Stage events such as the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek can take their toll on the body. When it comes to saddle sores, the age-old adage that “prevention is better than cure” is something all cyclists should abide by. Before lining up for the three-day mountain bike race, professional cyclist Chris Wolhuter offered his advice on how to prevent a painful backside.
Depending on who you ask, there are a number of ways one could define a saddle sore.
Most simply, a saddle sore is an irritation of the skin that is in direct contact with the chamois of your cycling shorts and indirect contact with your saddle.
A saddle sore can also be an irritation of the skin or as a result of a boil or ingrown hair.
The long and the short of it is that it doesn’t matter how you define a saddle sore – they can be very painful.
These are my top tips to help prevent these painful sores:
1. Invest in a good pair of cycling shorts
Make sure to purchase a good quality, well fitting pair of shorts. Don’t be shy to splash out a little.
In order to reduce movement between shorts and your skin, rather get bib shorts as these are designed to hold the chamois in place better.
2. Don’t save your new shorts for race day
Make sure to wash new shorts at least once before wearing them as this will help the fabrics settle.
It is also a good idea to wear them on a couple of shorter training rides to help break them in.
3. Hygiene first
Hygiene is very important so it is important to wash your hands before applying chamois cream.
A second handy hygiene tip it to always avoid double dipping.
Once you’ve completed your race or training session it is important to get out of your kit and cleaned up as soon as possible.
4. Train, train and train some more
All of this advice is completely useless if your body isn’t used to spending hours in the saddle.
You need to make time to hit the trails because if you don’t your backside will be one of the first places you feel the effects.
Gradually building up your time in the saddle will ensure that your body becomes used to spending hours on the bike.
5. Look at your bike
If none of this seems to help, it may be that a new saddle and/or bike setup are required.