Saddle soreness is simply pain associated with sitting on your bike seat. Saddle sores are sores you get from chaffing while riding. Here are 5 ways to prevent these at the beginning of the season.
Get new riding shorts
Old riding shorts means you are riding with virtually no padding on your bike. If you are like me with a racing seat – which basically means almost no seat at all – not having enough padding is a seriously painful problem.
I ensure that my shorts have extra padding and that I buy new shorts each year. It’s a bit expensive to spend $80-$100 dollars every year on riding shorts, but considering how much I ride it’s well worth being comfortable every day on my bike.
Even if you don’t buy new shorts every year, if you are experiencing soreness ask yourself: how old are my shorts?
Use shammy cream
Shammy cream is an essential part of your riding arsenal whether you are a regular rider or not. Shammy cream helps prevent chaffing that can lead to brutal saddle soreness and saddle sores. It’s inexpensive, a little goes a long way, and it can completely prevent saddle sores without any other measures.
Spend time in saddle at beginning of season
I’ve discussed this several times in the past, but just sitting on your bike at the beginning of the riding season is a good way to acclimate to being on your bike. You can read emails, have coffee, read the paper, or virtually any other activity that involves sitting, except that you do it on your bike instead of in a chair.
Do this for a weak each day preparing for your first ride, and simply get off when you start to feel sore. It may make a dramatic difference on your first ride.
Don’t wear underwear while riding
I’ve only made this mistake one time, early on in my cycling career.
Simply put, biking shorts will give you a catastrophic case of saddle sores because they cause chaffing. Your bike shorts are all you should wear when you cycle. Don’t do it. You will regret it, and you likely won’t ride for a week after.
Get bike fitted
An improperly fitted bike can lead to chronic saddle soreness and saddle sores regardless of anything else you do, such as using shammy cream, having new bike shorts, and not wearing underwear.
If you have chronic saddle soreness or saddle sores, go in to get your bike bitted. They may change your bike fit or recommend that you get a new seat. Don’t buy a new seat until you know that’s the problem – you know this by getting your bike fitted.
Best of luck,