The rule of bum...
It goes without saying that the type of saddle with which you choose to grace your derriere matters. Afterall, it's the main contact point between you and your bike!
A lot of people have the misconception that the wider and spongier the saddle, the comfier it will be. Definitely not so. This theory only applies when sat in front of the telly with your feet up. Generally speaking, road biking saddles should be narrow to avoid unnecessary pressure or chaffing between the legs, you just need to come to terms with the fact that although it looks as though you're about to mount a knife edge, it really doesn't feel that way once you're sat in the correct position.
As with most products, you could buy something which is marketed as being 'the best that money can buy', or the same type that your mate down the road swears by, but unless it suits your own unique shape and form, as well as angled appropriately, then it's a total waste of time and money.
If you weren't already aware, Cycloform offer a range of different styles and sizes of demo saddle for you to try before you buy! Much to Simon's despair, I have to admit to trying about five different ones over a period of about four months before I settled on the most comfortable saddle for me.
Becoming saddle sore was a concern which developed after a few months for me. I was unlucky enough to experience this after a particularly long ride, convincing myself that I had something sinister going on. Thankfully, it turned out that I had merely fallen victim to a symptom of a very common cause of saddle soreness, which was simply a sudden increase in distance/time in the saddle.
Who knew!! In hindesight I'd recommend building up gradually for the sake of you and your butt.
Pressure, a reduction in blood flow and an increase in temperature can also prove to be troublesome from time to time. To counteract this, simply have a stand up in your pedals and a little wriggle/readjustment every now and then, allowing circulation to rejuvinate.
Friction can be a primary cause of discomfort. You could try a chamois cream. I've not tried it myself but I’m lead to believe that the antibacterial and soothing ingredients act in such a way that the viscosity of the product relieves and reduces chaffing.
Soreness and discomfort in the saddle area can take on many different forms, from swelling to chaffing, from numbness to urinary tract damage. Though not all issues are serious, we need to be aware that they do have a potential to occur.
I will try my very best to give you a few pointers on tackling said problems.
I would suggest that prevention is definitely better than cure so take your time over making sure your posterior is well protected. Cycling shorts/pants have an inbuilt chamois which affords essential extra padding between you and your saddle. My experience tells me that buying cheap will often result in buying twice and you'll end up with a sore booty in the process. As I mentioned in an earlier piece, try some kit on to ascertain which style fits and suits you the best.
As the title of this episode suggests, the general rule of bum is go commando. Your kit is specifically designed for this. ALWAYS have a warm shower or bath as soon as possible after a ride and ALWAYS wash your kit after use. Failure to do this could result in infection occurring as bacteria is being reintroduced.
Whatever your intimate grooming regime, you must be careful not to tempt in growing hairs (most often associated with a close shave). I would suggest that the best option would be a tidy short back and sides for your nether region, unless of course you prefer to go rogue!
In the unfortunate event that you do end up with a sore rump, a rest from the bike can be an effective remedy. Make sure you keep the area clean and dry, wearing loose fitting clothes to prevent further aggravation. Most cases will usually resolve using tea tree or an antibacterial cream after a few days, but if the problem persists or worsens, you must not ignore the issue and you MUST pay a visit to a Healthcare Professional.
If this episode has saved at least one person from the perils of an uncomfortable backside, then my work here is done.
Thanks for reading