Linea Pelle is Castelli's new skincare range comprising Chamois Dry Lube, Foul Weather Cream and Warming Embro Cream. They're all available individually but if you want to save a few quid and get a free mesh bag you can buy this Combi pack. Some of it's good, some of it's average – read on to find the best bits...
In the winter months it's normally pretty easy to protect your skin from the elements: you just cover it up with clothing, basically. Spring, autumn and summer can be trickier; temperatures can change throughout a ride, as can rain, wind and whatever else Mother Nature fancies throwing at you. That's where embrocation creams come into play.
Foul Weather Cream
This 100ml tube contains a water resistant barrier cream against rain, road spray, wind and the cold, which is ideal for when you know you're going to be starting a ride or race in grim conditions but you still want or need to wear shorts.
By squeezing the dispenser you find yourself with quite a thick gel in your hands which rubs into your skin quite easily, providing a slight warming effect. It's a quick job and although it leaves your hands a bit on the greasy side, it's easy to remove with the help of a wet wipe.
Against the elements it's not so great though. The longest I felt the benefits from it was 30 minutes of riding and it wasn't even raining that hard; there was a fair bit of road spray but I wasn't splashing through puddles.
By the end of that half hour the Foul Weather Cream had all been washed off and I was back to just my bare skin. The cold feeling was quite noticeable, though, so when this stuff is on your legs it's certainly keeping your muscles warm.
Verdict: More damp weather cream than foul weather cream
Warming Embro Cream
Creams and oils like these are designed to warm the muscles before exercise, so it's ideal if you haven't had time for a decent warm up or if you know you are going to be stood at the start line on a cold day before the off.
The Embro Cream is pretty pleasant stuff to use, and again is dispensed by a pump rather than just squeezing the 100ml tube. It's a reasonably thick consistency which isn't overly greasy, though it'll take a good four of five squirts to cover your entire legs.
The smell of menthol hits you straight away, especially if you've applied it indoors, and you definitely need to make sure you wash your hands before touching other parts of your body.
Although the smell is strong, the overall warming effect it creates isn't that intense, especially not compared with the Elite Warming Oil I've been using for years.
I've used the Castelli stuff for quite a few test rides in a range of conditions from freezing up to around 10 degrees and to be honest the effects are pretty underwhelming, especially when you consider the price – £13.33 when you buy it as part of this kit.
Verdict: Mild muscle warmer that is barely detectable
Chamois Dry Lube
Dave Arthur recently tested this product on its own, which you can take a look at here and I would pretty much agree with his views.
It's called a dry lube rather than a chamois cream, and as soon as you start to rub it into your skin it dries into an almost waxy like substance, allowing your skin to move against your shorts without friction. Not having that cold, wet feeling when you first get on the saddle is one to savour.
Like Dave, I'm not a big user of chamois creams, tending to save it for epic rides or as a repair measure if I've suffered irritation, but I found myself using the Castelli lube quite a bit compared with others I have in my cupboard.
A little goes a long way too, so even though it's quite pricey the pump dispenser meant I used quite a bit less than I would have of other products.
The longest jaunt was a 160km ride with just over six hours in the saddle, and the Castelli Dry Lube worked brilliantly. You didn't know you were wearing it and it washed off in the shower leaving no oily residue.
Verdict: Pricey but a worthwhile addition to your cycling kit, especially for multi-day efforts
Overall I'd consider buying the Chamois Dry Lube, but shop around for cheaper, more effective alternatives to the other two products.
Expensive skin care range with only the chamois cream standing out among the competitors
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Linea Pelle Combi Pack
Size tested: 100ml Warming Embro Cream, 100ml Foul Weather Cream, 100ml Chamois Dry Lube
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Linea Pelle is Castelli's new skin care range of three products which include Warming Embro Cream, Chamois Dry Lube and Foul Weather Cream.
Castelli says, "Just as changes in weather conditions, terrain and riding intensity require different clothing, different situations may also require extra skin protection.
The Castelli Linea Pelle combo pack provides you a great range of options for your skin."
They each do the job okay but not by enough to to justify the price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Chamois Dry Lube -
Dry formula skin lube, non- greasy, durable, allows skin to breathe
Contains natural tea tree oil
Apply directly to skin or to the seat pad
(Ingredients: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aqua, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Cera Alba, Coco-caprylate, Phenoxyethanol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sucrose Laurate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid)
Warming Embro Cream -
Warming skin cream
Creates a warming skin sensation
Appy directly to legs a few minutes before riding
Rinse hands after applying
Contains 80% natural ingredients
(Ingredients: Aqua, Menthol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipropylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sucrose Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Camphor, Xanthan Gum, Menthyl Lactate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Limonene, Linalool)
Foul Weather Cream -
Water resistant cream creates a barrier against water, wind and cold
Non petroleum, natural plant based ingredients (57%) will not harm synthetic fabrics
Apply to skin before riding
(Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sucrose Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate)
I liked the Chamois Dry Lube but found the other two average.
Again, the overall score is helped by the Chamois Dry Lube. Its effects lasted for a long distance ride but the other two had very short lifespans.
None of the products were irritating to the skin.
Expensive considering their performance. You do get a £5 discount over buying them individually.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Chamois Dry Lube is impressive, I liked the dry feel to it but the other two products are nothing to write home about.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The non-greasy Chamois Dry Lube.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Weak performance from the Foul Weather & Warming Embro creams.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
As you can see the general theme is that the Chamois Dry lube is good, not massively better than others on the market but good nonetheless. For the price of this kit I would have expected the performance of the other two to be much better, so overall it's an 'average' 5.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.