Okay so you’ve never used Assos chamois cream before maybe because you don’t use their shorts or in some belief that such products are for past times, but in doing so you have missed a real gem.
Way before the modern synthetic chamois was invented all shorts had a leather based outer to the pad which made contact with your skin. In the same way that leather shoes need to be treated to keep them supple and clean so you had to treat the leather chamois. The most popular products were various body moisturisers, as long as they had some lanolin content. Not only did this treat the chamois but it also reduced the friction against the skin, which resulted in a more comfortable ride.
Leather may no longer be used for chamois, but that doesn’t mean there’s no longer any use for chamois cream. You can use this product in two ways. First, treating the chamois – in doing so you are allowing the pad to soak up all that lubrication and store it for release throughout your ride. I have found this to an absolute godsend especially after five hours in the saddle nearing the end of a Sportive ride. The second way, and probably the most frequent way I use it, is to put the cream directly onto the skin. Due to the menthol in the cream it can leave the applied area feeling cold, not so bad in the heat of summer but less enjoyable in the colder months. This cold sensation soon wears off leaving the treated area protected for whatever the elements may throw at you.