Lighter, Faster, Stiffer, Cheaper… these are the usual marketing buzz-words made by bike and cycling gear brands. But do you ever feel that these are too arbitrary and they don’t really add-up at the end? Enter Pedalit, the young Australian brand have a grand vision and instead of pushing gimmicks, they want to “Care for the bike and the world we live in”. Their range of Bike Care and Body Care products have been created inline with this philosophy; no compromises in quality and creating cleaners and lotions with natural ingredients that are kind to the environment and the rider.
I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to sample and review some of the body-care products from Pedalit’s extensive range which is tailored to cyclists and includes sunscreen, chamois cream, warm-up & heel balm, hand cleaner as well as washing liquids for your cycle-wear. In the next review (stay tuned) I will tackle some of their Bike Care products, this review is focussed on products from the Body Care range, let’s go!
Pedalit Chamois Cream
The Pedalit Chamois Cream is a ‘hard’ style chamois cream and you can probably guess how it differs from ‘soft’ chamois creams but we will explore this a little later.
The ‘hard’ chamois cream that I regularly use is primarily petroleum based with some olive oil. In comparison, the Pedalit chamois cream is ‘softer’ in consistency and I was immediately drawn-in by the a wondrous Tea Tree aroma. If you look closely at the ingredients you will spot recognisable, natural substances such as Bees Wax, Cocoa Butter & Coconut oils (which I presume is a replacement for the Paraffin). There is also Calendula, Eucalyptus & Tea Tree oils which provide a natural disinfection barrier, Calendula in particular is noted for aiding the rate of healing for small cuts and abrasions. Beside the wonderful aroma (not that I need to smell attractive to a Koala) this selection of ingredients suggest attention to detail and give me the sense that Pedalit are serious about creating natural products.
The Pedalit website has a Knowledge Base section which includes tips for using chamois chamois, I appreciate the short and sweet snippets rather than long monologues. If you have ever had a great ride ruined by saddle pain and then endured the recovery, you already know that a good chamois cream is a great preventative even if you don’t suffer acutely from saddle sores. Even the pro’s succumb (but they don’t let on), so it is not just an issue for us ‘mere mortals’.
Hard or soft ?
This is much like the choice of saddles, groupsets and whether or not you like disc brakes. It’s a personal choice and once you find a solution that works, you tend to become a creature of habit. The description “Hard” chamois cream is slightly misleading, Hard chamois creams are thicker and dense (like butter or wax) while “soft” is more liquid with the consistency of sunscreen or moisturising cream. I prefer Hard chamois cream, particularly for longer rides as I feel that I perspire a lot while cycling and feel that the thicker creams work longer because it it not as quickly soaked up by the foam in your knicks.
While the chamois cream from Pedalit is not as thick as other ‘hard’ chamois creams, it easily lasts on 4+ hours rides without giving me any issues in the saddle. And because it isn’t as thick, it also easier to apply than my regular chamois cream, just apply to all the bits that have contact with the saddle and are prone to rubbing or pressure. For cyclists who find that this brand is a good match, Pedalit do a 2 pack at a discounted rate. My verdict is that I’m now a converted user so will be placing a personal order shortly!
Pedalit Abith Workshop Hand Cleaner
500ml Pump pack
If you like to DIY or even fancy yourself as a pro-bike mechanic, the first thing you will notice is that this hand cleaner is BRIGHT blue. It doesn’t have an ingredient list, but is labeled ‘Made in Australia’. The hand cleaner appears to be citrus based with small abrasive beads (which you find in a lot of hand cleaners) to assist in the removal of grease and grime. ABITH stands for – Allowed Back In The House. Love it !!
Abith (left) accompanied with Pedalit bike cleaning products
I have a mechanical background so perform 99% of the work on the bike myself and I tend to get pretty dirty hands. If it was just lubing from time to time then it would be simple, but the bike needs Tender Loving Care and that shows on my hands pretty quick.
That grease has to come off somehow
When I first tried the hand cleaner I could immediately feel the difference compared to my regular citrus based cleaner. Many hand cleaners for greasy hands are a ‘pasty’ type mixture (granules with enough moisture to be a paste). ABITH goes the other way around – it is a gel with enough granules to get the cleaning done and I will admit, it’s more effective. It provides a very different feel and compared to the harsher cleaners and keeps the hands fairly smooth. Pedalit list a regular price of $14.95 which is not cheap, even if the quality is spot-on, but it is currently available $9.95 so there are no excuses if you want to be allowed back in the house without any fuss.
Pedalit Sports Sunscreen SPF50
250ml Pump pack
As we are in the front end of winter in Adelaide (it came early this year), I missed the chance to put the SPF capabilities of the Pedalit Sunscreen to the limits with Tour Down Under weather conditions. But even in winter, UV protection is important to me so I was still able to put it to the test.
I relied on the Pedalit website to learn more about their sunscreen and it differentiates itself from many other commercial sunscreens because it contains a multitude of moisturising oils (Macadamia, Rice Bran, Grape Seed & Allantoin) as well as the backbone of most sunscreens, Zinc Oxide. While I’ve never been susceptible to adverse reactions to sunscreen, commercial brands tend contain unpronounceable additives which makes me wary. Of course they will give you the sun protection but ‘If you can’t pronounce it, what are you doing applying it to your body?’ It’s all about the transparency of knowing exactly what is inside the sunscreen and knowing that the Pedalit brand can give you the same level of protection without the chemicals.
A lot of cyclists will appreciate that the Pedalit sunscreen applies easily to hairy arms and legs. I don’t shave or wax my legs (it’s true, hairy legs are the next big thing in cycling) and in my experience, the common brands tends to become gunky. The Sports Sunscreen gives you an invisible protective layer rather that oily white hairy mess.
Step 1. Apply Sunscreen
Step 2. Start to rub it in
Step 3. Great Success!
The only downside is that the 250ml pump pack is not transportable so you can’t take it on long summer ride for an easy top-up. A small ‘ride size’ would be a great addition to the range because this is Australia and sun protection trumps razor sharp tanlines.
More Body Care for Cyclists
There are a few more Body Care products on offer from Pedalit including warmup balms, feet balm, hand cleaners and biodegradable washing detergent as well as the Bike Care range with bike products like degreasers, cleaners, brushes, lubes and grease. Pedalit is available online and for customers in Australia and New Zealand they have free shipping on orders over $49.
The internet age has brought budget shopping much closer to buyers but Pedalit are not competing in a race to the bottom. Instead of cutting corners to try and get the lowest price, Pedalit want to do it the right way with Australian-Made products designed to be kinder to your body and the environment while delivering premium quality performance. As a side-note, Pedalit also support and sponsor up-and-coming athletes and teams so the young Aussie brand are a step ahead of some big name brands in supporting sports cycling.