Century Preparation



was7g

New Member
May 11, 2006
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Hey everybody. When I bought my first road bike in April, I set a goal to work for during the summer- I wanted to do a century by the end of the biking season. I'm well on my way; I ride four to five days a week for at least an hour (gosh, how those 15-milers seem so easy now) and have been on a number of 60+ milers, including an 85 mile ride and, last weekend, a metric century (the Blue Ridge Extreme if anyone is from the Mid Atlantic region of the U.S.- it's a GREAT ride).

Anyways, as I approach the ultimate goal here in a few weeks, I've noticed some problems that crop up after four-plus hours in the saddle.

The first is one that has been discussed ad nauseum in these forums- I tend to ride a little forward in the seat and put pressure on my perineum which leads to soreness and to occasional (though thankfully temporary) numbness in my "wedding tackle," to use an Austin Powers euphamism. So I've been tweaking my setup with the help of the LBS, and I think I'm going to invest in a new seat.

Problem Two- I'm usually one not to chafe- I've never gotten a blister on my feet, for example, and I have done a LOT of hiking over the years. I've noticed, however, that sweaty, tight lycra shorts tend to give me some rubbing issues. I wanted to know what kind of chamois creams might be good. I've read in here that a lot of people like Assos, even though it's expensive. I don't really care about cost in this area- I think the extra dollars will be worth the added comfort around hour six. Also, do I just smear it on the pad in my bibs? My main concern is that the chemicals in the cream might damage the bibs that I've already dropped a lot of money on. Does the cream harm the lycra? Does it wash out easily?

And related to that problem... I'm not a leg shaver, and don't think I ever will be... but I noticed on the metric century I was on last weekend that... um, how to put this delicately... I don't think there is a way, so I'll just say it- my pubic hair tends to irritate the skin on the insides of my legs and around the crotchal region as I move around on the saddle and move my legs during the biking. Would chamois creams help this? I don't need to trim down there, do I? Do the leg-shavers out there denude their legs all the way up to their crotch? Embarrassing, I know, but I want to guarantee that I feel good when I come off the bike after 100 miles. (Thankfully I think my girl would be supportive if I had a good reason for doing it)

Thank you very much for your help.
 

L.Viento

New Member
Aug 6, 2006
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I am what you may call a leg shaver. That having been said, I have never found it necessary to totally --ahem-- strip down the goods. First, it's very easy to irritate that region, and maintaining it is a lot more involved an activity than I care for. Just load yourself up with Bodyglide and you shouldn't have a problem. It's not terribly expensive, and it really does work, at least in my experience. Make sure you have a nice layer of it before the ride, and there shouldn't be any problems. Washes out easily too.
 

webb80916

New Member
Aug 22, 2005
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For the chaffing, use bag balm. You can pick it up for a farm supply store. Farmers use it on their milking cows (utters) and it squares away their problem. I've always used it and have had no problems at all. Also, great stuff to keep your cuticles nice.:)

Trimming the area can't hurt in combination with using bag balm, your problem will go away fairly shortly.

Greg
 

RapDaddyo

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2005
5,088
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The only problem I think I can help you with is the saddle issue. There's an interesting dichotomy between saddles and frames. When one asks for advice about saddles, they get lots of specific recommendations. When one asks for advice about frames, lots of people remind them that fit is at least as important as the name on the frame or the material used. I think saddle fit is a big deal and is not made very easy by saddle manufacturers because they don't provide key statistics such as the saddle width and the arc and location of the curve from front to back. The reason that both saddle construction and fit are important is because we are all a bit different in our bone construction in the areas where we make contact with the saddle (e.g., sitz bones). The only saddle manufacturer I am aware of that has recognized this fact is Specialized (note: I have no relationship with Specialized whatsoever). They offer some of their saddles in multiple widths and they have a saddle measuring system whereby you sit on a "butt meter" to determine the correct width. Granted, they don't offer a huge range of saddle widths. It's sort of like going in for a pair of shoes and, after taking detailed measurements of your feet, the salesperson says, "Okay, which size do you want, small, medium or large?" You definitely want to "try out" several saddles before you buy and you absolutely don't want numbness even after several hours on the bike. There appears to be some evidence that this numbness can be associated with permanent damage to you can guess what. What really matters is that blood flow to vital areas is not interrupted. BTW, FWIW I have one buddy who went through four saddles and eventually settled on the Specialized Toupe model. I told him he should put his old saddles in a trophy case (LOL).
 

[email protected]@

New Member
Jul 28, 2006
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0
was7g said:
Hey everybody. When I bought my first road bike in April, I set a goal to work for during the summer- I wanted to do a century by the end of the biking season. I'm well on my way; I ride four to five days a week for at least an hour (gosh, how those 15-milers seem so easy now) and have been on a number of 60+ milers, including an 85 mile ride and, last weekend, a metric century (the Blue Ridge Extreme if anyone is from the Mid Atlantic region of the U.S.- it's a GREAT ride).

Anyways, as I approach the ultimate goal here in a few weeks, I've noticed some problems that crop up after four-plus hours in the saddle.

The first is one that has been discussed ad nauseum in these forums- I tend to ride a little forward in the seat and put pressure on my perineum which leads to soreness and to occasional (though thankfully temporary) numbness in my "wedding tackle," to use an Austin Powers euphamism. So I've been tweaking my setup with the help of the LBS, and I think I'm going to invest in a new seat.

Problem Two- I'm usually one not to chafe- I've never gotten a blister on my feet, for example, and I have done a LOT of hiking over the years. I've noticed, however, that sweaty, tight lycra shorts tend to give me some rubbing issues. I wanted to know what kind of chamois creams might be good. I've read in here that a lot of people like Assos, even though it's expensive. I don't really care about cost in this area- I think the extra dollars will be worth the added comfort around hour six. Also, do I just smear it on the pad in my bibs? My main concern is that the chemicals in the cream might damage the bibs that I've already dropped a lot of money on. Does the cream harm the lycra? Does it wash out easily?

And related to that problem... I'm not a leg shaver, and don't think I ever will be... but I noticed on the metric century I was on last weekend that... um, how to put this delicately... I don't think there is a way, so I'll just say it- my pubic hair tends to irritate the skin on the insides of my legs and around the crotchal region as I move around on the saddle and move my legs during the biking. Would chamois creams help this? I don't need to trim down there, do I? Do the leg-shavers out there denude their legs all the way up to their crotch? Embarrassing, I know, but I want to guarantee that I feel good when I come off the bike after 100 miles. (Thankfully I think my girl would be supportive if I had a good reason for doing it)

Thank you very much for your help.
I also did the Metric Century on (BlueRidgeExtreme Sunday 27th), my total saddle time was 4hrs 34mins and was split by 3 rest areas (deff needed one after climbing Versuvius!). I have an old Trek split gel saddle I used to use on my MTB and is far more comfortable than the cheap ass velo saddle that came with my road bike.
So I try to ride as comfortable in the saddle as possible, I guess getting your seat set to the right height and position is paramount to being able to ride many hours in the saddle, especially considering how long a century is going to take.
There's no way I'm gonna be shaving in that region, having already had 3 operations in the vicinity I can attest to the major crotch itch that comes with hair growing back! On the other hand it's far more hygenic, I just can't imagine shaving regularly down there tho :eek:
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
74
48
74
was7g said:
Hey everybody. When I bought my first road bike in April, I set a goal to work for during the summer- I wanted to do a century by the end of the biking season. I'm well on my way; I ride four to five days a week for at least an hour (gosh, how those 15-milers seem so easy now) and have been on a number of 60+ milers, including an 85 mile ride and, last weekend, a metric century (the Blue Ridge Extreme if anyone is from the Mid Atlantic region of the U.S.- it's a GREAT ride).

Anyways, as I approach the ultimate goal here in a few weeks, I've noticed some problems that crop up after four-plus hours in the saddle.

The first is one that has been discussed ad nauseum in these forums- I tend to ride a little forward in the seat and put pressure on my perineum which leads to soreness and to occasional (though thankfully temporary) numbness in my "wedding tackle," to use an Austin Powers euphamism. So I've been tweaking my setup with the help of the LBS, and I think I'm going to invest in a new seat.

Problem Two- I'm usually one not to chafe- I've never gotten a blister on my feet, for example, and I have done a LOT of hiking over the years. I've noticed, however, that sweaty, tight lycra shorts tend to give me some rubbing issues. I wanted to know what kind of chamois creams might be good. I've read in here that a lot of people like Assos, even though it's expensive. I don't really care about cost in this area- I think the extra dollars will be worth the added comfort around hour six. Also, do I just smear it on the pad in my bibs? My main concern is that the chemicals in the cream might damage the bibs that I've already dropped a lot of money on. Does the cream harm the lycra? Does it wash out easily?

And related to that problem... I'm not a leg shaver, and don't think I ever will be... but I noticed on the metric century I was on last weekend that... um, how to put this delicately... I don't think there is a way, so I'll just say it- my pubic hair tends to irritate the skin on the insides of my legs and around the crotchal region as I move around on the saddle and move my legs during the biking. Would chamois creams help this? I don't need to trim down there, do I? Do the leg-shavers out there denude their legs all the way up to their crotch? Embarrassing, I know, but I want to guarantee that I feel good when I come off the bike after 100 miles. (Thankfully I think my girl would be supportive if I had a good reason for doing it)

Thank you very much for your help.
Have a couple of minor suggestions. First, adjust your saddle fore/aft and tilt so you don't tend to slide forward on the seat. You weight needs to be on your sitzbones at the widest point of the saddle. On the old-school shapes, with a turned-up tail, (eg SI Flite) you'll almost feel like your sitting "above" the saddle when you've got it right.

Second, use plenty of chamois cream for the long rides. Chamois Butt'r, Udder Butter, Vasoline, heavy hand lotion or even sunscreen all seem to work for me. Apply plenty to your chamois, on the outsides where you have the pressure and chafing, and you should be in fine shape.

Third, get out of the saddle early and often. Don't wait till mile 80 when you've got major pain. On short climbs, or even cruising on the flats, standing every 10-15 minutes for a few pedal strokes will go a long way to restoring circulation and keep everything happy.
 

was7g

New Member
May 11, 2006
32
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47
Thanks to everyone for their advice. I've purchased some chamois cream, and will slather a copious amount on the bibs prior to one of my long training rides this weekend.

As for the seat adjustment, I think I've almost gotten it figured out.
 

musher

New Member
Feb 21, 2006
124
2
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67
was7g said:
Hey everybody. When I bought my first road bike in April, I set a goal to work for during the summer- I wanted to do a century by the end of the biking season. I'm well on my way; I ride four to five days a week for at least an hour (gosh, how those 15-milers seem so easy now) and have been on a number of 60+ milers, including an 85 mile ride and, last weekend, a metric century (the Blue Ridge Extreme if anyone is from the Mid Atlantic region of the U.S.- it's a GREAT ride).

Anyways, as I approach the ultimate goal here in a few weeks, I've noticed some problems that crop up after four-plus hours in the saddle.

The first is one that has been discussed ad nauseum in these forums- I tend to ride a little forward in the seat and put pressure on my perineum which leads to soreness and to occasional (though thankfully temporary) numbness in my "wedding tackle," to use an Austin Powers euphamism. So I've been tweaking my setup with the help of the LBS, and I think I'm going to invest in a new seat.

Problem Two- I'm usually one not to chafe- I've never gotten a blister on my feet, for example, and I have done a LOT of hiking over the years. I've noticed, however, that sweaty, tight lycra shorts tend to give me some rubbing issues. I wanted to know what kind of chamois creams might be good. I've read in here that a lot of people like Assos, even though it's expensive. I don't really care about cost in this area- I think the extra dollars will be worth the added comfort around hour six. Also, do I just smear it on the pad in my bibs? My main concern is that the chemicals in the cream might damage the bibs that I've already dropped a lot of money on. Does the cream harm the lycra? Does it wash out easily?

And related to that problem... I'm not a leg shaver, and don't think I ever will be... but I noticed on the metric century I was on last weekend that... um, how to put this delicately... I don't think there is a way, so I'll just say it- my pubic hair tends to irritate the skin on the insides of my legs and around the crotchal region as I move around on the saddle and move my legs during the biking. Would chamois creams help this? I don't need to trim down there, do I? Do the leg-shavers out there denude their legs all the way up to their crotch? Embarrassing, I know, but I want to guarantee that I feel good when I come off the bike after 100 miles. (Thankfully I think my girl would be supportive if I had a good reason for doing it)

Thank you very much for your help.
Hi, you are doing great just keep riding and increase your miles and time on your bike ,i ride a lot & one very long a month 150 to 170 miles with a few Mountains pass,
You may want to tilt the nose of your saddle a little (if you have problems with your crotchal aera) or try a new saddle also try some Bag palm before you putted on use sanitary wipe &clean your groing aera .
Try :www.ultracycling.com ,they have everything you want to know for long distance riders ,Good luck, ;) Musher