Nuflex Muscles and Joints Warming Gel appears to do what it says on the tin, or more accurately the squeeze tube (although it does comes in a spray version too).
There is undoubtedly slightly more than just a superficial feel good factor when it comes to prepping muscles with stuff like this. Where opinion divides is whether, or to what extent, a gel like this really helps in speeding up the deeper warming (or healing) process.
Nose and eye streaming recollections of the many and varied changing room leg rub concoctions from my racing days remain fresh in my mind. I used lots of different mixes over the years, some commercial, some based on dubious home brews that may well have included sunflower oil and chilli powder.
Race night leg shaves and changing room oil rubs have a strong ritual draw among bike racers but the opinions of physios and soigneurs divide in many directions if you quiz them about the various commercial products available. Almost all will promote the notion that massage and physical warm-ups are the more critical aspects, the oily medium used for a rub being secondary.
However, this is a product aimed principally at those looking to home remedy 'solutions' rather than at trained and paid masseurs, and as such it's pleasant to use. You smooth it on rather than massaging it in. It's not cheap if you use it regularly so you're probably going to reserve it for major events or vigorous training sessions.
The claims related to the core ingredients are as follows: bergamot oil as an antispasmodic; lavandin for muscle relaxation; lemon and orange oil to boost microcirculation; marjoram to boost circulation and as an analgesic; orange to strengthen the epidermis; pine and rosemary oil to increase blood circulation and act as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic; and wintergreen as a 'natural aspirin', anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and analgesic. So, fairly big claims that, in the words of our tame soigneur, "conjure up elements of reality that will certainly appear to work for some".
To be honest, the warming gel didn't seem as effective, either psychologically or physically, as the accompanying cooling gel but both appear to create an effect that's slightly more than just skin deep.
Don't repeat my schoolboy error of rubbing your eyes just after applying the gel. Even the fumes can make your eyes zing, hence the eye rub.
Not as obviously effective as the accompanying cooling gel, but pleasant enough to use.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nuflex Muscles & Joints warming gel
Size tested: N/A
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?
For warm up before exercise. Certainly works superficially but the jury is out on to what extent it really helps.
Feel-good effect is high.
A 100ml tube doesn't last long.
Disappears quickly if used regularly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Feel-good effect is high. Deep-down effect negotiable.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Found the accompanying cooling gel far more effective.
About the tester
Age: 58 Height: 181 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Merlin Ti My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,