Already producing a successful and comprehensive range of oils and unguents for your bicycle the Juice Lube boys from the west country now aim to keep your body well lubricated with their new Chapeau chamois cream.
Chapeau! comes in two different, er , flavours, Original and Menthol, with the latter being infused with Tea Tree and Peppermint Oil for a tainty tingle. Both varieties can be applied pre-ride as the traditional barrier to chafing and also afterwards to soothe and help heal any 'issues' down below, although to a cynical mind that may somewhat call into question its effectiveness as an anti-chaffing lotion. Anyway, Chapeau! comes in a 200ml tube rather than a tub, making it easier to squeeze out the correct amount of cream rather than guess how much lube fingering a tub will scoop up, and it avoids the awkward chamois cream faux-pas of double-dipping.
Chapeau! has a very smooth and light texture, not at all sticky, tacky or clammy like some other chamois creams, it almost feels like a moisturiser and as such it absorbs into the skin well rather than forming a slippery layer over the top, which gives the psychological sensation that it's not going to work because you can't feel the somewhat reassuring stickiness of a chamois cream as shorts cup flesh, but it does work, well, for a bit.
Pedaling off with a fresh application of Chapeau! is a refreshing experience because there isn't any stiction twixt chamois and cheeks and it's almost a spiritual release, but that rapture starts to fade some miles into the ride. Because it absorbs well, is non-greasy and doesn't have the sticky tenacious qualities of other chamois creams it simply doesn't last long, rough unscientifically tested guestimates suggest that Chapeau! starts to dry up down below after two and a half hours or so, a disappointing trait that can lead to a very friction fidgety uncomfortable rest of ride, and be quite literally a pain in the arse if you're cracking some miles off. On top of this Chapeau! isn't particularly resistant to moisture, be that sweat seeping out (sorry ladies) or water splashing up and can wash away too quickly, leading to more lube free anxiety and a grumpy rump.
The Menthol Chapeau! is lighter in consistency than the Original and it's immediately obvious on application that it has less body, the menthol tingle is more 'angel's breath sucking on a Polo mint' than 'fiery taste of the North Sea from a trawlerman's mate' but being of an even less tacky consistency than the Original cream concern about it's longevity in the saddle is compounded and justified. However applying Chapeau! after a ride had a pleasant soothing effect, especially the Menthol flavour, um, freshening things downstairs, and easing the nethers from the rigors of the day, making them more ready for the efforts of tomorrow.
For those that don't like the sticky and sometimes clammy and greasy feel of other chamois creams then Juice Lubes Chapeau! initially looks and more importantly feels like a winner. Sadly it fails to last the distance, fine if you're just doing short jaunts, quick races or are in a position to re-lube regularly but those that need a more tenacious botty-butter that can put the miles in should look elsewhere.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Juice Lubes Chapeau! Chamois Cream 200ml
Size tested: na
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?
Juice Lubes Chapeau! is available in Original and Menthol for an extra soothing affect, it says here, they can be used before a ride as an anti-bacterial preventative measure against chafing and soreness or after a ride to soothe and heal any discomfort. Both are completely safe with all chamois pads and can help to prolong the life of the pad as well. The cream works by forming a long lasting, anti friction barrier between skin and chamois pad, preventing bacterial build up, keeping you comfortable and making your ride that much more enjoyable. It is an essential purchase for any keen cyclist.
I was right with them until the 'long lasting' bit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made In the U.K. Chapeau! is full of skin-friendly micro-biologically-controlled dermatologically tested things like Lanolin and the Menthol cream has added Tea Tree and Peppermint Oils
It did what it was meant to do really well, it just tended to run out of puff.
Not entirely sure how long durable is, but there were some rides where Chapeau! wasn't.
It's not sticky and non slippy, which makes it comfortable, but also short lived.
At £12 for a tube it's good value, especially as squeezing out of a tube lessens wastage over fingering out a tub, but that value runs out after a while on the road.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a chamois cream it was smooth and untacky on the tender parts and having Chapeau! in a tube was a surprisingly useful and easy way to dole out the correct amount, but it just didn't last the distance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its unsticky caress and the gentle Menthol kiss.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Its habit of bailing out on a ride halfway.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for a bit.
Would you consider buying the product? No, I prefer tackier longer lasting comfort.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.