Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Here come the Belgians Style Guide Edizione Tri

Remember someone once said, that is not about the bike.
So the theme of todays beauty edition is:

It is NOT about the face.

A cyclist does not need to look pretty, the only reason to use Botox is to remove wrinkles for aerodynamic reason. Never the less there is a big market for cream and we want our share of the advertisement market, so we have to put in something about cream.

So this issue will take care of your piece of skin you put on the saddles, as this should be as smooth as a babies bottom. So the first property of a good chamois cream is to reduce friction. Another important feature is to prevent inflammation of the skin. What I found is the type of cream depends on the chamois it is applied to:

- Old style chamois, leather like I found in some Nalini bib shorts, but also the rather rough surface of the Nalini chamois in the first Raffa bib short. They can be quite stiff especially after a wash, the seems to work best with a thick grease like Nalini is selling to make the leather soft to avoid friction. Although rather thin padding, these leather like ones are quite comfortable if one is using a more upright position.

- New style chamois are made with a softer surface, which has a lower coefficient of friction and seem to work the best with a thinner lube like from AGU. The Exteondo chamois in the Liberty Seguros kit can look like leather but I would rather classify it as new style. With the Nalini grease on new style chamois I had the feeling this was not adsorbed and just stayed on.

What does the cremes contain:

- Grease types are like butter and more likely are made from waterbased emulsions, the chamois butter package is just big enough to list a handful of emulsifiers.

- Lube types are based on white oil/vaseline and do contain in the case of the AGU: camphor and cajuput oil, which seems to be related to the myrtales, which we all know from Asterix and Obelix, which brings us back to comics and Belgium.
(The DZ nuts does not list the ingredients, in the press they said: Tee trea oil, Evodia and Masterwort.)

Question: So do I really have to pay ten quid for a quantity of 120 to 150 ml?

No, I do not think so. Unless one is really sensitive to inflammation, a normal vaseline based cream should do fine to avoid any friction. So I found "Melkfett" from Eimü made in Austria, the word "Fett" grease in combination with a picture of a cow made me belief it would a kind of butter. Totally wrong, it is vaseline like with witch hazel and zinc oxide. The witch hazel is antiseptic and the zinc oxide might give some very important sun protection. I think it was two quid for 250 ml.

Question: It is sunday 4 a.m., can I find something useful in the bath room?

I think You can. In my 4 a.m. emergency test I found "Face Protector" and "hand creme", both should be better than nothing. Unlike the products above they contain Paraben so I suggest to rather stick to the originals.

Question: What is NOT suitable for me - But maybe for my competition?

For sure "Face scrub", Grease for Carbon parts, Tabasco, Wasabi...

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