A serious question about Saddle Sores
How do you stop them?
This has never been a problem for me before until this summer when I’ve actually started riding longer and more often. Been riding the best part of 20 years on and off, and never had one until after Bontrager 24/12 (my first 12hr solo) this July, and then I’ve done a few long road rides since including a 100 mile sportive yesterday and every time I’ve spent more than 4hrs in the saddle, guess what’s there to greet me the next day!
Just so you know… Personal hygiene is good, bordering on obsessive (I spend way longer in the shower than anyone else I know), I’m using half decent padded bib shorts, a comfy saddle that doesn’t rub the wrong way at all etc. I can hop off the bike after 6hrs, then immediately hop back on it if required without any discomfort, yet the morning after, at the crease between the top of my leg and my privates, is a bloody great sore waiting to greet me!
Please, how do I make them stop?!?!Posted 4 years agomissnotaxMember
Errr, can’t quite believe that I’m answering this but is there a seam or something there on your shorts? If you always wear the same ones or make then that would be my guess.
I say this as someone who rode 230 miles off road across Wales last month – I’m now sold on the wonders of chamois cream and know which pairs of shorts are my friends 😉Posted 4 years agovickypeaMember
I have trouble with them after long rides, had 4 of them after a 130-miler last month! I’ve looked at numerous pieces of sensible advice, and like you, I am careful with hygiene, use Vaseline or chamois cream, always have clean shorts for every ride, etc. I also try to avoid getting soggy shorts by using mudguards when it rains.Posted 4 years ago
I almost always get them on my left hand side only and mostly on my road bike rather than my mountain bike, and I suspect my bike position is not quite balanced.mrblobbyMember
Are they always in the same place? If so have a really good inspection for anything that might be rubbing (a stupid seam on the saddle caused mine.) Might be worth seeing if you can get a different demo saddle from your LBS to try too. Also do the shorts come off as soon as possible after a ride?
Never got them that badly myself, but sudocrem after showering helped clear mine up quickly.Posted 4 years ago
somafunk, both sides of my groin and not always the same spot either.
missnotax, don’t think it’s a seam there, unless the shorts are moving quite a lot whilst I’m wearing them (shouldn’t do as they’re tight fitting bibs).
hob nob, before or after? What’s the idea behind tea tree oil on it?
crikey, don’t know, but I suppose it’s one thing to consider
vickypea, I’ve had them after long dry rides too, yesterday’s was damp at points (though I didn’t get soaked through), but it’s happening despite the weather conditions.Posted 4 years agoDT78Member
How old are your bibs? Even if they look okay the padding could be shot. I also found that the padding can go on the nose of the saddle and get a bit saggy in the middle over time which can make it worse. Final thing just check your saddle hasn’t somehow pointed up a little. I use an app on the phone to get the right angle. The other day when I was really sore I checked the angle and the nose had crept up a couple of degrees.
I get this alot – good quality bibs (just invested in some lovely assos ones) and cream help me.Posted 4 years agosomafunkSubscriber
I never got then on the saddle pressure points as such (i cannot believe i’m willingly typing this…..) but i always seemed to have a hard pea sized lump to one side rather than the other and i eventually went to the docs as it literally was a pain in the saddle everytime i went out – the doc sliced me open and it was a humoungus ingrowing hair or two that had grown inwards.
There……i feel better for getting that out int to the open…not!.
For what it’s worth i always used antibacterial chamois creme and never sat about in my shorts after a run etc but having a hairy ball sack area prob didn’t help much – there’s a lot to be said for the baldy look.
😉Posted 4 years ago
How old are your bibs?
One pair of bibs are old, but in good condition. The other pair are about 6 months old and still good as new. Obviously they’re always washed properly, and dried thoroughly before being worn.
Final thing just check your saddle hasn’t somehow pointed up a little.
I’m very finnicky about saddle angle. I can detect a degree each way easily just through sitting on it! Very sensitive bottom, and if anything I err slightly on the nose down approach. Here is a pic of the bike immediately after yesterday’s 100 miler (and yes, it looks more like I’ve taken it CX racing!)
Assos shorts are not an option I’m afraid! Waaaaaaaay too much money, even with trade discount. May invest in some nice Santini’s soon though to see if they make a difference.
somafunk, I’ll go back to the doc’s, have had the hard “pea sized lumps” you describe, but in at least 2 or 3 different spots on both sides now. And maybe it’s worth investigating the smooth approach, I may not have a single hair that grows on my back, but I could benefit from 2 out of 3 elements in a “Back, Sack and Crack” wax if you get me! 🙄
unnecessary chamois time
Hmmmm… Could be part of the problem, hadn’t thought about this one. Probably had the shorts on for an hour after the ride yesterday (sat around drinking tea with mates once finished, before going home), though got showered and changed almost the moment I got off the bike at 24/12 to be fair. Been using plenty of Sudocrem, maybe I need more!
Maybe you need a new saddle? Narrow, low friction, vented
My saddles already fit all the proper criteria (see above photo), spent years finding suitable saddles and have found the 143mm wide Spesh Romin’s and Phenom’s literally an arse saver until now.Posted 4 years agoforzafkawiMember
I’ve used most things over the years with varying degrees of success. Currently using Sudocrem which is antiseptic and designed for nappy rash so will have some anti-sweat properties as well.
Seems to be doing the job so far this year including several century rides and a week in the Alps. It is also much cheaper than things like Assos chamois creme.Posted 4 years agoninfanMember
have you tried a bit of light pruning with the clippers?
if you’re able to give the region a chance to dangle in the breeze after a ride as well? if you do have to put something on after, then try some Lanacane powder in your pants
I do know someone who toughened up the skin in his nether regions with surgical spirit…Posted 4 years agoFreesterMember
Mmm. Similar situation to you. 10 years of trouble free cycling and this summer got in a right old state ‘down there’.
Occasionally I’d get some very mild irritation, nothing a liberal application of sudocrem wouldn’t sort out. Never had the need to use Chamois Cream. This summer I got in a right old state. Really irritated / sore. Sudocrem wouldn’t touch it. A few days off the bike would ease it then back to square one after the shortest of rides. Nothing had changed – same distance rides, saddle, brands of shorts.
I got most of the irritation sorted out with some Metanium nappy cream. To the point where I could see I had one small spot or sore.
I got better with my hygiene. Shower straight after ride, not staying in shorts to eat / wash bike. Started using Assos chamois cream for a ride. After shower and before bed treated the area with Tea Trea Oil and the spot with a dab of Savlon. Sleeping commando and days commando at the weekend.
It’s all under control now. The sore is still there but is alot less angry and doesn’t bother me.Posted 4 years agoscudMember
Did a 250 mile ride over the summer and gradually built up my mileage, had a few issues with sores whilst using cheaper shorts and before having bike fit, but not afer, what really worked for me was:
– Sportful Total Comfort bib shorts, expensive but best shorts i have found (got mine and decent shoes and helmet via Cycle 2 Work scheme.
– Assos chamois cream, not just applied to you, but to the shorts in layers on the days before the ride, apply a layer to the chamois and let it dry in then another, then the cream leaches out as you ride.
– Shaving the “nether” region and just the inside of the tops of the thighs.
– Tried about 6 different test saddle before settling on Fizik Aliante, great saddle (for me) for comfort.
– Finally and i am not sure if this is scientifically correct, but look at the saddle height, I had a bike fit done, and had saddle just a tad to high, so hips were rocking slightly wich added to the soreness.
And if the sores really affect you on long rides, have you seen these:Posted 4 years agocuriousyellowSubscriber
DHB bibs used to give me pretty bad sores. Especially after long rides. It would get so bad that I’d have to get the missus to lance them after a hot bath.
Swapped to Sportful bibs and Assos chamois cream (though any decent cream should see you right) and I am better for it. I bought the aftercare cream too and applied it generously during my recovery, though Sudocreme should do the business too.
Main thing seems to be to find a pad that your body is comfortable with. A good quality chamois cream doesn’t hurt either. Also, don’t hurry back before the sore’s healed fully. I did this a couple of times and it just set me back even further. It’s the stupidest thing to stop your riding.Posted 4 years agoEuroMember
Been riding the best part of 20 years
Have you worn padded shorts all this time? Maybe you could try going pad less for a few short rides and increase the distance gradually in an effort to toughen up the delicate area. I’ve never worn a padded short and never had sores.
Cheeks ‘O’ SteelPosted 4 years agoKryton57Subscriber
All the advise is in here. Shorts, Saddle, chamois cream, trimming.
But the most important one I found out when on the recieving end of a BC coaching session at the weekend, was hygiene. The pad/crotch area is the most condusive area for bacterial growth – always warm, sweaty and dark. Add a bit or skin breakage (aka friction), you’ve opened yourself up for infection.
Never where shorts/cream for a long duration pre-ride (ie travelling to a ride start). Remove them after a ride immediately and sanitise your nether regions ASAP.Posted 4 years ago
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