Take a seat — we're going to talk about saddle sores

At Velorosa®, we believe the three most essential pieces of equipment when heading out for a ride (in order) are your bike, helmet, and a properly fit pair of cycling shorts. We want women just getting into the sport to take the time and find a pair of comfortable shorts with a well-constructed chamois (thicker isn’t better) and realize that quality shorts can last years. Preventing saddle sores while biking involves a combination of proper bike setup, hygiene, and appropriate clothing. Here are some tips to help you avoid saddle sores:

Proper Bike Fit:
Ensure your bike is properly fitted to your body. An incorrect bike setup can contribute to discomfort and chafing. (Most beginners start with their saddles set too low.) Adjust saddle height, tilt, and position to find the most comfortable and efficient riding position.

Choose the Right Saddle:
Invest in a saddle that suits your anatomy and riding style. After riding one type of saddle for many years, I was suddenly really uncomfortable. On every single bike I rode. It turns out I needed to switch to a flatter and less padded seat. Many bike shops offer saddle fitting services to help you find the right one. (I must have tested five different saddles until I found the right one.) Some are even women-specific. Consider saddles with cutouts or channels to reduce pressure on sensitive areas.

Quality Cycling Shorts:
Wear high-quality cycling shorts with a padded chamois. The chamois helps reduce friction and moisture, providing a more comfortable ride. Some women have asked us if we make a ‘century short.’ (A bike short that you could ride comfortably for 100 miles in a single ride.) In short (ha!), YES! We’ve sponsored two women who’ve competed in Race Across America—also known as RAAM. They each rode more than 3-thousand miles in our shorts. Also, and this is a big one, avoid wearing underwear with your cycling shorts, as the seams and layers of fabric can cause additional friction for some women. At our pop-up store, we always say, “Wear ‘em just like a bathing suit! Right on your skin.”

Personal Hygiene:
Of course, you know your body best, but it’s a good idea to keep the genital area clean and dry before and after riding. We use chamois cream for longer rides to reduce friction and prevent bacterial growth and skin irritation. 

Regularly Change Clothing:
Change out of wet or sweaty cycling shorts immediately after your ride. Wash your cycling shorts after each ride to remove bacteria and sweat. Turn the shorts inside out to dry the chamois completely.

Take Breaks:
Stand up and change positions during long rides to relieve pressure on sensitive areas. Take short breaks to get off the bike and stretch during longer rides if possible.

Consult a Medical Professional:
If you continue to experience saddle sores despite trying preventive measures, consider consulting a healthcare provider for personalized advice. Everyone's anatomy and riding conditions are unique, so it may take some experimentation to find the best combination of factors for you.

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