How to Prevent Saddle Sore: Tips for Heavy Riders
By Joan Bishop Denizot
There are several reasons why cycling can be a good exercise for heavy people. Cycling is not only a fun outdoor activity but it is a low impact exercise that cyclists can do at their own pace without straining their joints. However, like all cyclists, heavy riders can be at risk of suffering from saddle sore.
Saddle sore is a skin disorder usually found in the area of the body such as the inner thighs and the perineal region that are in contact with the bicycle seat. It can be quite uncomfortable and even painful. This has been a common problem among cyclists regardless of weight. However, those who go for long rides and those who are a bit on the heavy side are more prone to experiencing saddle sore. To avoid it, experienced riders share these tips.
Seat height is one factor to consider. When buying your bike, try giving it a test ride to see whether the seat is set properly. A seat that is too high will pull your body further into the saddle as you reach for the pedal. This causes excessive pressure that may lead to saddle sore. A seat that is too low on the other hand, does not allow your legs to support your body and may put too much pressure on your crotch which also increases the risk of having saddle sore.
You can have the seat height adjusted just at the right height where you can actually sit upright and place both feet on the ground for balance. The right seat height can lessen the pressure on your sit bones and crotch area reducing the chances of chaffing.
The width of the saddle can also contribute to experiencing soreness. If the saddle is too wide, you might experience increased pressure in the crotch region which causes chaffing that leads to saddle sore.
While it is essential to wear a good pair of padded cycling shorts, experienced riders warn about wearing thick shorts. These tend to bunch up along the sides of the saddle and hold in sweat. The longer you are in these shorts and with the sweat accumulating in your crotch area, the higher the risk of skin irritation that leads to soreness. It may also cause bacteria build up that leads to infection in the chaffed area. It is recommended that you wear a chamois that does not have a seam in the middle of the shorts to prevent unwanted rubbing. Some riders suggest applying chamois cream but you might want to consult your doctor which would be good for you especially if you have sensitive skin.
If you can manage to stand on the pedals for brief 10 seconds to relieve pressure on your seat, try doing so. This can also help allow blood to circulate along your seat area.
Remember that saddle soreness is common among cycling enthusiasts regardless of weight and length of cycling experience. But it is something that can be prevented so you can enjoy your cycling to fitness and health.
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