Saddle sores can be a real pain in the butt. Here’s how to prevent these painful blighters from developing in the first place.
– By Jeroen Swart
An annoying side-effect of cycling that most riders have experienced at some time or other, saddle sores can seriously hamper your ride. Prevent these blighters from developing in the first place by following these 7 golden rules.
1. Ensure that your saddle height is set correctly (your pelvis should be stable).
2. Get the correct saddle width for your pelvis (get measured using the Specialized Assometer or Bontrager Inform Sizer).
3. Make sure the saddle has adequate padding (gel if possible), but not too soft. (You should be able to compress the foam a few millimetres with firm finger pressure).
4. Ensure your core strength is up to scratch.
5. Use a good-quality pair of shorts with a well positioned chamois.
6. Apply a high-quality chamois cream under the sitting bones before rides (this is a lubricant, not an antimicrobial cream).
7. Get out of your shorts and into dry clothing soon after finishing the ride.
Dr Jeroen Swart is a sports physician and exercise physiologist at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.