Aussie Butt Cream :: Prevention Tips
Comfortable cycling is the aim. But this won't happen without preparation and care. Many cyclists we know have difficulties of one sort or another, from irritation to general anesthetic surgery. Conversation inevitably shifts to staying comfortable on your bike – it has a sustained and substantial theme about it that we can all relate to. The path to serious trouble is friction which causes irritation, then chafing and eventually saddle sores, blocked glands, infected glands, sebaceous cysts, abscesses, and so on.
Cycling Shorts and Chamois
To prevent what is known as saddle sores and related ailments, a first step is to wear cycling shorts made of non absorbent materials with a good chamois to reduce the pressure on your seat area. Absorbent fabric such as cotton leads to sweating and then chafing. Chafing, blocked glands, infected glands, sebaceous cysts, and abscesses can take quite some time to heal in these sensitive areas. Sometimes the only solution is to drain the infection surgically, and that's a place you don't want to go. Petroleum jelly, also known as vaseline, though once a popular anti-friction choice for its short term benefits, blocks pores, and consequently makes you more vulnerable to gland infections and associated conditions.
Chamois quality varies a good deal – the more recent advances in chamois styles are those that have variable surface definitions that aim to contour with your body. The most effective chamois styles appear to be those that don't have one uniform surface "padding" depth. Make sure you select the cycling size that fits you – there is no such thing as one size fits all for cycling shorts. Too big a fit might result in folding of the chamois resulting in chafing. Make sure the fit is snug. The blokes just have to get over any apparent revelations, and put up with the label often emanating from those non cyclists among us – who simply do not understand why we've fallen for cycling – ‘not men in Lycra again'. Girls seem to escape this torment.
Avoid wearing underwear under your cycling shorts as the seams tend to cause irritation and chafing. Cycling shorts are designed to wear against your skin, not with underwear. For those who are modest, white shorts tend to be more see–through, and all shorts will wear thin over time! The big name cycle clothing manufacturers are improving the comfort and durability of gear constantly, so treat yourself periodically to new good quality cycling shorts.
Get out of your shorts as soon as possible after the ride as the heat and sweat are ideal bacteria growing conditions. Oh! and wear clean shorts before cycling to reduce the prospect of organisms growing in the first place. Don't even think about re-wearing yesterday's used gear.
Build your cycling regime steadily
If you are a newcomer to cycling, best to build up your miles/kilometers slowly to allow your body, and in particular your bottom to accommodate to the new regime. Big hit outs might cause you to go backwards in performance. Build your physical capabilities gradually.
Saddle Selection, Adjustment and Bike Fit
A new science has emerged on saddles styles and sizes appropriate to the type of ride you pursue and your bike frame. Try out a few different styles of bike seats. Increasingly popular for both genders are the seats with 'cutouts' or open sections in the saddle centre. This style tends to reduce the compression area that impacts on nerves and blood circulation. A well adjusted seat will result in most of the pressure being taken by the sit bones and buttock muscle.
Most riders elect for a level orientation of the seat, that minimizes slipping forward or sliding back, except for hill climbing when sliding back a bit enables different muscles to come into play for the climb.
We're all built differently, so the onus is on you to experiment.
Of course don't forget to apply Aussie Butt Cream™ generously on your person before your ride and during a ride of over four hours duration.