What is Embrocation for Cycling?

Posted by Born North America Admin on

Rolling towards the end of the warmest cycling season, as summer long Criterium Series are wrapping up and presenting their winners on podiums, we’ve started hearing the low murmurs that ‘Cross is Coming. Not all road cyclists turn to their ‘off season’ looking to dive into mud and intense hour long efforts, but the Season Long Cyclocrosser is just ramping up their training moving into a season of ruts, mud, barriers and bunny hops.

With Cross coming ‘round there’s a ton of prep involved whether you’re just riding in grassy fields to keep fit and catch up with the community, or you’re glueing six wheelsets with fresh tubulars for grass, mud, mix, dry  and dialing in your spare pit bike on your way to Nationals. While most cyclists are super eager to launch themselves into the internet research rabbit-hole that is the latest and greatest tech from Tubeless Tires to flared handlebars, there’s some tried and true products out there that remain a mystery to many cyclists, whether you’re a true roadie or die-hard ‘crosser.

Specifically, we’re talking about skincare. Skincare is actually something cyclists are usually a little bit familiar with: chamois cream a common life saver to many lycra-clad cyclists. But even chamois cream can be intimidating or mysterious for some, so we’re offering an explanation of what our skincare actually is and how our products benefits riding, from CX to road to your weekend club ride. 

NO FRICTION CREAM: Our NO FRICTION CREAM is our cycling Chamois Cream. For those unfamiliar, or just getting into the sport, the Chamois is the padded part of cycling shorts. Modern cycling shorts that are tight spandex and a synthetic chamois were born from yesterday's wool shorts and a leather Chamois. Both wool shorts and the modern cycling shorts were developed to reduce friction between rider and saddle. But when wool and leather were the common material Chamois Cream was a necessity rather than a choice, the cream was rubbed in the chamois to keep the leather smooth and soft. But even with the modern materials in Chamois construction and despite their design to move with skin rather than over it, there’s still potential for significant rubbing and friction, over long rides those added forces can combine in unpleasant ways. Chamois Cream is a solution to keep your skin soft as well as lubricate the surfaces of you skin and chamois to further reduce possible chafing. Our NO FRICTION CREAM contains Calendula Oil: an astringent which helps to tighten skin, aiding to reduce irritation. NO FRICTION CREAM is a persistent Chamois Cream suitable for all ride lengths, but especially suited to long days in the saddle. In your pre-ride ritual we always recommend NO FRICTION CREAM being the first skincare to apply, to ensure products like WARM UP embrocation stay clear of sensitive areas.

WARM UP: Is BORN’s Embrocation formula. Embrocation is a warming cream used in cold weather both for the warm sensations, but also to stimulate blood flow in the muscles. Our WARM UP is a combination of 15 herbs that stimulate the capillaries beneath the skin, encouraging blood-flow to the deeper muscles and tissues.  Blood flow helps invigorate your warm up and maintain good sensations while you wait for your race start in inclement conditions. Our Pro-Tip for first time users of Embrocations: don’t over do it! A little goes a long way and too much can be, well, too much! A dab the size of a quarter is a good place to start, and the longevity of WARM UP means that one tube is likely to last a whole season, making it a great value.

START UP: Similar to embrocation, START UP is a stimulating oil designed to increase blood flow to help loosen and warm up tight muscles. Where it’s different from Embrocation is it lacks the sensation of heat! In the context of cross racing it’s perfect for early fall racing where it isn’t quite cold yet, but also finds itself at home during the summer for road racing and criteriums.

PROTECT OIL: The cold, wet conditions of Cyclocross can be very demanding. In racing, leg warmers are not always a great option, especially when the weather brings rain and wet. Wet leg warmers add a lot of weight to your moving legs, demanding extra effort to move the bike as well as hold you back on the climbs. Our PROTECT OIL is designed as a lipid layer to insulate and protect the legs from water and cold. Not only is it an insulating layer, but it also help shed water from your skin. Water evaporating from your skin has a cooling effect, which in cold racing, isn’t welcome. PROTECT OIL also helps keep mud from stacking up and adding weight to your legs during CX racing. We’ll add that while PROTECT OIL is a great solution for Cyclocross, it’s also invaluable in early season, classics style racing. The same principles apply for shedding water, insulation and weight savings on the road as in cyclocross. 

PRO-TIP: Layer it on, don’t rub it in! PROTECT OIL is designed as a physical layer over the skin, it’s an actual barrier between you and the elements.

PROTECT EXTRA: This is our protect oil, with a hint of Embrocation added to it. PROTECT EXTRA is suited for wet weather where a bit of extra added heat is appreciated to keep the muscles invigorated. 

PRO-TIP: If it’s very cold and wet conditions, applying WARM UP on the skin before applying a layer of PROTECT OIL over top provides maximum relief from the elements. 

WASH LOTION: Alright, you’ve just finished your race, you’re in a farm field 1.5 hours from home, you’re covered in mud from your forehead to your socks. WASH UP has you un-covered. With a fresh scent, WASH LOTION also has a small amount of alcohol to break down oils and dirt so you can wipe dirt off with no more than a towel. The alcohol is also a mild disinfectant that helps keep chamois areas clean for the ride home.

RECOVERY RELAX: Our final skincare product is for an often overlooked part of performance, recovery! Loaded with essential oils and herbs (St John's Wort, Rosemary, Juniper, Melissa and Cajaput) and made to provide a cooling effect while stimulating bloodflow to relieve sore and tired muscles. 

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