Forum home Road cycling forum Road buying advice

Embrocation

the_spooksthe_spooks Posts: 190
edited October 2013 in Road buying advice
Never tried embrocation so tell me what's good and what's not. Was gonna buy Rapha's winter embrocation from the local stockists but they are out of stock. Any help would be great
S

Posts

  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    I have used the Rapha stuff and concluded it is only for use on the coldest of winter days. I found it really helped keep the circulation going and resulted feeling much more comfortable than would otherwise be the case.

    Warning though - make sure it really is cold before using as it can feel like being cooked; and get to the shower quickly when you get home!

    Peter
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-t ... posembr200 the hot version of this stuff rocked my world. I use it for cross or road races under 5C. When it's on I don't need knee warmers which I hate when racing.

    If it's for training and you want to wear tights over your legs then it gets tricky. At that point do you really need embrocation? It can feel funny with a very tacky paste on your legs then clothing over it. It's not only a bit uncomfortable due to the stickiness but depending on skin type, your skin can feel a bit tender with the hot version and your lovely fleece tight will feel more like 80 grit sand paper.

    But for the price of 8 clams it's worth a bit of experimentation. Try the hot one. After you put it on wash your hands well. Note that the stuff is not water soluble so you'll need some good soap. DO NOT touch your junk with this stuff on your fingers. Esp your chocolate starfish, that can cause a nasty sting.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Never tried it myself- I can see its benefits for racing - but training - it just diverts the heat through extra blood flow to the legs ? So if it's cold out there - you could be losing heat quite quickly ?

    Fine if your racing hard - but training ?

    I'd just go with extra layers.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    the_Spooks wrote:
    Never tried embrocation so tell me what's good and what's not. Was gonna buy Rapha's winter embrocation from the local stockists but they are out of stock. Any help would be great
    S

    Sounds like you are looking to try it with no real reason - do you have problems at the moment that you think it will solve? If not then I dont see the point personally?
  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
    What exactly is this stuff and what is its mode of action? If it causes vasodilatation and hence diverts blood to the skin to give a warm sensation it will be contributing to heat loss in cold weather and making your core temp lower rather than higher. It will also be diverting blood away from your muscles where it is required to provide oxygen for energy release and muscle contraction.

    Alternatively it might just be stimulating nerve endings and given a sensation of warmth (I have heard mention of capsaicin as an ingredient, the substance that makes chilis hot). Again this might feel nice but is perhaps misleading as it makes you think you are warm when you are actually cold. The reason your body tells you it is cold is so you can do something about it and prevent harm. Why cover this signal up?

    I suspect better clothing/layers is the answer. Embrocation is at the kinky end of cycling culture (just past leg shaving and homoerotic images of Rapha models with handlebar moustaches) and a hang over from the past of inadequate clothing and pot Belge.
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Easy on the dismissiveness GG, you're right re: how it works, it does divert blood to the skin and it does give you the sensation of being warmer but that is a good sensation and my own experience over the last 12 years is that I feel naked, cold, and not warmed up/ready when I don't use it. But as we agree, only when I want to race without the benefit of knee or leg warmers. Even with knickers (3/4 length shorts) I still use it on my calves which are exposed.

    You need to try it for your self and do your own experiementation. It's hardly expensive. For me it works - key indicator is when I use it my legs don't get goose-bumps and I'm not shivering. If I don't, I'm freezing cold. I wouldn't worry about masking body signals, we're not crossing the polar cap by dog sled where the cold reflex is life saving - this is racing bikes for 1 hour for pete's sake.

    The real benefit is not the 'stuff' itself, it's the fact that you massage it into your legs for a 3-5 mins per leg to get warmed up. I work on the calves up and then the medialis muscle beside the knee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vastus_medialis The embrocation itself or what's in it or the fact it contains Flemish cow pi$$ from the fields beside Johan Museeuw's house is moot. It's the massage action to warm your muscles up that's 90% of the benefit.

    I've also used the Rape-a Winter embrocation (free sample) and it was quite good too.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450

    I've also used the Rape-a Winter embrocation (free sample) and it was quite good too.

    Are you allowed to sell a product with that name in the UK?? :shock:
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    GGBiker wrote:

    I've also used the Rape-a Winter embrocation (free sample) and it was quite good too.

    Are you allowed to sell a product with that name in the UK?? :shock:
    I'll write a quick disclaimer: this is a forum, so don't take an obvious parody name too seriously (unless you're a sceptic, then anything goes). Use you powers of intuition to guess who it is...
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • dawebbodawebbo Posts: 456
    never confuse this with chamois cream
  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    Is there one that smells nice? Embro or chamois or both.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • apreading wrote:
    Sounds like you are looking to try it with no real reason - do you have problems at the moment that you think it will solve? If not then I dont see the point personally?

    Problem I'm trying to solve is during some rides of between 60-80 miles last winter my legs were seizing up.
    I don't race so it is maybe overkill thus my question. May invest in better tights rather than bibs and warmers and go from there.
    Had heard that it can contribute to core temp loss, as GG had suggested.
    Thanks for the info all
Sign In or Register to comment.