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How to Shield Your Bum from (Cycling-Related) Pain

By Adam Marsal

No matter how many friends you have, this is the topic you’re most likely to share with none of them. Call it a bum or buttocks, most people use it for various purposes while cyclists usually for sitting in the saddle. This activity, if not carried out sensibly, might result in a host of inconveniences that are the subject of this article. We have some ideas that could help you prevent the pain.

Where does the pain come from?

Once you start cycling, it doesn’t take you long to realize that it’s the second most painful sport after martial arts, perhaps. Everything hurts after every ride. Whereas muscles can recover quite swiftly, some other parts might get worse with time. The initial saddle sore – let’s call it elementary – inevitably appears after every longer period on the bike. Every cyclist is familiar with it and they’re also aware that it will disappear after a couple of days, cycling or not. In this article, we speak about serious problems that could turn chronic and treacherous.

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It’s said that even the legendary Eddy Merckx was plagued with saddle sores. This guy, however, made distances in one year of cycling that we could hardly achieve in our lifetimes. Saddle sores can be very individual but, usually, they concern the area of skin that comes in contact with the saddle. With some people, the pain is caused by an infected hair follicle, while with others it originates from chafing.

How to cure it and prevent it

Acute inflammation could be treated with antibacterial cream and a day off, however, a serious sore can require medical attention. If the pain is unbearable, you should go and see your doctor who might prescribe you antibiotics. In less urgent cases, you could try to swap your bike shorts or the saddle for a different shape. The experts also warn against excessive hair removal around intimate areas that might cause follicle infection while the hairs are re-growing.

Some people are prone to saddle sores more than others and even if it might not seem like a pleasant solution, chamois cream often helps surprisingly well. Its viscosity reduces chafing and the antibacterial essences prevent germs from clustering and wrong-doings in your pants.

Sudden mileage increase might be also the reason, just because your body is not used to it. An uncommon energy output might also exhaust your organism in the short-term period, leading to a weaker immune response against different kinds of fungal diseases. Therefore, cleanliness and dryness are essential. Your bike shorts should be washed and thoroughly dried after every ride to prevent yeasts to proliferate and engulf your secluded places. When a real saddle sore occurs, there’s probably no better procedure than leaving the bike alone for a couple of days, maybe even weeks, just to return to it with joy and sans tenderness.