How to avoid saddle sore and seat pain

Sandra / Veloine
Sandra / Veloine
May 20, 2022

Beautiful weather, you and your bike, great surroundings, best company... but somehow something pinches, and even worse, during the ride it gets more uncomfortable with every pedal stroke. Sounds familiar? It affects us all, professionals, advanced amateurs and beginners: saddle or seat pain. What is the reason for this and what can you do to prevent pain around your delicate parts?


Number 1: The right cycling shorts.


It is extremely important that your cycling shorts fit your body well. The padding in the pants and the fit itself should not be too big to avoid unnecessary friction. Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" solution here, and it often takes a while until you have found a pair of shorts/tights that are perfectly tailored to you. Try it on and try it out is the only thing you can do here.

The pad (chamois), which is used in the shorts/tights, is decisive for your seating comfort. There is of course no question that women's cycling shorts should have a women's specific pad. Make sure that the shape and size of the pad fits the width of your pelvis, that the pad is in a good position in the pants, has no seams or perforations where you sit, is made of a quick-drying material and antibacterial surface.

Also very important, but sometimes foreign to beginners: cycling shorts are to be worn without underwear. This only leads to additional friction and pressure points.

Which Veloine cycling bibs or shorts are right for you? Learn more in our Bib Guide


Number 2: The optimal bike position.


A professional bike fitting is important for the correct position on the bike. With the right adjustment, you can avoid many problems such as knee pain, numb limbs, foot pain and, of course, saddle soreness.

Ideally, the bike fitting will also check which saddle suits you, your anatomy and your riding style best. Experts like Radlabor or gebiomized are specialists for the perfect saddle and the optimal sitting position.

The friction between your body and the saddle also has something to do with your flexibility. How flexible we are, especially in the pelvic and hip area, also affects our sitting position and thus the way in which friction occurs.

Tip: wear your favorite cycling shorts for the bike fitting. So you can be sure that the pants, the padding and your riding position harmonize together. Often these are the details that make the difference and allow you to ride comfortably.


Number 3: Good care and hygiene.


Chamois creme, Vaseline or whatever lotion you use can help prevent abrasions in the intimate area. Especially at the beginning of the season, when many of us get back on the bike after hibernation, it can be helpful to carefully get the sensitive parts of the body used to long rides. A little bit of lotion in your pants - whether you smear it on the skin or on the pad - can reduce friction.

Yet, some of us women are struggling. Abrasions in combination with a pad that is damp from sweat or other bodily fluids - especially on long rides - can lead to infections in the genital area. It is important that you wash your cycling gear properly and let it dry completely. Do not wear your pants more than once, and wash them thoroughly after each ride. For open wounds, you can use zinc ointment or ointments containing zinc to help the wound dry.

The type and timing of the intimate shaving routine also plays a role. If you plan to cycle many kilometers the next day, you should not have an depilation the day before. This can lead to additional irritation and inflammation of the skin, which is made worse by friction through cycling.

You see: women can do a lot to prevent saddle soreness, in order for nothing to stand in the way of long and pain-free riding.