Getting Around Saddle Sores
There are some things that are somewhat uncomfortable to talk about, and for those who are only beginning to ride their road bike or mountain bike regularly, there is one thing that they feel more embarrassed to bring up than others.
Of course, we are talking about seat soreness or as it's more commonly known, saddle soreness. Unless you only ride once every couple of weeks on the weekend, chances are that you will have experienced saddle soreness at some point.
What is it, Exactly?
Saddle soreness is something of an umbrella term for a range of things that can make cycling or even sitting down uncomfortable for a period of weeks. Ingrown hair follicles are one of the common culprits. Venturing into the more unpleasant, boils, cysts and blisters are also common causes of saddle soreness.
What Causes It?
There can be a range of causes of saddle soreness, but by far and away the most common reason is chafing. The encouraging thing about that for cyclists is that you are just as likely to get chafing from wearing jeans or slacks as wearing your cycling gear.
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of the cure holds 100% true with saddle soreness. One of the best ways to prevent saddle soreness is to get your bike adjusted perfectly for you. The friendly staff at Ivanhoe Cycles can help you with this, either by giving you some tips, or if you bring your bike in, we can work with you to get it just right.
As a basic rule, if you are stretching for your pedals and you are sliding forward or back in your seat on the flats, your bike might be inappropriately adjusted.
There are also specialist products like creams and lotion that prevent chafing, and changing out of your cycling gear as soon as possible after a ride is also a big step in the right direction when it comes to preventing saddle sores.
There are some pretty straightforward ways to treat saddle sores. A warm shower or an Epsom salt bath are both good starting points.
Keeping the area dry is also crucial to healing, and some of the same antibiotic creams and gels that help with nappy rash in babies are handy additions to the medicine cabinet if you have saddle sores. It also goes without saying that you might be better off avoiding jumping back on the bike until the problem has cleared, otherwise you're probably just asking for a flare up or recurrence of the same issue.