How can cyclists prevent saddle sores?[themify_box style=”lavender info”]Sometimes back I used to experience soreness and discomfort around the butt area; the worst part was that it was so itchy and I couldn’t help but quit cycling for two weeks. If you’ve experienced serious saddle sores then you can relate to my situation. You’ll barely have a smooth ride if your backside begins to feel sore and painful. For this reason, I thought it wise to cover important tips to help relieve and prevent bike saddle sores.[/themify_box]
Who are the most affected by saddle sores?
Saddle sores do not discriminate against one group; it can affect pro cyclists or even beginners. We’ve heard legends withdraw from competitions such as Tour de France just because of serious sores. In order to avoid such situations, it’s imperative to follow my advice on the ideal ways to prevent sores when cycling. Below are some of the main causes of saddle soreness
Saddle soreness is a type of pain or discomfort that affects the groin, perineum, and butt area (Areas in contact with the saddle). Soreness is also attributed to aggressive riding positions that might cause chafing around your inner thighs.
If you are used to riding for long hours, you’ll note that temporary inflammation, soreness and redness is inevitable. The problem comes when the issues worsens to an extent that you can’t ride any more for a few days or weeks. Physiotherapists always advise cyclists to act on such problems early enough before they develop to actual sores.
Riding on an uncomfortable saddle can also be a major cause of soreness. It is always good to check if the saddle has enough padding so that it keeps you comfortable at all times.
Types of Saddle sores
There exists two main types of saddle soreness, the first category happens to be the soft tissue saddle soreness. This is the type of soreness I experienced when I first started the sports of cycling. The other type happens to be skin abrasion where you tend to feel like your skin stings or is on fire.
Soft Tissues saddle soreness happens when you ride for long distances leading to deep and profound pain around the skin. As mentioned earlier, firs time cyclists tend to experience this type of soreness which is attributed to pressure around your butt’s soft tissues.
When you suffer from skin abrasion, you will feel like your skin is on fire. It happens to most long distance riders including pro cyclists. It even gets worse when you start sweating and you’ll feel like your skin is stinging. This type of soreness is attributed to high friction around your thighs or butt. This condition should not be allowed to get any worse as it may develop to a condition known as saddlesore.
Smart Tips to help you Prevent saddle sores
You’ve probably tried some weird methods to keep the sores away and they’ve not worked well. Good news is that these tips will help you in a significant manner and you will no longer have to stay away from the cycling sport.
Ensure that your Saddle is well fitted
It is important that your saddle is fixed at the correct height such that you can reach your handlebar without stress. This way, you will have a comfortable ride and you will hardly feel soreness or discomfort after long rides.
Choose a high quality saddle
The choice of your bike saddle will determine whether you will have a comfortable or awful ride. People have different backsides and therefore it’s imperative to ensure that you pick the one that suits you best. Besides, a big and padded saddle might work best for some people and on the other hand some will prefer the ultra-light and thin saddles. It is always good to test the saddles before you choose.
Buy Quality cycling shorts
Investing in some cheap bike shorts is always a bad idea. Ensure that you buy some quality padded bike shorts since they will be a good solution to a sore behind. Nowadays, manufacturers have improved cycling shorts to ensure that they provide maximum comfort.
For those who love bib shorts, ensure that you choose the one that suits you. Additionally, you should never wear underwear when riding otherwise they will retain moisture and lead to soreness and skin infections.
Always apply butt butter/ Chamois cream
As much as it sounds weird, cyclists are always advised to apply butter or chamois cream on the short’s padding area. It has been proved effective in reducing friction and ultimately preventing saddle sores. Besides, the cream has moisturizing properties that will aid in preventing cracking. You will also note that the best brands have antibacterial properties that will work well to keep bacteria away. Below are some of the best brands for both men and women.
- This chamois cream is specifically designed for women.
- it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
- It protects sensitive or delicate skins against the chamois padding.
- Chamois Butt’r makes the perfect cream for pros
- It is non-greasy & also gluten free
- It has no artificial ingredients or colors
Always keep your cycling shorts clean
Wearing dirty shorts allows bacteria to thrive in the padding section. You should wear you cycling shorts only once and wash them after use. This is a great way to keep bacteria away and preventing sores. Cyclists are advised to shower using antibacterial soap especially around the saddle contact area.
Avoid sitting on the saddle for long
Even though you are cycling on a flat area, it is good to take a break and ride while standing for some time. This process will ensure that you backside has enough blood flow while riding.
Controlling and preventing saddle sores can be so easy if you follow the tips discussed above. These tips are meant to help pro cyclists and beginners to stay comfortable during their everyday rides. Check the video below for more information