25 February 2014

8 Tips For Preventing Saddle Sores on Your Bike

Miles of riding is possible with the right equipment
Nothing is worse than riding or racing with a saddle sore or "chafing" skin.  Your seat, shorts, and salt crystals from sweat can feel like 40 grit sand paper on your private parts.  Trust me, a pleasant, fun ride can quickly become an ordeal quickly, but these 8 tips will  help you stay happy and  comfortable on the bike.  

  1. Keep it clean down below.  Make sure you shower frequently while riding often. 
  2. Don't wear underwear or anything else that can cause friction.  Also avoid cotton shorts, as they tend to hold sweat.
  3. Reduce friction by not having your seat so high that your hips rock when you pedal.  If you haven't done it already, be sure to get your bike fitted properly by an expert. 
  4. Use good cycling shorts with a quality pad.  Good shorts don't have to be really expensive.  We stock pairs under $100.  
  5. Take off those shorts as soon as you done with your riding to reduce the chance of infection from sitting around in sweat soaked bike shorts.
  6. Use a clean pair of bike shorts every day.
  7. Use a lubricant on your chamois. Chamois Butt'r is good and available at several bike shops. Other quality brands include Assos Chamois Creme, while others swear by Udderly Smooth.  In the old days, we used to use Vasoline on synthetic or natural chamois, but I find it too heavy.  Newer chamois pads tend to be less abrasive. 
  8. Stay comfortable in the saddle
  9. Experiment with other products if you develop sores.  You may want to opt for a trip to the doctor and prescription antibiotics if the problem persists.  I have also found Teatree oil, diluted, to be very good at removing the infection.  Be careful as it may cause an allergic reaction.  There's no one solution for everyone. 

Did we miss anything?  Be sure to leave your tips in the comment section below. 
    Dougby Doug Duguay
    After selling jerseys on eBay to pay his mortgage, Doug Duguay launched BicyclingHub from his home in 2001 after a productive six-hour coding session. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Doug’s passion for cycling already had plenty of momentum when he moved to Portland, the town that inspired him to take up all manner of racing, from cyclocross and track to road and stage races. He considers starting BicyclingHub a lucky accident, and while running a business has cut into some of his training time, he’s chasing the idea of a race comeback--something he contemplates while climbing Portland’s west hills. Doug is BicyclingHub’s resident bibshort expert.

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