Saddle Sores

Saddle sores can quickly put an end to your long cycling trip, to your training regimen or to your recreational rides. The thing about saddle sores is that everybody can get them and they always get progressively worse if left unchecked. Before you know what you can do to prevent and treat saddle sores, first you need to get a handle on what they are.

Saddle sores are actual bacteria infested abrasions on your skin, in the crotch and butt region that is in constant contact with the seat while you are cycling. This is different from plain old “saddle soreness” which is what occurs to many bikers and cyclists when they haven’t been very active in the saddle lately.

Anytime you do a physical activity that you haven’t done in a long time, or haven’t done much of, you will likely end up sore. The same holds true for cycling, and the soreness in your butt then is just that and nothing that you should worry about.

So if you just have some soreness that is stemming from breaking your body back into cycling shape, don’t be alarmed. If it persists, you’d want to likely change your saddle. You can also try moving the saddle in different heights and positions to try to get in a comfortable setting.

These two methods are two of the best ways to prevent saddle sores from developing as well. Sitting too high or too low can cause your body to bend in ways it shouldn’t, applying excessive pressure to some sensitive areas. Additionally, saddles come in different sizes and shapes, allowing you to pick something that is the most comfortable for your personal needs.

Another way to prevent saddle sores from developing is by wearing proper cycling shorts. You might not love the way they look, but they’re designed to keep moisture out and to protect the areas that need it most. A good pair of biking shorts can go a long way towards preventing saddle sores.

Once you have your cycling shorts though, you need to make sure you keep them clean and wash them as much as possible. Continuing to wear a pair of cycling shorts without washing them will lead to extra bacteria being stored in them, raising a chance for infection and saddle sores.

Keep your shorts clean, and keep yourself clean as well. After a long, sweaty ride you want to take off all your sweaty clothes and hop in a shower. Dry off completely and put on some loose clothes, such as boxer shorts and a t shirt, to let your body get some air.

You can take a further preventative step by applying some kind of lubrication to the chamois of the cycling shorts, where your crotch is. This prevents rubbing that can lead to irritations, which can then lead to saddle sores.

Something as simple and easily available as petroleum jelly can do the trick. If after a long ride you find you are developing some irritations, use some Bag Balm on the area, which can help reduce the size of any swelling and heal the area.

If you are still having problems, or your saddle sores are more fully developed, seek out a prescription from your doctor. And of course, if you have full fledged saddle sores, you need to take time off. Continuing to push yourself and your injuries will only make matters worse.

As you can see, finding a good saddle is all about your own comfort. Anybody can tell you what to look for and what you should buy, but until you sit down on a saddle and see if it’s comfortable for you, nothing else matters.