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It’s not uncommon to get complaints of bike saddle sores or general pain in the butt after cycling. This is especially so after spending a lot of hours on the saddle.
The majority brushes this pain or discomfort off without seeking to find out the causes.
Believe it or not, there are ways to minimize or completely stop this from occurring. With the ideas presented, you’ll be able to easily transform your cycling experience and say goodbye to cycling saddle sores forever.
In this article, we’ll explore what biking saddle sores are, their causes, remedies, and finally how to prevent them altogether.
We will also recommend accessories you can buy to prevent your butt from hurting when cycling.
Let’s dive in.
What Is A Saddle Sore?
A saddle sore is an irritability on the skin that takes place in the areas where the body is in contact with the saddle. The irritability varies but is normally brought about by sweating, friction, and pressure on the skin.
Saddle soreness causes discomfort and it varies depending on the degree. At times, it might keep you off cycling for a while or just be a minor occurrence.
Types Of Butt Sores
The types of duff sores can be classified by the location or the intensity of the sore. The main types include:
i) Skin Ulceration
This is damage to the outer layer of the skin that gives room for the entry of bacteria into the inner skin layers. The entry of bacteria into the inner layers may result in an abscess which is the swelling of body tissue with puss.
This is an infection that takes place at the root of the hair follicle. It normally occurs in the groin area or sections in contact with the saddle that have a lot of hair.
Chafing is when the inner thighs, groin, or bottom rubs against the saddle due to friction causing inflammation and formation of red skin.
Crotchitis is a group of skin complications such as itchy, tender, red, and eczematous rash between the v*gi*a and an*s that causes a lot of pain. It especially occurs in women cyclists and is usually compounded by a yeast infection.
v) Sitz Bones
It’s a phenomenon where the sitz bones are in pain due to the pressure exerted on them.
Causes Of Butt Sores And Pain
The three main causes when the bike seat hurts sit bones are, excessive pressure, friction, and moisture in the area that is in contact with the bicycle saddle.
These three causes come about because of the following;
- Improper positioning of the bike seat post, saddle, or handlebar.
- Wrong choice of the bike saddle
- Low-quality or worn-out saddle
- Inadequate cycling clothing
Remedies: How To Prevent Butt Soring And Pain When Biking
i) Cycling shorts
It might not seem to have an impact but using the right cycling shorts eliminates most of the types of saddle pain. We’d recommend tight bike shorts made from any variety of Lycra. The tightness is to minimize the formation of layers of wrinkles that enhance friction. The majority of the cycling shorts are also padded for cushioning.
ii) Grease Up
If the major cause of your perineum hurting when you’re cycling is chafing, greasing using creams, powder or ointments makes a huge difference to reduce friction. You’re basically using a product of your choice to lubricate the skin.
It’s important to clean and thoroughly dry your cycling shorts after every ride. This is to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and yeast that may cause infections. If possible, also regularly clean your saddle. Just ensure that it is dry when riding.
iv) Use a saddle cover
Saddle covers are a convenient way to increase your comfort level and protect yourself. They come in various designs. Majority have a gel cushioning, are waterproof, breathable, and anti-slip- all the right features to prevent saddle pain.
v) Adjust your Bike to Fit
If you’ve tried the above and your butt still hurts, it’s time to check the fit of your bike. It might be your normal bike or even spin bike seat that hurts perineum. The things to check are the alignment of your seat post or saddle, positioning of your handlebar and the saddle condition.
For the bike saddle position, adjust the side to side and then up and down angle. Try to achieve a relatively level angle to avoid tilting too far forward or backward. Making adjustments to the height and positioning of your seat post works to achieve the same effect.
The key is to play around with the different positions to see which combination gives the best results. Take a short ride after every adjustment to experience the different changes. It might take a while but the experimentation is worth it as it guarantees comfort for future cycling.
vi) Choose the Right Saddle
The task of choosing the right saddle is not as straightforward as we’d like it to be. This is because every individual has different body anatomy. To get to the right saddle, it’s prudent to experiment until you get the right fit.
A few things to check when looking for a bike saddle are;
- The width should be adequate to ensure your sitz bones are the ones supporting you on the bike. Measure your sitz bones width to determine the adequate saddle width.
- The saddle should be smooth and anti-slip to minimize friction.
- Check on the padding. It might be light or heavy padding depending on the saddle sore. For example, if your pain is majorly under the sitz bones, a lighter padding is recommended.
How To Treat Biking Saddle Sores
The mode of treatment largely depends on the extent of the saddle sore. For acute inflammation, the use of antibacterial cream and a break from cycling might do.
For intense and severe pain, it’s recommended to visit a doctor for observation and medicine prescription. They’ll prescribe an antibiotic depending on the areas affected.
However, we’ll emphasize the need to be alert and not ignoring any pain. Adapt the measures discussed to prevent saddle sores cycling and injury.
When your behind hurts when cycling, it’s prudent to investigate the cause and take measures to prevent the saddle pain.
Whether the pain is mild or excessive, there are simple steps you can take such as using tight bike shorts, making adjustments to your bike positioning, and changing your saddle.
You can treat saddle sores from cycling using antibacterial creams and taking a break or visit your doctor for a prescription.