By Jared Eborn
So it’s a little chilly outside when you intend to start your winter ride. But the forecast says it might warm up nicely before too long and, if possible, you’d really rather not hit the road with too many extra layers.
DZ Nuts, the makers of that tingly chamois cream Dave Zabriskie simply can’t live without, have you covered – literally if you’d like.
DZ Nuts InHeat, an embrocation cream which comes in three intensities, will get you on the road and keep the legs warm when the temperatures go south.
“This pro-grade embrocation combines both the traditional components and qualities of the Belgian “home brewed pastes” with modern science to create a medicated liniment that loosens and prepares muscles for maximum exertion, as well as providing warmth, protection, and comfort during the most nasty weather conditions,” states the product description at DZ-Nuts.com. “Developed and tested on the European roads by Garmin Transitions and Columbia HTC professional cycling teams to be an essential training and racing tool.
With temperatures in the low 40s when my cyclocross race at Ogden’s Fort Buenaventura, I decided to put the Medium intensity to the test. Rubbing the embrocation into the legs about 30 minutes prior to the race, I immediately felt the warming sensations I expected.
While many other races in my flight wore leg warmers or tights, I felt comfortable with bare skin.
After the race began and I splashed through the numerous mud puddles and stretches of standing water as a light rain fell, my legs never felt the elements. They got plenty dirty, but never uncomfortable, unlike a handful of other racers who commented on the chilly conditions after the suffering was done.
Some 45 minutes after the race, while driving home in the warmth of my car, the InHeat was still in full effect. In fact, I had to redirect the fan away from the legs to avoid overheating.
The cyclocross experience reinforced that of my LOTOJA experience a few weeks earlier.
Unsure of how the conditions might be for the early hours of LOTOJA when the race begins in the dark and rolls through the frequently frigid Cache Valley and Idaho’s Emigration Canyon into Bear Lake, I opted to apply a layer of embrocation instead of bulking up with the added layers and weight of knee warmers.
In addition to not needing the layers because the temperatures were moderate at start time, my legs felt invigorated by the added sensations the InHeat provided. By the time we reached Emigration Canyon, my legs were grateful for the added warmth as the sun had not yet brought the canyon road out of its early fall chill.
Though more expensive than many other embrocation creams found at your local bike shop – DZ Nuts InHeat is listed at $20 for a 6 ounce tube of the Low and Medium intensities and $22 for the High variety – the product is a valuable addition to any cyclists winter biking arsenal.