1. Wear cycling shorts that fit correctly.
Often cyclists buy their shorts too big. This creates folds in the padding and that creates friction. Look for shorts that are seamless. Stitches are another source of friction and chafing. And very important, don’t wear underwear. It’s another source of needless friction. Your shorts are designed to be worn just the way they are. This said, that leads to point.
2. Keep your shorts clean.
Choose anti-bacterial treated padding and wash after each use.
3. Use cream.
Chamois cream was created before modern padding was created and padding stiffened after use and wash. But using chamois cream is still useful to prevent saddle sores. Rub it into the padding and/or those possible chafing spots to minimize friction and keep bacterial build-up at bay. And keep in mind point 2. Don’t sit around in dirty kits, and wash out the cream thoroughly.
4. Get fitted.No I didn’t say get fit – but fitted.
Your choice of saddle and your bike position are the most important things to do to feel good in the saddle. Choose a comfortable seat. Each person has a different fit down there. Which explains why there are so many choices. Extra gel is not always the best solution. Someone who has long flat rides doesn’t sit the same as someone who usually does long climbs. And someone who sits up to look at the scenery on a leisure ride doesn’t sit the same as compared to someone who is on the drops staring at his buddy’s backside to try not to take the front winds. It means that it may take a couple of tries before you find the perfect match. Luckily more and more saddle manufactures and stores have a test programs. You can test several models to find your perfect saddle. More than just the perfect fit for the saddle, your position on the bike is just as important! If you are always doing the hootchy-scootchy in your seat, moving your hips around, you are wasting a lot of energy and creating unnecessary force on your bottom. With a good position, you’re anchored down and turning your legs. Not your upper body or butt. And a bad position can put more weight on the wrong spot. See your local bike shop to get a professional bike fitting.
5. Get the blood flowing, stand up on your pedals.
You shouldn’t say seated all the time. Give your sensitive side a break now and then. These five points should help prevent a sore bottom. But saddle time is just like all exercise, you need to go progressively. Don’t expect to ride several full days without a sore bottom when you’ve only a couple of hours of riding time in. You need to build up your “saddle” endurance and progressively lengthen your bike rides and frequency. So bikers, saddle up!