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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-26-14, 04:59 PM   #1
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Padded shorts, plus what else?

Trying to figure out what I need to step up the distance a little further.

I've done a number of 200km brevets and a single 300, and I'm looking to step up to a 400 and hopefully a 600 this year. The trouble is, during the 300 I had an issue I'd never had before and I'm trying to figure what changed.

The problem was that towards the end of it (probably the last 50km or so) the pad in my shorts felt like it was sticking to me and rubbing, to the extent I felt quite sore. I think the problem was a combination of rain and sweat (I'd never done a longer brevet in the rain, and for a time I put a waterproof on which made me much too hot), but I'm thinking if I'm going to attempt longer rides I'm going to have to figure out how to fix it.

Do people put something on the pads in their shorts to stop this kind of thing happening, or do I need something more fundamental?
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Old 04-26-14, 08:29 PM   #2
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These oughta do the trick....





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Old 04-26-14, 08:36 PM   #3
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When you become one with your shorts you definitely need a bond-breaker. I always grease with Bag Balm before a long ride, then take a film container with a softer gump in it, like Chamois Butt'r, which is not greasy. I usually apply a little of that every 50-100 miles.
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Old 04-27-14, 02:10 AM   #4
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The problem was that towards the end of it (probably the last 50km or so) the pad in my shorts felt like it was sticking to me and rubbing, to the extent I felt quite sore. I think the problem was a combination of rain and sweat (I'd never done a longer brevet in the rain, and for a time I put a waterproof on which made me much too hot), but I'm thinking if I'm going to attempt longer rides I'm going to have to figure out how to fix it.

Do people put something on the pads in their shorts to stop this kind of thing happening, or do I need something more fundamental?
Nevermind all those creams etc. ... unless you want your shorts to start sticking to you and rubbing even earlier.

There are, however, two things that will work.

1) Wash yourself. Duck into a public toilet every 100 km or so ... and wash and dry yourself down there. You'll clean off all that salt from your sweat, and feel so much better.

2) Change your shorts. On rides longer than 300K, I bring an extra pair of shorts, preferably with a different pad in them. That way, I can change into clean dry shorts mid-ride, and if my first pair of shorts were rubbing in a particular spot, the different pad will change pressure points.
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Old 04-27-14, 02:12 AM   #5
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Makes sense, basically a lubricant to stop me sticking to the shorts?

When I did the 300 all the controls from 120km to the end were either information or buying something and getting a receipt, so I'd need to find somewhere suitably discreet to duck out of view to apply something.

If nothing else it's good to know the problem isn't necessarily the shorts themselves. Curiously I didn't have any problems when I did my first ever formal brevet, which was only 100km but it rained for the entire duration.
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Old 04-27-14, 02:52 AM   #6
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These oughta do the trick....





I've never used any of these things in all the randonnees I have done.

In doing events over 300km, a change of shorts is as useful as anything else. Preferably ones with different chamois design to change the contact point.

I also would just double check fit in relation to saddle. Has it moved slightly off-centre so the contact point is different for this most recent ride? Just as an example...
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Old 04-27-14, 03:14 AM   #7
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Hmmmm. Been focusing on saddle and bars to deal with discomfort but perhaps some of the above might also help. The last fleche was pure pain in the.last 50km or so.
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Old 04-27-14, 08:16 AM   #8
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I've never used any of these things in all the randonnees I have done.

In doing events over 300km, a change of shorts is as useful as anything else. Preferably ones with different chamois design to change the contact point.

I also would just double check fit in relation to saddle. Has it moved slightly off-centre so the contact point is different for this most recent ride? Just as an example...
Not sure about the saddle, are you talking about it moving slightly side-to-side or rotating slightly, rather than sliding forwards or backwards? I don't think that's the problem because I had the same trouble on the mountain bike (with a different saddle) after several hours of riding through mud in the rain.

I just noticed Machka's post and wondering whether a rinse of the affected area might be what's needed. It can be tricky to find public toilets in a lot of areas, but maybe some other means of keeping clean down below would work.
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Old 04-27-14, 08:19 AM   #9
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Not sure about the saddle, are you talking about it moving slightly side-to-side or rotating slightly, rather than sliding forwards or backwards? I don't think that's the problem because I had the same trouble on the mountain bike (with a different saddle) after several hours of riding through mud in the rain.

I just noticed Machka's post and wondering whether a rinse of the affected area might be what's needed. It can be tricky to find public toilets in a lot of areas, but maybe some other means of keeping clean down below would work.

If you don't have access to water and paper towels, try baby wipes. They aren't quite as good as plain ordinary water and paper towels, but they'll do the job in a pinch. You just need to duck behind some shrubbery, utilise the baby wipes, and place the used baby wipe into a baggy to dispose of later.


And you might try rotating your saddles. I've discovered that I'm crooked, and therefore I need all my saddles to point slightly off to the left. That's where they are most comfortable.
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Old 04-27-14, 09:35 AM   #10
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Makes sense, basically a lubricant to stop me sticking to the shorts?

When I did the 300 all the controls from 120km to the end were either information or buying something and getting a receipt, so I'd need to find somewhere suitably discreet to duck out of view to apply something.

If nothing else it's good to know the problem isn't necessarily the shorts themselves. Curiously I didn't have any problems when I did my first ever formal brevet, which was only 100km but it rained for the entire duration.
No discreet really necessary. Just put a little on your finger, turn your back and stick your hand down your shorts. Quick and easy. I've seen lots of folks do it.
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Old 04-27-14, 09:57 AM   #11
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Some bums are more delicate than others. Some friends have no seat problems during 1200km but I need to be more careful. Wet weather invariably means that I need chamois cream (or nappy rash cream) to avoid chafing. Really hot weather (sweat) is usually the same. Going over 300km tends to cause problems too. That is after optimising my choice of saddle and bib knicks. Weight changes and age of knicks (getting looser over time) can allow the chamois to move relative to skin. For me (YMMV), a good chamois cream sticks the chamois to my bum, discourages the growth of bugs and washes out fairly easily.
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Old 04-27-14, 08:50 PM   #12
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Nevermind all those creams etc. ... unless you want your shorts to start sticking to you and rubbing even earlier.

There are, however, two things that will work.

1) Wash yourself. Duck into a public toilet every 100 km or so ... and wash and dry yourself down there. You'll clean off all that salt from your sweat, and feel so much better.

2) Change your shorts. On rides longer than 300K, I bring an extra pair of shorts, preferably with a different pad in them. That way, I can change into clean dry shorts mid-ride, and if my first pair of shorts were rubbing in a particular spot, the different pad will change pressure points.
The body glide works. I have had no issues with material sticking to my skin.
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Old 05-01-14, 05:28 PM   #13
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Some bums are more delicate than others. Some friends have no seat problems during 1200km but I need to be more careful. Wet weather invariably means that I need chamois cream (or nappy rash cream) to avoid chafing. Really hot weather (sweat) is usually the same. Going over 300km tends to cause problems too. That is after optimising my choice of saddle and bib knicks. Weight changes and age of knicks (getting looser over time) can allow the chamois to move relative to skin. For me (YMMV), a good chamois cream sticks the chamois to my bum, discourages the growth of bugs and washes out fairly easily.
Okay, I am new to this stuff, but your last sentence caught my attention.. Did you say bugs? What are you talking about here?
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Old 05-01-14, 06:06 PM   #14
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If you don't have access to water and paper towels, try baby wipes.
Great suggestion, I always keep a Wet-Wipe in the flats kit for post flat repair clean-up.
Will add to the bigger kit bag for LD rides.

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Old 05-01-14, 06:08 PM   #15
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My experience is the opposite of Machka's--anything over 20-30 miles, and I apply Chamois Butt'r religiously. Without it, I get pretty uncomfortable, and with it I have done double centuries, 200k's and 300k's without complaint (well, at least without complaint from my butt...) Just like saddle choice, what works for one person may not work for another, and you just have to try things to find out whether a chamois lube product will help or hurt.

I'll definitely second the baby wipes suggestion. Not only are they useful for keeping the crotchal region clean, they're also generally handy to have around (for instance, if your husband realizes mid-ride that his chain is incorrectly threaded through the rear derailleur and that's why it's been making such a god-awful racket, and gets himself covered with chain grease in the process of fixing it because he couldn't face another 100 miles of listening to it. He will talk lovingly for months about the baby-wipe you handed him. And you will congratulate yourself on your self-restraint for not saying "I told you so" after he was skeptical about the utility of stuffing a ziploc baggie of baby wipes into your saddle bag.)
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Old 05-01-14, 11:35 PM   #16
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Okay, I am new to this stuff, but your last sentence caught my attention.. Did you say bugs? What are you talking about here?
Bugs can grow zits on your bum. Not nice to sit on.
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Old 05-02-14, 06:14 AM   #17
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I can do without chamois cream in the winter for cold 200k's, but when it's warm I use it to avoid issues. I also carry the small packs with me.
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Old 05-02-14, 08:20 AM   #18
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Before the ride, I smear on Chamois Butt'r, about a golf-ball size amount. For me, that's good for a typical 300km without re-application. But for longer distances I'll try to remember to reapply at least every 200km so that there isn't a chance for abrasion. Assos makes great stuff, but for a working stiff like me with two kids in college, it is far too expensive to be cost effective. So ... Chamois Butt'r and Boure shorts work perfectly fine. On events that are long enough to have drop bags I'll put in a pair of shorts per day. But I've never changed shorts on anything less than a 600km.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:05 AM   #19
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Okay, I am new to this stuff, but your last sentence caught my attention.. Did you say bugs? What are you talking about here?
bacteria
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Old 05-02-14, 10:22 AM   #20
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I use Chamois Buttr for any ride over 20 miles, a smaller amount at 25, and then more as the distance increases. There is a cream that some of our group has used for rides of 300k plus. I believe it is Lantiseptic, commonly used in care homes.

I also agree with the suggestion of wearing bib shorts. For distance rides, or any that involve climbing, especially if you stand in the pedals, bibs are great.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:51 AM   #21
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Lantiseptic is great if you actually get saddle sores. I found out to my chagrin that typical first aid creams sting pretty badly when you actually develop a sore, as does chamois cream. The only downside of lantiseptic is that if you get single use packs, the price of entry is pretty extreme. Not sure why that is. I have also used diaper creme, which is very similar to Lantiseptic.
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Old 05-05-14, 06:21 AM   #22
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Bugs aka microbes and feces in general are infectious and caustic. Start with as clean a butt as you can. Avoid unnecessary group farting antics. Clean scrupulously on any major bio break. Bag balm and Laniseptic types of lube used to work for me on real chamois but I am not sure if they are a good idea on the new "diaper pads" that are installed in shorts nowadays. I am planning to use a baby wipe to clean after 300k or so and THEN go to the lube or if any ugliness, to orajel. Fresh shorts would be nice, too.
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Old 05-05-14, 06:34 AM   #23
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to orajel.
Find polysporin with triple action anti-bacterial protection and built in topical pain killers (something like that) ... or Ozonol with the same thing. I use Ozonol when I happen to really need it. A tiny little dab on the specific spot will do.
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Old 05-05-14, 09:41 AM   #24
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My experience is the opposite of Machka's--anything over 20-30 miles, and I apply Chamois Butt'r religiously. Without it, I get pretty uncomfortable, and with it I have done double centuries, 200k's and 300k's without complaint (well, at least without complaint from my butt...) Just like saddle choice, what works for one person may not work for another, and you just have to try things to find out whether a chamois lube product will help or hurt.

I'll definitely second the baby wipes suggestion. Not only are they useful for keeping the crotchal region clean, they're also generally handy to have around (for instance, if your husband realizes mid-ride that his chain is incorrectly threaded through the rear derailleur and that's why it's been making such a god-awful racket, and gets himself covered with chain grease in the process of fixing it because he couldn't face another 100 miles of listening to it. He will talk lovingly for months about the baby-wipe you handed him. And you will congratulate yourself on your self-restraint for not saying "I told you so" after he was skeptical about the utility of stuffing a ziploc baggie of baby wipes into your saddle bag.)
Interesting, the first time I did 100 miles in a day it was on a mountain bike wearing regular underwear. I felt a little delicate towards the end but more because I hadn't spent so much time in the saddle before - the next day everything was fine. Sounds like another vote for baby wipes on the longer rides - looking at when I've had problems and when I haven't it does seem to be related to a buildup of moisture, whether that's water or sweat seems to make little difference.
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Old 05-05-14, 09:43 AM   #25
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Wow, the thread jumped forward suddenly. Thanks everybody for ideas, I think baby wipes are probably the first thing to try and if I don't get any joy I'll try some of the other things. Baby wipes seem like they are small enough to slip into a saddlebag or jersey pocket, which is always a bonus
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