February 2017 Product Picks: Effetto Mariposa, skingrowsback, Pedalit, Dual Eyewear

by Matt Wikstrom

February 22, 2017

In the second edition of Product Picks for February 2017, Australian tech editor Matt Wikstrom takes a look at some helmet padding from Effetto Mariposa, bifocal sunglasses from Dual Eyewear, laundry bags from skingrowsback, and body care products from Pedalit.

Click the links below to skip through to a particular review:

Effetto Mariposa Octoplus kit
Skingrowsback laundry bags
Dual Eyewear bifocal sunglasses
Pedalit laundry detergent, sunscreen and chamois cream

Pedalit laundry detergent, sunscreen and chamois cream

by Matt Wikstrom

Pedalit may be a relatively new brand, but the Australian company has been gaining momentum. After putting a lot of effort into developing a range of bike care products, Pedalit has turned its attention to the rider, creating a range of pre-ride and post-ride body care products along with a couple of laundry products.

The company’s new sunscreen and chamois cream are part of Pedalit’s pre-ride body care range. With an SPF rating of 50+, the sunscreen is a broad-spectrum lotion containing macadamia oil, rice bran oil, grape seed oil, allantoin, and zinc oxide. It’s a combination that makes the lotion easy to apply and gentle on the skin, while affording up to two hours of protection from the sun.

Pedalit’s chamois cream makes use of a wide range of organic products including beeswax, tea tree oil, calendula oil, coconut oil, and eucalyptus oil, all of which are praised for their anti-inflammatory and/or anti-bacterial properties. These are combined with a mixture of petrolatum and glycerine to create a paste that can be applied to both skin and clothing.

Pedalit’s Revival laundry products are designed for hand washing only. It’s an important distinction, because the company strongly believes that it’s the best way to protect the fit of cycling garments while prolonging the life of each.

“If you got loads of money, don’t ride far, don’t care what you look like on the road or trail, never had a sore arse, or care what the rider behind you sees, then stop here,” the company says. “You’ll never hand wash.”

Pedalit’s Revival laundry concentrates are designed to complement hand washing by providing organic and natural ingredients that are kind to the fabric and effective at removing stains and odours without irritating the skin. To this end, there are two formulations: a colourless all-natural concentrate designed for low irritation and a minimum of chemical residues, and a bright blue biodegradable power concentrate that is much more effective for dirt and stains.

Pedalit’s sunscreen and chamois screen are supplied in 250ml quantities while Revival laundry concentrates are supplied in 1litre bottles.

Our take:

At face value, there might not be much to distinguish Pedalit’s body care products and laundry concentrates from any other, but dig a little deeper and you should see that the company is passionate about their products and the health and well-being of cyclists. As a result, the company seems to go a little further and is more thoughtful when deciding on the formulations for its products, with the promise that each one will serve the needs of cyclists a little better than generic products.

Pedalit’s sunscreen is a no-fuss product that works well at protecting the skin. I’m fortunate that I’ve never struggled with irritation from supermarket sunscreens, so I can’t comment on how innocuous this formulation is. It does contain some non-mineral agents (8.0% octyl methoxycinnamate, among others) that can break down and be absorbed by the body, but there is also a large measure (7.0%) of zinc oxide that won’t break down with use.

This sunscreen was quite easy to apply, thanks in part to the convenient pump-pack, and the white of the zinc oxide allowed me to see those patches where I missed with the lotion. There wasn’t much greasiness associated with the lotion, but out on the road, I found that arms and legs would quickly end up feeling slick. On truly hot days, any sweat that dripped off me was milky and the zinc residue could end up on anything that I leaned on. Nevertheless, at the end of the ride, I always needed a liberal amount of soap to wash off the zinc oxide, which I take as a good sign that my sweat wasn’t washing it all away.

The chamois cream was also easy to use and I was pleased to see that it lacked menthol, a common choice for many creams (such as DZ Nuts). I have no regard for the warming or burning sensation that menthol can cause; by contrast, Pedalit’s formula was completely innocuous. It also had a long life.

After a week of using the cream, I noticed that there wasn’t anything to notice, which when you think about it, is the perhaps the best indication that a chamois cream is doing its job well. I’ve tried a variety of other chamois creams, yet none have managed what Pedalit has with its formulation. Indeed, after many years of not using a cream regularly, this cream makes me want to use it for every ride because it is pleasant to use, long-lasting and very effective.

Turning to Pedalit’s laundry concentrates, I’m almost ashamed to say that it’s been decades since I’ve consistently hand washed my cycling gear. Back in the ‘90s when shorts still used a true chamois, hand washing was critical in order to preserve the padding. Modern padding isn’t nearly as demanding, and with full-time work and family competing for my attention, I was happy to surrender hand washing for the convenience of a machine.

So it was with some nostalgia that I returned to hand washing my kit again in order to test Pedalit’s new concentrates. There was no fragrance associated with the bright blue power formula while the colourless all-natural concentrate had a light scent of eucalyptus. Of the two, the power concentrate was more satisfying to use since it created a lot of foam as I agitated my bibs and jerseys. The scent of the all-natural formula remained with the clothes after they had dried.

Overall, I was pleased with the results from both Revival concentrates, though I didn’t test either on tough stains, such as blood or grease. I’m not convinced that either product is really any better than the products I can find at my local supermarket, but I applaud Pedalit for making the effort and raising awareness of the value of hand washing cycling garments.

Price: Revival concentrate, AUD$15 (~US$12); chamois cream, AUD$25 (~US$19); sunscreen, AUD$30 (~US$23).
You can find the range at the CyclingTips Emporium here.