How to prevent irritation from seat?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Leaf, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Leaf

    Leaf New Member

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    Alright, im wearing cycling shorts but I am getting irritation from the seat and it gets sore in that area. Do you guys wear boxers / briefs under your shorts? How do I prevent this irritation?!?

    Please, and Thanks.
     
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  2. TrekDedicated

    TrekDedicated New Member

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    Do not wear boxers/briefs under your spandex. The chamois is designed for skin 2 skin,

    Try chamois cream to help with irritation. Lube baby, lube.
     
  3. RussB

    RussB New Member

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  4. Az cactus

    Az cactus New Member

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    This worked for me, ... feels weird in the beginning, but no more irritation.

    from: http://www.cyclingnews.com/riders/2006/diaries/keith/?id=keith0606
    The Keith Bontrager diary 2006

    Home remedies cut the cost and pain

    The essential ingredients
    Photo ©: Keith Bontrager[​IMG]

    I'm sitting here a week before the Transrockies starts looking like I got punched in the face. I've got the mother of all toothaches, and one side of my face is massively swollen. The dentist put me on antibiotics for a few days. He said they would cut the infection back a little so the pain killer would work when he pulls it. Otherwise, he said, he'd be peeling me off the roof afterwards. I'm in.

    So, instead of riding, like I want to be, I am sitting and suffering. To cut the frustration a little I figured I'd do something useful.

    Oh yeah. I am really, really hoping that Floyd is clean, just weird physiologically. It seems to me that it would make no sense to dose up on testosterone at that stage in the race. It wouldn't have helped. Anyway, if everyone decides he's guilty without listening to the issues, we suck. Of course, if it turns out that he did dose up, he does. Enough.

    Saddle sores

    Saddle sores are a bitch. They are not as bad as swollen, infected molars, but they are close.

    If you are planning to ride a multi-day event and you don't have a plan to prevent saddle sores, you are setting yourself up for a serious quantity of extra suffering. These things are hard enough as they are.

    Here's my take on how it happens. You abrade the part of your crotch that comes into contact with the saddle when you pedal. Small lateral movements are inevitable and they cause the abrasions. The chamois does a little to help, but not much, and in some cases makes it worse. If the abraded area is exposed to bacteria, it gets infected. Then you get boils, they get worse, and then you can't sit on the saddle. That can be a problem on a 150 kilometre day.

    Notice that this is not a pressure related thing. You can prevent that by getting out of the saddle regularly. You need a saddle that fits you well too, and that takes some experimentation. But fancy saddles will not prevent saddle sores. It is much simpler.

    Cork inserts
    Photo ©: Keith Bontrager[​IMG]

    Don't think you can do something about it after the fact if you get them going. That's the wrong way to think about it. It doesn't work. Prevention is the key.

    Here is my recipe for avoiding them. As is my tendency when looking for solutions, it is not expensive to do and the ingredients are widely available. There are no ingredients from a bike shop involved.

    Also, this whole thing is almost entirely empirical. I have not twiddled variables, or researched alternatives. There might be problems for some people, though it is unlikely. But it works.

    There are two aspects to the plan - cleanliness and lubrication.

    Cleanliness is a matter of cleaning off your crotch before you put on your shorts. I use antibacterial wipes. You might think you have everything as clean as can be, but you probably don't. Try them. You'll see.

    Lubrication is simple. Mix up a large vat of petroleum jelly with some antibiotic ointment and some pain reliever. The latter is probably optional, but I use it because I always have.The trick to effective lubrication for a long stage is to use a lot.. Smear the stuff onto the chamois in a large quantity - three fingers worth, minimum. It should feel weird when you put you shorts on. That won't matter. But you want it to last all day, so you need a lot. That's why I don't want to use any expensive Swiss stuff. It would cost a fortune.

    The quantity thing came from an observation I made at the TdF in 2000. I was walking around in the pits on a rest day in Courchavel, France with some German journalists, weighing bikes. I noticed a lot of saddles were glistening, covered with fat. I'd been playing with chamois preps for the TransAlp, and had moderate success with them. But the appearance of the pros' saddles gave it away. They used copious quantities of the stuff.

    Smearing on plenty
    Photo ©: Keith Bontrager[​IMG]

    Other than that observation I have no idea what pros actually do to prevent saddle sores. But I bet they all do something, and I bet one of the common methods is not too far off this one.

    The petroleum jelly is a little difficult to wash out of the shorts. That is unavoidable. If it was easy to wash out, it would be washed out too quickly by sweat and that would defeat the purpose
     
  5. Leaf

    Leaf New Member

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    I really dont want to do all that LOL. Not only is it weird it just sounds uncomfortable.... anyone else?
     
  6. matagi

    matagi Well-Known Member

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    I use a zinc and castor oil cream formulated for nappy rash (diaper rash if you are from the US) It is easily found in the baby section of any half decent supermarket, and also comes in a medicated version. Apply to your skin, where the redness and irritation occurs and also a thin smear on your shorts where they meet the same area of skin.

    After riding, take the shorts off as soon as you can, wash/shower, dry well (use a hair dryer set to LOW if needed) and apply a zinc oxide powder to the area (again, look in the baby section for this stuff). Make sure when you change into your everyday clothes, that your underwear is made of natural fibres (cotton, silk, etc etc). Basically you are trying to avoid creating a warm, moist, environment which is what bugs like to breed in and which will cause you problems as soon as the smallest amount of chafing is present.
     
  7. aimeebear

    aimeebear New Member

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    It would surely be less uncomfortable than dealing with the pain of saddle sores [​IMG]

    As a newbie, I can tell you that I love my chamois creme and dettol anti bacterial cream, especially on longer rides!!!! Also make sure that you change out of your nix as soon as you get home and rinse them out very very well!

    Since acquiring my new bike (mmm yes im still in love with it) , I have also realised the importance of having a saddle that fits properly. :D
     
  8. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    riding a bike will never be quite as comfy as sitting in a big armchair and you do get used to the saddle pressure over time.

    sometimes a different saddle is the best cure

    I like the Selle SMP range, very comfy
     
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