Chamois Creme Showdown – Part Deaux

I first published this about 8 months ago and surprisingly it’s one of my most popular posts.  If you search for “chamois creme” on Google, this post is on the first page of results.  I think that makes me the definitive Internet authority on chamois creme ;-)

Anyway, I recently tried another product — Beljum Budder — so I added a review below…

For the first year and a half that I cycled, I didn’t use chamois creme.  I like to keep things simple and I figured I’d know when I needed it.  I did lots of riding — including four MS-150‘s — and never had a saddle sore or major chafing problem. 

Nonetheless, I recently decided to give chamois creme a try and for long rides it does make things a bit more comfortable.  And since I frequently ride in 90 degree plus weather, the anti-bacterial properties are helpful.  Over the past year, I’ve tried five different chamois cremes and here’s my take on each:

Chamois Butt’r ($1.88/oz)
This is probably the most popular chamois creme in the US, and it’s by far the cheapest (less than half the cost of the others I’ve tried).  For these reasons, I’ll consider Chamois Butt’r to be my baseline for comparison.  It works fine, although it’s not made from natural ingredients — it contains alcohol and parabens (which can mimic estrogen and cause hormone imbalances or worse).  A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you couldn’t safely eat, and this one doesn’t pass that test.  Even if you don’t buy into the safety argument, there are good alternatives that are all-natural, so why use this product?

dznuts ($5.75/oz)
This one is the hands down winner for best name (deeeeez nuuuuts!!!).  dznuts was formulated by Team Garmin-Chipotle rider Dave Zabriskie and it contains all natural ingredients.  I really wanted to like this product, but unfortunately it was probably the worst performer (and it’s pricey).  It tends to break down and lose viscosity quickly and therefore doesn’t perform it’s primary function of lubrication.  I suspect this is because dznuts is a water-based creme.

nubutte ($6.67/oz)
This is an interesting product.  It’s shea butter based and its ingredients would make even the hardest core tree hugger smile — all natural, organic, and fair trade.  Using the product is a good news/bad news story.  The good news is that it works really well — I rode 50 miles in 100 degree heat today and when I took my bib shorts off there was still a layer of nubutte on the chamois.  The bad news is that this stuff is a pain to apply.  It’s really thick like a paste and doesn’t spread easily.  And it’s hard to get the shea butter off your hands when you’re done.  It’s also the most expensive product I’ve tried.  I’m going to keep this one on probation until I use up the jar.

Assos Chamois Creme ($4.23/oz)
Assos is another popular chamois creme (the #1 selling product at my favorite online cycling store, Competitive Cyclist) and is supposedly Lance Armstrong’s creme of choice.  Assos claims that it is made from 100% natural ingredients, although I haven’t been able to find a list of ingredients.  All things considered, this is my favorite chamois creme — it goes on easy, provides good lubrication, and has a clean (but not overpowering) smell.  [UPDATE:  I confirmed that Assos does contain parabens.  Why use a product with potentially harmful ingredients unless you have to?]

Bejlum Budder ($2.25/oz)

My bro-in-law (The Lawman) has been raving about this product for a while and recently sent me a tube.  I have to say I’m impressed.  Like dznuts, Beljum Budder is all-natural with no parabens or petroleum products.  But unlike dznuts, it doesn’t seem to break down on long rides (yet it washes off easily unlike nubutte).  Plus, it’s one of the more affordable chamois cremes.  Two thumbs up.

And ther winner is…
In my opinion, nubutte is the best performing chamois creme (and I’m not just saying that because they sponsor me).  However, it’s expensive and messy to work with.  So, the all around winner based on performance, price, and ingredients is Beljum Budder.  As they say here in Texas, “Go git you some”.


14 thoughts on “Chamois Creme Showdown – Part Deaux

  1. I like the motto of if it’s not safe to eat, don’t put it on your skin. Tre became sick with fever when I put the coppertone kids sunscreen on him earlier this summer. From then on, we use Dr. Hauschka or California Baby.

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  3. hey
    doesn’t it say on the sponsor’s site page that the “paste” changes with temps..
    so would you be more happy with it if you put the container somewhere warm for an hour before applying, like over a pilot light in an oven off or on a windowsill or in your pocket before putting the gear on ?
    and, also, that way.. less would go further, so the price sure is doable in the long run. besides, ten percent donated to a worthy cause and Fair Trade principles in gear is worth something in motivation toward personal integrity.
    which is something the best cyclists open and hold.
    Best of cycling to you this season!
    — > grreat stuff at HOTTUBES.COM

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  5. Thanks!

    I have been looking for a product to replace my used up tin of bag balm, I am trying to get away from the petroleum and lanolin, and definitely dont want parabens on the list of ingredients. I am looking further into the beljum budder and nubutte right now.

  6. Kevin,

    I enjoy reading your posts. The Peugout looks great! I’m still riding my two Tommassini all steel rides from the mid to late 80’s, as well as a newer steel Ritchey BreakAway cross bike. I actually ride them more than my newer aluminum and carbon bikes.

    I am writing concerning your Chamois Creme Showdown.

    You have info on it concerning the Chamois Butt’r product that was outdated at the time of the review, and is further outdated now.

    Chamois Butt’r was produced with parabens until late 2007. Parabens have been and still are considered safe by the FDA. We had made the decision to change our formula to eliminate parabens in 2007. We have not produced a Chamois Butt’r product with parabens since 2007. The tube you show is the packaging that was not used by us after early 2008. Some of the old tube style product from early 2008 had our paraben free formula. All of our current Chamois Butt’r and Chamois Butt’r Eurostyle are paraben free, and have been since early 2008.

    If you would like me to forward you new product to try or to review, I would be glad to if you email me back with a ship to address.

    With my best regards,
    Steve Mathews

  7. Hey Steve,

    Thanks for responding to my post! It says a lot about you and your company that you took the time to respond.

    I’m glad to hear that Chamois Butt’r no longer contains parabens. My review was based on ingredient lists I found online. In fact, I just did another Google search for “Chamois Butt’r ingredients” and the only list I found was on a retail site and it still listed parabens. I couldn’t find an ingredient list on your web site. If you’ll send me a link to an ingredient list I’ll be happy to update my post and include an updated image of the packaging.

    A couple other comments:

    1) With all due respect to the FDA, I wouldn’t base my health decisions on what they consider safe. They are OK with a lot of things that are pretty appalling. Plus, they tend to be very slow to react even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    2) I stand by my rule of thumb that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you couldn’t safely eat. I’m not sure if Chamois Butt’r would pass this test (and I don’t want to find out!) but I’m suspicious of any food or skincare product that has ingredients that I can’t pronounce or aren’t natural. Nubutte really shines in this area — it contains all natural (and organic/fair trade) ingredients and it works incredibly well.

    All that being said, most people could care less about what’s in their chamois creme as long as the it works. Unfortunately, the same applies to food — but that’s another story.

    Thanks again for responding to my post. You guys distribute a really neat set of products and I’m a big fan of several of them!


    P.S. I just bought a Ritchey Breakaway road bike and it rides like a dream.

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  9. great review and well written. I will probably buy the product of your “sponsor” currently use glide on occasion, but will start being more dedicated to using nubutte as a precautionary measure.

  10. Appreciate the review. I’ve used another 2 products: “Okole Stuff”, a product developed by pro long distance cycling champ Pua Sawicki, and “Ballocks” by Okole is glorified petroleum jelly with a couple exotic ingredients; Ballocks is ok, but the heat of your hand/fingers starts melting the product real quickly. I’m going to try the nubutte and Beljum Budder. Th for the review.

  11. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this web site on regular basis to take updated from most recent information.

  12. I know this is a very old post, but I have to agree that Nubutte is the hands down best! No sores EVER, doesn’t wash off. No lie, a jar will last you twice as long as other brands so take the price and cut it in half. I think its consistency makes me use very little. If another brand didn’t work, that’s expensive and a waste of money. It can be a slight pain to apply, but if you easily rub your finger together, it gets softer. In the hot, I recommend you store it at room temperature and keep it covered going to the races. If you open a hot jar, it’ll be like running butter. It’s not ruined and will go back to its normal consistency back in the house.

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