Posts Tagged ‘Bicycle Racing and your Skin’

Bicycle Racing and Your Skin

Nothing hampers bicycle racing like a case of saddle sores.  Those are infectious boils of skin that break out from too much friction on the skin and sweat.

The best advice about saddle sores is to prevent them.  Once they form, a bicyclist will need to take a break, and for serious racers, a lost week of training is difficult to overcome later.

One simple method to prevent saddle sores is to make sure your bike shorts get washed.  Many racers don’t do this on long road trips because laundry facilities are scarce.  However, trainer Chad Butts of upstate New York suggests you bring your shorts into the shower with you for washing if a washing machine isn’t nearby.

A good-fitting bike seat, or saddle, is another key ingredient to avoiding painful skin conditions.  The bike shop will help you find the right size and proportion to alleviate the pressure on the pelvic floor.  Once you select a saddle, be sure it and the handlebars are the proper height.  This will prevent sores by having the correct angle to the body on the bike.

If you haven’t ridden in awhile, or it’s the start of training season where you live,  it’s important to build up your hours on the bike slowly over time.  Sensitive tissues in the groin need time to adjust to the strain of sitting on a saddle.

Some bike riders apply a protective barrier ointment, such as Udder Balm, to the groin area, especially where the skin is sore after a ride.  They claim this will facilitate adhesion between your bike shorts and your skin and prevent rubbing of the fabric against the skin.

Racer Steve Sloan says Dr. Naylor’s Udder Balm works well. “Udder Balm was a hit.  We handed out more samples this weekend and got still more positive responses”.

With careful preparation saddle sores need not ruin your success at bicycle racing.