Nobody talks about this stuff and probably for good reason. Chamois cream is, by its very personal nature, a sensitive topic. I think most riders I know use it, but I only know for sure of a couple (one is Peter, who famously put too much on once and had it squirting out his shorts…you see, this is why we don’t talk about it.).
Why bring this up? Well, I just realized again that I may be an abnormality in the cycling world.
I don’t use the stuff. Never have. Never needed to.
Okay, I’ve had things go numb on extreme rides before, but I don’t think cream would have prevented that. I just never get sores or hot spots, no matter what saddle I’m using.
I just want to know how unusual I am in this regard. Men (and women!), tell me I’m not alone. Feel free to use a pseudonym…
Interesting tidbit on the name: ‘Chamois’ (pronounced ‘shamwa’ in French) is a type of antelope over here in Europe. The leather from this animal (and other goat-ish creatures), when tanned with cod oil, was found to be exceptionally absorbent in the early 18th century, and was used to polish carriages (it also has almost no abrasive properties), then cars later on.
When cyclists began to realize they needed some kind of protection ‘down there’, a piece of chamois leather was sown into the wool of early bike shorts (raw steak was another popular remedy). The absorbent and non-abrasive qualities were perfect for long, hot days in the saddle. Today, we no longer have any goat in our shorts, but the name has hung on.
In Canada we pronounce this word ‘shammy’, which I assume is universal in the English-speaking world, and if someone could explain why, I’d be grateful.