Nine steps to comfort in the saddle
Comfort is vital for an enjoyable cycling holiday but so many people complain of being saddle sore. Here we tackle the topic of how to gain good comfort in the saddle on a cycling tour or holiday.
1 The right shorts:
Padded shorts are a good idea but make sure you buy shorts to suit the male or female anatomy. The padding in good quality shorts is designed to suit the difference in our nether regions.
Also ensure that the shorts are well fitting. They do not have to be super tight, but it helps if they fit well and stay in place as your ride. Any movement in the fabric can cause rubs and sores.
2 Bibs for comfort:
Many people also prefer the comfort of bibbed shorts. The bibs stop potential discomfort in the waist area and they keep more of the back area warm and out of the wind/breeze. Some people like to have their shorts at waist height only but many others find that bibbed shorts offer better fit and comfort.
3 Easy access:
If you are lady you’ll find that bibbed shorts are rather frustrating when you need a bathroom break. These days plenty of brands are finding solutions to the “oh no I need to take all my top layers of to get to my shorts problem”.
Gore Bike Wear XENON women's shorts
have a two-sided back zipped access. DHB have a women's Aeron halterneck
design that allows the rear of the shorts to be pulled down for a toilet stop. New shorts from Pearl Izumi, the ELITE LTD bib shorts
have a unique drop tail design that works well, too.
4 Take a seat:
Arguably the most important item to get right is the saddle. While men and women are naturally designed differently, each of us also has a unique physique.
There are bike seat to suit all kinds of shapes, from wider, more padded saddles, to narrow seats with cut away fronts, to saddles for women with a cut-out in the middle.
Many bike shops have a saddle fitting service or ask around your friends and borrow a saddle until you get the right one.
5 Dab on some cream:
Bike cream can help with lubrication, sores, rubs and all kinds of things you don’t really want to chat about. Make sure you choose cream specific to your gender. Women, especially, do not use cream that is meant for the guys because it might do more harm than good.
6 Bike fit:
How you sit and ride the bike can affect how your nether regions hold up. If a saddle is too high, your hips will rock from side to side when you pedal. If your bike is too long you will end up putting too much pressure on your lower parts. Getting the bike set up correctly is important.
7 Keep it clean:
If you are riding day after day make sure you keep your shorts clean, as well as yourself.
Cycling can be a sweaty business, especially in a warm country, so you should buy shorts that offer good breathability.
9 Rest days:
It might seem a bit obvious but it’s a good idea on a multi-day cycle tour to allow your body – and nether regions – a break for rest and recovery. A day off the saddle or an easier day of cycling can work wonders.
We hope these tips keep you comfortable in the saddle during long cycling holidays. Do you have any advice?