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What are saddle sores??(10 posts)

What are saddle sores??PaulCL
Apr 16, 2001 11:35 AM
I rode three times last weekend (Th: 35, Fri: 65, Sat: 30) and am having some discomfort.

My understanding of saddle sores is not an abrasion, but some sort of bacterial infection in some very tender places. Dare I use the term "zit"???? Am I correct?? Ifso, as long as they are present, can I ride, or should I stay off the bike??

I have had these before, but, for one reason or another, I ended up staying off the bike for several days afterward. But, this time, I am planning (I hope) on a short lunch ride tomorrow and maybe, Wednesday early AM.

P.S. My weather sucks. Saturday it hit 85 degrees, tonight, maybe 20 and snow. If there's snow on the ground, I'll stay off the bike.
owie on your butt/a-hole.nm
Apr 16, 2001 12:01 PM
I guess I was looking for treatment optionsPaulCL
Apr 16, 2001 12:15 PM
Thanks for the useless info.
Apr 16, 2001 12:40 PM
I don't have a whole lot of experience with these babies... only had one, so take this with a grain of salt.

Yes, it *is* like a zit, at least the one I encountered. I actually thought it was one, so I popped it (hurt like a...) and then put some triple antibiotic ointment on a bandaid and covered it. Rode easy in the meantime and changed the bandaid/ointment combo at every shower. Went away in probably about 3-4 days.

So, that's what I did, although this was my only experience. To ward them off for the future, when I know I'm going on longer rides I use Udder Balm in strategic locations to eliminate these hot spots.


Pitiful, isn't it?Haiku d'état
Apr 16, 2001 12:49 PM
I posted the same question last week, figuring that there would be plenty of sympathetic folks out here, and with all the collective knowledge and experience, I could get a few suggestions from those putting thousands of miles per year on the saddle. Though much appreciative of the ones I did get, guess what? Two responses. THANKS jbrown2036 and "happybutt" for the input...on the other hand, I was quite disappointed at the lack of response from those big-mileage folks who read but didn't bother to respond, or didn't bother to read the message. i can't tell you how frustrated i was to see the sorry lack of concern for my unhappy butt.

Here's my post about he same from a few days ago. Or you could go here and search the board. And, here's a related post on Also, since there were so few responses, I had plenty of motivation to search and check results from altavista. i would have searched the pre-upgrade archive if i had access/could find it, but alas--it was not to be.

as it stands, i've relegated my posterior to a slatering of A&D pre-ride and a post-ride quick shower, 70% alcohol irrigation and polysporin, for the time being. doesn't seem to be working too well, but it's only been a few days, and my saddle time is gradually increasing between 2 weeks ago and the end of may, so we'll see what we'll see.

good luck.
OK, here's a response for youpmf
Apr 17, 2001 5:47 AM
I ride a fair amount. 6400 miles last year. I didn't get a single saddle sore. I used to get these more often when I first started riding a lot. They are basically an irritated pimple that gets infected. Painful as it is, the best thing to do is lance it and squeeze out the pus. I've also had luck using zit medicine containing 10% benzoile peroxide on saddle sores that are in their early stages (cannot yet be lanced).

I do take steps to avoid these:

1. Shower (clean out your crotch) before you ride. Do the same thing after and wear some loose fitting clothes.

2. I used to swab rubbing alcohol or Sea Breeze on my crotch after I got done riding. I don't anymore, but try it if you like.

3. Clean your shorts regularily. I use the same pair 2-3 times for commuting, but never longer than approx 100 miles.

4. Its not a bad idea to expose your short's pad to sunlight. This kills bacteria.

5. If you're getting recurrent saddle sores, maybe you should consider a different saddle. If the saddle doesn't fit you, it might be causing sores
thanks, pmf (nm)Haiku d'état
Apr 17, 2001 6:13 AM
another responseDuane Gran
Apr 17, 2001 8:24 AM
My personal experience is that these things come in waves. When I went from riding just weekend to doing weekday rides I flared up big time. This was a good motivator to take the hygene suggestions more seriously. That did the trick.

When I started training 7 days a week for racing I encountered quite a bit of trouble. The solution for me was to use anti-bacterial hand gel before and after riding. Just put a dab in your hand and wipe down before suiting up. I tend to shy from these anti-bacterial things, but in this case it helped a lot. I also clean my shorts in the sink with a dash of rubbing alcohol mixed into the hot water. This has helped a lot.

Ironically, this week I learned that a pair of shorts that I really like aren't good to wear frequently. They are my team shorts unfortunately. I dig how they look, but their thin chamois aggrivates my skin if used two days in a row. For what it is worth, variety in shorts can be helpful if you think your saddle is good.

The moral of the story is that this stuff comes up even after you think you have it beat. I ride around 275 miles a week, but I figure I'll have to come up with new and inventive ways to combat the problem when I am able to ride 325 miles a week.
re: What are saddle sores??zelig
Apr 16, 2001 1:05 PM
You can ride but if its in an area where the saddle creates pressure, you may want to review your optins. I just had a boil at the base of my scrotal sac. Total time from noticing it to when it went away was a little over 3 weeks and no, I did not lance the thing. You can get antibiotics prescribed by your doctor but its not going to make things go quicker. Keep it clean and change your riding shorts daily. Use a search engine and look up boils or saddle sores. You get a lot on the former and a couple on the latter. It will give you an idea as to what the issues are and how long's the cycle. Fortunately for me, mine was right in the middle. Desparate, I went right down to the LBS the first morning and bought a Selle Italia Trans Am saddle. It did the trick as I was able to keep riding. My normal turbomatic was killing me. If its not in the center you may want to look into 'sacrificing' an old saddle by carving out padding where your sore is located. Some of you may recall Andreau arriving at the end of one TDF years ago in Paris with a big chunk of his saddle missing in an effort to deal with a saddle sore.
re: What are saddle sores??Harry Malone
Apr 17, 2001 4:10 AM
I agree that one way look at them is that they are the same as zits. So, I've treated mine with zit medicine -- Oxy-10, a benzoyl peroxide ointment for acne on the face. Keep it clean, change your shorts, etc., apply the ointment after shower and before bed. It seems to work for me, drying them up in a day or two.