Butt Hurts? How To Avoid Saddle Soreness When Cycling?
Oh yes, long distance cycling is amazing. However, with long-distance cycling, comes along few troubles. The one which we will talk about today is saddle soreness. This happens to everyone, only a few talks about it. Yes, this is correct. Even professionals encounter this at times during their careers. While I was researching about this topic, I stumbled across few instances when professionals were a victim of this saddle soreness. Read below.
“Eddy Merckx not being able to ride the 1976 Tour de France. Sean Kelly withdrawing two days from the end of the 1987 Vuelta while wearing the leader’s jersey. Ivan Basso missing the Giro with a sore the size of a golf ball are all examples of the best being beaten by a boil.”
What is saddle soreness?
Saddle sores can be an uncomfortable byproduct of cycling. As the name suggests saddle soreness is a pain or discomfort felt in the areas of your body in contact with the saddle. Too long if you are on the saddle. Your “sit-bones” & the area between your anus and genitals known as the perineum pains which are in contact with saddle are affected. It’s also possible to suffer from chafing of your inner thighs as they rub back and forth against the sides of the saddle.
Tip’s To Avoid Saddle Soreness!
Follow these tips to avoid saddle soreness while cycling.
1. Before Purchasing a Bike, It Is Important To Do A Bike Fit
Always ensure that you first do a bike fit and then purchase a bike. If your saddle is too high, it may make your hips rock side to side to reach the pedals. That can cause chafing. If your handlebars are too high or too close, you can be sitting too far upright, and putting extra weight on the saddle. Remember, you want your weight balanced between your pedals, your hands, and your butt. If necessary, stop in at your bike shop to have them check and adjust your bike fit.
2. Change The Angle Of Your Saddle, Tilt The Nose
This has specifically helped me in reducing the saddle pain that I used to get earlier. I simply changed the angle of the saddle nose towards the ground. It’s simple and you can do it yourself with an Allen key. Adjust so the widest part of your saddle supports your weight mostly on your two “sit bones”. The ones that hold you up if you sit on the corner of a desk. If your saddle is tilted too far back, it can put pressure on soft tissue at the front. Be extra cautious as if you tilt it too far forward, you can find yourself sliding off the saddle and resisting that with excess pressure on your hands. most riders like to get the saddle perfectly leveled. However, try and experiment with your saddle, a small adjustment can give a lot of comforts.
3. Avoid Sitting On Saddle The Whole Time – Stand Up
Riders who like long distance rides they tend to spend a considerable amount of time on the saddle. For a 100 KM ride, it means that you may have to sit on the saddle for about 5 to 6 hours. Stand on the pedals now and then to take the pressure off your butt. You can stand while coming downhill. Can stand while climbing a hill. You can stand and pedal even if there is no hill. And, of course, you can stop the bike and stand up to rest. But do stand up to let some blood and air circulate. Also, slide forward or backward on your saddle, to change the pressure points.
4. Use A Good Quality Cycling Shorts
Always wise to spend on the cycling shorts. Do not use the cheap ones rather go for the best quality shorts. After all, it’s the question about your nuts bro. The most important part of your body. Ain’t it! Consider bib shorts as they will stay in the position far better when riding. Finally, never wear additional underwear, especially cotton. It will hold additional moisture and make soreness, skin irritation and infections more likely. Always wear washed shots, these conditions arise when there is no cleanliness.
“Wear nothing along with cycling padded shorts, No underwears at all”
5. Creams Are Available
Not particularly for saddle sores, however, I do recommend this in case of chafing your inner thighs with saddle corners. although it might initially feel a little strange and squishy, its effectiveness in preventing saddle soreness is almost miraculous. It reduces friction, hydrates the skin and prevents cracking. Some brands also have antibacterial properties but also be prepared for a bit of a tingle!
6. Increase Your Distance, However, Do Not Go BALLISTIC
Ok! So you are riding daily. Your friends do 100 km every now and then, you want to do likewise. However, go slowly. Do not jump from 20/30 to 100 all of a sudden. Your body does take a little time adjusting to long rides. Like all aspects of cycling training, you have to build-up slowly and allow your body to adapt.
To prevent saddle sores, all of the above tips will help. In addition, cleanliness and dryness are important. Be sure you and your bike shorts are washed and completely dried after every ride. And be careful to increase mileage gradually. Saddle sores can pop up when your weekly mileage suddenly jumps from 50 to 500. The bike fit is important.
“If you develop true saddle sores, take time off the bike, try antibiotic creams and/or hot baths, and if necessary, see your doctor”