When it comes to cycling, maybe the worst part is the inevitable saddle soreness if you spend enough time in the saddle. Saddle sores are so painful that may ruin your ride and even keep you off the bike for a significant amount of time. New riders are often more affected than experienced riders as their skin isn’t used to the added stress and rubbing associated with sitting in a saddle for hours. However, I don’t mean that experienced riders never get saddle sores. No matter how to prevent saddle soresyou are young or old, male or female, amateur or professional, saddle sores may happen to you without any provocation or distinction. Luckily, if you observed and followed prevention and proper aftercare, you don’t have to suffer saddle sores. Here are a few tips for you to take to prevent them from the first place and keep you riding in comfort.
Get the right saddle
Get the right saddle is the first step to prevent you from saddle sores because everybody has a different butt and thighs. There are so many saddles in the market and the key is to experiment before choosing one. When you go to the cycling shop, you should make full use of the test saddles to find a saddle that works well for you rather than going with a saddle that works for someone else. You need to pay attention to the saddle size, shape, width and cushioning. If the saddle is too wide, it can place undue pressure on the inner thighs. A large contact with the bike will increase the potential for pressure which will cause nerve and blood-vessel issues. Besides, if you ride slowly for a short distance, a wider and softer saddle are perfect for you. If you ride fast for a long distance, a narrower and firmer saddle work best for you.
Adjust your bike
Adjusting your bike, especially the seat height fitting you right is also of great importance. If the saddle is too high, you may be moving slightly side to side with every pedal stroke which may cause friction and chafing. While if the saddle is too low, it will put extra weight on that area. Besides, if the handlebars are too high or too close that cause you to sit very upright, it will also put extra weight on the saddle. What you need to do is to balance your weight between your pedals, your hands and your butt. Generally speaking, a level or neutral saddle is best in most cases.
Get the right shortsget the right shorts
An effective way to prevent saddle sores is by wearing cycling shorts. Good cycling shorts are worthwhile to invest for they fit correctly in all the right areas. The cushioned part of the cycling shorts---- chamois or pad is important for extra comfort and to avoid pressure sores because it’s your skin’s first point of contact. You need to pay attention to the shorts you choose can hold the chamois in the correct position and don’t have any folds of material in places where they will rub. When you wear cycling shorts, there is no need to wear anything underneath because cycling shorts are designed for no underwear. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes new riders make. Wearing underwear is the main cause of friction and chafing.
Keep clean and dry
Keep yourself clean and dry after every ride is essential to ensure bacteria is killed off and not to allow organisms to multiply and result in infections. Make sure your bottom and crotch are clean before your ride to prevent organisms from growing in the first place. As soon as your ride is over, you need to take off your shorts right away and take a shower if possible. Besides, wet wipes are a good way to keep you clean if you can’t shower after your riding. Never wear shorts that haven’t been washed and dry.
Stand upstand up often to prevent saddle sores
For most people who ride for a long time, the pressure caused by long hours of sitting will reduce blood flow, ventilation and even sweat on your nether parts. There is no doubt that your butt would hurt if you were sitting on a lawn chair. Standing up and lifting your butt off the saddle now and then is a good way to relieve the pressure on your tissues and restore circulation. When you are coasting down little hill, climbing a hill and even if when you meet a crosswalk or stop signs, You can stand up for a few moments to let some blood and air circulate and give your ass a reprieve. Besides, sliding forward or backward on your saddle to change the pressure points also helps to decrease the constant pressure on any one specific spot.
Apply chamois creamapply chamois cream to prevent saddle sores
I highly recommend applying chamois cream, especially for longer rides. Chamois cream helps to reduce the friction between your skin and your shorts and keep a barrier from the potential salt crystals when bike riding or motorcycling. Besides, it’s also antiseptic to help reduce bacteria multiple, irritation and you need to apply it directly to your skin or to your chamois pad in your cycling shorts before riding. There are many creams that work well in the market, you also need to try a few before you choosing one.
Hope these prevention tips will help you to be enjoyable and saddle sore free cycling in the future. If it really hurts, you ‘d better seek professional help and perhaps see a doctor.