12.14.2010

Thoughts on Winston's Brand

We recently received some of the Winston's Brand 5 star Cobble Cream and CX Warm Embrocation Cream here at Velocity Headquarters. For the last two weeks I've been trying out the Warm Embrocation Cream to see what it's all about.

Most might consider what follows a review of Winston's Brand but I must preface that these are more of just thoughts on the product since I have never used any warming creams, let alone can I say embrocation properly.

On that note, what is embrocation?

em·bro·ca·tion - n.
1. The act or process of moistening and rubbing a part of the body with a liniment or lotion.
2. A liniment or lotion.

Who is Winston's?

They are a two person [Aaron and Mary] and two dog operation based in Fort Wayne, IN. They are two very passionate cyclists who have educational backgrounds in science and a deep passion for the essence of cycling. As such, they love the people, races, and products that have helped to form the culture that surrounds cycling (and continue to do so). They love spring classics, cyclocross, cobble stones. They can oft be found romping in the dirt; ride the 29er revolution. They simply love to ride.

Handmade by cyclists here in the USA? Yes please! Needless to say, there is much to like about Winston's Brand even before we received the samples.

The 'testing' I put the warming cream through might be considered a little out of it's intended use but nevertheless seemed to have served well. Winston's Brand site states that the suggested use is for 'Dry Conditions down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit; Wet down to 45'. I pushed the suggested temperature range down to around 35 degrees.

How did I use the warming cream?

Commuting and Polo. That's right, I told you it was a bit out of the intended use. Normally in the late fall/winter when I commute I will rock knickers, a base layer, with a long sleeve wool jersey and a shell of some sort, depending on temperatures. When it get's below 40-45 degrees often I'll throw tights on under the knickers.

During commuting 'testing' phase, the temperatures ranged between 36 degrees and 45 degrees. I played around with how much I applied on my legs along with where. I started with what I considered a light amount of cream on just my calves and lower legs, since the rest of my leg was covered by the knickers. During the first ride, once I got on my bike and got going, I could feel the cream working, be that slightly [it's important to note once again that this was my first experience with warming creams and I did not know what to expect]. But after about half the ride it seemed to have lost any effect.

Back to the lab I went, the next few commutes I started to apply it on all of my legs, from my hip down. After 3 rides, I seemed to have gotten the amount dialed. During this time I was also playing polo with it on and not surprisingly, my commuting gear and my polo gear are much in the same. Polo sessions ranged between 2-3 hours long, in temperatures that dipped down easily to 35 degrees plus wind.

I really despise wearing pants when I ride in general and any time I can get away without I will. I've been trying to put to words how Winston's Brand CX Warm Embrocation worked or felt and the best I can say is that it takes the bite out of the cold and seemed to keep blood flow going and allowed my feet to also stay warmer.

For those of you who use embrocation creams frequently, I highly recommend trying it out. I don't think you'll regret it and it makes for a great stocking stuffer. I'll continue to use this and look forward to trying it out during a few gravel races I have tentatively planned this spring.

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