For avid cyclists, maintaining comfort on the perineal are, or the crotch, is an ongoing battle. For long-distance riders, comfort in this area is critical due to the amount of time spent in the saddle. Without protection this area can become sore and chaffed due to the combination of sweat and friction. Using the proper seat and padded cycling shorts can help protect this sensitive area.
- Skill level:
Replace your existing seat with an ergonomically designed and cushioned seat. Bike seats are manufactured to fit all riders, but some are designed specifically for men or women. Ensure that you pick a seat that has been designed for your gender, and try to pick one with a soft gel-cushion. This will soften the seat, and be more comfortable on longer rides.
Ensure that you have a proper seat height on your bike. A seat too high will cause more friction, and a seat too low makes the bike uncomfortable and more difficult to ride. To set the proper seat height, sit on the seat and place your foot on the pedal, then rotate the pedal until your leg is straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If you're still sitting comfortably on the seat at this point, then you have a perfect seat height. If not, adjust the seat up or down as necessary.
Wear padded bicycle shorts while riding. Most bike shorts have a small padded area covering the perineum, which increases comfort for the rider.
Apply anti-chaffing gels or creams, such as Greyhound Juice or Body Glide, to your perineal region. Many of these products are available at bike shops and sporting goods stores, and are available in roll-on or stick form, as well as gels and creams.
Stop every so often while riding and get off of the seat for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This is a great habit to get into if you sweat heavily because it allows the sweat to evaporate while simultaneously eliminating pressure from seat contact.
Tips and warnings
- Consider buying a gel-seat with a cutaway section in the centre. This will reduce the pressure exerted on the perineal area.
- Always wear adequate safety equipment when riding a bike and observe all traffic laws.
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