How to Avoid Saddle Sores
First of all the odd saddle sore when riding is inevitable. Your bum isn’t designed to sit on a thin piece of leather. However there is a difference between the odd, manageable saddle sore and feeling like nails are digging into your backside and thighs every time you sit on a bike.
Get the right saddle and angle
There is also a difference between having a sore bottom because you find your saddle uncomfortable and actual sore’s, however getting the correct saddle is crucial. Every derriere is different and requires a different saddle! There is a lot of trial and error here but it’s worth putting in the research and time. Pop into your local bike shop if you’ve got one near, they are likely to be able to give you lots of advice and recommendations!
The second thing you need to do is make sure your saddle is set flat. There is a lot of advice out there that suggests tipping your saddle forwards slightly will improve comfort. Whilst this is generally true it can lead to problems elsewhere such as the knees. A quick fix perhaps if you’re in trouble and need to get home but not something we would ever advise on a permanent basis.
Proper cycling shorts are the first thing you must purchase if you’re planning on getting into cycling or upping your distances. Ill-fitting or worn out cycling shorts are a recipe for chafing and saddle sore’s. You only need to spend a short amount of time in the wrong shorts to understand exactly where we’re coming from here. A well-made and fitted cycling short with the chamois in the right place can really make all the difference! Lastly make sure you leave the underwear off, chamois shorts and briefs (especially cotton) do not go well together.
It’s always recommended that you take your shorts off as soon as you stop riding and shower. If you can’t shower it’s still worth getting changed into fresh clothes. (anti-bac wipes are ideal in this situation) This will help prevent against harmful bacteria as well as allowing your shorts and body to air out.
Chamois cream can really help but we must stress that it isn’t a fix nor should it be applied by the bucket load. If you’re really struggling with saddle sores the cream isn’t going to fix the problem and you need to address at source. However it is useful in reducing friction and helping to prevent chafing. It’s worth looking for one that has antibacterial properties as this can help prevent infection and sore’s in the first place!
Rest and recovery + Food
Lastly and arguably the most important thing you can do is rest. Getting a goodnight’s sleep, particularly if you’re riding for continuous days at a time will not only allow your muscles to recover but also your skin. When you’re tired & warn down your skin is much more susceptible to spots and rashes. By giving the body the rest it requires you should increase your chances of avoiding saddle sores.
This isn’t the nicest point to end on but it’s worth bearing in mind. If you know there is something that doesn’t agree with you it’s worth making sure you don’t eat said meal before a ride. If you’re already sore you’ve already lost before you’ve started!