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Readers Respond: How You Keep Yourself Happy and Comfortable "Down There"

Responses: 6


Chafing and rash caused by bike shorts is a common problem for cyclists. Share your tips and strategies to avoid rashes and chafing in your delicate parts.

Preventing Chafing

Rarely are there problems on short rides but long, multi-day rides need prevention rather than cure. My rules: Use chamois butter and use a different shorts from a different manufacturer each day to ensure seams don't hit the same spot. Clean yourself up immediately after ride and stand frequently while pedaling. I try for 30 seconds every 10 minutes. Carry chamois butter with you and at the first twinge, reapply. Spend some time adjusting the seat before trying a long ride.
—Guest adakeep

Spend Some $$ On A Pair of Bib Shorts

One thing I noticed when riding longer distances was that I ended up getting chafed in spite of wearing expensive bike shorts, but when I wore my bib shorts, it didn't happen. I figured out that the chamois in the bib shorts is longer up front and wider in the back; that's why the pros wear them (at least that's what I think). So next time you go on a longer ride, wear a pair of bib shorts and see if your seat sores become a distant memory, mine did. Now, I don't ride over 15 miles without them!!!
—Guest Neil M.


I splurged on a Spiderflex saddle, so nothing up front where I really hurt. Enjoyed a 9-day ride with it, no problems. With this, you'll have no need for bike shorts. What three pairs of shorts costs you will cover the price of the saddle. I'm just a casual rider -- no need for speed.
—Guest Anne D

Gel Shorts

I don't think it's the shorts that are the problem because I have no trouble with my butt....just the front!


This is sort of embarrassing, but I am new to riding and rode my first 13 miles yesterday and seriously have problems "down there." I think I am swollen and scraped and certainly in pain. I have bike shorts and while they cover my rear, the front is constantly hurting while I ride. Is it because my seat needs adjusting?

Chamois Gel Pad Was the Problem for Me

Hey there... am I the only one who has trouble with gel shorts on long distance rides? For rides under 4 hours, those gel shorts are great, but stack up the miles, add copious amounts of sunshine, glow a little and voila...Blister Butt city! I only let this happen to me on one (6-week) trip, but it took weeks to figure out that I was hurting every third day, when I wore the fancy new gel shorts. For a long time I thought it was old-lady disease, having just turned 50 prior to the ride. After a little thought, I was able to slip a few threads on the chamois seam and peel the offending gel out of there and my trip improved considerably after that! Surely, I am not the only one who sews Ultrasuede into my bike shorts when the chamois is offending? Ultrasuede is expensive, about $40 per yard, but half a yard is plenty of material and you will be impressed with the results. Cut the pad on the bias (diagonally to the direction of "grain") and sew it in by hand with single thread.
—Guest Kati Kilroy
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