10 Ways To Avoid A Sore Ass When Cycling | Cycling Tips For Triathletes

– Saddle sores. Oh, I reckon a few of
you might have squirmed just hearing those words. But, if you’ve never experienced one, you might be slightly baffled
as to the complaints you hear from tri-athletes and cyclists. – Yeah, unfortunately
I’ve actually experienced a couple over the years. And, I can vouge for their discomfort. In fact, just saying the
words makes certain parts of my anatomy feel like they’re attempting to clamber to safety. – But don’t worry. Saddle sores do not need to
be part and parcel of cycling. And, there’s plenty you
can do to prevent them and to make cycling and
triathlon far more pleasurable. So, we’ve put together some
tips that will help you to prevent those saddle sores. (loud booming music) – Firstly, what is a saddle sore? Well, simply put, it is
an irritation of the skin from the point that is in
contact with the saddle. Your derriere. And, trust me, you will
know when you have one. – Yeah, they vary from
chafing, a repeated rubbing of the skin, through to
spots and boils caused by ingrown hairs or
bacterial skin infections. None of which are nice. So, let’s take a look at
how to keep these at bay. (upbeat music) Okay, since your bottom
is one of the main points of contact with your bike,
and it takes the majority of the weight, it is
worth investing in a pair of cycling specific
shorts with a pad in them. This is what we call the chamois pad. And, it is a life saver. Generally speaking, the
more expensive the shorts, the better the chamois pad
is going to be inside them. But, having said that,
the most important thing is to check that they’re well fitted. ‘Cause this will make
the biggest difference. (upbeat music) – And the same goes for our tri suits. Most will feature a chamois of some sort. In fact, I would always
recommend getting the tri suit with a chamois. Though they do differ
to our cycling shorts. So, if you wear a pair of cycling shorts in a triathlon, they would
probably soak up half of this lake and be pretty
uncomfortable to run in. So, they’re slightly thinner,
they’re slightly smaller, but this does also vary. So, I would consider the
length of the triathlon you’re competing in and
the length of the bike as to how much padding your tri suit has. And another thing to
consider, as we’ve spoken about the cycling shorts,
is the fit of them. Because if the leg starts to ride up and you get bunched material,
then that can also add to chafing and saddle sores. (upbeat music) – One of the most obvious
areas to look at is the saddle. But, it’s also one of
the hardest to get right. All of us are a different
shape, so there’s no such thing as one saddle that fits all. So, you do have to be
patient to experiment to find the right one for you. But, on the plus side, there
is a huge range out there so you will eventually get the right fit. It’s also worth noting
that it isn’t necessarily about the bigger, more padded
saddle being more comfortable, it’s about the shape. Some saddles even come with a cut out area which is especially
popular with many women. (upbeat music) – And then we have chamois cream. Some cyclists absolutely
swear by the stuff. Personally, I believe that if
you have the correct saddle and a well-fitted, good pair
of shorts you shouldn’t really need it, but it’s still
clearly very popular. It works in a couple of ways. It kills off the bacteria that
can lead to skin infections. And, it also acts as a
lubricant between your skin and your shorts. Simply apply it directly to your skin, or alternatively you
can apply to the chamois of your shorts itself. Don’t apply too much
’cause it can actually act in the opposite way, and
also make it look like you maybe had an unfortunate toilet mishap. And, I will say for a
triathlon, this stuff can wash away during the swim. So, you can actually get a
triathlon specific versions or, as a lot of athletes and
pros do, you can just use a petroleum jelly. (upbeat drum music) Okay, you get home from a mega bike ride. All you want to do is sit back and relax. And, probably eat a heck of a lot of food. But, if you really want
to limit your chances of getting a saddle sore, I suggest trying to get out of your cycling shorts as soon as possible. And, preferably, jump in
the shower if you can. It’s fairly obvious stuff,
but this will all help to clean away that nasty
bacteria from that region. (upbeat music) Okay, a simple one. Clean your bike shorts. Both for your sake and your
training partner’s sake. I really wouldn’t recommend
wearing your bike shorts multiple times without washing them for the same bacterial reasons as before. Equally, make sure that
they get fully rinsed out at the end of their wash cycle
because clothes detergents can be a slight irritant. (loud electronic drum music) – Okay, should you experience saddle pain during a ride or triathlon,
simply ride faster. That probably sounds counter intuitive, but you’re riding a little
harder and pushing slightly more through the pedals, you’ll naturally have a slight lift off the saddle which will hopefully
relieve some of the pain. But, if all else fails,
then you can just stand out of the saddle and hopefully
that will give you some respite. (loud rock music) – Alright, hair removal. Whether it’s waxing, shaving,
or some other method, perhaps avoid a more intimate hair cut around your nether region. Hair removal leads to regrowth of hair and in a place that takes
quite a lot of pressure and friction, it could mean ingrown hairs and possibly even infection. Now, I’m particularly
talking to the men right now. I appreciate I’m in no place
to tell the women what to do. It might sound a bit crude,
but hair in that kind of region does actually help with the
transport and evaporation of sweat away from the skin. (loud rock music) – A saddle that’s too high
or wonky or at a funny angle can lead to chafing. And, as we’ve already
mentioned, the saddle is one of three points of contact with the bike. And, it does take the
most of your body weight. So, it’s worth making sure
that it’s set up correctly for you. But, if you are experiencing saddle sores on a regular basis, it’s
probably worth going to get a bike fit, especially if
you’re riding a triathlon or a TG bike. (loud rock music) – And, last but not least,
cycling shorts are designed to be worn directly against your skin. You may be used to wearing
underwear from day to day, but when it comes to
cycling and triathlon, leave them at home. Wearing them under your
cycling shorts, or worse, your tri suit, will
only lead to discomfort or even a saddle sore. Now, if you have already
developed a saddle sore, well GTM sends its sympathy. Just reduce your training on the bike or cut it out altogether
until your symptoms disappear. And, then follow these tips. – Yeah, and if you haven’t done so yet, and you want to see more
GTM videos, just click on the globe to subscribe. And, if you wanna see what
we, as triathletes, can learn from road cyclists click down here. If you’d like to see our
beginner triathlon mistakes video just click down here.