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  1. #1
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    My last thread about saddle sores, I'm about to give up on riding forever.

    I'm about 20 minutes away from posting a beautiful cannondale on craigslist and hanging it up for good.

    Saddle sore, angry pimple, boil whatever, left side only, crease between butt and leg. Perfect hygine, 20 different saddles, 143/145/155/168 sizes. Assos/garneua/PI/Performance/Voler/Castelli bibs. Cant ride 20 miles without one. I can feel the pressure on that side of my leg whenever I ride, it rubs the saddle while my right side is free and clear. Cannot get it to stop. Every chamois cream on the market. Tea tree oil/rubbing alcohol to treat it. They will go away but then after a ride it will come back.

    bought a shim, would not stay put with my SPD cleats. Bikefit brand. Tried on both shoes.

    The ONLY thing that will prevent it is to lower my saddle until its even with my current bar height, which puts me at a very upright position and does not let me pedal efficiently causing knee and hammy pain as well.

    Have rode for 4500 miles in nothing but frustration and pain and I'm also broke as hell, spent every dime on a fix.

    Had a serrota fit done, got a saddle sore from the fit process.

    /end rant

  2. #2
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    Wow this sounds horrible. I can tell you what I have done but you have probably already tried all of this. I have had some terribly painful saddle sores but it sounds like your situation is worse. I tried a bunch of different saddles also. I am currently riding on a Selle Italia Diva and it is working well for me.
    When I get them I keep them clean, of course, and I use neosporin (sp?) on them. I also put diaper rash cream on them. Before I ride I lather myself with diaper rash cream. When I am riding I try to re-position myself periodically. I wish I had a magic solution. I hate to see you quit riding but I understand your frustration.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Alias530's Avatar
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    Have you taken a week off riding or seen a doctor? I couldn't get mine to go away until I just took some time off the bike. A doctor could drain it or maybe prescribe a steroid cream that would be more effective than over the counter stuff.

  4. #4
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Have you taken a week off riding or seen a doctor? I couldn't get mine to go away until I just took some time off the bike.
    I had bad sores sometime back, and I had to take a bunch of time off. I forget how long, but it was a long time.

    Also, you might consider a recumbent as the airflow and contact points are such that saddle sores are virtually nonexistent.

  5. #5
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    There could be an underlying skin issue that you cannot see but is always there and gets aggravated by the riding. I would check with a Doctor. Also, if you can, before a ride, wipe the area with alcohol and then use a large Band-Aid to cover. Sorry for the pain, I had the issue for a long time.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
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  6. #6
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    It sounds like you have a biomechanical issue with your legs. It also doesn't seem like changing saddles, making saddle adjustments, or trying shims on your own helps.

    I would find an experienced fitter and not someone with a Serotta machine and have them diagnose the issue. Someone with Retul capabilities that can video record your leg movements. Probably some type of shims or shoe inserts is the answer but they need applied based your what is the cause.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Alias530's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mvcrash View Post
    There could be an underlying skin issue that you cannot see but is always there and gets aggravated by the riding. I would check with a Doctor. Also, if you can, before a ride, wipe the area with alcohol and then use a large Band-Aid to cover. Sorry for the pain, I had the issue for a long time.
    Yeah this might help too. I think saddle sores are caused by rubbing and bacteria too. So if you have a saddle that fits right, it may be mostly bacteria. If you could keep the area clean, change out of your clothes the second you're done riding, and shower soon too, that would help.

  8. #8
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    Getting them to go away is not a problem. They will dissapear in 2 days with treatment. The problem is I can't ride when I need to or commute to work when I need to. Its a problem with my body, nothing else, not hygiene or treatment. All im ever told is common sense (not to be rude) wash your bibs use cream etc.. The problem is that on my stroke I can feel my left leg rubbing while my right feels nothing. Serotta fitter was a joke I wanted to refuse to pay.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yeah this might help too. I think saddle sores are caused by rubbing and bacteria too. So if you have a saddle that fits right, it may be mostly bacteria. If you could keep the area clean, change out of your clothes the second you're done riding, and shower soon too, that would help.
    Perfect hygiene

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mvcrash View Post
    There could be an underlying skin issue that you cannot see but is always there and gets aggravated by the riding. I would check with a Doctor. Also, if you can, before a ride, wipe the area with alcohol and then use a large Band-Aid to cover. Sorry for the pain, I had the issue for a long time.
    I've started so many threads that people are probably pissed by now. Not a skin issue it on one side only. Just left leg.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by latexyankee View Post
    Getting them to go away is not a problem. They will dissapear in 2 days with treatment. The problem is I can't ride when I need to or commute to work when I need to. Its a problem with my body, nothing else, not hygiene or treatment. All im ever told is common sense (not to be rude) wash your bibs use cream etc.. The problem is that on my stroke I can feel my left leg rubbing while my right feels nothing. Serotta fitter was a joke I wanted to refuse to pay.
    The only other advice I can give is what helped me. I changed from tighty whities, punk panties, etc...etc...to Boxer Briefs. They seem to stay snug on my legs and not let things slip around. It worked and I no longer have any problems. I would say try it, cheap fix if you don't already use those type briefs.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
    ― Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by latexyankee View Post
    I've started so many threads that people are probably pissed by now. Not a skin issue it on one side only. Just left leg.
    I'm thinking sooner or later someone will give you advice that works. I only had the issue on my left leg, don't know why.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mvcrash View Post
    The only other advice I can give is what helped me. I changed from tighty whities, punk panties, etc...etc...to Boxer Briefs. They seem to stay snug on my legs and not let things slip around. It worked and I no longer have any problems. I would say try it, cheap fix if you don't already use those type briefs.
    Sounds like OP is wearing cycling shorts with chamois, so no undies involved.

    OP: If you have a bunch of saddles sitting around, cut away part of the left side of 1 with a knife and see if that helps.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  14. #14
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    Again not to be rude to anyone, really, I'm just frustrated beyond belief. If you read my OP, PERFECT hygiene, no skin issue, one side only, many top name bibs/chamois types. Not a saddle issue, I've found many saddles that awesome and comfortable, I can get ANY of those saddles to stop the friction IF I lower the saddle to level that it not optimal.

    Thinking of trying another fit but I hate paying for something without knowing if there will be ANY relief.

    got a saddle sore from last fit, would you pay $200 to be off the bike for 3 days? lol?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Sounds like OP is wearing cycling shorts with chamois, so no undies involved.

    OP: If you have a bunch of saddles sitting around, cut away part of the left side of 1 with a knife and see if that helps.
    Only have 2, I've been selling or returning them to help recoop the costs of trying to be healthy

  16. #16
    Farmer tan f4rrest's Avatar
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    I have tried dozens of saddles and a handful of fitters, and I still get a deep pressure sore on the left side.It's not an infection or boil like yours, but maybe the cause is similar.

    I have a slight curve in the spine to the right. It's called scoliosis. It's imperceptible visually, but docs mention it on X-ray. Lots of people have it naturally.

    This curve to the right causes your pelvis to tilt left ever so slightly, so that you're effectively sitting on the left sit bone with a bit more pressure.

    I found that shimming the right saddle rail tilts my saddle just enough that it helps to even out the pressure.

    I've never seen or heard of a saddle rail shim, so had to invent one. It's just a short length of 3/8 copper water tubing split open and wrapped around the right side rail. When the seat is clamped, it squeezes the tubing which squeezes the rail, so it's secure.

    Looking from the rear I can barely perceive that the saddle tilts up on the right.

    It's worth checking your spine with your doc to see if uneven pressure is the root of the problem.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    How about a slightly shorter left crankarm, so the left leg does not extend quite as much ??
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  18. #18
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    Not sure why you continue to have the recurring sores, but if you're ready to give up, it sounds like time to see a doctor. This is likely a bacterial infection related to hair follicles aggravated by the constant abrasion. Time off would likely be the advice of a doctor to allow this infection to heal. If an abscess or nodule has developed, the wound may need to be drained and oral antibiotics may be necessary. I'm sure you're aware to get out of your sweaty short very soon after each ride. I had a friend recently go through this and he had to spend a few months off the bike. He's back at it now.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Sounds like OP is wearing cycling shorts with chamois, so no undies involved.

    OP: If you have a bunch of saddles sitting around, cut away part of the left side of 1 with a knife and see if that helps.
    Good Point, he can try new undies and a pair of baggy shorts that is what I ride in. Cheap to try.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
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  20. #20
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    If lowering the seat works, then I would just do that. Who cares if it isn't as 'efficient', at least you are riding.

    The shorter crankarm seems like a good idea, and I would definitely go see a doctor.

  21. #21
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    OP, what would happen, I wonder, if you taped the skin where the sores most often occur? The idea would be to keep the friction off your skin and transfer it to the surface of the tape instead. Some wide adhesive tape or duct tape in several strips to cover the whole affected area. The idea is similar to protecting your heel and Achilles area from blisters with tape when wearing a new pair of hiking shoes that is a little too high in the back.

    I also think there is an important clue to your problem is the asymmetry. I don't usually advocate professional fittings, but a really competent fitting is a must in your case.

    And BTW, Machka, who knows as much about this sort of thing as anyone, advocates turning the saddle slightly to avoid problems that occur on only one side. Have you tried anything like that?

    Good luck.
    Robert

    My hero: "Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin'..." (Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus")

  22. #22
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    Clearly there is some sort of asymmetry in your position/pedaling/leg length. Sounds to me like ONE of your legs is shorter than the other, and not necessarily your left leg.

    The ONLY thing you don't seem to have managed to do is shim one leg properly to test this (you said the shim wouldn't stay in place.) I think before you hang it up, you need to explore this!

    Now, in what way would the bikefit cleats shims not stay in place? And which ones did you try? (I made length shims for my speedplays out of the plastic from a cheap frisbee. Should be even easier to make them for SPDs.)

    I think it's worth trying ANYTHING to correct what is clearly some sort of asymmetry in your seating/pedaling/ leg length.
    Last edited by Wheever; 07-25-15 at 08:53 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member RIRview's Avatar
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    I feel your pain--literally. My issue is also on the left side, in the same location you describe. Just like you: Multiple saddles, Retul bike fit, chamois cream, Bag Balm, tea tree oil, zinc oxide cream, hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic ointment. The damn things go away with time off the bike, but always reappear. The most frustrating thing is that I rode years with no issues at all, and why it started and what I can do to get rid of them once and for all...well...I'll be damned if I have the answer.

  24. #24
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Try moving your left cleat forward 2 mm and see what that does.
    George

  25. #25
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    Thanks for all the replies no one has really been rude like I expected if you look up my previously started threads. It drives me nuts on any forum to see the same person asking and asking without research. Let me assure you I've spent as many hours online as on the bike this year.

    Now I am of full belief that this is an imbalance within my pitiful weak excuse for a body. As others have mentioned, I believe I have a pelvis issue as it seems one sit bone feels further forward on the saddle than the other. The shorter crank and or using my shim was and is still my perceived short term solution. I had my shim at my fitting but she "determined" with her keen eyesight only that my legs are the same length. I do know that my left thigh is significantly larger in circumference than the other. My fitter saw this and told me oh well you're gonna have chafing, nothing you can do but build strength in the other leg. I replied that would make both legs rub then yes? And why if I lower the saddle does it go away? No real response ensued. I have a feeling, actually I know my pedal motion is off on the left side as I can see my knee track outwards slightly. Also it always feels as if my left side (saddle sore side) is pushing more power or watts or whatever. It always feels as if my right leg isn't trying as hard, or it easier to pedal with the right leg under any circumstance? So I am favoring the left side I suppose? Dropping that leg/hip. I could go on and on...

    To the poster that suggested its a bacteria skin issue. Thank you but we've been over this. I do not ride unless there is a shower at my destination. It is one side only. They are like ingrown hairs, I used to get them all the time when working outdoors in the summer and forced to wear jeans. Bacteria may play a part while I'm sweating and riding but it down to friction and rubbing. I CAN feel it and I know when I'll be developing one. I've got alllll the basics down in regards to hygiene, bibs and finding a saddle that works, you'll have to trust me on that. Everyone I speak to only preaches these principles and refuses to accept that I follow them. All I ever get is "must not be showering fast enough" "ever tried chamois cream" "bibs aren't up to par"...my castelli free areos beg to differ.

    I did speak to another local fitter who's rep is pretty solid involving tried and Olympic champions. Said he actually was hired by specialized as a consultant to help develop their BG fit. He seems like a good roll of the dice as he said he's used every system out there and has 28 years experience. But its tough to justify another willful purchase when you have 2 daughters and are saving to buy a home.

    Lastly on this lengthy post. I thank everyone for letting me vent. None of my friends ride and say go for a run. So nobody can relate to not being able to hop on the bike and just go explore or set a record on that climb and go 40mph tucked on the descent. It makes me feel alive. I kinda do feel like a little boy who had his bike stolen, just sad. Sometimes just being able to complain with some people who understand is like talking to friends. Love ya

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