The other day one of my clients asked if I ever got “saddle sores” from ridding my bike. I’m not sure why she asked, as she herself does not ride. Maybe she’d heard tales of suck upset.
With that, I thought I would share some saddle sore wisdom.
“Saddle sore” is a term used to refer to any skin irritation located on, or near the part of your body that rests on the bicycle seat (saddle). Saddle sores can be caused by three things. Pressure, friction or infection.
To cut to the chase, a saddle sore can range from simple chaffing to a huge oozing boil. The boils are my favorite! They can get so big and nasty that they almost become planetoid. Lots o’ fun!
If you get a saddle sore – first, ask yourself, “does my saddle make me sore, or does my saddle give me sores?” If you saddle makes you sore, go to a good bike shop and get fitted properly on your bike. You may need a new saddle.
If your saddle is giving your sores than basically you need a good scrub! Seriously, bacteria causes most saddle sores. Bacterium grows in warm, damp places. That nice warm, sweaty chamois is the happiest place on earth for a microorganism.
Here’s what to do – As soon as you’re off the bike, get out of those shorts. Immediately put on something dry and loose. The idea is to air out your undercarriage. When you get home jump in the shower, don your loofah mitt, soap up and give yourself a good scrub. Do this every time you ride.
Aside from that here are a few other things to keep in mind.
- Wear high-quality cycling shorts.
- Never wear underpants under your cycling shorts. This causes chaffing.
- Wash your cycling shorts after every use.
- Lube up. There are all sorts of chamois creams out there to help keep away bacteria and minimize abrasion.
- If you get a saddle sore don’t ignore it. Eddy Merckx ignored them and missed the 1976 Tour. They had to cut them out and drain them! Nasty!
I could go on but I think you get the gist. Happy Monday!