Monday, April 11, 2011

Bag Balm

First off, my apologies for being rather absent lately. This blog has had to play something like sixth fiddle to a bunch of other things. One of those things was, well, something I am reluctant to write about but that often affects cyclists... saddle sores. The last time I wrote about Anti Monkey Butt I blithely mentioned that I had never had any need of a chamois cream. I will never be blithe about the subject ever again, because as some of my readers reminded me back then, an unhappy undercarriage can be a serious business, which I have learned personally over the last couple of weeks.

While I was away during March I took a vacation in a hot and sunny place where I developed a minor heat rash in the final days despite the use of the aforementioned Anti Monkey Butt powder. No big deal until I had a couple of very cold wet rainy rides upon my return. Long story short and hoping to avoid Too Much Information, I spent most of the last week getting things calmed down and sorted out. All is well now, but I never want to go there again. I consulted some bike forums about what people preferred. It seemed to me that 2 products dominated the chamois cream discussion, Assos Chamois Creme and Bag Balm.

I have no doubt that the good people at Assos have developed a very good product because lots of cyclists seem to swear by it. Lots of cyclists also seem to swear by Bag Balm, though, which costs considerably less and was originally intended for use on cows' udders. Cows' Udders!

I know that this stuff is already familiar to many of you, and there is no novelty factor. You should probably just leave now, because I am obsessed with this stuff today. Mrs. Rantwick has long known of this product and its many uses by humans. My excitement annoys her slightly because I'm acting like it is my special discovery. I like that, so I talk about the stuff even more just for her. Here is some of the cow-related info found on the tin:

"... for bunches, caked bags, cuts, sore teats, chapping and inflammation"

"Active Ingredients: 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulfate 0.3% in a Petrolatum, Lanolin Base"

I have revelled in reading this kind of thing to Mrs. Rantwick and my children as only a pre-pubescent naughty boy should. I am a grown man, but not when I read this stuff... Caked bags! Sore teats! Hydroxyquinoline! HAHAHA hahahaha! I know how juvenile and lame that is, but I'm afraid I can't help it. Judge me, and punish me if you can! You are not the boss of me...

There are no instructions for my intended purpose, because the stuff is not marketed or approved for human use despite the fact that people have used it for a hundred years for all kinds of things.

I am tempted to add a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil or Vitamin E or both just because I can never leave well enough alone, but I'll resist any mad scientist urges for now. Straight ahead Bag Balm is the stuff I'll be using in the hopes of preventing any more trouble. I would say wish me luck, but that would just be super weird and as you know I avoid being weird at all costs.

Wishing You All Glowing and Happy Udders,


PS - I can't see myself as a cow without remembering this most excellent dinosaur head submission from Big Oak what seems like ages ago in 2009...


TrevorW�� said...

Oouch...! That all sounds very painful. 'Touch wood' I have been lucky that I have never suffered with this very painful malady....However I have always used a chamois current favourite is 'Udderly Smooth'.
It's made in the USA by Redex Industries of Salem,Ohio. It says on the pot'Originally developed for use on Dairy cows'.
What wold we do without these cows?

Apertome said...

Fun stuff. I use Chamois Butt'r, which works well for me, and it's cheaper than a lot of the other options (probably not cheaper than Bag Balm, though, I'm guessing) Though frankly I haven't tried anything else other than some cheap thing intended for runners. That one didn't really work for me. No tragic problems, it just didn't do much.

cafiend said...

Remember: lube the chamois, not yourself. It's the chamois you want to soften, not your skin.

GreenComotion said...

I think Petroleum jelly does the same thing in terms of lubing, but I am no expert. I have used these things a couple of times, but I have stopped using them since Q4 2008.
Be well!
Peace :)

jeff said...

I was given some non-petroleum jelly as a gift, and it's my favorite. I've used Assos too, and it's OK, but it's not cheap, and I prefer the other. I can ride and ride with no lube with no problems. But, the few times I've been on long rides and got caught in the rain....Well, I always keep a mini-tube of something in my seat bag. Ouch!

Kokorozashi said...

This made me LOL. At school. Well done!

I <3 Bag Balm. It has soooo many uses, including the induction of humor that is at once innocent and crude. The next time I wind up with saddle sores (which will be the first time I wind up with saddle sores) or even minor chafing, I will give it a try as a remedy.

Likewise, I might try Mr. Woodford's suggestion as a preventative. Goodness knows 'Udderly Smooth' makes a good enough hand lotion!

Also, am I the only one that pictures 'Assos' as some vaguely cycling-related minor Greek god?

Maybe the one you pray to when you get saddle sores (or need better shorts, or a 'Luxury Body,' whatever that is)?

Marrock said...

I have one of those snazzy green tins sitting within easy reach in case it's required.

I can remember when I was just a little baronet and we had that stuff around the house for all sorts of first aid purposes, I know it saved my hand when I managed to grab a piece of metal my father had just welded.

Not the smartest thing I've ever done but thanks to that stuff it didn't even scar.

We also used to know a guy that did roofing and got a really nasty tar burn on the back of his hand that refused to heal, mom slathered that stuff on it, wrapped it up and ordered him to leave it alone, a week later and it looked like he just had some sunburn on his hand, he was floored.

RANTWICK said...

TW - Cows do indeed rock. Also rather tasty.

Apertome - My 10 oz. tin cost me $13 here in Canada where things are typically more expensive than in the US

Cafiend - Doesn't that only apply to real chamois? My understanding was that with the synthetic chamois in my bike shorts it didn't really matter how you did it...

RANTWICK said...

jeff - I may return to using nothing and use your method of having something handy, but for now I am taking no chances!

Koko, Marrock - I knew there would be some existing fans out there...

cafiend said...

Definitely true with real chamois, but also helpful with synthetic. You create an antiseptic barrier on the fabric without rubbing it directly into your skin first. it seems to work better for me that way.

Check out the captcha on this one: [cowinite]. I'm not kidding.

RANTWICK said...


cafiend said...

Cowinite: the secret ingredient in Bag Balm.

The word on this one is phonetic:
[muladd]: a young bull.

Big Oak said...

Growing up in a family with several dairy farmers, caked bags are no laughing matter. We always called that stuff teat balm, and it works great for chapped hands in the winter. I haven't used it elsewhere yet, but probably will soon.

Hey that last cow has hair like you!

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