Favorite Embrocation Cream: DZ Nuts InHeat

29 Mar
DZ Nuts InHeat Low Heat Embrocation Cream

DZ Nuts InHeat

According to the calendar the first day of spring arrived last week—but it is hard to tell because of all the snow and ice on the ground where I live. On cool mornings cyclists in my area of the country have to decide whether to put on knickers, leg warmers or knee warmers for our morning rides. A few years ago I started applying DZ Nuts InHeat Low Heat Embrocation Cream to my legs before riding in cool weather and have been very happy with the results.

If you are not familiar with embrocation creams here is the Reader’s Digest version: they are creams that contain vasodilators and when rubbed onto your body they warm up the skin and underlying muscles. These creams also create a weather-proof barrier that protects your skin from the elements, like rain and sleet. The DZ-Nuts Website says their cream was “developed and tested on the European roads by Garmin Transitions and Columbia HTC professional cycling teams to be an essential training and racing tool.” For many male cyclists embrocation creams are the main reason we shave our legs. Warning: Never shave your legs on the same day you use an embrocation cream!

If you have never used an embrocation cream before you are probably wondering how this product works. About 15 minutes before you go out for a ride on brisk day you massage this cream into the exposed areas of your legs. It will take several minutes for you to feel the cream working, but once it does you will feel the warmth and be able to ride for several hours in cool weather without having your legs cramp up from the cold.

When your ride is finished you will be pleasantry surprised that the cream did not pick up road grime as you might have expected. I’ve used this cream on long off-road rides on dusty trails and haven’t had much dust stick to my legs.

It has been my experience that the greatest amount of heat is felt once your ride is finished. While you are riding in cool weather you don’t really feel the cream working, but then again, you aren’t feeling the cool air on your legs either. Once you put your bike up and go inside you can feel your legs getting warmer and this will keep your muscles from getting tight after a ride. The DZ Nuts InHeat Embrocation Cream washes off easily with just soap and water, but you can still feel it a bit even after you are out of the shower. My advice: When you get into the shower try to wash off the cream with soap and cool water—hot water opens up the pores of your skin and makes this cream heat up again.

Second Warning: Make sure you put this cream on your legs after you put your cycling shorts on! If you put the cream on your legs first and then pull your cycling shorts up some of the cream will stick to your chamois. This cream has capsicum in it (think red-hot chili peppers and police pepper spray). If the capsicum comes in contact with your nether regions you are going to experience a level of pain that the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay never even dreamed about (I speak from experience—and a very painful one at that).

DZ Nuts InHeat Embrocation Cream comes in three strengths (low, medium and high). The low heat cream is good for rides down to around 50 degrees (Fahrenheit). I’ve not used the other creams because when temperature gets down in the 40’s I really prefer tights. A six-ounce tube of DZ Nuts InHeat retails for around $22 and you should be able to get 15 or 20 rides out of a single tube.

In case you were wondering, the “DZ” in DZNuts is for cycling legend David Zabriskie.


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20 responses to “Favorite Embrocation Cream: DZ Nuts InHeat

  1. Chatter Master

    March 29, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    Good stuff to know about. Especially the warnings. 😉

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 29, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      It is great stuff, but like they say, “You’ve been warned!”

  2. cyardin

    March 29, 2013 at 5:21 AM

    I burst out laughing when I read the line “you are going to experience a level of pain that the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay never even dreamed about”

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      I am not suggesting you try it, if you you are ever unfortunate enough to get this cream in the wrong location you will NEVER forget it!

  3. Irish Katie

    March 29, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    TMI TMI lol….but the warnings were needed I guess.

    Not to brag, but the weather here is getting into the 60’s regularly now…and was near 70 yesterday….and I have started to ride woooooooohooooo. (ok…so I was bragging just a little 🙂 )

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 29, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Yesterday I had the warmest bike ride of the year — it got all the way up to 42 degrees (F).

  4. bikevcar

    March 29, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    This would’ve been handy for my ride today. Cycling in tights for a commute is ok, but for a long ride they become uncomfortable. Thanks for the review

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      As the old TV commercial used to say, “Try it, you’ll like it.”

  5. forsair

    March 30, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    Good information. I had been toying with the idea of getting an embrocation and using it to mitigate my lack of knickers or warmers. I only own shorts and my one set of tights, are tights for another sport and don’t really work on rides in cold weather. I was investigating Mad Alchemy, because they are local to my old stomping grounds, but I like DZ . . . hmmmmm.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 31, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      You really owe it to yourself to try it a few times — the price is not bad and I love the freedom of wearing shorts in cool weather.

  6. elisariva

    March 30, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Considering it should be applied after putting shorts on, the product name is very funny. Good to know though, I am finally getting outside to ride!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 31, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      I have this theory that the name for the product originated AFTER someone mistakenly put the cream on before their shorts one time.

  7. swimbikeread

    April 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Another bit of advice. You might want to try the cream out on just a small area to start. I tried a similar product and found that it burned my skin. Too bad. I was looking forward to a little extra warmth! I believe some products offer varying strengths. Great review! So true about being careful where you rub the cream, though.

  8. Lisa

    April 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    We had a little adventure run here in the pouring rain/ 40 degree weather over the weekend. I think a tube of embro was passed around before start. There were grateful people.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 3, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      I enjoy riding in the snow in temperatures well below zero (F) — but the most miserable ride I have ever been on was on a 40 degree day in the rain! I really do feel your pain!

  9. Yahobahne

    April 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    This is very informative. My husband is an avid cyclist! I’m not sure if he knows about this product, he might. Nevertheless, I’ll share it with him. Thanks for posting.😊

  10. JennyO

    April 7, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Okay going back to the states I’m considering a bike, looking through your blog (thank you for keeping in touch on mine!) I see there is WAY more to a bike than just – the bike. Thank you for the warnings! I had a cream that my doctor had given that had that ingredient for a muscle issue and you are NOT kidding don’t get it in the wrong place – wooHOOyow! 😉

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 7, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      Fortunately you don’t have to buy everything at once. When I started cycling I bought all the wrong stuff the first time around (one of the reasons I started this blog was to keep people from making some of the mistakes I made). As for the cream — just another reason to actauly read the product warning labels.

      • JennyO

        April 7, 2013 at 1:46 AM

        Thanks! I’ll be sure to look through your posts for tips on my first bike purchase – reading the labels!?! Novel idea 😉

  11. thewindykitchen

    April 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    not sure I would use it after all the warnings. the good news is that spring may finally be here 😉


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