Mad Alchemy PRO Plus Chamois Cream

Some years back I turned in a review of a bike that opened with my biggest criticism of the bike—its weight. As diplomacy goes, it rather missed the mark, but my thinking was that with that obvious defect out of the way, I would have the opportunity to go on to discuss the bike’s many strong points.

My editor returned the review to me and suggested that a great many people (maybe even me) would be happier if the review could open on a more positive note. I obliged and was more or less pleased with the result.

There’s a very good chance I didn’t learn my lesson back then. Witness how I open this review of the Mad Alchemy PRO Plus Chamois Cream.

Chamois creams aren’t meant to smell edible. They should smell pleasant. They should smell clean. They should, perhaps, even smell vaguely antiseptic. However, they should never smell like lemon pie.

Except maybe this once. The PRO Plus floods my nose with the smell of creamy lemon so perfectly that each time I open the stuff I have to remind myself not to swipe a fingerful of the stuff on my tongue. With the look, feel and smell of pie filling, consumers could be confused into thinking this stuff is edible. And that’s literally the worst thing I can say about it.

The cream is veggie-based, so even though it may be edible, I’m not recommending that as a selling point. The real upside of its formulation is that it avoids a number of additives (such as parabens) that folks have become increasingly concerned about. It’s fair to say some junk doesn’t belong on your junk.

Whether you apply the cream to yourself or your shorts can make a big difference in how much cream you use and how effective it is. Some folks tell me they use cream like they are greasing a bearing race on their rain bike. I tend to use just enough to cover the contact areas that I have previously managed to chafe. Even so, there are times when the shock that comes with a mentholated chamois cream is more than I can handle that early in the day; having one with no appreciable zing is nice.

As I mentioned, the consistency of the PRO Plus is remarkably like pie filling. That is, too creamy and viscous to pour, but easy to spread with a finger or two. I believe that’s an important factor in its ability to prevent chafing; were it too slick, it wouldn’t provide the protection necessary to do the job.

In the end, a great chamois cream is a bit off the radar. When it does its job best, you never notice. So when I say this stuff is unremarkable, that’s praise, high praise at that.

PRO Plus goes for $17.95 for a 4 oz. jar. Coming from a made-in-America, one-man-operation that uses top-shelf ingredients, that’s a steal.

Learn more here.

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6 comments

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  2. todd k

    I’ve happen to also use this product and agree the smell is unique (in a good way) compared to other chamois creams. Can’t say I was confusing it with food up to this point. Though I am now going to be hard pressed to forgo the thought of lemon pie custard filling each time I open the container! I wouldn’t give me any encouragement on that front as my natural tendency to consolidate the items I carry will inevitably be tempt me to substitute my energy gels under the guise that it is a multipurpose product.

  3. bikeboy

    The Pro Plus is my fav, going on jar #3 now. Seems to hold up well on long rides, is sticky enough to stay where you put it. I like that they’ve switched to white jar lids for the chamois creme (keeping the black lids for embro) presumably to make it easier to pick the right jar out from your bag ‘o gear.

  4. wvcycling

    As juvenile as this is, I chuckled when reading all of the headlines on your homepage:

    “The /Taint/ of Suspicion”

    Then I see this Chamois Cream review; it had me giggling like a schoolgirl~

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