QM Sports Care Antifriction Cream Plus
I don't use chamois cream every day, usually just on very long rides or on hot or humid days when I know that I am going to be sweating a lot.
I was a big fan of Assos chamois cream until they changed the formula sometime last season. It used to be a pale-green color, now it is pale-yellow. It worked exceptionally well for me during my nearly 4000 mile 2011 season (including 8 Centuries). Then I tried the new pale-yellow formula and developed a mild, itchy rash each time I used it. I think that they switched to a plant based formula, and since I have a few mild food allergies I assumed that it was a reaction to the new formula so I had to stop using it. The rash and itching would always disappear shortly after a shower.
Since then I have been trying out other chamois creams and ordered a tub of the QM4A+.
It is also vegetable based so I was concerned about possibly having a reaction to it. I tried it for the first time yesterday.
I was impressed with how thick it was.
After I applied it I attempted to wash the extra off of my hands; bathroom hand soap could not dissolve it even after three hand washings. I had to go out to the kitchen and use Dawn dish washing soap to get this stuff off of my hands. When I put on my expensive bibs (Assos T FI.Mille Long Cycling Bib) it felt as though the chamois was being bonded to my ass with industrial strength glue. There was no feeling of anti-friction or lubrication; it felt as though my chamois had just been permanently adhered to my butt cheeks. I then left on my 60 mile, 3000+ feet of climbing training ride (in 90 degree weather) hoping it would get better.
Instead of allowing my chamois to slide around a bit like every other chamois cream I have ever used, the QM4A+ kept my chamois stuck to my butt so that any friction from the saddle would pull on my skin through the bibs. Near the end of the ride this was producing a significant amount of discomfort, nothing I have ever experienced before even when breaking in a new saddle. Still the QM4A+ would not release it's vise-like grip on my skin.
When I got into the shower I used my regular bar soap and had to wash my crotch area multiple times to remove this product. Usually chamois cream rinses off pretty easily, not this stuff. Apparently non-water soluble, it took appreciable effort to remove it. I also noticed that I now had two sore spots (there are actually discolored 'bruised' spots) on the skin over my 'sit bones' from the chamois pulling so much. Even this morning more than 18 hours after my ride the skin is still quite sore and discolored (bruised) from this chamois cream. I am going to have to skip my ride today most likely. I have logged many miles in these bibs and on my saddle (both with and without chamois cream), so I am certain that they were not the problem.
This stuff actually caused the exact type of saddle-sore injury that it is supposed to prevent!
Then I tried to wash my bibs last night.
Thinking this stuff would not wash out easily I pre-treated the chamois with "Shout" laundry pre-treater, but after washing it was apparent that there was still plenty of the QM4A+ in the chamois. You could see it and smell it. My sister recommended "Resolve" maximum strength to me so I made a special run the grocery store and then literally saturated the chamois with it, even scrubbing it a bit with a plastic scrub brush. I then let it sit for over an hour prior to laundering. After the second wash cycle you can still see and smell the QM4A+ in the chamois.
In my opinion this stuff has actually damaged my $250 Assos bibs. How else am I supposed to wash it out if the strongest (rated #1 by Consumer Reports) laundry pre-treatment doesn't? What's next, soak my bibs in my parts cleaner out in the garage?
I have now tried Chamois Buttr, DZ Nuts, Assos, Udder Cream, and have never experienced anything like QM4A+, it should really come with a warning label. I actually like the DZ Nuts, but I'm not a big fan of the 'warming sensation' when I am headed out for a ride on a 90 degree day. Would love to find some 'old formula' Assos. From now on it is probably DZ for cold days and Buttr for hot ones.
I will post a photo of the chamois, but using my camera phone the discoloration in the chamois is not very apparent. You can even feel a bit of 'grease' on your fingers after touching the chamois.
Disclaimer: I do not work in the cycling industry, and have no conflicts of interest with any cycling or cycling related products.
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