Chamois cream vs petroleum jelly

Ive been riding the bike a lot recently (due to a running injury).
I am expecting to be riding between 8 and 10 hrs a week. With the new amount of riding I am discovering new amounts of saddle discomfort that i haven’t notice before.

I have been recommended to use chamois cream, but also I have read the petroleum jelly works just as well. I use pj on all my run with great success.
Also pj is way cheaper to buy than chamois butt’r for example.

any recommendation on one over the other?

I went with Noxzema as per Chris Horner video on YouTube and it works well for me .


I’ve tried A&D original (lanolin and petrolatum) which is close. I’d recommend dedicated chamois cream simply because it cleans up much easier. Your shorts/saddle get saturated in a weird way. I’ve settled on DZ Nuts and have found the women’s formula works best.


I can see the pj creating a nasty coat on the short. It does create a light coat on running short that only get out after 2 or 3 washes… I bet on the more absorbing surface of the chamois it could get nasty very quick

Yep. I’ve not tried Noxzema which is a good looking alternative. I’d try that first as it’s much cheaper. If it cleans up ok don’t look back.

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I am using a super cheap fat cream (Linola) and it does wonders for me. Before using it I regularly got blood blisters on my bottoms. Not anymore. :joy:

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As others have noted, petroleum jelly can be a bit of a pain to get out of your shorts. I’ll use it occasionally if I have a “hot spot” that requires extra attention, but that is about it.

Chamois cream cleans up easier, has some anti-bacterial elements to it, etc. Noxema is a decent alternative if it works for you.

At the end of the day, your cost per use is pretty damn low with chamois cream. Last year I bought a tub of Enzo’s for $20 in late January and it lasted me almost 6 months and I was riding / using it almost every day.


Im getting Noxzema since is the cheap alternative
If it doesnt work, worst case I can repurpose as a face cleaner and try something else.

Thanks for the suggestions!


What specific Noxema product? What does it say on the label? I want to try this but I don’t want to buy the wrong thing

Did you use cream before on your rides? I found at the start of this season that I was getting a very bad sore on my left side. Noticed blood on my chamois after most ride. I’ve never had a problem before and never used any butt butter. I ordered some Chamois Butt’r (the brand) off of Amazon. It works very well, but I also figured out that one of my bibs (my fav’s of course) was worn out and it was the Chamois bunching up that caused my issues.

Never thought about Vasoline or Noxema though. I suppose either might work?

What’s weird is that I never use any cream riding outside. I don’t use much so I think the tube I got will last for this year of indoor rides.

Good luck, those sure are painful!

I noticed pretty quickly after beginning indoor training that CC is a necessity. Your position is really fixed on an indoor trainer so you don’t get those micro-reliefs that you do outside. I’ve been using the Muc-Off stuff on the recommendation of my LBS and it is great!

Just the Classic Clean with Eucalyptus UPC: 08730056010 12.oz.
this link is a twin pack but most grocery stores have it


Thanks! :+1:

I use Sudocrem. Not sure if it’s sold under the same brand everywhere. Basically a nappy rash ointment, had multiple pots of the stuff around the house when the kids were babies, tried it for cycling one day when I’d run out of chamois cream, seemed to do the same job at a fraction of the price so been mostly using it ever since!

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Been using noxzema for years, works fine and dirt cheap

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I’ve used Chamois Butt’r in the past but ran out and started using PJ since I had big tub of it in the drawer. Was concerned about how it washes out but haven’t seen any issues yet although I only but a very thin layer on. That being said, I’m going to the store today and will pick a tub of Noxzema and give that a try.

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I never really used the stuff, but after having a cyst cut out. I have a feeling I will be using it now. Looks like i should start buying a bunch and seeing what works best

Good size thread on Paceline about this. Noxzema, Butt Paste, Udderly Smooth, Bag Balm… All inexpensive, all effective. By name only, Butt Paste wins!

Keith Bontrager’s chamois cream recipe has been floating around the internet since 2006. (This exact recipe was originally published in Outside magazine, August 2007 edition, page 60.)

  • 13 oz petroleum jelly
  • 1 oz triple antibiotic ointment
  • 1 oz hydrocortisone cream
  • 1 oz lanolin

With the key being, use a large quantity, at least three fingers’ worth. That’s why it has to be cheap. As Keith says, using the expensive Swiss stuff “would cost a fortune.”


I alternate between Enzo’s Button Hole and Noxema. I agree with comments about staying away from petroleum jelly and anything based on petroleum (Bag Balm, Vasoline, etc). Remember, chamois creams are only partially about reducing friction (I might even argue that is more the job of properly fitting bib short…likely the reason why many don’t feel the need to use cream).

The primary purpose of chamois cream (and the reason Noxema works so well) is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Regardless of proper fit, no one stays clean during a ride. It’s impossible. So you want something that is a good cleaning agent, inexpensive, and easily applied to the chamois itself. If I apply directly to my skin it takes about 5 seconds to wear off as soon as the dry chamois comes in contact.

I do it the way Horner describes in the video. Both Noxema and Enzos wash right out in the hot shower post-ride (another trick from Horner, but not part of that video).