Extras Recovery Reviews

Biofreeze Gel

It’s a fact that the quicker an injury can be treated the better and invariably with muscle pulls, strains and aches that treatment will begin with cooling. Of course in the real world, and particularly out on the road, access to an ice-pack is limited which is where Biofreeze Gel may well comes in.


Although also available in larger 32 and 16oz sizes, the more pocket-friendly 4oz size is perfect for longer rides and sportives; a useful addition to any first aid kit. Alcohol-based Biofreeze uses menthol as it’s active ingredient which works (through a process know as ’gating’) by stimulating sensory receptors in the skin, thereby blocking other (pain-related) receptors and effectively tricking the brain into believing there is nothing to worry about.


Although nowhere near as effective, particularly longer-term, as choosing a gel or cream that contains non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – often known as NSAIDs – Cyclo certainly found that Biofreeze brought fast and effective relief to both calf pain and post ride plantar aches. The cooling effect felt relatively short lived but seems more than adequate for quenching that initial stab of pain or low-level throb. There is also something to me said for the simple curative effect of ‘rubbing in’, a massaged muscle or well thumbed tendon will respond quickly, which is why we certainly prefer the gel version to either the spray or roll-on options, although the latter works well for applying pressure on application to larger muscle groups.


Ice-packs and coolant bandages such as Physicool undoubtedly deliver longer-lasting results and NSAIDs will work harder for rehabilitation and in treating more serious conditions, but as a quick, easily transported fix Biofreeze Gel has much to recommend it.


Widely available, the 4oz (118ml) gel retails at around the £9.99 mark on the high street, but is available for £7.45 online via although shipping costs of £3.95 apply for orders up to £36 making this best as a bulk buy option.


Apparel Recovery Reviews

Physicool Cooling Tee-Shirt

The original Physicool product was a cooling compression bandage that first made its appearance on Dragons’ Den a couple of years ago and could genuinely claim to be revolutionary in its ability to combine post-exercise compression with the recovery benefits of cold – all without the need for icepacks. Now, in association with OK! Famously Fit an online “Celebrity and Expert Health and Fitness” magazine (with ex-Steps star Lee Latchford Evans, no less), they have released the Physicool Cooling Tee-Shirt based on the same coolant spray as the bandage. In principle this might seem like a good idea, but in execution is a little bit neither fish nor foul. The tech-quality T-shirt can simply be sprayed as and when required with the coolant spray to help wick away heat from the body; and in this it is undoubtedly effective – we found that it consistently cooled us for more than an hour without the need for “recharging” and not just in a vague menthol spray way that fools you in to thinking you are cooler (such as with Skins ICE) but in a demonstrable and measurable body-temperature manner. Good stuff, but at Cyclo we can’t quite see the point.


Post ride you could certainly use it to simply cool off – although rapid cooling isn’t always the best advice – but with a little more application this could have been an excellent addition to you kit bag. Imagine if Physicool had teamed up with the aforementioned Skins, or indeed CompresSport, TXU, etc, so that true post-exercise recovery could have been achieved with a little extra squeeze. At £49.99 for a T with 250ml of coolant or £58.98 for a T with 500ml you are already in to the territory where you could by an excellent compression top from most of the leading brands and still have money over to but a stand-alone bottle of coolant at £7.99 for 200ml or £16.99 for 500ml…


So, certainly not the cheapest bit of kit you could add to your bag, but it does do exactly what it claims. Cool.


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