Even for the most experienced of cyclists, perineal pain can completely derail a ride. Avoiding saddle soreness is extremely important for immediate comfort, of course, but it can also cause substantial injury over time. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prevent saddle soreness, as there are some general misconceptions pertaining to this subject. Below, we’ve outlined three simple steps that can help you keep perineal pain at bay and will allow you to enjoy the ride.
- Choose your saddle wisely
With so many types of bike saddles available to you, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Picking out the most comfortable bike seats can be a challenge, especially if you believe certain untruths. For example, a lot of people think that a saddle with ample cushioning will provide the greatest amount of comfort. But the truth is that the most comfortable bike seats are probably the ones you’d dismiss at first. Leather bike seats, for instance, may not seem like they’d be kind to your posterior, but they’re actually one of the most comfortable bike seats around for long-distance riding. Ultimately, you’ll want to do your research here and take your time. Since every person’s body is different, you may prefer a totally different saddle than the one your best friend recommends. Go to a bike shop in your area if you’re really stuck; that way, you can try out some saddles in person before making a decision.
- Adjust your saddle position
A high-quality saddle is immensely important to preventing pain, but you’ll need to adjust it correctly to get the most out of it. If your saddle is too low or too high might cause you to tilt your hips during a ride, which can lead to uncomfortable rubbing, chaffing, and pain. And if the saddle is tilted too far forward or too far to the back, you’ll have to keep shifting your own position to feel comfortable. Make sure that the tilt and height are correct for your proportions and needs. Still feeling discomfort after you’ve properly adjusted your saddle? The fit of your bike could be to blame. See a bike expert in your area to get a recommendation.
- Wear the right gear
Equipping your bike with a great saddle and adjusting it accordingly can make a huge difference. However, you’ll also need to protect your body from discomfort. That means wearing a grubby old pair of sweatpants or thin leggings won’t do on a bike ride. You’ll need padded bicycle shorts, which give a barrier between your body and the saddle to aid your comfort. And don’t assume that clothes that are comfy for sitting around on the couch will be comfy when you’re cycling. Loose, baggy clothes will actually be less comfortable on a ride because they tend to bunch up in strange ways instead of being taut to the body. Remember that smooth lines equate to comfort!
No cyclist wants to deal with saddle soreness, so prevention is key. By following these three steps, you’ll be able to cycle for longer distances and have shorter recovery times after a ride. Be sure to visit a reputable bike shop in your area if you need help picking out or adjusting a saddle.