Products I Love: Anything from Mad Alchemy
Anyone who races cyclocross in New England knows why I love Mad Alchemy so much, but I want to make sure those of you who haven’t heard of Mad Alchemy don’t feel left out.
My first experience with Mad Alchemy products came in the obvious form; Rich bought some cyclocrossworld special edition Mad Alchemy embrocation during a sale to “try it out,” as we had heard about it but had never used embrocation being new to cross. He tried it right away, loved it and even got Tracy hooked on it. I, however, was a little skeptical of embrocation AND our cross season was so warm last year that I never really felt I needed it until the last race of the year.
Rich cautioned me to make sure I did not use too much, he said remember the size of a dime! Well I took that to heart a little too much, so I ended up virtually having nothing on my legs, so after my first experience I wasn’t impressed (minus the smell, I LOVED how it smelled…in fact, I would open the jar just to smell it periodically).
I decided to try it one more time this winter, when we were planning a decently long road ride, and I didn’t feel like putting on a 100 layers. This time I put on what I thought to be the “correct” amount and as soon as we got going I noticed a difference. It was a pretty cold day, yet even using the mild formula I never felt cold or got that achy feeling in my knees, which is typical for me on winter days. I won’t waste your time boring you with all the other benefits of embrocation, just know this stuff is awesome AND Mad Alchemy brand is 100% all natural.
Fast forward to mountain bike season and after an exceptionally mild winter the bugs were driving me crazy every time I went into the woods. Now I do have blood mosquitoes tend to enjoy (Rich tells people he brings me with him anywhere he thinks they might be so they eat me instead of him) so I am used to getting bitten, but this year it was unbearable and the swelling was out of control.
Right around this time Mad Alchemy was having an anniversary sale, so I was going through their website to see what other products they had besides warming embrocations. I discovered they also sold a warm weather embrocation that contained ingredients that worked as a natural bug repellent. At this point I was willing to try anything, so I added it to my cart.
Their website also listed chamois creams, and while I never had felt I needed to use any, the women’s specific formula caught my eye, as it mentioned it’s cooling effects. This I could relate to, as I tend to overheat (any part of my body), especially on long rides in the warm, summer months. Again, I figured I would give it a shot while it was on sale.
I used the non-warming embro the first mountain bike ride after it came in, and wow what a difference! I had used it only from the end of my bibs to my socks, and I had a total of ZERO bights in this area. The rest of my body, especially my arms, were still covered in swollen up bites, itching like crazy.
Also, did I mention it smells good? Just like the warming embro we used for cross, I loved the lavendar/minty smell of the warm weather embro. The final reason for liking it so much, especially in terms of mountain biking, is it makes cleaning off your legs after a ride as easy as wiping it down with a paper towel. This non-warming embro creates a barrier between the mud and your legs, so while it will look like you have collected a lot of dirt by the time you finish, there is no more scrubbing involved, simply wipe your leg and it’s clean as new.
Moving on to the chamois cream. Mad Alchemy has a couple different varieties, but all I can personally speak about is the La Femme version, which was designed for women (though I tend to think men could get the same benefits from it). Much like their others products, I was greeted with a refreshing aroma as soon as I opened the jar. In fact, I was questioning using it as a lotion (vs a butt cream) because I liked the smell so much. I decided to at least try it, as prescribed, because if nothing else I would have the best smelling chamois out there.
The first ride I used it on wasn’t a horribly long ride, but it was very warm out. I noticed the cooling factor right away when I jumped on my bike. I felt like it lasted the entire ride and never felt uncomfortable. I also tend to be very sensitive in certain areas, and to my relief the chamois cream didn’t cause me any discomfort, rash or itching! I’ve now used the product on all of my multiple hour rides, and I have grown to love it, especially on warm days. I never feel any hot spots in the “contact” areas of my body after hours in the saddle, and I’ve had 0 issues with chaffing of any kind (though I didn’t really have much of an issue with this prior to using the product).
Now I’ve told you about 3 specific products Mad Alchemy produces, but they have so many more that I highly suggest you visit their website if you haven’t yet. In all seriousness, who doesn’t love a company that produces all natural products (by hand!), supports their local community and loves bikes as much as the rest of us? As a self diagnosed chapstick fiend, I can also recommend their lip balm, but they also have washes, cycling caps, socks and many other goodies available for purchase.
I know what you are thinking, yes it’s great that the products themselves don’t contain any artificial ingredients, but what about the containers they come in? Aren’t they bad for the environment? Well I have great news for you, they are not only 100% recyclable, but I have found they make great reusable containers for storing things. They are great in a workshop for nails, screws and other small things you might tend to lose track of. Also, think about your home office, need a place for paper clips, tacks or safety pins?
Finally to wrap up, in case you are still not 100% convinced, the owner Pete is an awesome dude, which alone should make you want to support him by giving his products a try. While I have never met him personally, I have heard nothing but an outpouring of support for him from those that have. Following his efforts through blogs, facebook and twitter, I can honestly say he is a true representation of why I love the cycling community; he not only supports the community as a whole, but he finds ways to give back, while moving the sport forward & preparing for the future. And you don’t have to take my word for it, a simple google search will show you how many others love Mad Alchemy products and their founder Pete!
Posted on July 12, 2012, in Biking, Cyclocross, Great Products, Mountain Bike, Uncategorized and tagged chamois cream, cooling, embrocation, lip balm, mad alchemy, mountain bike season, outdoors, product review, warming. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.