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BeElite Chamois Cream is thick, slippery and tenacious, which makes it excellent for long rides or turbo sessions. It's also excellent value for money (in reality it sells for £10, not £20), though the tingle that comes from its menthol content won't suit everyone.
I have a slightly eccentric system for buying chamois cream. If I need some, I find whatever's cheapest on t'interwebs while I'm buying something else, and grab a couple of tubs. That's how I discovered BeElite Chamois Cream which, at £10 for 250ml, is one of the cheapest shorts lubes around. And it turns out to be really good, too.
BeElite contains (among other things) olus oil, beeswax, aloe vera and shea butter, plus menthol and peppermint for that zingy feel and a buttload of other plant oils and extracts.
It's a thick, almost solid cream that needs a bit of effort to get it moving to spread over your shorts liner – it helps to store it somewhere warm to make it easier to spread – but once in place it stays there. The practical upshot is that it's nicely slippery and stays that way for ages, whether you're out on the road all day or doing a long turbo session.
If BeElite Chamois Cream has a significant drawback it's that it contains menthol, always a controversial ingredient. One reviewer on Chain Reaction Cycles described it as 'overpowering ... not a comfortable feel at nether regions,' while another at Wiggle complained of 'a burning sensation'. If you don't get on with menthol in chamois creams, don't buy this.
If that's not a problem for you, then the other advantage of BeElite chamois cream is that it's excellent value for money at a tenner for 250g. Your classic Assos cream costs £11 for 140g (12g/£); Udderly Smooth is £10 for 227g (23g/£); Muc-Off's excellent Luxury Chamois Cream is £15 for 250g (17g/£); and Paceline Chamois Butt'r is £13 for 227g (17g/£).
Is it just me or does everyone else hear Graham Chapman's voice when they read the name of Muc-Off's cream? Anyway, at 25g/£ BeElite spanks them all for value.
Those are current actual prices by the way, not RRPs. Wiggle gives a 'list price' for BeElite Chamois Cream of £20, but as far as I can tell it's always been a tenner a tub.
Regardless of price, it's also an excellent chamois cream. Frankly, the only way it could be better is if it came in a bigger tub.
Excellent chamois cream for long rides, as long as you don't mind that menthol tingle – and almost eternally half price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BeElite Chamois Cream
Size tested: 250g
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?
It's a friction-reducing cream for your shorts liner that helps keep you comfortable and unchafed when riding.
"For riding comfort and protection over long distances, the BeElite Chamois Cream is tailored to deeply soothe and moisturise the skin allowing you to focus on your ride.
"Maximum comfort and protection
"BeElite chamois cream works with the body to add a protective barrier against sweat and bacteria which can cause chafing and other skin irritations in some riders. The cream is thick and deeply-moisturising so whether you're riding long distances or training inside, it's built to keep you riding in total comfort."
Definitely up the top of the Hype Scale there, but largely fair; this stuff works.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Long-lasting, moisturising protection
Chamois cream can reduce friction on the skin
Apply before riding for maximum comfort and protection in the saddle
This chamois cream has mild cooling functions
Aqua (Water), Olus Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Menthol, Parfum (Fragrance), Candelilla Cera, Zinc PCA, Xanthan Gum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sodium Polyacrylate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Dipterocarpus Turbinatus (Gurjun balsam) oil , Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Oil Green) Extract, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Grosso Herb Oil, Litsea Cubeba Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate.
Comes in a great little metal tin that's great for storing nuts and bolts in the workshop (after you've used all the cream, obvs).
Great stuff, especially for turbo training.
The thick formulation means it stays put and lasts well.
Comfort is the whole point of a chamois cream, and this delivers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Does a really good job of keeping your bum comfy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Being comfy on long rides and on the turbo.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
In terms of its cost per weight, it's among the cheapest chamois creams around – the official RRP is largely a fiction, and it's effectively £10 all the time.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes (I did)
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Excellent chamois cream. Frankly, the only way it could be better is if it came in a bigger tub.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.