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  1. #1
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Butt rash with padded shorts-What's good prevention?

    I am 62 and new to biking.I bought a Surley LHT last summer.I have riden it about 500 miles-mostly in the last 2 months.I plan to do some loaded touring mid March.Last week I took a 2 day ride to try out equipment.I rode 50 miles to a camping area the first day.My right cheek felt a little tender after taking a shower.But I thought nothing about it.I did apply some Chamois Buttr before going to sleep.

    The second day I rode 78 miles.Further than I wanted to go.But there were no camping areas or stores in between.Well,mid day my butt was expressing unhappiness.That night after showering,it looked like I had set on a hot iron.Today,5 days later,I finally took a 15 mile ride.My problem was not completely healed up.But I think I could take another 15 mile ride tomorrow and be okay.

    Now,knowing this can be a show stopper,I want to know what caused it and how can I prevent it.I have a Brooks B17 saddle.And I wear Izumi padded shorts.I also had thin poly running shorts on.This is what I typically wear.My question is,are the padded shorts holding the moisture against my skin and causing the rash?I thought the padding was supposed to pull the moisture away from the skin.But,I do sweat more than most people.

    I read some threads that say more riding time is needed as prevention.But if the cause is moisture,I don't see how more butt hours will help.When on long rides on motorcycles and quads,I wear unpadded spandex.That works great.I will probably try them on my next long bike ride.If there is any advice out there,I would prefer it over trial and error learning by the seat of my er pants.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Ditch the running shorts. Nothing goes under the bike shorts.

    Apply the chamois cream before the ride, not after.

    And find a saddle that works for you. Brooks saddles are a cult object but that doesn't mean they fit your butt.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Do you mean,don't wear running shorts "over" the riding shorts?

    I had never used the cream before.Never needed it.I put it on afterwards hoping it had some relief properties.

    I don't think the saddle itself is a problem for me.It is comfortable.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Yes ... where are you wearing these running shorts? Under or over?

    If under ... OUCH!!

    If over ... they could be holding the moisture in and causing problems. I've noticed that if I wear a double layer (shorts with tights over, or something like that), it is less comfortable than just shorts.


    Is the problem a rash, or deeper soreness?

  5. #5
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    Once again no running shorts just the riding shorts and put cream on before the ride.

  6. #6
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    Also, get something to cure on going problem. Diaper rash ointment would be good. Apply them before going to sleep, etc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Yes ... where are you wearing these running shorts? Under or over?

    If under ... OUCH!!

    If over ... they could be holding the moisture in and causing problems. I've noticed that if I wear a double layer (shorts with tights over, or something like that), it is less comfortable than just shorts.


    Is the problem a rash, or deeper soreness?
    I put the Izumi riding shorts on first.Then I put the thin running shorts on.

    My sit bones are fine.The rash? was very red with a slight ooze to it.In the morning it seemed to be more like a thin scab.Triangular shaped and the size of my seat contact area.

  8. #8
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    I have learned to put chamois creme (cocoa butter) directly on the chamois. I apply a liberal amount to the shorts and rub the creme into the chamois.

    On a 65mile ride I had a similar saddle sore as the OP even though I wore Pearl Izumi shorts. Thereafter, I learned about applying the creme directly to the chamois and even on a 100mile ride I did not have any sores or blisters.
    RUSA #8269

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    There's a great scene in the Hell on Wheels documentary of a soigneur applying massive amounts of chamois creme to the rider's pad. I'll bet it was Assos creme, too.

    I use Bag Balm (try a feed or farm store). I put it on the areas of my butt that have been a problem in the past. I carry a small container with me and re-apply after the first 100 miles, then about every 50 after that.

  10. #10
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    Sounds sort of like diaper rash? If that's the case, there's two things you need to do.

    First, get out of the cycling shorts as soon as possible after each day's ride, wash off (shower, if possible), and put on dry clothes. If you don't want to put on diaper powder, try some Anti-Monkey Butt Powder. (Search for it!)

    Second, the goop. When you're clean and dry, try the Bag Balm. It helps my skin heal up overnight. If it's still tender the next day, put on the chamois butter before you start the day's ride.

    And you don't really need anything over cycling shorts. If you're modest, slip the running shorts on when you get off the bike, but still try to hit the shower ASAP.

  11. #11
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Are you rewearing the shorts without washing in between? If so, at the very least make sure they're getting very dry before going back on. Also, there's this magical stuff called Beaudreaux's Butt Paste. Never used it on myself, but it works wonders on my daughter's diaper rashes and we even have a song I made up about it that calms her down if she's fussy as we're getting her ready for bed. Great stuff, not too pricey, usually found in the baby department of any drug store/larger store that'd sell baby consumables like diapers or formula (grocery store, target, etc).
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    First, get out of the cycling shorts as soon as possible after each day's ride, wash off (shower, if possible), and put on dry clothes.
    Thanks for remembering this one as it is also crucial to prevent rashes. Not just cycling shorts either, the worst rash I ever had was from a brief rain shower soaking my jeans while laying foundation block around the house. The rash was so bad that time that it bled!
    RUSA #8269

  13. #13
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Sounds sort of like diaper rash? If that's the case, there's two things you need to do.

    First, get out of the cycling shorts as soon as possible after each day's ride, wash off (shower, if possible), and put on dry clothes. If you don't want to put on diaper powder, try some Anti-Monkey Butt Powder. (Search for it!)

    Second, the goop. When you're clean and dry, try the Bag Balm. It helps my skin heal up overnight. If it's still tender the next day, put on the chamois butter before you start the day's ride.

    And you don't really need anything over cycling shorts. If you're modest, slip the running shorts on when you get off the bike, but still try to hit the shower ASAP.
    I always wash the shorts between rides.Except this time.I took a shower and put the same shorts back on.I walked back to my tent and went to bed.I was too tired to do anything else.In the morning I started riding-with the same shorts I wore all night.

    One more thing.Can't we call it riding shorts rash?

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    I like Dz nuts cream. It has tea tree oil that is supposed to be naturally anti Bactria. It comes in a tube so it stays clean and a small amount lasts all day. I have to wash the areas that I apply twice to get it off.

    It is not cheap but I like better than other creams.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doogle View Post
    I wear unpadded spandex.
    My last chamois shorts died 3-4 years ago and I've never looked back. Either unpadded spandex or ~95% nylon ~5% spandex boxers when it is warmer out. See REI: ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxers.

    I find tight spandex on the legs in warm weather just plain icky.

  16. #16
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Clean bike shorts for each ride. Launder them in cool/warm water, use detergent without fabric softeners/fragrance (if possible), dry on low heat or hang dry. Make sure the detergent is completely rinsed out.
    Snug fit so they do not slide around on your skin.
    Do not wear running shorts over bike shorts when riding. Put them on after you get off the bike if you feel the need.
    Stand up on the pedals from time to time to get some cooling/drying airflow.
    Apply chamois butter to clean skin in problem areas before riding. Some people just need it on body folds, not the entire chamois.
    On long rides, bring along some baby wipes (aka feminine wipes) and a small bottle of chamois butter; clean up and apply more cream at each pit stop. Meticulous hygiene.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by escii_35 View Post
    My last chamois shorts died 3-4 years ago and I've never looked back. Either unpadded spandex or ~95% nylon ~5% spandex boxers when it is warmer out. See REI: ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxers.

    I find tight spandex on the legs in warm weather just plain icky.
    So far I prefer the tighter fitting spandex.Loose fitting seems like material may fold and cause some irritations.I have used the padded shorts on my longer rides.I think the padding actually holds more moisture and causes the rash.

    Quote Originally Posted by nkfrench View Post
    Clean bike shorts for each ride. Launder them in cool/warm water, use detergent without fabric softeners/fragrance (if possible), dry on low heat or hang dry. Make sure the detergent is completely rinsed out.
    Snug fit so they do not slide around on your skin.
    Do not wear running shorts over bike shorts when riding. Put them on after you get off the bike if you feel the need.
    Stand up on the pedals from time to time to get some cooling/drying airflow.
    Apply chamois butter to clean skin in problem areas before riding. Some people just need it on body folds, not the entire chamois.
    On long rides, bring along some baby wipes (aka feminine wipes) and a small bottle of chamois butter; clean up and apply more cream at each pit stop. Meticulous hygiene.
    I do stand to air out frequently.I think I must have too much to air out.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    As for the Chamois Buttr,people recommend so many different products.Chamois Buttr,Bag Balm,etc.I bought the Chamois Buttr because it was what I first read about here.Do they all do the same thing?And many recommend using powders.I guess different things work for different people.

    And since I'm exposing my personal ailments here,I may as well come all the way out of the closet.NIPPLES.Is there something I can put on my nipples to prevent chaffing?Band aids are embarrassing when I forget and take my shirt off.

  19. #19
    Member Prestonxvx's Avatar
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    I don't see a problem with running shorts, I wear cycling shorts under baggies every day and have never had a problem for years

  20. #20
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doogle View Post
    I always wash the shorts between rides.Except this time.I took a shower and put the same shorts back on.I walked back to my tent and went to bed.I was too tired to do anything else.In the morning I started riding-with the same shorts I wore all night.
    sounds like the cause for sure to me.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  21. #21
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    If you're traveling and outside in a tent, then it means the clothes need to be washed and hang dried. Depending on humidity, you may need 3 pairs of shorts. That way when you rotate the usage, it will be completely dried. When you get off the bike after a ride, that's when you must shower and wear loose fitting clothes so that any excess moisture from the body does not have an opportunity to provide a breeding ground onto the existing rash.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    If you're traveling and outside in a tent, then it means the clothes need to be washed and hang dried. Depending on humidity, you may need 3 pairs of shorts. That way when you rotate the usage, it will be completely dried. When you get off the bike after a ride, that's when you must shower and wear loose fitting clothes so that any excess moisture from the body does not have an opportunity to provide a breeding ground onto the existing rash.
    I am planning to have 3 pairs of shorts.I haven't decided if they will be padded shorts.And I will change when I'm done riding for the day.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    One of the things that causes these rashes is the salt from your sweat. If you're sweating a lot, it is not a bad idea to wash yourself periodically throughout the ride. If you don't have water and paper towels, baby wipes can work.

    And it is a good idea to sleep in something else ... bring a light pair of boxers or something.

    If you do get a rash, and want something to clear it up quicky, try zinc oxide cream. You'll find it in the baby section of your local department store. Shower, apply the zinc oxide cream, put on the boxers ... and you'll be good to go in the morning.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Doogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    One of the things that causes these rashes is the salt from your sweat. If you're sweating a lot, it is not a bad idea to wash yourself periodically throughout the ride. If you don't have water and paper towels, baby wipes can work.

    And it is a good idea to sleep in something else ... bring a light pair of boxers or something.

    If you do get a rash, and want something to clear it up quicky, try zinc oxide cream. You'll find it in the baby section of your local department store. Shower, apply the zinc oxide cream, put on the boxers ... and you'll be good to go in the morning.
    Thank you Machka.This is the type of response I understand.Are there any brands you can name with the zinc oxide?Does the Bag Balm fit in that category?

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doogle View Post
    Thank you Machka.This is the type of response I understand.Are there any brands you can name with the zinc oxide?Does the Bag Balm fit in that category?
    I don't think Bag Balm is zinc oxide ... but I could be mistaken.

    The brands I would name would likely be Canadian or Australian brands ... just about anything that's zinc oxide would work. In Canada I might look for Johnson's & Johnson's products.

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