Enjoy the Ride Without the Chafe
Posted on June 9, 2021 at 11:11 AM by Tom Swegle
Cycling and Chafing: It Happens
Imagine a friend of yours invited you out to try a long bicycle ride. The weekend has been packed full of amazing sights, great weather, and the chance to meet people from all over the state. Hitting the bike trail has created memories you’ll recall with delight for the next few years!
Before taking off for the weekend, your enthusiastic and experienced biker friends caught you up to speed on some of the essential biking gear for cycling.
They mentioned investing in a moisture-wicking cycling jersey with a stand-up collar to protect from the sun, the necessity of padded cycling shorts to deliver some comfort on the long ride, and informed you of the right shoes to buy. But there is one thing that everyone seems to forget about taking off for a long ride, chafed skin.
Any cyclist who has ever ridden for an extended period of time has surely dealt with chafing at least once. Some may even lovingly refer to the worse cases as “biker butt” or “saddle sores.” In the world of cycling, chafing is a real concern, but it doesn’t need to be.
What is Chafing?
Although not a hot topic for discussion at a dinner party, chafing is something that can happen to anyone, at any age, any activity level, and is relatively common. In terms of cycling, chafing can be a real concern if left unaddressed.
On long rides, chafing is caused by moisture, pressure, and friction (between skin or clothing) where athletes sit on the bike seat (or saddle, hence the name, ‘saddle sores’). In other words, areas that have a hard time staying dry or from rubbing often get chafed.
The affected areas tend to be the buttocks, genital region, and inner thigh, in other words, places with sensitive skin. The skin in those places can even be rubbed raw, resulting in irritation, pain, and will likely force a person to take a break from cycling. If pain management is not addressed, chafing can become a chronic pain issue and even cause lasting skin damage. So before getting too far down the bike path, take the right steps to prevent chafing and ruining future rides.
Treat the Issue
Suffering from chafing is no fun. If not given the proper treatment, it can become much worse and go from something that you can care for at home to something more severe that requires medical attention. The best way to maintain a healthy course is to be educated!
Skip the chafe and learn what to do to steer clear of any issues.
Keep Things Clean
If raw spots (chafing) develop after a ride, make sure to clean them gently but thoroughly. In fact, cleaning down there before and after a ride is essential because chafing can be worsened by bacteria growth. If that happens, you’re bound to experience the worse problem of saddle sores. Whenever you ride, always wear clean shorts and get out of them as soon as you’re done riding.
Build a Protective Barrier
Before you ride, apply Dr. Boldt’s Barrier Balm, which has been developed by MedCara, LLC. The cream will provide a protective skin barrier to seal out wetness and prevent dryness, chaffing, and irritation. Formerly known as “Dr. Boldt’s Hiney Healer,” Our new formulation is better optimized for expanded protection. The new Barrier Balm Travel Tube is perfect to bring along on rides in case you missed a spot at home.
Wear the Right Shorts
When it comes to cycling, it is absolutely worth it to invest in a high-quality pair of bike shorts. There is a wide variety of styles and assets to consider, such as size, shape, and material. In fact, some styles are made with bibs, or straps that go over your shoulders and eliminate a waistband. And if you’re planning on being on a bike for hours, getting rid of something like an uncomfortable waistband is something to consider.
Adjust Your Saddle
If keeping things clean, applying Barrier Balm, and wearing the right shorts don’t seem to fix the problem, you may need to adjust your saddle or change it completely.
Although a padded seat might sound like an easy fix, it may actually make the problem worse. When your weight sinks into a padded saddle, it can press into all the sensitive areas, creating more pressure in all the places you don’t want it. If you’re going to be headed out on longer rides, a lightly cushioned seat will be the best choice. Additionally, you may want to consider speaking with an expert and having them perfectly fit you to a bike and saddle.
Enjoy the Ride
Getting out and enjoying the great outdoors is not only good for your body but for the mind and soul, too. Way too often people get discouraged when they try something new, like a nice, long bike ride, simply because they weren’t properly informed about the best way to do it. So consider this your sneak peek into avid cycling circles.
Every cyclist knows that chafing is real, and if not properly dealt with it can really keep you off the trails! So do some research to discover the best clothing, saddle fit, and bike for you, and then stock up on Barrier Balm - your nether regions will thank you!