Record Pregara Impermeabile


It may be said that Southern California is to cold what Belgium is to tropical. Short-sleeve skinsuits are generally the rule for cyclocross in SoCal, but to say cold weather is unknown to cyclists here is to think  all cyclists are skinny.

Most of the group rides I do depart early. Whether it’s July or January, we’re on the bike by 7:00, often earlier. Let me tell you that life at the the beach in December isn’t what you think of as life at the beach. In the winter months I do a lot of riding in the 45 to 55-degree range. They are not the freezing conditions I experienced in New England, but proper preparation is no less important.

My preferred embrocation for cooler conditions is Record’s Pregara Forte. You can see my review of it for BKW here. It’s perfect for those days that start in the 60s or the upper 50s but will warm as the sun rises. It’s thin and provides just enough heat to keep my legs warm for about two hours.

However, on those days that start in the lower 50s and may not warm much, Pregara Forte is a couple of spokes shy of a wheel. Last winter I began adding a coating of another Record product, Pregara Impermeabile.

Pregara Impermeabile is meant to be used in cold and especially in wet conditions. It’s heavy on petroleum jelly but has a much stiffer consistency than regular Vaseline thanks to the addition of paraffin and lanolin. Many—if not most—of the other ingredients are mixed in to create the product’s distinctive perfume.  Camphor, rosemary, ginger and lavender to create a lovely, heady concoction that conjures thoughts of hard riding for me, and our honeymoon for my wife. As it happens, I brought Record products along instead of knee warmers. Like the smell of apple pie, the scent of Record products fill me with anticipation.

Now because of the petroleum jelly, paraffin and lanolin, this stuff won’t wash off with ordinary soap. I keep a bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid in the shower during the colder months just for this duty.

  • Overall heat—low (best if combined with Pregara Forte)
  • Euro style—Incredible shine
  • Smell—Better than a Provençal herb garden
  • Durability—All day; longer if you’re not careful

Like other Record products, Pregara Impermeabile is available in 100ml tubes and 250ml jars; they retail for roughly $19 for the tube and $32 for the jar. Torelli Imports distributes Record products. To find a Torelli dealer near you, click here.

It may seem like an extra, time-consuming step to add the Impermeabile over Forte, but I have come to love being able to formulate exactly what I need for the day. Even as I try other embrocations, this will stay in my bag of tricks.

, ,


  1. Jim

    >>>a lovely, heady concoction that conjures thoughts of hard riding for me, and our honeymoon for my wife.

    Hmmm… well, that’s certainly an unorthodox use of embrocation, but if you say so…

  2. MattS

    I wonder whether I’m the only apprehensive about using embrocations containing petroleum and paraffin? Reducing our use of hydrocarbon based products just makes sense, on ecological grounds, and it also only seems prudent to avoid applying them to our skin. I don’t pretend to be a chemist, so I can’t speak from that perspective, but I tend to think such chemicals are to be avoided for the sake of our health. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

    On paraffin in particular, I saw a tin of Tiger balm that was set in paraffin the other day, which seems to be their hottest (hotter than red anyhow). I did not buy it on account of the paraffin. Anyone have experience with it?

  3. Alex Torres

    Even though I live in more tropical latitudes, I too suffer with the cold and the rain during the winter. That usually mean 3 or 4 months of embrocation, knee and arm warmers, wool jerseys and so and so. In fact it´s pretty similar to south CA down here most of the time (only inverted), having lived there for a while I must add. Nothing even close to snow but certainly conditions much easier to endure with some preparation.

    I love the Record Pregara Forte. I´ve never tried the Impermeabile, but when things get cold AND nasty I use a bit of Elite Warming Oil to the top of either the Pregara or (my preferred but depends on temperature and forecast) Elite Thermogel Forte to my lower legs, and occasionaly to my forearms as well. That creates the same impermeable coat, and from your description certainly easier to wash off after ride.

  4. Bret Gross

    One of the countless perks of being old and retired: I just wait until mid-day to ride and wear tights on the cold ones.
    Thanks for the review — I’ll pass it along to my younger friends who ride early!

  5. Marco Placero

    Take the Impermeabile with you to Europe in warmer months because of rain, it lasts very well in wet. Unless you’re riding in the Dolomiti you may not even need knee warmers (but bring that pair with your RKP kit anyway). Padraig confirmed my observe that a ‘base’ of hotter embro with an Impermeabile ‘cap’ serves to enhance heat sensations.

    I use embrocation from March into late November (Norcal Sierras) for early morning starts or race warmup even when the daytime highs might reach into the upper 80s.

  6. Jim

    Sure Joe, but I bet that an old set of training tights don’t have an evocative odor that embrocation does.

    Well, okay, maybe the tights have an evocative odor too, but I don’t think it evokes the kind of things you would want to evoke. They probably smell like a wet dog in a hat or something.

  7. Trev

    I didn’t much care for the Record Embro. It wasn’t nearly as warm as even Rub A535 was and cost waaay more.

    I make my own Embro now, and give or sell to friends. All organic, natural no chemicals and it’ll keep you warm as hell and no sissy mango/melon/daisy fragrances.

    Email me if you want to try my next batch. [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *