How to Use Chamois Creams for Cycling

By Walter J. Farrell | RIDES

Legend recounts how early cyclists would put a chunk of steak on their shorts and sit on top of it when riding to prevent sores, then eat it later that night after the external and internal forces have worked to tenderize it.

Who knows if there’s any truth to this legend but what we know is, cyclists have started using the leathery chamois-padded shorts and (probably) ditched the beef in the last century.

Chaffing and sore groins are common problems cyclists usually experience during long rides. It causes severe irritation in the groin area due to the buildup of friction between the thin skin and the chamois insert of cycling shorts.

Ever wondered how to use chamois creams for cycling? For one, chamois creams soften the leather up, allowing the user to wear his/her shorts comfortably for the next ride.

However, chamois-padded shorts also harden when subjected to washing, hence using chamois creams should be imperative for riders. 

What is chamois cream and why use it?

Chamois cream is primarily used to soften the chamois leather material of cycling shorts. It’s a viscous anti-bacterial emollient geared towards eliminating friction between the skin and clothing item. 

It comes in various forms including pads, gels, powders, and creams. Cyclists use this cream to prevent saddle sores and chafing that may occur during the ride.

There are also extreme cases wherein riders experience debilitating sores coupled with an abscess. This will require medical attention and will keep you off your sport for several days.

Chamois creams prevent nasties by minimizing friction and bacterial accumulation. Simply slather chamois cream before riding and you won’t have to worry about missing a day in your awesome cruiser bikes!

However, if you’d forgotten to use it and get sore after riding, saddle sore creams are your best bet in alleviating the pain and preventing further problems and infection.

How To Apply Chamois Creams 

The act of applying chamois cream has long been a taboo subject. If you have witnessed someone applying it and he/she quickly glanced at your direction, causing you to awkwardly avert your gaze, you’ll get what we’re saying.

Applying this thing is also pretty confusing considering they come in various forms and you probably don’t have any idea on where to apply it if it’s your first time using the product.

Do you apply it directly to the chamois pad? In the shorts itself? In your underwear? Or in both the pad and skin?

Fret not because we’re here to help you learn how to apply this thing step by step. Be guided accordingly below.

Step 1. Using your bare hands or a towel, scoop about an ounce of the cream (about half the size of the palm) then place dabs on the chamois pad and rub the sides against each other to spread the cream.

Rubbing it together foregoes the need for a separate applicator and helps keep the hands relatively clean.

It’s also worth noting that sunscreens come first then chamois creams, second. Apply sunscreen first on the face, neck, and legs before putting chamois cream on the garment and skin.

Step 2. Deposit a generous amount of cream on the part of your butt that makes contact with the saddle, as well as the leg area that meets the nethers to aid in easing potential irritation from pedalling.

Alternatively, you may apply it anywhere that experiences friction. You may opt to wipe cream over the inner thighs, bib, and most of the taint. Wipe your hands with a towel afterward.

During long rides, some cyclists do like to retouch the areas every once in awhile.

Remember, the more you use, the less prone the skin will be to sores. However, don’t go crazy with it. Too much cream also feels uncomfortable as it gets very slippery *down there*.

Step 3. Bear in mind to wash your shorts and the areas where you applied the cream first thing post- ride to prevent any bacterial build-up.

If you’ve applied too little cream, your skin will most likely be prone to sores post-ride so to mitigate this problem, change out of your shorts as soon as you can.

Put clean, dry clothes on even if you lack access to a shower or water source. Sitting on shorts damp with chamois cream is as equally bad for the skin as riding without cream.

Things To Keep In Mind When Applying Chamois Creams

1. Avoid crowded areas

Picture out a scenario wherein you’re awkwardly reaching down your shorts to rub chamois cream while making the “O” face and then a passerby sees you… it’s enough to freak anyone out.

That’s the reason why you should do the application in a room or something before the race to avoid awkward situations.

If there’s no secluded place anywhere, um, just do your best to avoid eye contact.

2. Do n​​​​ot share creams

… unless you’re dispensing it from a tube. Creams in tub packaging are very prone to contamination because we just use our bare hands to scoop the product.

Just imagine how many times you dipped your fingers back and forth into that tub – you surely don’t want to spread bacteria (if any), right?

3. Clean up immediately

After wiping sufficient cream to the shorts and skin, wash your hands asap. Don’t even attempt to rub excess cream on your legs and call it good.

Don’t be reaching that cooler or bike and go your way because your hands are contaminated and need to be disinfected first.

Again, you don’t want to spread bacteria around the place.

4. Don’t borrow or share shorts

Much like underwears, sharing cycling shorts is never okay.

Washing the garment doesn’t disinfect it 100% of the time and may we just remind you that your good old pair of shorts have seen and experienced nasty things in a shorter span than your pants.


This is a guest post by Jenny, the co-founder of Support Your Beauty. Her goal is to help her readers get the most out of all the most popular skincare products out there by being familiar with how each ingredient can impact one’s skin, hair, and general health. She believes that with a proper skincare regimen coupled with a smudge of makeup, anyone, no matter what age, race, or gender, can look and feel their best. Check out her latest beauty tips and tricks on


About the Author

Walter J. Farrell is an accountant who is very passionate about sharing his knowledge on high tech gadgets. He started AuthorityAdviser to help people know more about the products that are currently a hit in the market.

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