Purple Harry is well known for bike-care products such as cleaners and sponges. Harry now offers a range of rider-care products including this Anti Chafing Chamois Cream. You apply it to the pad of your shorts or tights, or straight to your skin, to help reduce chafing in the saddle-contact area. It's effective, and especially useful if you're doing multi-day rides, but it's not cheap.
Purple Harry's Anti Chafing Chamois Cream comes in a pump dispenser, rather than a pot as some other brands. Before setting out for a bike ride, you simply pump some cream into your hands then rub it straight into your skin all around what we'll delicately call the saddle-contact area.
You can also rub it into the pad of your shorts (aka the chamois, to use its traditional name, even though the days of pads made from the skin of a mountain goat are pretty much gone). Then put the shorts on, obviously.
The cream's ingredients include cetyl alcohol, lanolin alcohol and petrolatum, and several other exotic sounding chemicals, but the end result is plain-looking white cream with a bland, almost un-noticeable, smell. The packaging says it's 'deliberately unfragranced to suit even sensitive skin'.
So does it work? Yes. I've applied Purple Harry to my chamois before setting out for some big rides over the past month or so. The cream acts like a moisturiser, and on returning home I definitely feel more comfortable around the appropriate areas than if no cream was applied.
Purple Harry's anti chaffing cream has a noticeably thinner consistency than some other brands such as Bristol Butt'r (reviewed previously on road.cc /content/review/76319-bristol-buttr-anti-chafing-cream) or Paceline's Chamois Butt'r (/content/review/35624-paceline-chamois-buttr) which may lead you to wonder: Should you go thick or thin? A lot comes down to personal preference. And maybe price. Direct comparisons are hard, but as a rough guide Purple Harry is a penny less than £10 for 100ml (around 100g), while Bristol Butt'r is £14 for 225g and Chamois Butt'r is around £12 for 8 oz (around 225g). Another option is a tub of Sudocrem which costs £2.99 for 125g.
There's nothing worse than chaffed skin in the saddle-contact area, and actual saddle sores are even worse, so if you're packing in the miles, and especially if you're doing multi-day rides, some anti-chafing cream is recommended, and Purple Harry's is well worth trying. As well as the pump dispenser for £9.99 you can also get 10ml trial packs for £1.25 each.
Cream to help prevent skin chaffing in the saddle-contact area; effective but not cheap
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Purple Harrys Ultimate Rider Care - Anti Chafing Chamois Cream
Size tested: n/a
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?
This product is a cream designed to help you avoid your skin chafing in the saddle-contact area. The Purple Harry website says Chamois cream acts as a barrier between your bare skin and the pad of your cycling shorts – its lubricating properties helping to reduce friction and prevent skin irritation. It's a prevention measure against saddle sores (not a cure!). Essential on longer rides or consecutive days in the saddle it can really make the difference between comfort and suffering unnecessarily.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The website goes on to say: 'Apply straight to your skin or rub into the pad of your shorts – which is the most economical method. Our Anti Chafing Chamois Cream has been dermatologically tested and is suitable for all skin types. We've deliberately not gone in search of the most exquisite fragrances from the foothills of some romantic mountain range to keep the product simple and focussed on the job in hand – keeping your underside comfortable and protected! We've also packaged it in a convenient pump dispenser – we just don't understand why you'd put a product like this in a pot! I'm sure we don't need to fully explain why – let's just say there's no 'double-dipping' with Purple Harry's Chamois Cream! At 100ml it's also suitable for hand luggage when flying.' [Surely a small case would be better '' Ed]
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend they tried it.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, Purple Harry's anti chafing chamois cream does the job very well, in that it helps prevent soreness in the saddle-contact area. On that basis it would score 9. But the price is on the steep side compared to other similar products, which deducts a point, giving an overall score of 8
About the tester
Age: 53 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, an old Cotswold steel classic, an old Jensen steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex carbon (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding, gravel riding and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)