Thursday, March 4, 2010

Product Review: That Butt Stuff

Note: this post may make use of the terms "butt", "rear", "fanny", "derriere", "buttocks", "couch attachment", "caboose", "bottom", "tail", "arse", "badonkadonk", "can", "duff", "fluffernutter", and specifically for fans of Digital Underground; "biscuits".
If you are offended by any or all of these terms, please stop reading now and return immediately to the 1820's whereas you may go sittith on thine "ultimatum".

I am a big proponent of names that easily identify a product. For example "double cheeseburger". The name is simple, straightforward, and of course yummy. After many years of trying to find creative ways to uniquely name things, marketing "geniuses" started going completely the other direction and named things for what they were. The pinnacle achievement in this vein was the aptly named "That 70's Show" . Not recognizing they had struck literal and comedy gold with this naming convention, they went a different direction with the spin-off "That 80's Show". Had they followed the original thought process, "That 80's Show" would have been more appropriately named "Poo on a stick".

This probably explains why one of the first sponsors I found on Loop'd (now Hookit) was That Butt Stuff. I read the description and said "now that's a well named product". I was getting ready to order a trial pack when Adam (owner of TBS) announced that he was going to order jerseys, and a 6 oz tube of TBS came free with each jersey ordered. And if you know me, you know I'm all about free stuff. Plus, picture a fat guy on a bike, racing with the word "Butt" in big letters across his chest and back. That thought alone was reason to place the order.

I was very excited when I got my jersey, because it was the first (and still only) bicycle jersey I've ever owned. I was at least equally excited to try TBS because I knew I'd be doing a lot of riding and running to get ready for the season. Plus, as a big dude, I tend to generate more friction than most riders in my "nether regions"; so an anti-chafing agent was going to be key to my success.

Over the past couple of weeks I've been ridden about 85 miles. Each time I got on the saddle, I applied TBS prior to the workout. I feel like I've got enough experience with the product that I can provide some honest feedback.

Before I apply a product to my body, I want to know whats in it. You should really don't want to see the amount of time I spend in the shower reading the long words on the back of shampoo bottles. I don't have my tube in front of me as I write this, but I'm going to quote from the TBS web site:
"That Butt Stuff contains: Oils of Olive, Avocado, Sweet Almond & Shea Butter. Water & Vegetable Glycerin. Preservative does not contain parabens, formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers. The ingredients on the label that are difficult to pronounce are the preservative and the emulsifier which are the most friendly versions available at this time and still provide an affordable product for you"
It's important to me that what I put on my body is friendly to environment; and especially to my nose. I don't know what a formaldehyde releaser is, but I can only imagine it smells bad. I smell bad enough while working out, I don't need anything that makes me smell worse.

Thankfully, TBS smells good. Actually it took me looking at the ingredient list to understand what made it smell the way it does. The almond and shea butter are the stronger scents in the mixture, but even those are mild. It's not the kind of smell that would have the guy next to me on the bike look at me funny. And that's important to me, because I get enough of that as it is.

Applying anything to your "heiney" and associated areas is an interesting process and different products handle it different ways. The only product I had used prior to TBS is BodyGlide, which handles application via a deodorant like stick. Because of the application method, BodyGlide is easy to store and apply to the inside of the legs for running, but getting the "biscuits" and "fluffernutter" area properly covered for cycling takes a lot of maneuvering.  TBS on the other hand, is a cream that applies easily, anywhere you can reach (If you can't reach an area, you may have bigger problems than a little chafing). No clumps, doesn't get runny or separate under normal conditions, and feels like a skin lotion when applied.

As for how well it works, honestly, I've been very happy. I have 2 pair of tri shorts, one of which is beginning to wear out. The edges of the padding in the shorts are getting stiff and causing some rubbing. I apply the cream to areas where the pad hits plus the rest of "the usual suspects". (And no, I dont mean Kevin Spacey). It offers a lot of flexibility that BodyGlide doesn't.

In terms of longevity, I didn't perform any viscosity or thermal breakdown tests (See what you learn watching commercials for motor oil?), but to this point I've worn out before TBS does. Some reviews I've read say the user should reapply every 4 hours, and that just seems to make good sense. BodyGlide hasn't lasted me even that long during my half-marathons. My only concern would be re-application during a race. But when I get to that point, I'll let you know.

In the end, I can safely recommend That Butt Stuff to anyone looking to reduce friction while riding or running. Just be prepared to get some funny looks if you buy the jersey. Frankly, I don't know why they didn't do shorts first....

Final Note: Normally here I put my "I got this free" disclosure. While I did get this product free, I paid full price for the jersey it came with. So I don't think this falls under the "free from a sponsor" guidelines.

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