This blog feature is courtesy of our HPT Athlete Hannah Otto.
Discussing saddle sores or chamois hygiene may make you blush. It’s slightly uncomfortable to discuss, which means the subject is often avoided. The truth is, talking about preventing saddle sores is very important.
If you’ve been riding bikes for a while, then chamois hygiene may seem second nature to you, but chances are that it wasn’t always. I remember many, many years ago, holding my first set of bibs wondering whether or not underwear was a yay or a nay in this situation (it’s a nay by the way). Everyone needs that person in their life to lend a hand and talk about the weird stuff. So, if you’ve been secretly suffering from saddle sores, here’s your guide from eliminating them from your training routine.
Remove Your Chamois
I regret to inform you that chamois time is indeed NOT training time. In fact, the moment you are done with your workout you should be preparing to change your clothes. If for whatever reason you won’t be showering right away you should still change into different clothes. Sitting at the finish line in your sweaty, wet, dirty chamois resting directly on your skin (remember no underwear) is the perfect storm for creating saddle sores. Change before you go to the kitchen to make your post-ride meal, stretch, or do a little post-ride core. And whatever you do, never ever re-wear an already dirty chamois.
A wet chamois can create more friction and promote bacteria growth. That means, the drier you stay during your ride, the better. If you are riding indoors then make sure you are using a really good fan to help mitigate saturating yourself in sweat. If you do get exceptionally sweaty during a ride then changing right away becomes even more important. Additionally, while that mid-ride swim may sound nice in the heat of the summer, riding home in your wet and sloppy chamois may not be the best option.
Chafing is uncomfortable and can also be a part of the saddle-sore process. Eliminating chaffing is an excellent way to ensure a happier and healthier riding experience. Chamois cream is great for lubricating the skin and preventing chaffing. The brand Chamois Butt’r provides immediate comfort and can help smooth already chafed areas. It comes in bottles, balms, or sticks. They also make a skin wash cleanser for after your ride. You can find Chamois Butt’r product on The Feed website and you can use my link for $15 off your first order.
Check Your Saddle
Last but not least, if you’ve tried all of the above and are still having chafing issues then check your saddle. It’s possible that the saddle you are currently running is the wrong shape for your body. Factors such as if your saddle is too wide, too narrow, does or doesn’t have a cut out, is flat or round are all personal preferences that you need to test out and determine what works best for you.
Find a Friend
These conversations shouldn’t be hard to talk about, yet we’ve all had questions that we’re too embarrassed to ask. I highly recommend that you look for a friend that you feel comfortable asking all your embarrassing questions to. It makes life easier and a little more fun too!