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Saddle Sores - Please Discuss (not a dinner conversation)

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Saddle Sores - Please Discuss (not a dinner conversation)

Old 11-01-05, 08:27 AM
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Saddle Sores - Please Discuss (not a dinner conversation)

I've had this annoying saddle sore problem all year long. Usually after long rides, 50 miles or more, I'd get small sore spots on the inside of both legs, high up towards the nether region. Sometines it would be like a pimple or an actual skin abrasion that might scab. I found Desitin worked wonders for healing it up quickly.

Well, this last weekend I did a 50 miler followed by a 90 miler the next day and now I've got a serious saddle sore on the left side. This is not just a pimple or abrasion, there's an actual bump under the skin. I don't know if it's just swollen, built up scar tissure, or what but it's very tender and definetly not a good thing.

So, I've been considering taking a couple weeks off for the off-season and now seems like a good time to do it to let this heal up. I just hate the thought of two weeks off the bike. I seriously might go nuts. Also, I think it's time for a new saddle. The Selle Italia SLR has got to go but I have no idea what to replace it with. I tried the Arione once for a week and loved it on the first ride but then hated it on the next couple so I sent it back. Maybe I needed to give it more time and try adjusting it more. I have no clue as to what saddle to try. I do some racing so one of them super heavy Brooks type saddles is out of the question.

I try to sit back on the saddle on the sit bones but apparently the upper inner thigh area, one small spot in particular on both sides, is taking a good deal of the pressure also from the sides of the saddle. So, I would love to hear some saddle recommendations, especially if you've used an SLR and found a similar more comfortable saddle. Actually I'd love to hear any recommendation or stories you may have relating to this problem.
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Old 11-01-05, 08:36 AM
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Have you looked at the E3 Form saddle (you can get it from Performance bikes). The seat narrows quickly to avoid pressure on the area you described. There is also a drop between the back and front of the saddle to again provide for less pressure between the legs.

I got one about a month ago to replace an Italia, and have really been happy. Then again, saddles are so individual things....

Good luck, hope you get back out there very soon.
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Old 11-01-05, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
Have you looked at the E3 Form saddle (you can get it from Performance bikes). The seat narrows quickly to avoid pressure on the area you described. There is also a drop between the back and front of the saddle to again provide for less pressure between the legs.

I got one about a month ago to replace an Italia, and have really been happy. Then again, saddles are so individual things....

Good luck, hope you get back out there very soon.
Yes, definetly considering that one.
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Old 11-01-05, 09:01 AM
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This probably does not relate to your problem but after some
trial and error I found out that my rash was due to latex allergy
from the elastic and thread in my shorts. I found this out after
resorting to the embarrasing experience of using Vagasil for
what I thought was jock rash.
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Old 11-01-05, 09:24 AM
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Two questions:
1) Are you washing your shorts after every single ride? Two rides in the same shorts is one too many.

2) Are you using chamois cream? Bag Balm works great. I have never gotten saddle sores. But I did tend to rub some of the important parts raw on longer rides.
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Old 11-01-05, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Avalanche325
Two questions:
1) Are you washing your shorts after every single ride? Two rides in the same shorts is one too many.

2) Are you using chamois cream? Bag Balm works great. I have never gotten saddle sores. But I did tend to rub some of the important parts raw on longer rides.
Yes, washing the shorts after every ride. Well, usually. No, I actually quit using the bag balm cause it tended to aggravate the pimple sores because of the greasy vaseline stuff. Plus, it tends to stay in the chamois after washing. I might pick up some Assos cream and see if that helps at all.
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Old 11-01-05, 09:38 AM
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I assume it's just skin next to your bibs? so nothing to hold sweat and rub.
I wash my bibs after every ride, even if it's only 15 miles, use a cream to softern any inserts in you bibs, make sure you hose yourself down after each ride.
Make sure your saddle is adjusted correctly, mix your ride, don't spend the whole time in the saddle, do some climbing.
If all the obvious fail you could see a Doc, but unless you find one who knows about cycling you could be waisting yoru time.
Good luck I hope it clears up.
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Old 11-01-05, 10:34 AM
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I use "body glide" in that area....work's great for me.

To heal sores I'd suggest the other products mentioned or Bourdeaux's butt cream, or some other type of diaper rash ointment.
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Old 11-01-05, 10:35 AM
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Problem is that it could be about eleventybillion different things. It could be saddle position (fore, aft, height, tilt), it could be chamois style (this was part of my problem a few years back), it could be a need for chamois cream (but I've found that correcting other issues trumps this one for the most part, though I still use cream myself), etc., etc. The fun part is trying one adjustment and seeing if it helps, trying a new saddle, trying this and trying that until you figure it out.

You've got the right idea in terms of taking time off to let it heal, though. Until someone starts paying you for riding, it's the only way to get rid of them.
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Old 11-01-05, 10:46 AM
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If the area is red, very warm, and indurated (hard), or feels like there's a fluid collection under the skin be sure and get it taken care of by a physician - it may be infected and could need antibiotics and/or drainage. If it's just irritated it should get better on its own quickly, if you stay off the bike.

Defnitely try a different saddle. Consider a leather saddle, such as Brooks. They can be hard to find but come in "touring" and "racing" varieties. These saddles conform to your body after a while and people who use them swear by them.

SB
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Old 11-01-05, 10:46 AM
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if I don't use Assos chamois cream I get sores if I ride over 100 miles a day or for a period of very high weekly mileage.

The main problem here is probably lack of cream. Don't change the SLR yet. I ride the XP version and I can ride on it fine for 120 miles or more.
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Old 11-01-05, 10:59 AM
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Ok, you're washing your shorts daily thats a start
get a good antibacterial soap (Hibicleans, Phisohex (derm?), betadine etc.)
and use that to clean the area.
The small pimple like breakout sounds like infected hair follicles.
The hard painful type sounds more like classic Saddle sore
Hot baths will help draw it out. Some saddle time will then
further assst (and see 1st point for clean up).

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Old 11-01-05, 11:09 AM
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Ditto on using an antibacterial soap, I use body piercing wash because is is gentle on the skin and anti-microbial. Get a prescription for an water based antibacterial creme with cortizone, slather it on twice a day, and even the hard red ones go away in a few days. Getting the area dry without a towel (which can have more germies) is also a good idea-just walk around naked for a while after a shower or use a hair dryer on low.
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Old 11-01-05, 11:20 AM
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Antibacterial soap is over-rated. Doesn't do much more than regular soap. It's more about how well you use it. Seriously.

Be careful slathering a saddle sore with any cream. It needs to dry out. This is a great excuse to freeball it for a day or two.

And remember that, above all, YMMV. Don't read one tip and think that it's the be-all and end-all. Try different stuff until you find what works best for you.
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Old 11-01-05, 12:32 PM
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I had this same type of issue (hard red tender lump) after riding the longer rides. I invested in a good pair of shorts (LG Alveo) and it made all the difference for me.
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Old 11-01-05, 12:44 PM
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when you get home from your ride take your shorts into the shower with you and wash them... that way your shorts are allways clean and are never temped to use an unwashed pair of shorts... wash your crotch/butt area or wipe with alcohol before ride and after your shower after the ride... do this and you will never have a problem with saddle sores... you may get abrassions (this is a saddle/position issue) but pimplely saddle sores are from not washing shorts or crotch... thin skin that's being abraded till it's raw is very prone to get infected.. you need to keep it clean... forget about saddles.

[edit] to get rid of it... if its not so bad take a few days off the bike and keep it really clean and wipe with alcohol... if it's really bad use alcohol to disinfect the area and a pin and pop it squeeze out the puss and take a few days off untill it goes down.. may take a couple of popings... when you get back on the bike you may want to use your best short and cover with a bandaide till it's gone completely. but prevention is the name of the game keep the area and your short clean[edit]

Last edited by doctorSpoc; 11-01-05 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 11-01-05, 01:15 PM
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i agree with the advise doctorSpoc gave except that it may have something to do with your saddle or its position, if you are normally "comfortable" on the saddle then following spocs advise should solve the prob, otherwise if you notice a chronic rubbing on a certain part of the saddle either take your bike in and have your saddle positioned properly for you by someone who does it for a living or pick out a new saddle, if you are having leg rubbing issues like i did try an Arione, its wide enough in the back to put my sit bones on it but narrow and flexy enough to avoid irritation on the insides of my legs
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Old 11-01-05, 01:16 PM
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what spoc said about cleanliness. It sounds to me like you have an infected hair follicle, and you need to have it lanced and drained. This is where having a friend who is a nurse or a diabetic can come in real handy - surgical needles are so much sharper than sewing needles.
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Old 11-01-05, 02:28 PM
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What works for me is that after you wash your cycling shorts after every ride hang then up with the chamois exposed in the sun. Solar radiation is your friend and it will kill harmful bacteria and fungus that may be living on your chamois. Yes it will fade them a little but it's better than the saddle sores. Also if I have a small saddle sore after a ride I will carefully wash it in the shower and after the shower dry the area and put some virgin coconut oil on it as a skin balm. Coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral and will help to heal it quickly.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 11-01-05, 02:37 PM
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When I first started racing I got saddle sores until a wise and experienced racer pointed out I was bouncing in the saddle, the up and down pounding caused the saddle sores.

Practice spinning as fast as you can while not bouncing. It takes some concentration but its doable. After a while you will notice that to keep from bouncing you will be "floating" on the seat, hardly applying any pressure to the seat with your butt. Aim for this "float" and you should eliminate the saddle sores.
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Old 11-01-05, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Nashville Man
I use "body glide" in that area....work's great for me.

To heal sores I'd suggest the other products mentioned or Bourdeaux's butt cream, or some other type of diaper rash ointment.
Body Glide is great. Works as advertised. No saddle sores since I started using it.
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Old 11-01-05, 03:07 PM
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If you ride for long enough you will get saddle sores, it's just a fact of life being a cyclist. I used to suffer from them very badly when I had a San Marco Aspide but has changed to a Selle Italia SLR Gel flow. Sure it's a little heavier but if you like the SLR shape and want some more comfort it's the way to go. It also has the cut out in the middle which releives a lot of pressure.
I am a bit of a weight weenie but saddle comfort is one thing I won't sacrifice weight for.
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Old 11-01-05, 04:00 PM
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Get a brooks. You'll either love it or hate it...
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