The endless pleasure bestowed on us by cycling is more or less redeemed by the excruciating pain of a different kind: our muscles are on fire, our lower back, neck and shoulders become painfully stiff, fingers clenching the bars tingle as if under electric shock, and last but not least, our ass is sore like hell (sometimes). No matter if you call it backside, rear, ass or bottom, it’s one of the points of contact with the bike. How to prevent unwanted pain down there? These simple steps will make riding more comfortable.
Choose the right shorts
Your most delicate areas deserve a delicate approach. Choose shorts that fit your body without moving up and down when pedalling. While too loose shorts would slide around and irritate your skin, too tight shorts would dig into certain areas of your body. Make sure you have the right shorts for the greatest benefit.
Although most experienced cyclists know it very well, this warning is directed mainly at newcomers. Never ever put underwear under the cycling shorts. The friction between the materials and your skin would cause serious damage that would prevent you from cycling for days.
Wash your kit
Sweat, grime and God knows what else are not friends of your lower parts. Wash your shorts or trousers after each ride. Even if you’re tired and your thoughts direct you straight on the sofa, putting the cycling kit into the washing machine won’t kill you.
Use chamois cream
In the past, this cream used to prevent pain caused by much harder leather shorts. However, the chamois cream is still used today as the best aid against friction if needed.
Choose the right saddle
One of the main culprits of groin pain is an inappropriate saddle shape. If the saddle doesn’t fit your lower anatomy, you’ll feel the pain soon or later, regardless of how you ride or how often you change your position. Even pedalling while standing in certain frequencies won’t bring you any relief. The first check should reveal if the saddle is designed to carry your hard bones when you sit down and pelvic bones further forward and not the soft tissue. Try various shapes and choose the one that fits you best. Even the very first check in a bike shop should reveal if the saddle fits you and carries your sit bones the way it should and does not stress the soft tissue.
Place the saddle in a level position
Even a saddle that fits perfectly will harm you if put in a wrong position. Nose up or down would shift the weight and cause pain of either the perineal area or the sensitive tissues in the front.
Riding in rain inevitably leads to wet bottom, and wet increases friction. It’s where mudguards can help.
Sometimes, it’s better to have a rest for a day if you had a long ride the day before and your backside still hurts badly. Give your bottom part a short recovery holiday and you’ll see the next ride will be enjoyable again.