Applying and even owning embrocation has taken on a romanticized aura. The act of massaging embrocation onto the legs heralds a ride in conditions that only Jens Voigt would consider. The owners of embrocation are not fair weather riders. They peer out their window, select appropriate apparel for the conditions and set out. However, Mother Nature sometimes requires a cyclist to have a little more internal fortitude than their current riding wardrobe allows. In these situations it’s time to reach into the duffel bag of courage and apply the ’embro’.
Even though my roots are from Southern California, I’m no longer a stranger to riding in the cold. My recent move to the Southeast and this unusually cold winter has made me reconsider my cold weather clothing options. Fortunately I was introduced to the product line from Classic Cycling Essentials: Training Day Embrocation, Fembrocation Embrocation and Pista Mustache Wax.
The Training Day Embrocation comes in a four ounce jar and has a pleasant citrus smell that teases the senses. The Training Day embrocation has a slight orange sheen when applied to the legs. The warmth that the salve creates is a perfect mix of warmth like a hug from a grandparent – not too much, but strong enough to know that you’re loved. For the female cyclist there is the Femborcation model which has a lavender smell and offers the same warming affect as the Training Day. I tested the Fembrocation with no obvious side-affects, although I have been suddenly intrigued by Dancing With The Stars. Side affects may vary.
My first test with the products was during one of my character building rides when the mercury barely pushed past the 30 degree mark. I slathered on the “Warm” option (there is also a Mild temperature option) of embrocation and rolled out. In all honesty I did bring leg warmers as well in case the embrocation wasn’t warm enough for my conditions. While I was a bit cool, with the Training Day applied the ride was do-able. In temperatures in the 40s I didn’t even bother to bring back-up leg warmers and went Belgium style – no leg warmers and only my hairy arms to keep me warm.
The ingredients in Classic Cycling Essentials are made with the highest natural products available. To help demystify the ingredient label a page on the company’s website explains each ingredient and its purpose in the product. One example is beeswax and according to the Classic Cycling Essentials website, is an emollient and emulsifying agent which lends body and rigidity to creams, lotions and balms. And now we both know.
I have no measurable facial hair or at least none that is grown in an organized, groomed manner, so testing the Pista Mustache Wax at first seemed to be a challenge until I remembered my cat – he has facial hair/fur. With an opened can of tuna in one hand and the half ounce tin of Pista in the other, I was able to apply a portion of the wax to his fur before he noticed he’d been duped. What I can say is that the Pista wax works well on felines and I was able to create an “almost” handlebar mustache before he became agitated, hissed and ran off. Extrapolating that information it must also be suitable for people and I assume will not cause hissing.
The use of embrocation has taken on an almost cult like status – you’ve seen grainy black and white photos of Anquetil applying it in the back seat of the team Citron before the spring classics. For those riders of old this product was necessary for the conditions they faced. There were no individual seat-warmed captain chairs in the team bus to keep them warm. The Training Day Embrocation harkens back to those days when the conditions were brutal and the riders as hardened. The Training Day Embrocation even exceeds the mythic stature of this type of product and delivers on the promise that it will keep you warm, making those harsher conditions seem not quite as daunting. Look for further products from this Pennsylvanian company to compliment their embrocation line.
CONTACT: Classic Cycling Essentials
Price: Embrocation [Training Day and Febrocation] $19.99
Pista Mustache Wax $8.99