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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a persistent saddle sore on my left side. It doesn't seem to be an infection, but just soreness -- perhaps from a blocked pore or follicle. It clears up if I don't ride for a few days and gets worse with certain shorts. It's not a hygiene issue because I always wash my shorts after every use, and I also use chamois creme.

I've heard that such sores -- that is, on one side only -- could be due to uneven leg length, which sounds reasonable. But how do you determine that and correct for it? I use SPD pedals, so I'm not sure it they can be shimmed.
 

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Having it on one side is better than having sores on both sides. If it's a sore little lump, it's likely an infection, like how pimples start. It's kind of random where you get them. What I've found that works well for me as preventative is to rub a little diluted tea tree oil on both sides of my but where the saddle presses before every ride. Smells good too.

TEA TREE OIL: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD
Tea tree oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chamois cream is mainly to help prevent abrasions. I don't generally have problems with abrasions and don't use it, though I have used it in the distant past.
 

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Unless you have other reasons to believe it is a fit issue the sore may just be based on the blocked pore or follicle being in the right place for the sore to develop. Maybe it would have happened on the other side if your hairs had been in the exact same formation over there! But it wouldn't hurt to have a pro fit done. (Well, it will hurt your wallet a little.)

I treat saddle sores with whatever I have around. Antibacterial silver gel, creams, neosporin, bacatracin, et cetera. And I soak in epsom salt baths.
 

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I guess another question is what side has everyone here's saddle sore usually been on when they've had a recurring one? Whenever I've had one it's been on the left side as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some good ideas. I'll try turning my saddle slightly to the side. The question is, which direction? I was wondering where to get tea oil and then accidentally found some at Trader Joe while shopping for food. I have previously tried treating the sore with antibiotic and cortisone creams as well as Bag Balm (which seems to help the most).
 

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I'm curious if your saddle sore is at the same contact point to your sit bone and saddle. I find depending on which brand of bibs I'm wearing, the chamois that have those exaggerated 3D & 4D thicknesses, if my sit bone doesn't hit directly on the large kidney shaped pad but at one of the seams I get bruise in the same area as my sit bone. I've now figured out which bibs don't fit me correctly and no longer use those for long rides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To be honest, I don't know how to determine if the sore is at the same spot as my sit bone. The irritation definitely varies depending on which bib shorts that I wear. I've got the same saddles (Fizik Vitesse) on all of my bikes except one, which has a Brooks B17, but the irritation seems the same regardless of the saddle. All of my saddles feel very comfortable while I am riding.
 

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If you're having to turn the saddle to one side isn't that a sign that something is amiss? Uneven leg length which was already proposed possibly, but it seems there could be so many other possible causes. Last season I was on a frame where I couldn't get my position right in a couple ways, but mainly the setback was too much - and I had some niggles with a saddle sore. Could be a total coincidence, but that's the only time in the last 12 years I've had too much setback and the only time I've had a persistent saddle sore issue.

I'd also look at seat height, flexibility especially in the glutes, and other potential issues that could cause you to reach with your left leg and put undue pressure on that side.
 
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