Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Review of DZ Nuts and a few other things

A while ago, Fatty did a satirical review of DZ Nuts. While I found the humor in it, I was actually hoping he would do a real review, because I was wondering about the stuff. You see, unlike Fatty, I get saddle sores and find myself at times in need of some relief.

For a long time, I used gold bond medicated body lotion, but any degree of inaccuracy in applying that stuff can prove quite costly.

Then I switched to Assos chamois cream. Assos chamois cream contains witch hazel, which is good for killing the microbes that cause itchy skin and infected saddle sores. It's also good at drying skin out. After a while, the skin over my sit bones got so dry that it cracked. Not such a good thing.

So when I first heard about DZ Nuts, I wanted to give it a try. But given that gold bond, at about $8.00 for a good sized bottle, works OK, while Assos, at $25 for a small jar, does not, I wasn't sure I wanted to lay down the cash. Fortunately for me, the good folks at DZ Nuts sent me some samples (along with some schwag that I'll be giving away for the Sidewinder TT). It probably doesn't hurt that the scientist who created DZ Nuts is a cyclist whose best friend and sister both happen to live in my neighborhood. Anyway, here are my impressions:
  • DZ Nuts is worth the price of admission just for the smell. I peeled back the foil seal, and it was like magic. I'm hoping they come out with DZ Nuts-scented air fresheners and candles. I would actually buy candles if they did.
  • I didn't get my shipment quite in time for Lotoja, so I can't tell you how it worked on a really long ride just yet. I can however tell you how it worked on what is perhaps a more telling ride: the first one after Lotoja. I was on my single speed, which has the least comfortable saddle of all my bikes. Didn't matter, because after applying the DZ Nuts, I didn't think about my soreness at all. Good stuff.
  • The other products I have tried provide short term relief from saddle sores, but don't offer a lot of protection while on the bike. DZ Nuts is described as "high viscosity." I will admit I don't really know that that means beyond having heard the word "viscosity" in motor oil commercials. Regardless, it seems to have more staying power and actually prevents chafing rather than just relieving it.
So that's about it. If it's worth a few pennies per ride to keep your taint happy, then get some DZ Nuts--you won't regret it. The folks behind the product are cool people and real cyclists created something that actually works.

Speaking of real cyclists who wanted something that works, I'll add a plug for Carbo Rocket as well. A while ago, someone asked me who my favorite cyclist was. I responded that I most admire guys like Brad and Kenny, who are ordinary guys with families and real jobs but who just love to ride bikes and do it well enough to win races once in a while. They're not doping to win, they're just having fun with a sport they are passionate about.
Brad also happens to have come up with the best sports drink on the market in Carbo Rocket. I stopped by SLC Bicycle two days before Lotoja to grab a can and it worked great throughout the race. No upset stomach, which is a first for me on a ride longer than eight hours. Actually, that's not quite true--I did get a bit of upset stomach when I grabbed a bottle of Gatorade from neutral support. I quickly tossed it and went with water until I got more Carbo Rocket at the next feed zone. Love the stuff and can't wait to try raspberry lemonade.

As great as Carbo Rocket is, it has to be supplemented with food on a ride as long as Lotoja. I found a program I was really happy with. For the first few hours until I got over Strawberry Summit, I just had one pack of Honey Stinger Chews per hour and Carbo Rocket (I didn't want to be trying to digest solid food on a climb that long). Thereafter, I alternated each hour between Honey Stinger Chews and my homemade energy bars. In Star Valley, I had a "lunch" of turkey and avocado wrapped in a tortilla, a can of Chicken and Stars soup, and a bottle of Coke.

My stomach felt fine all day, and I never bonked. The only problem I had was that I started to cramp a bit. I don't know if I should have had another can of soup or if it was because I didn't take a calcium supplement during the race. Either way, it was never more than a minor nuisance and certainly didn't affect my finish.

So anyway, this is stuff that works for me. Which doesn't mean it will work for you, but they are good products worth checking out. Enjoy!