Still sore after 3 years now...

portland_bill
portland_bill Posts: 287
edited May 2014 in Road general
Morning all,

I've been meaning to ask this for months now but keep forgetting to do it.

I've been cycling for three years now and while sometimes I have generally comfortable rides, most of the time I'm still sore from sides of the pads in my shorts. I have three different brands of bib shorts and while my backside seems to be ok most of the time, it's usually my groin area that suffers.

Without going into too much detail, it always seems to be the opposite side to whichever side I'm "dressing to" when I pull my shorts on, but the side of the pads tend to ride up my crotch and rub against the skin between my tackle and my leg which either results in me being incredibly sore, or at the very least a damn good stinging when I shower afterwards.

I just kind of hoped that this kind of thing was part of getting used to riding and while I don't claim to ride hundreds of miles religiously every week, I've been riding road bikes for three years now so am wondering if it will ever stop and I'll be able to go for a ride without worrying about what kind of state my undercarriage is going to be in when finished.

Has anyone else managed to solve this problem?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • gubber12345
    gubber12345 Posts: 493
    Dont suffer this but maybe some chamois cream may help.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • wardieboy
    wardieboy Posts: 230
    Are you performing the 'grab and lift' when donning your shorts? I assume you are not sitting on your pendulums for the ride.

    Also have you tried bollock cream? I don't use it generally but will use a little sudocreme for more than 5 hours in the saddle.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,551
    as above, are you using chamois cream? if not, use it

    otherwise maybe try a different saddle
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    It may be your saddle is the wrong size and you are resting on your soft tissue rather than your sit bones. I had this and it was painful after an hour or more. To solve it I measured myself for a saddle and found I needed a wider saddle than I had. Also I ordered a saddle with a cutaway in the middle to help relieve pressure. Ended up buying a specialized avatar saddle in the largest width and have had no pain since.

    Hope that helps,
  • Colinthecop
    Colinthecop Posts: 996
    I get this with my Specialized shorts but not my Cannondale ones.

    I guess it's down to the cut/design of them. I'm sure there must be a pair out there that'll fit you better than the others. Just trial and error I guess.
  • If all your shorts are riding up then it sounds like your shorts might be too big for you. Chamois cream may help reduce friction and inflammation but you'd only be addressing the symptoms and not the cause so I'd definitely consider some better fitting shorts.
  • Hi all and thanks for the responses,

    I do have a tub of chamois cream and while it does help a little, I've tried it a fair few times now and still come out raw.

    I suppose my shorts could be a little big for me now. I was measured for a pair of club shorts a couple of weeks back and was told I am just in the large range and that's what my current shorts are so I'm wondering if I'm just in that annoying inbetween stage where I would probably be too big for a pair of Mediums but the Large ones are too big for me. I do find I'm having to move the pad around to make sure it's in the right place so you could be onto something there.

    I've wanted to try a cut out saddle for a while because I also suffer from numbness on long rides too but keep forgetting to ask my LBS if I can borrow one of his sample saddles but just sent him a message to ask.

    Grab and lift?!
  • cyclingfury
    cyclingfury Posts: 676
    You may also wish to consider your position on the bike too. If your reach is too long and/or your bars are too low, then this may cause pressure around your crotch area.
    ___________________________________________
    Titanium Bertoletti
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    It's your saddle .. too wide... too narrow.. its setup that your trouble... not cream or pants pants..
    nothing complicated at all and after 3 years, get it sorted before you give up on cycling for ever or God forbid turn to MTBing with a sofasaddle.
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    are you talking about chaffing rather than pain from your weight being on the saddle?

    if so give nappy rash cream a go, sounds weird but cheaper than cycle specific creams and does the job.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Could it be that the nose of your saddle is either up too far or down too low? A somewhat level saddle is generally considered the way to go.
  • pinno
    pinno Posts: 51,347
    Try a saddle with a cut out. Just wonder if ill-fitting shorts and pressure on the perineum is combining to cause numbness. I bought a horrible brown touring saddle in classifieds (click link below) for my winter bike 'cos it was cheap and it's actually quite comfortable.
    You don't want problems in the water retention department, so get it sorted. Seepage might prompt the missus to get up and leave you. Don't forget you're already an oddball lycra wearing leg shaving, banana eating mamil :wink:
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • tuktuk
    tuktuk Posts: 179
    Had this very problem recently and done the cream, different shorts thing but nothing worked until i altered my saddle position. Mine was too far nose down, levelled it out and been great since.
  • iron-clover
    iron-clover Posts: 737
    It sounds very much like a chafing problem from your description rather than putting too much pressure in places you shouldn't, which is a good start.

    As you've already said, make sure your shorts fit and work properly. I have a couple of pairs of shorts from the Aldi/ Lidl bike weeks which are OK for short rides, but the stitching around the chamois pad causes trouble after an hour or so. My DHB shorts have no such problems.
    After that, look at your saddle and if your thighs etc are rubbing on the nose, or if there is pronounced stitching you're catching on. If so, try a different saddle that supports your sit bones properly (avoiding the pressure problem) and that does not interfere with your thighs. I find that my padded MTB style saddle on my hybrid chafes much more and causes more discomfort on long rides than my road saddles due to the excessive padding that can end up rubbing on the inside of the thighs.

    You shouldn't have to put up with pain from regular riding at all- I hope you manage to get it sorted!
  • mitchgixer6
    mitchgixer6 Posts: 729
    (click link below)

    That's the most disappointed I've been after clicking a link for a long time! :)
  • Focus-rider
    Focus-rider Posts: 126
    Chamois cream definitely needed. Rub it into your legs and also rub it into the pads of your shorts, after a while the pad if the shorts will be soft as anything. P.s use lots, I recommend the assos cream
  • pinno
    pinno Posts: 51,347
    (click link below)

    That's the most disappointed I've been after clicking a link for a long time! :)

    It's a bit like Microsoft.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • andyeb
    andyeb Posts: 407
    I'd recommend a full bike fit. It's possible you are bouncing in the saddle, or some other similar dynamic problem which an experienced bike fitter will be able to spot and quickly resolve.
  • al_kidder
    al_kidder Posts: 73
    Wash your shorts. I live in Oz. I ride heaps. Usually 2-3 hrs at ~27-30C, so serious sweating involved. Sometimes 6-7hrs. The only times i've suffered are when I've worn the same shorts several days. Once I learned to wash them after a ride I was OK
  • portland_bill
    portland_bill Posts: 287
    Thanks for all the responses guys and apologies for the late acknowledgement.

    Yeah it's mainly just chaffing I'm talking about which swiftly turns into discomfort on long rides.

    I've had a full bike fit and my saddle has never moved and is bang on level although I do sometimes feel as though I naturally slide myself forward on the saddle, but my stem is as short as it can be without me hitting the bars with my knees.

    Just having a think about it now, I could possibly turn my stem around as I think it's in the down position so I'll see if that makes any difference.

    As said though I do have a big tub of chamois cream and in all honesty I don't think it makes that much difference. I suppose I could be putting it on wrong, but then it's not the kind of thing you normally get a demonstration on how to do by your LBS or club. I usually just rub it in in the places where I most frequently get sore.

    Other than that, I contacted my LBS who said they don't do cut-out saddles anymore as they found that the structural support of the saddle was compromised by the cutouts and they just weren't that good so stopped selling them. I also found that my old club shorts were in fact a pair of Mediums and a million times more comfortable than the other two pairs I had been using which were Large, so I must be getting smaller which is a bonus, but I'm going to try and order myself a new pair of shorts to arrive before my sportive on Saturday and wondered if anyone can recommend any that are particularly comfortable over distance?
  • lancew
    lancew Posts: 680
    Another question along with the grab and tuck (leave yourself point up) is do you have too much hair down there?

    When I snowboard I have to shave my calves/ankles because the sweat/sock/tight boot combo leads to my leg hairs effectively pulling on themselves which leads to a sort of rash/chafing affect. If you have too much hair kicking about it can lead to uncomfortable pulling when things get tight.

    Now that we've all finished vomming over our computers try to not shoot me.
    Specialized Allez Sport 2013
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    but I'm going to try and order myself a new pair of shorts to arrive before my sportive on Saturday and wondered if anyone can recommend any that are particularly comfortable over distance?
    Personally I've found Altura shorts to be comfortable - but as ever it's personal choice ... find a brand you like and stick to it (well, not actually stick ... but you know what I mean;) )
    Like you, I found myself moving forward on the saddle ... I did move the saddle forwards a fraction and frequently remind myself to sit on the dam thing .... :D
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    It sounds very much like a chafing problem from your description rather than putting too much pressure in places you shouldn't, which is a good start.

    This ---^

    You may also try some vaseline. I get some red soreness from chafing on longer rides, partly I think due to hair which is abrasive. Shaving may help but if you're quite dark (I'm not) you might just make it worse having stubble instead of longer hair.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    .....I've had a full bike fit and my saddle has never moved and is bang on level although I do sometimes feel as though I naturally slide myself forward on the saddle, but my stem is as short as it can be without me hitting the bars with my knees.....
    If you feel you're too far back you can also reduce the reach by re-arranging and/or replacing the handlebars. The reach of the handlebars (distance from the tops to the front of the drop bend), the rotation of the handlebars in the stem clamp and the position of the hoods on the handlebars all effect how far you reach to the hoods. My bike previously had bars with quite a bit of reach and drop. I wanted to try less of a stretch to the hoods but didn't really want to move the tops. So I went to the LBS and asked what they had in cheap, short reach 440mm or 420mm wide compact bars. Turns out they had a bundle of handlebars sitting around that they've taken off new bikes when customers requested specific bars. The basic stock bars get thrown aside and I picked up a set for half what you'd pay normally. It's pretty easy to replace the handlebar. Might take you half an hour to wrap the bar tape if you're a bit obsessive about these things like I am but other than that it's trivial. If I remember correctly I ended up with the hoods more than 15mm closer to me without any change in the position of the tops which is what I'd wanted.

    ....Other than that, I contacted my LBS who said they don't do cut-out saddles anymore as they found that the structural support of the saddle was compromised by the cutouts and they just weren't that good so stopped selling them.....
    That sounds like nonsense to me. Cut out saddles work just fine. I suspect that was just an excuse because they didn't have them and didn't want you going to look elsewhere instead.