3 Simple Rules To Prevent Saddle Soreness
Cycling is fun until you develop saddle pain. To keep every ride a pleasure you better prevent saddle soreness, but how do you do that? There are only three rules, and they have something to do with your bike, chamois pad, and saddle.
Saddle pain or saddle soreness is the generic term for all the pains and discomfort you can experience while cycling in body parts coming into contact with your saddle. It’s caused by friction from the constant pedaling movements, moisture from sweat, pressure from your body weight on the saddle, and therefore possibly a reduced blood flow. In the worst case, you may even get sores.
Wear qualitative cycling shorts
By wearing decent cycling shorts with a quality chamois, you can avoid most discomfort. Just remember this golden rule when buying cycling apparel: a pair of cycling shorts is only as good and comfortable as the chamois pad that is in it. There are various chamois pads with different technologies, shapes, and specifications available. It’s up to you to buy the one that suits your needs.
For optimal support and comfort, you better choose a pad with multi-density foam construction. Its open 3D webbing structure combined with perforations in the right places allows a free air stream which makes the cycling pad breathable, light, and fast drying. This enhanced moisture management and better skin protection make it way more comfortable than a simple, dense foam layer. Furthermore, a pad with rubber-like behaving foam allows high-density impact protection while riding. Bioracer’s Vapor pad in the Epic men’s bibshorts and Epic women’s bibshorts are good examples of these technologies. You can also opt for an anatomical design that follows the contours of your body. This gives you better pressure distribution, less friction, and more stability. These features can be found in Bioracer’s Wave chamois in the Icon men’s bibshorts and Icon women’s bibshorts.
Anatomy and preferences
Since the anatomy of men and women is different, cycling apparel is gender specific to provide more comfort and to protect the private parts. For example, the men’s and women’s version of the same product fits slightly differently and is equipped with a different chamois pad. So if you are a man, simply buy men’s bibshorts and if you are a woman, buy women’s bibshorts. In terms of shape, there are two options: one and split. Women’s pads normally have the ‘one shape’, men have the choice according to their own preferences. The ‘split’ shape relieves the pressure on soft tissue more effectively thanks to strategically placed cut-outs and the ‘one shape’ provides comfortable support everywhere thanks to the full padding. Whatever chamois pad you choose, never wear underwear underneath your cycling bibshorts. Otherwise, you reduce its benefits.
Choose a saddle that fits you
Just like people, saddles come in all shapes and sizes. Which saddle suits you depends on several factors. First of all, your gender: men usually sit better on a narrower saddle, women on a wider, women-specific saddle because of their wider sit bones. By measuring the width of your sit bones, you can discover precisely which saddle is best for you. The cycling discipline you practice also plays a role. There are saddles specifically for road cycling, mountain biking, downhill, etc. Your flexibility determines whether you should choose a round or flat saddle. If you are less flexible, you tend to wobble around more on your saddle and better choose a round saddle. A flat saddle offering a little more freedom of movement is ideal for a flexible cyclist with a stable position on the bike. Then there is your cycling position. Do you prefer to sit straight or do you prefer an aerodynamic position? The more you bend forward, the more pressure you put on your pelvic area. Depending on your position, choose a saddle that relieves the pressure on crucial areas. Not sure which saddle you need? Get advice from your local bike store.
Set up your bike correctly
A correct saddle height and setback adjusted to your body is very important to prevent saddle pain and other physical discomforts. It is also very important that your saddle (the seating area) is positioned horizontally so that you do not slip forwards and get saddle sore. Do you want to be sure your bike is adjusted properly and you are riding in the ideal position? Book a bike fitting in Bioracer’s Speed Center.