Quitting Chamois Creme

After seeing the usual Autumnal uptick in threads about indoor saddle comfort (especially High End Bibs for Indoor Training and Rocker Plate to Reudce Saddle Sores), I realise it’s been about a year since I quit chamois creme and wanted to share my top tip for how to do it:

Quit with your season reset!
It has to coincide with time off the bike and building back slowly.

The idea of riding without it always made sense to me (the one thing better than low-friction is no-friction so just stop things sliding at all). I had tried to do short rides without chamois creme at various points to see if it would work for me & if I could maybe get to the point of ‘saving’ it for just the longest rides, but literally every time I spent more than 30 minutes on the bike without creme I would get a saddle sore. It was infuriating and I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever seriously ride without it.

Then after taking a couple weeks off the bike entirely last Autumn and starting back in slow with only short trainer rides, I thought it might be a good time to try again since all that underlying chronic irritation would have subsided a fair bit. I’m sure if I jumped straight back in with a 3-hour weekend ride in the rain I’d have been destroyed, but because I had a few weeks of 1hr max, indoors only, my body seemed to adapt really well.

I’ve continued to carry small amounts with me for big days out (pro tip: contact lens case!) but haven’t needed it even for 9-13 hour events. I do still sometimes use Sudocrem for after-care if things are feeling a bit raw, but I think I’ve now managed a whole season with no creme during a ride and not a single saddle sore.

Nothing novel here and relatively obvious when you think about it, but I’d been dealing with issues for years and this aspect of quitting hadn’t occurred to me so I thought it might be worth sharing with others. Anyone else found similar? Or got other tips for those that might want to try ‘drying out’?

(FAO @BT-7274 & @AussieRider - I didn’t post in your threads because it was a bit off-topic and not the answer to the question you asked :slightly_smiling_face:)

I’ve never used it! Now partly that as an eczema sufferer I have to be super careful about products close to my skin, but also because I’ve never had any issues that I thought it would solve.


I quit chamois cream about a year ago for indoor rides and found no noticeable change in comfort and I’ve yet to develop a saddle sore.

I haven’t done an outdoor ride longer than 2-ish hours all year (sadly) but again, no chamois cream and no saddle sores.

Similar to OP, I quit using it for shorter rides and “save it” for longer rides. However, I found that although I don’t need it for shorter trainer rides, it helps me be ready to go the next day with no need for a day off to regrow/heal skin.

I’ve never used it either and don’t know anyone that does. From 1-2 hour trainer rides to full days on the roadie or MTB.

Is it more common than not? Like what’s the % of people that do/don’t use it?

Its always been a bit of an enigma to me.

I never use it either. I tried it, but found no benefit

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I use it, mainly for it’s anti-bacterial properties. I think anything that kills bugs down there is a good thing… I also wash bibs after each use with anti-bacterial detergent.

Look up Fournier’s gangrene, if you’re feeling brave :slight_smile:


I just did a 180. Have not used it in many many years. Was having a bit of an issue a month ago and decided to try again, and have found that even on shorter trainer rides just feels better. Maybe im a contrarian :slight_smile: .


I’ve tried removing it from my arsenal, but always go back. I just find I feel better with it than without. I have lots of saddle pain issues though, and have tried every saddle, bib, and fitter under the sun. For me, chamois creme is a cheap product if it helps reduce pain or friction and allows me to go further/longer.


Interesting this gets posted today. I moved over the weekend and couldn’t find my chamois cream for my ride Tuesday. Decided to just go without it and to my surprise I was perfectly fine. I went for and hour and had zero issues. Yesterday I went out again for 1.25 hours and again had no issues. I think I’m just going to try to cut it out cold turkey now, maybe opting to keep some in a contact case on long days. I’m a bit worried about when I need to start doing indoor trainer rides, though. We’ll see how it goes I guess.

I’m not opposed to using it, but if I can go without it, I figure it’s one less hassle to getting on the bike.

No, thank you, I prefer the minty-cool sensation that is:


Yeah, I’ve ditched chammy creams. I’ve also almost entirely ditched the chamois altogether! It takes getting used to and isn’t perfect, but it’s been an improvement. There are tri shorts that don’t have padding, or just very minimal padding. I think what helped is the better air flow, less heat and moisture.

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Never used it for shorter rides. I always use it for longer rides, anything 3 hours plus but that’s more of an extra preventative measure than an absolute necessity. I feel that needing it on short rides might be indicative of an issue with fit or clothing but I recognize that everyone’s different.

I will say that for the past few years I’ve used Noxzema facial cleansing cream instead of actual chamois cream after reading on a forum somewhere that it has similar properties and it seems to be pretty effective, not to mention dirt cheap.


I agree, it does work, and it’s cheap. I’ve found that it doesn’t clean out of the chamois nearly as easy as a good cream does though. (It was Chris Horner who made this popular).

+1 for Noxema. Right now I have a tube of HoneyButt and a can of Noxema. The noxema is better and 1/4 the price

Nah…it was a well-known substitute for many years! :sunglasses:

I don’t think you can get that in Europe but I use sudocreme (sometimes for the longest and hardest indoor rides) and it works pretty well

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Yes, but he did a video a while back and suddenly everyone was switching.

I guess to some extent it’s all relative to the individual right? I’ve had a similar experience to you re trying to solve the saddle sore dilemma. I also train 15 hours a week with 12-18,000’ of climbing in sweaty SoCal conditions. It’s tough to tell with riders posting about their own experience without knowing what their circumstances are.


Totally agree with you. That was my “if it helps, it’s cheap” comment.