DON’T LET SADDLE SORES RUIN YOUR RIDE WITH THESE TOP TIPS
I used to love going out on day-long bike rides. But my body never shared my enthusiasm for them. It wasn’t my muscles that let me down, or even my stamina, it was saddle sores. My life isn’t regimented enough for me to consistently and frequently take long bike rides, so on the occasions that I did, I wasn’t used to it and quickly developed saddle sores after a couple of hours.
What started as a little bit of chafing, quickly developed into raw sores and by the time I got home, I was usually in agony. I had to reassess my bike ride preparation to stop these sores from destroying my bike rides. It took a while, but now I can ride for most of the day and the most I will ever get is a little bit of redness from rubbing, much better than open wounds.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SADDLE FOR YOU
I stopped choosing saddles for performance a long time ago. I know some people are all about lightweight designs built for speed, but try spending a whole day sat on a super-lightweight saddle and you quickly realise you would be going much faster if you were a little more comfortable. Choose a saddle that comfortably suits your riding style and forget about how much it weighs.
WEAR CLOTHES THAT FIT
Have an extra tight pair of shorts that fitted perfectly last summer but can’t bring yourself to spend the money on a short upgrade? Forget about it, they need replacing. Wearing shorts that are too big or too small can cause saddle sores by rubbing or digging into your skin at points of contact with the saddle.
MAKE SURE YOUR SEAT IS THE PERFECT HEIGHT
If your seat is too high, your body will slide from side to side every time you pedal down. Even if it is slightly too big, this repetitive sliding causes abrasion and saddle sores.
KEEP YOUR SHORTS DRY
Your shorts should always be dry before you head out, and as soon as you get home you should shower and dry yourself thoroughly. Wet conditions create the perfect conditions for chafing and saddle sores.
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS
Never wear a pair of shorts for two days in a row. You want to make sure your shorts are totally clean and dry before you put them on. If you get saddle sores regularly, wearing dirty shorts is a sure-fire way to give yourself an infection and exacerbate the problem. If you are particularly prone to saddle sores, applying chamois cream before heading out is a good way to keep the area clean and stop germs cultivating in sweaty areas and playing havoc with your skin.
BEWARE OF TOO MUCH ‘MANSCAPING’
Giving yourself a new haircut in your nether regions could cause you to get more saddle sores. Hair soaks up sweat and acts as a buffer layer between your clothes and your skin. Taking it off completely may do more harm than good and encourage more chafing.
If you get saddle sores, you have to rest immediately. This can be a trip ruiner, so it is best to take preventative measures seriously. The better care you take of your behind, the better your bike ride will be.
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