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Pelotan describes its SPF30 suncream as a 'high performance sun protection to meet the needs of cyclists from professional athletes to weekend club riders', and as far as I can tell it lives up to the marketing spiel. It performs well, offering lasting sun protection, has a non-greasy application, and strong environmental credentials.
While some might see preserving their tan lines – keeping them crisp and sharp – as the main objective of a summer ride, no one wants to burn, and protecting your skin from UV rays is extremely important for your health. A good suncream is as vital in your cycling kitbag as your chamois cream.
At SPF30, Pelotan offers a mid-level of protection, a good 'mass market' option for the majority of riders. However, if you're prone to burning or of a fairer complexion, you might need to look for something a little stronger. I used the spray on a few long days in the Italian Alps, with temperatures hitting around 25°C at the sun's peak. Having applied the cream once, as per the brand's recommended 'dose', I did not burn at all and returned from the trip with a pleasing bronze hue to my skin.
It's currently only available in this SPF30 strength, which seems a bit of a shame – although sunscreen numbers aren't as straightforward as you might think, as Mat discusses in his feature on protecting your skin from the sun. And as a very new brand (indeed, it's currently crowdfunding to seek additional investment), perhaps other protection factors will become available over time.
Some suncreams can be a little greasy when applied, but Pelotan is nice and thin and clear. It rubs into the skin easily and doesn't leave your hands feeling slippery and oily, or create tide marks where it comes into contact with your kit immediately after application.
This makes Pelotan a product you could carry in a bag or even a jersey pocket on a particularly long and scorching ride, as you won't end up spreading grease on your bar/hoods or on your kit after a mid-ride application. Not that you're likely to need to: Pelotan claims that this is an 'apply once' spray that lasts up to eight hours and is sweat proof, so re-application shouldn't be necessary unless in the most extreme of conditions.
I only applied it once on my test rides, where, as I said, the temperature reached around 25 degrees and the skies were clear and sunny. I didn't notice the need to re-apply it, with my skin never feeling greasy to suggest the cream was being 'sweated off'.
It's also good to note that the spray is also marketed as being waterproof, so it should last through any summer showers you may be unlucky enough to encounter.
Pelotan is environmentally friendly and ethical, with a strict no-animal testing, preservative-free policy. It's also dermatologically tested, so even if you have sensitive skin you should be safe from any irritation or itches. I certainly had no issues.
The sports-specific suncream market is relatively small, so there are few direct competitors to Pelotan in terms of price. Of those there are, some are more expensive, such as this SPF30 product from Ultrasun, which is £14 for 100ml, while the more widely available SPF50 Ambre Solaire UV Sports Spray offers both high UV protection and better value at £8.50 for 200ml.
Compared with long-lasting non-sport-specific suncreams Pelotan isn't bad value either: P20's SPF30, for example, is £24.99 for a 200ml bottle.
Overall, Pelotan seems a good product, if a little pricey perhaps, and only available as an SPF30 option.
A clean, effective and non-greasy suncream that beats the burn
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pelotan SPF30
Size tested: 200ml
Tell us what the product is for
Pelotan says, "Pelotan is high performance sun protection to meet the needs of cyclists from professional athletes to weekend club riders. The product has been designed from the ground up specifically for cyclists as 'once a day', water and sweat resistant sun protection, allowing you to stay in the saddle longer, perfecting those ultra-sharp tan lines from sunrise to sunset."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
UVA & UVB sunfilter
Only one application per day required - 8 hour protection
Quick drying and not white marks
Water and sweat resistant
I rode with Pelotan for a weekend in Italy, where temperatures reached 25°C, and did not burn. The spray was nice and clean to apply and rub in, and left no marks on my kit. I didn't notice my skin feeling particularly greasy when sweating, suggesting that the spray didn't get 'sweated off'.
£20 for a 200ml bottle of suncream is a fair amount, but it's a good investment if you're prone to burn. There aren't many sports-specific suncreams around, but of those I found, Pelotan sits in the middle of the price range.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was excellent. It protected my skin from burning during some long rides in midday June Italian sun, and I did not feel the need to re-apply it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The clean application and lack of residue on kit is a real bonus if applying soon before a ride, and that it doesn't seem to 'sweat off' is a real bonus.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good product that does what it promises, though it's a little pricey.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding