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A ? regarding saddle sores(6 posts)

A ? regarding saddle soreskomatiite
Nov 3, 2003 8:48 PM
I have been riding about 2 years now and as of recently (since late summer I'd say) I have been having well...discomfort. I have only heard of saddle sores; what exactly are they (without being TOO visually descript), how do they form and WHAT CAN I DO TO GET RIDE OF THEM????

I have searched the board and couldnt find anything of this, so please forgive the nature of the subject. HA!
re: A ? regarding saddle soresjtolleson
Nov 4, 2003 8:08 AM
There is a lot of misinformation regarding saddle sores. They are NOT those raw tender spots that you get from the combination of friction and repetitive motion. They are much more pin point, almost pimple like as they develop, and usually involve an inflamed and infected hair follicle or sweat gland. They'll swell up a bit and then come to a head.

Second myth is that once you've got one you should goop it up with stuff like Bag Balm. Bag Balm is a preventative, but once you've got one is a bad idea. That thing needs to be clean and dry, not covered with a sticky gel. If it doesn't seem infected, put nothing on it at all. If you fear infection, a little neosporin or other antibiotic.

Loose clothes, and off the bike (sorry!) is the real cure. With that, they usually improve dramatically in 2-3 days.
re: A ? regarding saddle soresdgangi
Nov 4, 2003 8:06 PM
I thought saddle sores were primarily impacted pubic hairs caused by the irritation/impact of the saddle into the plenum area. This then turns into an ingrown hair, which looks like a big pimple. And boy do they hurt!

I used to get these when I rode my mountain bike with certain types of shorts. I switched to a different brand of short that has NO seams in the chamois and my troubles went away.

Bottom line - the less irritation you have down there, the less likely you are to get saddle sores. Find cycling shorts that work for you and keep them clean and dry. Also check the fit of your saddle as I am sure that has something to do with it.

I'm all too familiar with emJFR
Nov 4, 2003 12:45 PM
I agree with most everything that jtolleson said. The only point he made that I might elaborate/disagree on was regarding the use of something like Bag Balm AFTER the sore is present... after the sore is there, I find that using an ointment (I use Bag Balm) when riding is crucial to a speedy healing process and can prevent a minor sore from becoming a major sore. I totally agree that if not riding, clean and dry seems best.

Here are a couple other tips:

- After your post ride shower at home, try wearing a kilt (comando style) or something SUPER loose and airy.

- Under your normal clothes, when fighting a sore, go comando.

- If you're chained to a desk all day, be mindful not to sit in one position too long. Try not to focus a lot of weight on your sit bones. You might consider an additional chair cushion.

- Get some baby wipes and wipe your area down once or twice between showers (after you use TP is a convenient time). It's not that you're going after anything missed by TP, but that you're simply sterilizing the area. Doing this once or twice between showers seems to help heal and prevent.

- You might consider a minor change to your saddle position. Don't be afraid to experiment a little. Take an allen with you on a ride. I found with the nose barely higher than the back, I'm more comfortable and have less sore issues than running the saddle perfectly flat.

- Wear two pair of shorts when fighting a sore. The "double chamois" seems to help.

- And of course, a day or two off if things get REALLY bad.

Well wishes to you and your behind!
re: A ? regarding saddle soresMShaw
Nov 4, 2003 2:14 PM
There were a few words of wisdom passed on to me (and some stuff I've found out on my own over the years) eons ago that I'll share.

1. when done riding change out of the cycling shorts ASAP
2. if possible wipe down with either witch hazel or alchohol
3. if the sores happen where the tighty whitey's go, change the kind of underwear you wear. I sit at a desk all day, the number of saddle sores has dropped significantly after going to boxer-briefs.
4. clean up/shower as soon as practical after riding (duh!)
5. triple antibiotic ointment is your friend. Neosporin, etc.
6. wash your shorts after every ride.
7. if possible air dry them in the sun. Sunlight kills the little nasties that live in the chamois.

There are more, but I'll stop here...

Final thoughtsbaylor
Nov 4, 2003 8:50 PM
the one additional product that has helped me for the little buggers is an astringent-like cream like a zit cream (say, Oxy10 or whatever). Draw the moisture and infection out.