Cycling is great exercise that can build cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your muscles. However, when you’re first getting into the sport, especially as a female, you may experience a bit of saddle soreness. To ensure saddle soreness does not keep you off your bike or cause you to cut your rides short, employ the following tips.
Purchase a Female-Specific Bike Seat
The seat that came with your bike is probably not the best one for you, especially if you’re a newbie whose skin is not used to spending hours on a bike. Head to a bike store, and look for a female-specific bike seat. This type of bike seat has a cut-out in the middle. As a result, when you sit on this type of seat, the weight is distributed across your pelvic bones rather than resting on the flesh between them. Your pelvic bones might still get a bit sore after a long ride on this type of seat, but you won’t have to worry about chaffing or swelling on your skin. Companies like Random Bike Parts may be able to help you find the parts you need.
Wear Padded Bike Shorts
Some shorts sold as bike shorts are simple compression shorts. Others have extra padding in the seat. Purchase the type with padding in the seat, and you’ll be much more comfortable. Make sure you wash them after every use. The sweat and oil that builds up in them may cause irritation during your next ride if you don’t wash it properly between rides.
If you only cycle once in a while, your skin will take a long time to adapt to the friction and pressure, and you’ll continue experiencing soreness each time you ride. The best thing you can do, especially when you’re first getting started, is to make sure you cycle at least a few times per week. You don’t have to go far. A couple of 3-5 mile rides is a good start. You can build up your mileage slowly once your body adapts.
Change As Soon As You Get Home
What starts as a little skin soreness during your ride can become a lot worse if you keep your bike shorts on for hours after you get home. The sweat and bacteria in your shorts can lead to further irritation, and in some cases, an infection. Take off your bike shorts and jump in the shower as soon as you finish a ride. It will be easier on your skin.