When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States, a strange phenomenon also took place: bikes and stationary trainer sales went up. Zwift subscriptions skyrocketed. IRONMAN introduced the VR series. Clearly, indoors is here to stay -- especially true as we continue to see races cancel and athletes seek out their next challenge.
However, there’s one thing that we know about indoor training: it’s harder on your gear. You don’t get the same evaporative cooling effect that you do outdoors, and sweat just stays soaked through everything: your clothing, your shoes, your bike, the floormat -- everything. And it’s the kind of stink that tends to stick around, even after a thorough scrubbing or trip through the washing machine.
Through our coverage of the Team Suunto summit back in March (one of the last events before the COVID-19 pandemic), I was introduced to Kanberra’s line of products. Kanberra has sponsored the Suunto team for the past couple of seasons, and I was curious as to why the team had worked with an unknown commodity in the endurance sports world.
As it turns out, there’s a very good reason: the stuff works.
Kanberra has existed for approximately 20 years, primarily operating in the air purification and marine industries. Founder Joel Solly is an avid cyclist and wanted to create a series of products appealing to athletes. Kanberra’s line-up of products are all tea tree oil (TTO) based. Unlike your typical off-the-shelf offerings that are labelled TTO, Kanberra’s are certified by ATTIA, Ltd., which is the Australian government’s certifying body for TTO products. An added bonus: TTO is naturally antimicrobial.
There are three products that I’ve been using over the last few months with my pivot to indoors:
Chafe Paint - Chafe Paint is Kanberra’s take on an anti-friction cream. It’s a bit tackier than, say, a chamois cream; I would recommend it more for running than cycling personally, although there are those who use it for everything.
Laundry Additive - If you’re going to try one thing from Kanberra, I would highly recommend this. Between Kelly going for all of her Zwift route badges and all the racing indoors I’ve done, a couple of spritzes of laundry additive in each load of our wash has made all the difference in the world.
Kanberra Spray - Despite having decent air flow through our basement and a dehumidifier consistently running, it can get pretty ripe down there given the time we spend riding. Two spritzes of this once we’re done riding helps kill off the stench.
I’ve really been pleasantly surprised to find this product line -- it’s simple, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it works. It’s all you can really ask for.