Cycling Saddle Sores – How to Treat or Avoid The Most Common Problem


Cycling saddle sores are one of the most common problems cyclists occur, especially people who are new to cycling. But what is a saddle sore, why does it occur, how to treat cycling saddle sores, and how to even prevent cycling saddle sore – these are some of the questions I will be answering in this post.

But don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t only occur to new cyclists. In fact, it can occur to experienced riders with plenty of kilometers behind them.

Whether you’re already suffering from a saddle sore or you’re being careful and you’re looking for ways to prevent this from happening – I highly recommend you to keep on reading!

What is a Cycling Saddle Sore and Why Does it Occur?


Ever felt a pain in the buttocks which is especially strong after a long ride? You might have enjoyed your ride, but once you got off the bike – it’s only then when you’ve faced the problem.

Of course, this might happen to some riders during the ride – but it’s most common to notice it after you get off your bike mid or after the ride.

Saddle sore is exactly the pain you feel after getting off your bike, but what is actually a saddle sore in the definition? Saddle sore is an irritation of the skin in the area of the skin which is in contact with the saddle the most.

In cyclists words – saddle sore is the most annoying thing there possibly is, and I couldn’t agree more.

Why does it occur? Other than to annoy riders, it occurs due to a couple of factors. It can occur due to the irritation of the skin, prolonged pressure on the area where your cycling shorts (and skin) contact saddle, and even due to the moisture or increased friction throughout the ride.

If you’re already suffering from a cycling saddle sore – no worries as there are things to do in order to treat it.

On the other hand, if you’re being careful and trying to prevent cycling saddle sore – you should read the rest of the article as well, as I will be covering both prevention and treatment.

How to Treat a Saddle Sore?


Since most of you who are reading this post at this moment probably suffer from a saddle sore, I’ll start with the treatment.

When treating a cycling saddle sore, you should treat it as a regular skin infection. This means you should do the following without skipping any of the steps:

  • Wear clean shorts
  • Take shorts off as soon as you get home from a ride
  • Get the quality shorts with cycling chamois
  • Apply a bit of a chamois cream
  • Optionally: apply chafing gel in case you experience chafing problems

There is no magic or secret ingredient that could drastically improve your private area problem, but you should still treat it accordingly in order to shorten the time of the soreness and to avoid any complication. In case you didn’t know, this can easily get complicated and turn into a real problem.

Of course, I highly recommend keeping the area clean as well as wearing clean shorts.

Chamois cream is the most common solution you can apply and plenty of cyclists swear by it. However, don’t go overboard with it as I highly recommend applying a thin layer on the sensitive area.

How to Prevent a Cycling Saddle Sore?

Preventing a cycling saddle sore isn’t hard, unfortunately, most riders aren’t aware of saddle sore until it’s too late.

In case your riding buddy has been going at it lately and you were lucky enough to find out about the common cycling saddle soreness even before you experienced it the first hand – here is what you need to do to prevent it from happening to you.

  • Find a saddle that fits you
  • Wear appropriate shorts
  • Take advantage of chamois cream
  • Wash your cycling shorts after the ride
  • Make sure your bike fits you properly

The Right Saddle


Finding a saddle that fits you the best can be a bit tricky at first, but you will know you have “the right one”. There is no one-size-fits-all formula and everyone will need to find their own most comfortable saddle.

If you’re an aggressive rider, you’d want to find a saddle that relieves the pressure at the front. However, endurance should get a saddle with more padding at the rear and the side.

Cycling Shorts


Proper cycling shorts can be a game-changer and you shouldn’t think that expensive shorts hold the price up just because of the brand name. They tend to provide better materials and a layer of padding between your body and the saddle.

Chamois pads vary from a manufacturer to manufacturer, so you will have to test out a couple of different cycling shorts before you find the right one. This is very similar to choosing the right saddle.

Chamois Cream


Chamois cream is a great way to treat a saddle sore, but also a great way to prevent one – but it’s not a necessity for most riders.

This cream utilizes anti-bacterial aids that will help prevent germs from clustering in the are and prevent the cause of the problem right from its roots.

But as I’ve mentioned earlier, this isn’t necessary as most riders will find a quality saddle and a comfortable pair of cyclings shorts to help prevent the saddle soreness.

But washing your cycling shorts is a must (in case you aren’t doing this already).

Proper Bike Fit


In case you aren’t properly fitted, you might be putting a great amount of pressure on the private area which will lead to a saddle sore in no time.

A proper fit should help you sit, ride, and enjoy your time on a bike without feeling any pain in the neck, back, and arms.

Even though it might not prevent saddle soreness itself, it could help you prevent it while combining this with a proper saddle and cycling shorts choice.

No matter how good your bike saddle might be, if you aren’t properly fit to your bike, nothing might help out.


Cycling saddle sores can be prevented but also treated, and whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist – you don’t want to risk it.

Cycling saddle sores can even happen after changing the bike saddle or cycling shorts – so this is something you must be aware.

But also, hygiene plays an important role so you don’t want to be skipping any of the mentioned steps if you’re looking to prevent saddle sores.

If you already feel sore, there is still plenty of things you can do to shorten the time of a saddle sore but also to ensure it doesn’t get complicated.

Have you ever experienced a cycling saddle sore? How long did it last and how did you treat it?

I’d love to hear other cyclists’ experiences so feel free to drop a comment down below!

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