, unless you subject it to unlubricated riding for hours and days on end with no love in return. It’s a perfect mix for the dreaded saddle sore, raw skin, and sometimes more than any cyclist will admit, a urinary tract infection. That’s right – sweat, heat, and improper cleanliness can lead to some serious discomforting experiences if not taken seriously. Enter the white cream that may save you from a horrible experience.

I’ve tried many a chamois cream, in fact, the choices on the market aren’t that plentiful, so trying them all is easy in one season – but here I’m going to review and highlight a product very well worth knowing and using for two great reasons: Enzo’s Buttonhole chamois cream works incredibly well without making you feel like you’re wearing a medication, and it’s a local Chicago business run by a local racer who supports the cycling community. The second reason alone is worth the product to be at least tried.

Enzo’s is pretty straight forward – it’s white cream. You dip two fingers in a jar and then apply to the area that will come in contact with you and your chamois. Some folks spread it on their chamois first and then put their shorts on, others like the ol’ dip and dunk into their bib shorts they’ve already put on – whatever your method, be generous. In fact, Enzo’s price point makes it so that being generous in the application isn’t such a pain point or a push for the product to be replenished often. You get a lot of cream for the buck, something else worth noting when compared to the competition.

Dirtbaggers can benefit from chamois cream, speaking from experience in training and racing endurance mountain bike events. The baggy shorts that come with the chamois liners, though comfortable for the short hauls, will inevitably, feel pretty uncomfortable after three hours of constant pedaling and standing up and down on your bike. I do fault a lot of the MTB market for producing a great baggy short with a sub par chamois liner that can’t perform like a champ after many hours in the saddle. However, to counteract that sub par chamois performance, is to supplement with chamois cream. Your buds don’t have to know about it if you feel you’re going to get laughed off the trailhead, but if you are a wearer of the baggy shorts and have privately been bothered by chafing and skin tenderness in these shorts – protect yourself with Enzo’s.

My endurance training takes me long miles in the saddle both on and off-road, and I couldn’t think of one thing that I would sorely miss more on a training ride or race, pun intended. I did a 3 hour race once without chamois cream, after years of having used it and I swear it felt like my anatomy disagreed with me for a week after the race. It’s a small price tag for the Enzo’s when you compare it to other products on the market that are marketed towards your skins’ benefit; afterall it is designed to go near the holiest of holy places on your body and protect them from bacteria and friction, so why would anyone balk at the cost of protecting it?

Enzo’s has been great to use in any type of temperature and hasn’t become greasy in the warm summer months, and hasn’t congealed in the colder months, an experience that I can say does happen with one other competitor’s product. The smell isn’t chemically either making you feel like you’re shoving a handful of medication down your crotch. The active components that give you the minty tingly feel aren’t overwhelming and does well not to react like embrocation. The ingredients are health minded with protective and curing properties so that you can treat skin inasmuch as you’re protecting your skin. The hardcore of yore would put a slice of flank steak on their saddle sores and ride it out – if you can fathom the disgust of the bacteria and feeling of riding on steak, then you can probably appreciate just being able to slap on some cream instead.

If you’re a serious dirtbagger about putting on long miles through the singletrack and care about the health of the area that provides your seated pleasure – you should seriously care enough to invest in chamois cream to keep you protected and comfortable for months to come. We spend silly amounts of money for the fluids and lubricants that make our whips roll, we should pay the same quality of attention to our little friend the taint.

Enzo’s makes a great product at a great price and being a local business makes your selection a bit easier, if you don’t see it at your local bike shop, ask them to order it up or simply order it up online.

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