Gear Combo Guru
Join Date: May 2007
Bikes: road, commuter/tourer, hardtail MTB, touring tandem, cargo, folder
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I don't think it is a good idea to be using something for the first time on the big ride. This is partly what training rides are for - to try out new things and to know how to use them; this applies to bike equipment, nutrition, and clothing. On the big day, there should ideally be nothing new because that can only cause problems.
Also, if you aren't having any problems with irritation / soreness, then why are you trying to solve a problem that doesn't currently exist? Just because your friends find this stuff useful doesn't mean that it is right for everyone. I've done a lot of long day-rides (up to 11 hours in the saddle) and lots of touring, and never had a need for butt cream. I'm sure that it works wonders for other people, but it is certainly not needed for everyone. I would be very apprehensive about trying it for the first time on such a big ride.