Muc-Off are most famous for their magical pink bike cleaning liquid - it's amazing stuff that can do wonders to your grubby pal after a good ride. However, recently they've moved into creams and lotions for the rider, as well as the bike, in their Athlete Performance Range.
Beautifully presented, each lotion in the five product line up comes in an individual box, which opens to reveal a matte black tube that screams luxury - we certainly felt special lining these little tubes up in the bathroom cabinet.
It's not just about pretty boxes, though - this range has been designed with science at its heart, alongside feedback from athletes. The products are billed to aid performance and speed up recovery - but do they work?
We put them to the test...
The chamois cream market is pretty flooded - but Muc-Off are hoping to bring something unique to the table. As well as putting an end to 99% of germs, this creme is enriched with natural Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Shea Butter and Sunflower Oil, and contains Provitamins. 'Cos I always thought my lady bits needed extra vitamins... It's also free from Parabens, good for those with sensitive skin.
In practice? This chamois cream does its job in reducing friction on a ride. I'm lucky enough to have found the dream saddle, and in all honesty I rarely use chamois cream unless it's a century ride, but I did feel my shorts did their job better with the addition of this product.
Muc-Off have gone for the tingle effect, or what they call a 'cooling effect' - personally I think this just adds to the freshness of a ride, but if you know it doesn't work for you you're best off avoiding!
Warm up cream is great in winter and early/late season racing - it can be a helpful emotional crutch on those early morning starts when you're sitting at race HQ thinking "I don't want to get out of the car."
These pre-race lotions do what they say on the tin - warm up the skin they're applied to, a bit like Deep Heat. Muc Off's version is a bit different - as it's 'self-thinking', effectively providing more warmth when you're cold, and less when you're already a little more race ready.
Testing this on winter rides, I was pleased to discover I didn't experience the 'I'M BURNING!' effect some warm-up creams can have, when they provide more heat than is welcome. The light radiation helped to make the outdoors seem more welcome at the start of a ride, and I'd definitely want this in my kit bag come the misty mornings of spring as well.
Muc-Off Explosive Power and Ultra Endurance - £24 each
In these two products, Muc-Off have really gone for the clever-cloggs, scientific approach. The Ultra Endurance cream is ultimately designed to help reduce lactic acid build up - the burning sensation that makes you want to stop pedalling when the going gets tough.
The science spiel is that the formula use the Amino Taurine to help convert Glycogen into Glucose - which is your muscles main fuel. It also increases muscle’s cell volume capacity, achieving greater muscle/protein synthesis.
The Explosive Power formula helps to improve top end performance by increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscles.
Both of these formulas are scientifically proven, so there has to be truth in their performance and they must make an incremental difference to warrant the claims. However, personally I didn't feel any more explosive or able to maintain endurance with the cream applied for relevant rides.
This is by far my favourite product in the range. The formula is meant to increase snythesis and energy metabolism, to speed up natural regeneration processes.
Maybe it's psychological, maybe it's the added massage when rubbing it in, maybe it's the Amino Glutamine increasing glycogen storage and hydrating muscle cells. I don't know, nor do I really care - using the massage rub after exercise made me feel better!
You can use this rub straight after training, but for best results you can lather it in after a bath, before you let your head touch the pillow. With a soft scent that reminds me distinctly of lavender bath oils, it will certainly make a good addition to any night-time routine designed to help you sleep well, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next session!