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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I keep getting saddle sores, not sure what I can do? I use chamois buttr everyday I ride; I've been getting them for about 1 to 2 years now but just ride through the pain. I have changed my position on the bike and yet still seem to get them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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All I wanted was a Pepsi!
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Tried different saddles?
Cleaning up the area *immediately* after a ride?
Been fitted professionally?
Taken time off to let the area heal and then eased back into riding?
 

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Have you tried different chamois cream? It might be the cheapest thing to start with in this situation and move on from there if that does not work. FWIW I really like the Assos cream, and unlike the rest of their stuff it isn't too pricey.
 

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I think I tried most of the tricks on what cream to use. Until I tried using Aquaphor as a base over Bag Balm. It works great for me. Usually when I go for a 35 mile ride down here, in the heat of Texas, I'll lose 5# of water/sweat. That's a lot of salt in your shorts and it works for me. Good luck, it took me a long time to find out. I went that route with new bibs, saddles and fit, but it's chafing from being wet.A least it was for me.
 

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All I wanted was a Pepsi!
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allison said:
I've been trying to go without creams since I worry sometimes that stuff just clogs up the pores of the skin making it worse. Though I have been experiencing issues this season, so maybe don't listen to me ;)
If my planned ride is less than 50 miles or so, I don't wear the stuff either. Anything longer and I use bodyglide.
 

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pedalfeet said:
So I keep getting saddle sores, not sure what I can do? I use chamois buttr everyday I ride; I've been getting them for about 1 to 2 years now but just ride through the pain. I have changed my position on the bike and yet still seem to get them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I used to get them a lot and got pretty good at gettin' rid of them. There are three things that cause them. Bad bike fit, bad chamois fit and wrong saddle. If your not reaching for the pedals and rocking on the saddle then you have to ask yourself. Does it feel like my chamois is bunching and causing this? If your shorts fit tight and you don't feel like your riding on the wifes Kotex pad then it's the saddle. Once I got rid of some loose fitting shorts and went to the Fizik Aliante saddle, I hardly ever get them. A few times I noticed my chamois pinching me during a ride and ended up getting a small one, but not like before. You said you started getting them two years ago. What did you change from the past? If your still using the same saddle, it may be worn and time for a new one. Using chamois cream with the newer cloth type chamois is a bad idea. They just suck all the moisture out of the cream and leave you with a sticky paste. Try the cream with the pseudo-leather type chamois, it will not soak in and stay as a lubricant. You can still find them in some makes of shorts.

Good Luck
 

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I have been getting it also since I have moved to this very hilly area. I realized that I am sitting forward on my saddle so my "taint" is the only contact on my saddle most of the ride so I am moving my saddle up a few centimeters tonight and hopefully that will help.
 

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Ugly subject but the OP's description does not describe the type of sore:

1) Chafing. This is just a flat out friction issue, usually from a seam in the shorts or edge of the saddle creating a friction point.

2) Sores. These are more pressure related and for lack of better description are almost acne-like. Fluid or pus-filled bumps at contact points, often very tender.

What to do: Make sure your shorts/bibs are always clean each ride. Check position and/or bike fit. Use chamois cream. Clean area immediately after riding, either via shower or with something if no shower is available. Isopropyl alcohol spray solution works well for post-ride cleanup.

Even if everything is perfect, shorts, saddle, fit, hygiene, sun-moon alignment it is still possible to get saddle sores. Last year I was an early adopter of the H1N1 flu in the late-April/May first wave. I was off the bike for 7 days and when I returned to training and racing I developed two of the worst sores I have ever had in my 18 years of cycling. I mean, irritations come and go but these were quite bad. No reason, unless it could have somehow been related to the virus (highly doubtful). Up until that point I had never used chamois cream but I was talked into trying it by a friend. I now use it every ride, I never ever get any chafe and I am much less prone to pressure sores. I also clean my "region" with isopropyl alcohol swabs 1 time per day just to keep any bacteria at bay.
 

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chilif185 said:
Have you tried different chamois cream? It might be the cheapest thing to start with in this situation and move on from there if that does not work. FWIW I really like the Assos cream, and unlike the rest of their stuff it isn't too pricey.
THIS ^ ^ ^

I used to use chamois Butt'r and I was still getting sores in the same spot continously. I switched to DZ Nuts chamois cream which has tea tree oil and other bacteria inhibitors, my problem virtually disappeared. I still get a minor sore once in awhile if there are specific circumstances like extreme heat on a long ride with bad shorts on, but its way better than before. IMO Chamois Butt'r is crap.
 

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1) Take time off.
2) Try different chamois cream, and use more.
3) New shorts, new saddle, get fitted

I never use chamois cream and I've never had friction, chafing, or saddle sore issues. Make sure you really pull that chamois up into your taint until it's basically part of you. You may feel like you're getting a bit of a wedgie.
 

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I know what a major pain in the *ss (literally) saddle sores can be.

There is a product called "duoderm" which you can apply to the area while you are not riding. It is an air-permeable dressing that promotes and speeds healing. The longer you can leave the duoderm in place, the better, it can stay in place for up to a week, though it's unlikely to in that area.

If you try to use it while you are riding, though, it will come off and stick to your shorts and make a big mess.

While you are riding I suggest applying an ointment to area called "Calmoseptine". It's a thick zinc-based ointment that will promote healing and reduce friction at the same time.

Both can be obtained over-the-counter. The duoderm is pretty expensive, but you can just buy one and cut it to size.
 

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i am assuming you clean "down there" and your bibs are clean......

i used to get them until i was professionally fitted and now i ride up to 4-5 hours without any creams, no sores. my guess is your position needs tuning, unless your seats are of low quality. here are some top quality seats to consider: Selle SMP Stratos, Fizik Aliante, Fizik Arione. I had them all - my favourite is Selle SMP Stratos. But you still need to be positioned well to avoid saddle sores.
Are they on both sides or one only? Your seat could be a bit high or one leg is short and needs a shim (or all of the above).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies, after thinking about it I' am going to get a bike fit for a few reasons. Specialized BG Fit
1. Just to feel better on the bike, I' m 28 and will be riding for many years to come so I figure it's worth it to have proper mechanics not to injure anything long term
2. Hope to rid of the saddle sores, and I think my saddle is wrong for me. I use the Specialized Toupe, I' ve had a couple of them (on different bikes); I've tried Fizik - didn't really like it - but it also could be the bike fit. I only get the sores on the right side, then I have to favor it. Last week it was a chafing, just got another sore yesterday - something's got to change.
3. Become as fast and efficient as I can to beat all of you!! Just joking - but thanks again for everyone's advice. If everyone rode bike more the world would be a better/happier place.
 

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pedalfeet said:
Thanks everyone for your replies, after thinking about it I' am going to get a bike fit for a few reasons. Specialized BG Fit
1. Just to feel better on the bike, I' m 28 and will be riding for many years to come so I figure it's worth it to have proper mechanics not to injure anything long term
2. Hope to rid of the saddle sores, and I think my saddle is wrong for me. I use the Specialized Toupe, I' ve had a couple of them (on different bikes); I've tried Fizik - didn't really like it - but it also could be the bike fit. I only get the sores on the right side, then I have to favor it. Last week it was a chafing, just got another sore yesterday - something's got to change.
3. Become as fast and efficient as I can to beat all of you!! Just joking - but thanks again for everyone's advice. If everyone rode bike more the world would be a better/happier place.
Sounds like you aren't sitting squarely on the saddle -- that's a certain recipe for problems. You can be off to one side or you can be sitting so one hip is slightly forward of the other. Any kind of leg imbalance can cause these and other problems. Be sure you get a good, professional fit that looks for such issues -- more than just a leg-length discrepancy test.

Some people are simply prone to saddle sores. And others can get them when they are stressed, tired from too much riding, whatever.

Once you have them, or signs they may be starting, get some good acne medicine. It tends to clean them up faster than letting them sit alone and faster than alcohol. Get some strong prescription acne meds if the OTC stuff doesn't work for you.

Last, chamois creams may have antiseptic products in them, but they are mostly to allow the products to withstand storage without growing contaminants. Your perineal area will find its pores opened and a general level of mild irritation regardless of your chamois or saddle, so those creams with antiseptics try to knock off contaminants before they get under your skin. However, look to creams to lubricate more than disinfect. Remember that you have to keep bacteria away from your skin there -- so if you don't clean your chamois properly, don't clean your perineum properly, or use a lubricant that doesn't completely wash out (like vaseline, Bag Balm, etc. -- anything that isn't water based), you'll encourage bacterial contamination.

It sounds like you're relatively new. In the fine words of a world champion, you aren't sitting in a Lexus, you're on a racing saddle. You may just have to toughen up a bit. Focus on cleanliness and fit, and see if some riding fitness solves the problem for you. That's fitness, it's flexibility, and it's good position.
 

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In addition to what's been posted, consider:
1) Use clippers to remove undercarriage hair in the vicinity of your sitbones.
2) After ride/cleanup, wear lightweight synthetic underwear with your streetclothes instead of cotton. It will keep you dryer down there and make it less hospitable to bacteria that cause problems.
3) After your ride, your shorts should be laundered before you use them again.
4) Post-ride, consider a wipe-down of your saddle-sore-prone area with a Tucks pad, especially if you won't be showering right away (Tucks contains witch hazel and is used to treat hemorroids)
 

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I going to post a contrarian's view on saddle sores. I never got them when I was young. That's changed since I got not young.

I've tried all of the conventional wisdom regarding preventing and treating them, nothing really helped. Then I was put on oral prednisone for a few weeks for an unrelated ailment. Great stuff until the taper starts. I felt 30 years younger for a while there!

But here's the thing, the saddle sores disappeared within two days.

On a whim, I asked my GP about the prednisone and saddle sores. He gave me a prescription topical steroid cream that vanishes them before they hardly get started.

So, for me, it's some sort of inflammation but has nothing to do with cleanliness, or fit, or whatever.
 
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