Bend36 Chamois Cream is a good-quality cream that delivers plenty of on-bike comfort. It's not cheap, but it does do a good job.
Bend36 is named after the 36 hairpins on the Passo dello Stelvio (when you're climbing from Bormio; there are 48 on the other side) and it's a brand that's been developed in part by Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso. Between them they should know a thing or two about staying comfortable in the saddle.
Chamois creams can vary quite a lot in their consistency. This one has a pretty firm, waxy feel and the ingredients list is mostly a bunch of different waxes and emulsifiers. It also contains calendula extract (a type of marigold) that has natural anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. I tested the men's chamois cream; there's a women's formulation too, which includes malva sylvestris, thyme and camomile too.
Some people prefer to apply a chamois cream to their shorts, and other people just slap it straight on their undercarriage. Whichever way you go, this cream works fine; lighter, more runny formulations don't work so well if you're slathering it on your shorts but the Bend36 cream is stiff enough to stay put. You don't need masses of it, so the 150ml pot should last a good while.
On the bike the cream doesn't feel sticky, and it makes an immediate difference to your on-bike comfort. It's not really noticeable in use but the end result is lots of saddle comfort, for a long time. I've completed some longer rides (4-5hrs) using the Bend36 formulation and it lasts very well; in the post-ride shower there's still some to wash off. Getting it off your shorts doesn't seem to be an issue, with the chamois coming up sparkling (relatively speaking) after a normal wash.
As for price, £13.99 is a fair whack for a small pot of cream but it's not an unusual spend. Assos Creme costs about the same, and the excellently named Charlie the Bikemonger Happy Bottom Bum Butter costs more, for less product. On the other hand you can head online and bag yourself a half-kilo of udder cream, which does a good job of keeping you comfy, for about a fiver. You could always lob some calendula oil in yourself.
On the whole I liked the Bend36 chamois cream. It works well, it's easy to apply and it lasts a decent amount of time.
Good quality, thick chamois cream that delivers long-ride comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bend36 Chamois Cream
Size tested: 150ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A barrier cream that reduces friction, preventing irritation in sensitive areas. Contains natural active extracts which help to:
protect the skin
prevent bacterial and fungal infections
soothe redness and repair skin damage
When used before running, it helps to reduce the painful sensation caused by long hours of activity.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Polydecene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Octyldodecanol, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Se (Glyceryl Stearate), Glycerin, Paraffin (Synthetic Wax), Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Polysorbate 60, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyltrimethylsiloxysilicate Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Microcrystalline Wax, Laureth-9, Phenoxyethanol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Calendula Officinalis Extract (Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract), Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Usnate.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a good cream, it lasts well and keeps you comfy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good on-bike comfort, stiff formulation is easy to apply.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit expensive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Similar to other high-end creams out there.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It performs very well, and you don't need much so it should last. It's expensive, but similar in price to other high-end creams.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.