Cycling Shorts - Chaffing


New Member
Sep 7, 2011

I'm new to the forum and new to cycling.

Been cycling for a month or two now and have been doing 25 - 40Km 2-3 times a week.

I was suffering from saddle soreness so invested in a pair of padded cycling shorts. Since then I've had a problem with chaffing. After my ride on sunday (in heavy rain) I've opened a wound on left thigh. I'm a 30" waist and my cycling shorts are a medium. I think the shorts may have been too big so have since brought a few pairs in a small.

Apologies for rambling but there's just a few questions I've got as I'm due to ride my first 100km ride (Macride) on sunday:

Am I best dressing the cut from the chaffing or is this just going to irritate it more?

I'm still slightly worried about chaffing, is there any precautions I can take as I dont want to jeopardise not being able to complete the ride because of it.

All advise would much appreciated.

I suppose it will depend on how large the affected area is.

If you can put a large band aid or adhesive bandage over it, then I would do so.

As far as the cause for the chaffing; those stretchy bicycling shorts are supposed to be designed to move with your skin....not against it. My waist size is 29" and I usually wear a men's small in a short. But, different brands may fit differently so it's really best that you can try them on to see if they fit right. Sometimes the waist might be fine, but the legs are too tight for example. Or if you buy bib shorts, some brands may be shorter from crotch to shoulder for example. (I have to wear medium Cavalo bibs because they are short from shoulder to crotch...or sing soprano.. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif )

You don't have to have high priced shorts, but you do need good quality shorts. Once you figure out what size you need in a brand you like, then you can watch for sales from the on-line stores and save a lot of money.

BTW, welcome to the forum! I hope you get your shorts situation figured out. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/icon14.gif
If you have opened a wound on your thigh, I would guess that you are putting too much pressure on the wrong areas. Your weight needs to be supported on your sit-bones (ischial tuberosities) and your legs must be able to move feeely (without rubbing unduly). While quality shorts are worthwhile, I find that this sort of problem is more to do with the shape of your saddle and/or the way you sit on it.
I use Gold Bond powder in my (padded) cycling shorts. When I forget, I am reminded not far into the ride! Some people use chamois butter. But, the more miles I am into the season, the less important that powder becomes.

And, I second the notion that the shorts are supposed to move WITH your skin--the (low) friction should be between the shorts and the nose of the seat, not between the shorts and your skin. The shorts need to essentially stay put for the duration of your ride.
Thanks very much for all the replies. Much appreciated.

I went out this morning for a 30km ride. I managed to cover the wound with a plaster and it never casued any problems.

I adjusted my saddle by highering it by a 1/4" and that seems to have made a big difference as well. It helped not only the chafing but also ease of pedalling.

Wore a pair of Karrimor cycling tights and there was no problem at all with them. Fingers crossed for the 100km on sunday.

Once again, thanks for your help. As you can tell by my username I am very new to the sport and trying to find my feet some what.
Just a quick note to say that I managed to do the 100KM with absolutely no chafing problems at all and didn't aggravate the cut either. Many thanks for all the advise.