While there have been incredible advances in the padding (chamois) of modern cycling apparel, they're not perfect because chaffing still causes saddle sores. Look at all your bib choices on the market today, there are different shapes, sizes, patterns, materials, densities, and even varying applications for how the chamois is attached to bibs and shorts. Maybe the coolest new advancement of them all is the seamless interface that 7 Mesh introduced in their MK1 bibs and shorts last year (while I've not tried them, the thinking behind them is intriguing.) Many people would say that Assos are the gold standard in bibs because their chamois is legendary for how well it works. Inside tip, it's actually a custom Cytech chamois. That all aside, the modern advances in chamois design, bib construction, and material choices mean that a lot of people don't need any additional protection from friction and skin abrasion. For those that do.... chamois cream.
This season I picked up a container of a new chamois cream to try. Not because I wasn't happy with the one I was using before but more because I ran out and I wasn't overwhelmingly stuck on using anything specific. Since Mad Alchemy seems to get good reviews and response to their products online and since their PRO+ Crème was now being stocked at a few Canadian retailers (Blacksmith Cycle and MEC) I figured I'd give it a try.
So what is it like? Here is a really un-scientific description. Compared to Assos Chamois Crème, the Mad Alchemy PRO+ Chamois Crème is more liquid.. or viscous. The first ingredient listed is water. It's not runny per say, but it has a more fluid feel than the thicker paste like texture of the Assos. At the same time it's also still more viscous than the also popular Chamois Buttr. Here is the difference though, it's not just about feel, it's about longevity and how well it keeps on working throughout the entire ride. In comparison to the Assos Chamois Crème, The PRO+ lasts as long and maybe a bit longer while offering the same level of abrasion relief. While compared to the Chamois Buttr it lasts a lot longer and offers a lot better protection, at least for me. I say at least for me because everyones skin is different and so different things work better for different people. Where I really think the Mad Alchemy PRO+ Chamois Crème takes the nod is because of that more viscous texture. It's easier to apply, doesn't seem to require as much to be applied, and it's easier to get off your hands so you won't end up all over your kit later.
Mad Alchemy PRO+ Chamois Crème is definitely some rad stuff and if you can get some, do so. It's a veggie based cream made from all natural plant based oils that you can even apply to your skin after a shower to prevent saddle sores from spreading as the ingredients have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. If you're looking for some top shelf embro cream or pre/post ride wash, check out the rest of their product line up.