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Product Review: In Heat with DZ Nuts Embrocating Cream
 
By Imelda March
Date: 3/18/2011
Product Review: In Heat with DZ Nuts Embrocating Cream
 
It’s March, but in the Midwest we are still experiencing cold weather. Snow even shows up from time to time. To break the monotony of inside trainers or rollers, cyclists still venture out to experience some fresh air. After all, the race is not on those machines – it’s outside. But, to do so, we need to protect our precious extremities on chilly rides or during the rain.

STAYING WARM WHILE CYCLING

In Belgium, cyclists and cyclo-cross riders have used embrocation creams for many years as they ride, race, and train during bad weather seasons. There are several Belgian and homegrown embrocation products on the market. It’s no secret that embrocation cream heat comes from capsicum (aka cayenne pepper), used as a warming ingredient in herbal remedies for years.

Dave Zabriskie’s DZ-Nuts In Heat product line , according to the website, combine “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.”

The products were developed and tested by Garmin Slipstream and Columbia HTC professional cycling teams. Pros have used it in harsh European conditions. We aimed to discover if these American-made products are suitable here. While still feeling the effects of winter, I decided to give Dave Zabriskie’s lab concoction a test.

TEST RIDE AT HIGH HEAT

Before heading out for my first test ride, I jumped on the Internet to survey the weather conditions. Determining that it was about 35F but felt more like 27F, with a wind chill, and because I was planning on being out in the elements for at least two hours, I decided to try out the DZ Nuts High Heat. I put on upper body clothing that included a bra, a long-sleeve thin layer, plus a bib short. I lathered up my legs with the DZ product then put on my winter-weight lower-body cycling tights. (One thing about capsicum is that it can take a little while to warm up. As a result, it is best applied a few minutes before heading out the door.) I finished off with long-fingered claw gloves, shoe covers, a beanie under the helmet, wool socks, and a winter-weight windproof jacket.

An hour into my ride I was feeling quite toasty--almost too toasty--even though the wind had picked up. Because I’d rather be warm—even very warm--than cold and uncomfortable, I enjoyed the great outdoors and arrived back home feeling like a champ.

TEST RIDE AT MEDIUM HEAT

The next time, once I knew that the temperatures were predicted to rise, it was an easy decision to rub on the DZ Nuts Medium Heat embrocating product. Prior to my ride, the temperatures were said to be in the 40s (feeling like 32F with no wind). The temperature remained constant through my three-and-a-half-hour ride.

Again, I stayed warm and comfortable for the entire ride. The only thing I had changed on this particular ride was to wear a lighter non-windproof bottom tight.

BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS

Both the DZ Nuts Medium Heat and DZ Nuts High Heat contained moisturizing ingredients that left my legs with a good shine and a moist look. I have used other products that did not give me this experience.

However, an hour or more after my first ride wearing the DZ Nuts High Heat cream, and even after a shower, I was still simmering from the heat.

The DZ Nuts Medium Heat also lingered on my limbs for some time but I did not feel the heat as strongly. This particular variation seemed to be just right for the outside temperature.

The variations in heat mean that the High Heat cream may be too hot for some outside temperature ranges, but, as the longest lasting of the three, it is perfect for long rides.

I suggest that DZ Laboratories, LLC place a temperature chart on each of the embrocating products to give consumers a better sense of the temperatures under which the product works best. In fact, another Belgian-made embrocating product line does just that.

This will be added to my list of cycling product lines because I did like the fact that I felt as if summer was just around the corner while riding in temperatures that most normal nomads would rather enjoy inside.

DZ Nuts Laboratories, LLC In Heat embrocating products come in low, medium, and high heat in 6.0-fluid ounces/180 ml tubes with a suggested retail price of between $16 and $20. The products can be purchased directly from the manufacturer or from cycling-related websites and at local bicycle shops.


About the author: Imelda March lives in Chicago and is a member of Team Kenda. She is a frequent contributor to The Daily Peloton Cycling News team, reporting on women’s cycling issues and general peloton ramblings. Imelda is an experienced racer who also holds an MBA and is a marketing strategy expert.


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