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How to Shield Your Bum from (Cycling-Related) Pain

No matter how many friends you have, this is the topic you’re most likely to share with none of them. Call it a bum or buttocks, most people use it for various purposes while cyclists usually for sitting in the saddle. This activity, if not carried out sensibly, might result in a host of inconveniences that are the subject of this article. We have some ideas that could help you prevent the pain.

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Where does the pain come from?

Once you start cycling, it doesn’t take you long to realize that it’s the second most painful sport after martial arts, perhaps. Everything hurts after every ride. Whereas muscles can recover quite swiftly, some other parts might get worse with time. The initial saddle sore – let’s call it elementary – inevitably appears after every longer period on the bike. Every cyclist is familiar with it and they’re also aware that it will disappear after a couple of days, cycling or not. In this article, we speak about serious problems that could turn chronic and treacherous.

© Profimedia, AFP Stock

It’s said that even the legendary Eddy Merckx was plagued with saddle sores. This guy, however, made distances in one year of cycling that we could hardly achieve in our lifetimes. Saddle sores can be very individual but, usually, they concern the area of skin that comes in contact with the saddle. With some people, the pain is caused by an infected hair follicle, while with others it originates from chafing.

How to cure it and prevent it

Acute inflammation could be treated with antibacterial cream and a day off, however, a serious sore can require medical attention. If the pain is unbearable, you should go and see your doctor who might prescribe you antibiotics. In less urgent cases, you could try to swap your bike shorts or the saddle for a different shape. The experts also warn against excessive hair removal around intimate areas that might cause follicle infection while the hairs are re-growing.

Some people are prone to saddle sores more than others and even if it might not seem like a pleasant solution, chamois cream often helps surprisingly well. Its viscosity reduces chafing and the antibacterial essences prevent germs from clustering and wrong-doings in your pants.

Sudden mileage increase might be also the reason, just because your body is not used to it. An uncommon energy output might also exhaust your organism in the short-term period, leading to a weaker immune response against different kinds of fungal diseases. Therefore, cleanliness and dryness are essential. Your bike shorts should be washed and thoroughly dried after every ride to prevent yeasts to proliferate and engulf your secluded places. When a real saddle sore occurs, there’s probably no better procedure than leaving the bike alone for a couple of days, maybe even weeks, just to return to it with joy and sans tenderness.

By Coach John Hughes

I went to the ER at Mercy Medical in Durango, Colorado, less than 1,000 miles into the 1996 Race Across AMerica. They peeled down my shorts, looked at my butt and said, “Your race is over. You have second-degree burns on your buttocks.”

A second-degree burn is through the epidermis and into the dermis, the thick layer of tissue that forms the true skin. I didn’t care what second-degree meant, all I knew was that it hurt like hell!

The day before it was 108F (42C) and I was racing across the desert down on my aerobars with a great tailwind. Concerned about saddle sores, I’d put a black gel-filled saddle pad on the bike. The pad heated up and literally burned my butt!

While it was definitely an unusual way to be afflicted, I was certainly in good company as a road cyclist suffering from saddle-related discomfort.

Saddle Discomfort/Sores the No. 1 Roadie Affliction

A Question of the Week posed in the past was, “What is the Biggest or Most Common Physical Issue that Affects Your Riding?” RBR readers responded:

In recent columns I’ve already discussed cramps and nausea because of inquiries from individual readers. Today, I describe the various types of butt problems, how you can avoid them and what to do if you suffer from saddle pain during a ride. Future columns will discuss the other problems.

Butts Are Like Faces!

Riders’ butts (and sitting area, in general) are as different as riders’ faces. This column discusses the general types of problems, causes and solutions to sitting-area afflictions. If you suffer from pain in the nether region, hopefully you can use or adapt one of these.

Types of Saddle Sores

Saddle sores develop in five different ways, several of which may occur at the same times:

Sitz bones. Pressure on your ischial tuberosities (sitz bones, see photo) reduces blood flow to the skin, depriving the skin of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in pain. In one study of amateur endurance
cyclists, over 70% of the seat-related discomfort was due to pain around the sitz bones.

Chafing. Friction between the inner thighs and groin and the saddle causes red, inflamed skin breakdown.

Crotchitis and crotch rub. Crotchitis is a group of skin problems in the groin that can cause great pain in a female cyclist’s life. Crotchitis is basically a form of diaper dermatitis between the vagina and the anus, a red, tender, itchy, eczematous rash. This condition is almost always compounded with a yeast infection, and almost always responds to steps to maximize dryness while riding and medication to kill yeast.

Folliculitis and furuncles. Folliculitis is an infection at the base of a hair follicle, and a furuncle, or boil, is a collection of pus, an abscess. These infections usually occur in the groin.

Skin ulceration. If the outer layer of the skin is damaged, bacteria may enter and infect the deeper layer of skin, forming an abscess.

Mercy Medical was concerned that my second-degree burns would get infected. I went twice a day for a week to soak my butt in an antiseptic bath.

How can you avoid problems?

Bike fit — The first step in avoiding pain in the butt is a good bike fit:

  • Your weight should be properly distributed between the saddle and the handlebars. With your hands on the brake hoods your torso should form about a 45-degree angle with the top hood.
  • Your saddle should be at the right height so that your hips aren’t rocking, which causes friction.
  • If one hip drops more than the other hip as you pedal, then that leg may be shorter than the other one, making that side of your butt more prone to pain.

Saddle choice — Because your butt is individual, your saddle should be the right one for you:

  • It should be the right width so that your sitz bones are supporting you, not your crotch. Specialized makes a tool to measure the width of your sitz bones (see photo, above).
  • The curve between the nose of the saddle and the broader part you sit on should accommodate the width of your thighs. Although a wider saddle may seem more comfortable for the butt, it will increase friction.
  • It may have a cutout. For women, a cutout may reduce problems with abraded soft tissue. (You can learn more about women specific issues related to saddles in this Bicycling magazine article.)
  • A cutout may reduce pressure for man who is developing an enlarged prostate.
  • It should be lightly padded if your problem is pain under your sitz bones. However, heavier padding will allow your butt to rock, causing friction.
  • It should be smooth enough so that you slide easily without friction.

Get the saddle that fits you, rather than a lighter one. Even if it’s a heavier saddle, pain-free riding will let you ride more, have more fun, and get fitter!

NEW! Preventing Cycling Ailments 4-Article Bundle. Includes: 1) Butt, Hands & Feet; 2) Preventing and Treating Cramps; 3) Nutrition for100K and Beyond; 4) Gaining a Mental Edge Save up to $6.39 buying this indispensible bundle!

Fitness — How much you have been riding (or haven’t) contributes to sitz bone pain:

  • The stronger your legs, the more they support your weight as you pedal.
  • The leaner you are, the less pressure on your butt.

Some riders develop thicker skin after many hours of riding.

Technique — Alternate sitting and standing – even on the flats, get out of the saddle every 10-15 minutes.

Shorts — Shorts, like saddles, come in various models and cuts; however, even the best shorts can’t make up for a poor choice of saddle or bad bike fit.

  • The chamois shouldn’t be too thick or it may bunch up, causing friction.
  • If the chamois is cut in an arc to fit around your upper thighs, it will also bunch up if the arc doesn’t fit you.
  • The shorts should be dry. Moisture, whether from sweat or rain, increases the friction.

Lubricant — With the right saddle and shorts, many riders don’t have problems with chafing, in which case there’s no need to use a lubricant.

  • Use pure petroleum jelly. A friend who is a cycling dermatologist recommends it because it contains no additives, which might irritate the skin. I use it and it’s readily available even at mini-marts.
  • Try CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream, which my dermatologist friend now uses.

Folliculitis — is an infection in the groin, which is relatively painless and usually heals without any problems.

Furuncle — looks and feels like a pimple and is usually painful. If untreated it can become extremely painful. See your doctor.

Skin ulceration — the outer layer of the skin is damaged, bacteria may enter and infect the deeper layer of skin, forming an abscess. See your doctor.

Cleanliness — Wash yourself and your shorts after every ride, and if you are using a lubricant, wash it off thoroughly. If you still have an expensive anti-bacterial, soap throw it away — the FDA recently banned them because they do more harm than good. Bacteria are normal on the skin and will migrate back after you wash anyway.

Butt it still hurts!

If in spite of trying the above remedies to your particular issue – and having no success – what can you do if you still develop some sort of butt pain?

Lubricate it — if you’re developing a friction sore, use (more) lube; however, all the lube in the world won’t deal with pain under your sitz bones.

Pad it — A bunion pad may protect a tender spot under a sitz bone.

Persevere — A sore butt doesn’t have to be a showstopper. After burning my buttocks I have a permanently tender butt. I’ve learned to use my mental skills to finish many rides despite saddle sores!

Numb it — Lidocaine is a generic over-the-counter medication used to numb the skin. I’ve used it on ultra rides when quitting wasn’t an option. It’s also known as xylocaine and lignocaine. Look in the pharmacy section for treating hemorrhoids.

See your doctor — If you develop a furuncle or skin ulceration, see your doctor.

By following the steps above, almost all saddle sores can be prevented.

With the help of these columns I hope you have pain-free riding!

More Information

The principles and recommendations for eating before, during and after a ride apply to all roadies. These are explained in my eArticle Nutrition for 100K and Beyond. Although written for roadies riding 100K and farther, all roadies can learn from it. I show you how to calculate how many calories per hour you burn. I compare the nutritional value of bars, cookies and candy. Both Peppermint Patty candy and Fig Newton cookies have a higher percentage of carbs than any of the sports bars! I also discuss hydration and electrolytes. I conclude by discussing what you should eat every day to ride your best. My 17-page Nutrition for 100K and Beyond is just $4.99.

My eArticle Eating and Drinking Like the Pros describes in detail what they eat for breakfast, during a race, after the race for recovery and for dinner. During a race they consume some sports bars, gels and drinks; however, most of their calories come from real food. The eArticle includes a dozen recipes to make your own riding nutrition, each of which I tested with clients and friends. The 15-page Eating and Drinking Like the Pros is just $4.99.

Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written nearly 30 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio.

Let’s start by dismissing the elephant in the room: Contrary to what you may have heard from well-meaning friends and family members, cycling does not cause erectile dysfunction.

In a study of more than 5,282 male cyclists ranging in age from 16 to 88 published in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Men’s Health, there was no connection found between cycling and erectile dysfunction (or even infertility) no matter how many miles and/or hours the men logged each week—even among those cranking out more than 8.5 hours or 200 miles a week in the saddle.

That, of course, is good news, but it’s not to say you’re 100-percent immune from some problems below the belt. This includes bouts of nerve damage, numbness, and other more superficial issues like saddle sores, says Andy Pruitt, founder of the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center (formally the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine) and medical consultant to numerous World Tour teams and riders.

“Men have gotten better about understanding the importance of saddle selection and fit,” he says. “But there’s still some work to do to make sure everyone gets the message about what is acceptable discomfort and what is not.”

Here’s what to watch for and how to keep everything safe and sound.

Genital Numbness

It goes without saying that genital numbness is never a good thing. Some riders can ride nearly any saddle all day and not experience genital numbness, because their nerves and veins are buried under many layers of tissue and aren’t affected. Others need to be more careful. The important thing to realize is that no amount of numbness is okay, says Pruitt.

“I’ll have guys say to me, ‘I only get numb after four hours in the saddle.’ Or ‘I get a little numb, but it’s gone by morning.’ That is not okay—numbness of any kind or duration should not be tolerated, period,” says Pruitt, because it means nerves are being compressed. And if your nerves are being compressed, your hollow structures—a.k.a. the arteries feeding blood into your penis—are being compressed. Sure, they all may bounce back so to speak after an hour or so, but you could be doing long-term damage if you ignore it.

Numbness of any kind or duration should not be tolerated, period.

“Imagine taking an electrical cord and garden hose and driving over them with your car again and again and again,” says Pruitt. “They may rebound initially, but over time they’ll stay collapsed and won’t function as well.” Same with your nerves and plumbing. Nerves will scar and become less efficient. Veins and arteries will collapse and scar internally. “That’s why you’ll have a 40-year-old who is fine; but then he turns 60, and he’s having problems and wondering what went wrong.”

What went wrong was he was tolerating numbness from an incorrect saddle, an ill-fitted bike or both. Saddles with grooves or cutouts are well known to reduce pressure on the perineum, but the size and shape of the saddle still needs to match your shape and physiology. And the saddle needs to be in the right spot.

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“The right saddle in the wrong place is as bad as the wrong saddle in the right place,” says Pruitt. You want the majority of your weight to be resting on your ischial tuberosities (the hard bones you feel when you sit down) or the pubic rami (the pelvic bones further forward), depending on how aggressive and aero your position is, and not on your perineum. “Along with testing various saddles, get a good professional bike fit.” That means dialing in your reach (being too stretched out places pressure on soft tissues), your handlebar height (both in and out of the drops), your saddle height, fore and aft angle, as well as the shape and size of your saddle.

Saddle Sores

“Saddle sore” is a bucket term for everything from infected hair follicles (folliculitis), chafing, and open ulcerations—all of which have the potential to be quite painful. Like many saddle woes, the right saddle and proper bike fit can go a long way in preventing these maladies. Proper hygiene also helps.

Other preventative steps include:

Chamois Butt’r Original amazon.com $16.76 1. Lubricate: Chamois cream is designed to reduce friction between your skin and your shorts. You can rub some on the chamois itself as well as your skin for maximum protection.
2. Manscape: If and where you stop shaving your legs is a matter of personal preference. But get too close to the “Speedo line” and you open the door for sore razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and infected follicles. If you’re prone to razor burn and infected bumps, try applying a light layer of antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to the area after shaving.
Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel amazon.com $8.20 3. Add Glide: Guys with larger or close-set thighs may have issues with inner-thigh chafing, as the sides of the saddle rubs that sensitive skin raw. Triathletes (who are very prone to chafing since they jump right on the bike soaking wet from the water) often use anti-chafing gels like Lanacane, which are specifically designed to prevent chafing from skin rubbing on skin or skin rubbing on clothing, by forming a silky protective surface on the skin.
4. Switch Chamois: Like saddles, chamois comes in all shapes and sizes, and some may fit your behind better than others. You want a seamless chamois that stays put and doesn’t irritate your skin or cause hot spots when you ride. And never wear underwear with bike shorts; they’re meant to be worn commando.

Should a sore pop up, you can treat it yourself with a healing, protective ointment such as Doc’s Saddle Sore Ointment, which contains tea tree oil. Moleskin with an area cut out around the sore can also help keep pressure off the sore itself, so it’s less painful.

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Testicular Pain

Cycling shouldn’t be a pain in the family jewels. Like numbness, if you feel soreness, a dull ache, or any sensitivity in your testicles after you ride (assuming of course you didn’t actually whack yourself on your top tube in some unfortunate mishap), something is wrong. And that something is—you guessed it—an improper saddle choice, bike fit, and/or both.

You have a nerve called the pudendal nerve that runs between your genitals through your perineum to your anus. Compressing that nerve can cause pain in the scrotum, penis and/or perineum. To avoid it, follow the same steps you would to prevent and alleviate genital numbness.

Prostate Problems

The connection between cycling and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which are often used as a key test of possible prostate problems, is a subject of much debate. It appears that long-distance cycling could temporarily elevate PSA levels. In a study published in February 2013 in PLOS One, researchers checked the PSA levels of 129 cyclists participating in rides averaging 102km in length both before the ride and within five minutes of when they finished. Their levels rose by an average of 9.5 percent, which led the researchers to recommend that men might want to avoid long rides before their regularly scheduled prostate exams as to not get an artificially elevated result. But otherwise the study raised no cause for concern.

“This is pretty much old news,” says Pruitt. “We did a similar study during Ride the Rockies back in the early ’90s and found the same thing. We speculated that the saddle and vibration caused the PSA rise, but that it was not a cause for concern because it returned to normal quickly.”

RELATED: Take on a kick-ass workout designed to build strength and total-body fitness with Muscle After 40.

Like other saddle issues, you can minimize or even eliminate this one with proper saddle adjustment and bike fit, says Pruitt, who’s worked with men with prostate disease using PSA as a bike-fit marker. To do that, he and researchers would draw their PSA before a bike fit; do the bike fit; send the cyclists out for a two-hour ride and then immediately draw their blood at the lab when they returned, with tests showing little to no change. “It just illustrates that saddle choice and overall fit is crucial to urinary and sexual health,” he says.”

selene yeager “The Fit Chick” Selene Yeager is a top-selling professional health and fitness writer who lives what she writes as a NASM certified personal trainer, USA Cycling certified coach, pro licensed mountain bike racer, and All-American Ironman triathlete.

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Peloton

Introduction

After being a member of the Official Peloton Member Page on Facebook for about 22 months now, the same questions come up all the time. Hopefully this will help you avoid asking those same questions, and get you up and spinning faster.

Yep, this is why we’re here.

The Bike

Yes, it’s incredibly heavy — about 135lbs ready to ride. You can roll it from room to room on hard surfaces, but actually picking it up to move it isn’t trivial. If you’re riding on carpet, you will probably want to put a sheet of plywood down under the bike mat so that there’s a stable surface for the bike to rest on. Workouts are vigorous; you want something that doesn’t rock or move around much when you’re out of the saddle.

Follow the intro videos about setting the seat height and depth (Christine has a great one here), and know that one of the most common setup errors is that people don’t have the seat high enough. To start, raise your handlebars all the way up. They’re hard to adjust (get your arms under them while you stand in front of the bike and rock it back and forth) and probably not something you want to change much between riders. The seat is easy to change between riders.

The Saddle (It’s a seat, we’re just being pedantic)

Your nether regions (undercarriage, man / lady bits, etc.) are going to be sore. Like really sore when you first start out. People sometimes buy gel seat covers or padded bike shorts and a lot of other ‘fixes.’ The real fix is to just ride, and one day it just won’t bother you. In general, it seems like 6–10 rides does it for most people. Having dedicated, padded bike shorts may still come in handy, especially if you plan on doing a lot of longer rides. Yes, you can switch the seat out for any standard cycling seat, but don’t go get some super wide seat off Amazon — it won’t do you any favors.

Shoes

The full Peloton experience means riding with ‘clipless’ pedals, which use a cleat on the shoe and a special pedal to attach one to the other. This makes it easier to ‘pull’ on the upstroke, but is a foreign feeling for a lot of people who haven’t done it before. You don’t need to use Peloton brand shoes; any cycling shoe that uses a 3-bolt cleat mount (often listed as SPD-SL or LOOK Delta) will work, and some people with especially wide or narrow feet have found success with brands like Shimano, Giro, Sidi, Time, Lake, and Specialized. The bike uses regular cycling pedals, so if you have road bikes with pedals and cleats and shoes that you already like, it’s trivial to get another set of your preferred pedal and swap them onto the bike. The stock Peloton pedals use LOOK Delta cleats — the red ones. As a note, the red cleats have 9 degrees of ‘float’ meaning that when you’re clipped in, your heel can move about 4.5 degrees inward and 4.5 degrees outward. This helps keep your knees in a position that won’t cause injuries without having to have your cleats be absolutely perfectly aligned.

Heart Rate Monitors

You should probably get one, but it doesn’t have to be the one that Peloton sells. You need any model that does ANT+ connectivity, which rules out a lot of older Polar models. We use a cheap one from Amazon but the most common aftermarket one that people buy is probably the Scosche Rhythm+ armband model. It’s important to have one for two reasons: if you want the most accurate calorie calculations from the bike, it requires your age, weight, and your heart rate while riding. Also, some rides are based on your heart rate zone while riding, which is harder to do if you don’t know your heart rate. Your Apple Watch or Fitbit will not send live HR data to the Peloton.

Leaderboard Names

This one’s simple: you need a leaderboard name so that your metrics can be saved, and so that you can compete (or not!) against people on the leaderboard. Simple is better, at least if you ever want an instructor to call out your name on a live class. You’re much more likely to get a shoutout if your name is “JohnRidesFaster” vs. “xx_John_xx_1975.” Remember that the names are relatively public and will be seen by other people, so try to keep it PG-13. There have been some saucy names, but they never get shoutouts and if it’s really vulgar I think Peloton HQ will ask you to change it.

Instructors

You’ve probably found the Peloton Instructors page by now, and we’ll leave the biographical stuff there. Just know that all the instructors are different, and some people develop strong affinities for one instructor over another. In the beginning, it’s great to try them all and see what fits. It’s also highly likely that as you get in better shape your preferences will change over time. All of the instructors are active on Instagram, Facebook, and various other social media outlets. Follow them and reach out!

Your First Live Ride

This is it. Some people never ride live, and some always ride live. There’s no right or wrong, but I found that doing the first live ride was at least a little daunting compared to doing on-demand rides. Generally, you can join the live rides about 10 minutes before they start, and with about 5 minutes to go the video stream comes up and you can watch the instructor banter with the people in the studio and warm up. And then the lights go down, game faces come out, and off you go. If your name is unique and easy to pronounce and it’s not a crazy crowded ride (i.e. Friday night Robin Arzon DJ Ride) you might get a shoutout.

The Century Shirt

Once you’ve completed your 100th ride (Beyond the Ride workouts don’t count) you’re eligible for a Peloton Century Shirt. Warning: if you try to buy it without a code, it really does cost $100k and you’ll get a surprising charge on your credit card. Once you finish your 100th ride you generally get an email within a week, or you can talk to Support online and they can get you the code. The Century Shirt is free, but you pay shipping. Yes, they ask you to pay shipping, it’s generally $7 or so. If this offends you, you don’t need to get the shirt.

“Tribes”

Hang around the Facebook groups or Reddit long enough and you’ll hear talk of tribes. These are groups of riders who have coalesced together around a shared interest. There are tribes of doctors, nurses, teachers, as well as tribes based around certain ride times, etc. The #435amTribe are the ‘Mothercluckers.’ As you do more rides you’ll see various hashtags on the leaderboard for groups of riders, one of which may appeal to you. Most of the tribes have their own Facebook groups. Some of the bigger groups are the PowerZone Pack, The Peloton Moms Group, and there are probably 100 others that I don’t know about.

Power Zones

A popular training technique is to focus on ‘power zones’ which are different levels of output based on your calculated capability (in simple terms.) Once you’ve taken an FTP test ride — there are some in the library — you can calculate your zones and then do Power Zone rides with a better understanding of how hard you should be pushing to stay in the correct zone. It’s possible to do those rides without having done the test and knowing your zones, but you’re probably not getting the most out of the program. The Power Zone Pack Facebook group is a great resource for learning more about this training method. Denis Morton and Matt Wilpers lead the Power Zone rides and both have 10 minute FTP warm-up and 20 minute FTP test rides in the library.

Riding at the Studio

If you’re in or around NYC, you can take a live ride at the studio. It’s not free, and you need to make a login on their booking system to reserve a time — this is not the same username / password you use on the bike. The bikes in-studio don’t use your heart rate monitor, so leave it at home. The studio has refreshments and showers, as well as a store to buy more Peloton swag if that’s your thing. You can bring your own shoes or use their shoes at the studio. Before you go, make sure you know how you set your seat height / depth, and know your username and password so you can login to the studio bike.

Data

If you’re data driven, you can login to your website profile page and download all of your ride data. From there you can open it in Excel and slice and dice it any way you see fit. If you use an iPhone, check out the mPaceLine app, written by a member of the Peloton community. It’s a great way to track rides and sync them into Apple Watch’s Activity app as well. It does a lot of trending (power to weight ratios, other training metrics) that you don’t get natively through Peloton.

The Pause Button

Short answer: there isn’t a way to pause an on-demand ride. The feature is often talked about, frequently joked about, and new riders ask about it a few times a week. If you drop your bottle or your towel, or your child starts tearing up the house, you’ve got to just get off the bike and let the class keep going. Likewise, there’s no way to rewind a class. If you ‘exit’ a class in progress, the timer keeps running.

Progress Indicators

Some people like knowing exactly how many minutes of pain (ahem…class) are left, but other people would rather just go with the flow. Like anything else on screen, you can tap the timer (top left) or the progress bar (top middle) and make them disappear. Similarly, you can do the same with your metrics or the leaderboard as well. If you tap in the middle of the screen twice, everything goes away but the video feed. If you do it again, it all comes back.

Android

The App exists! This was often asked about and finally came out in December of 2018.

Your Apple Watch

It doesn’t really work here, or at least not well. Which is especially disconcerting, since the Peloton app is iOS-only for now. The Watch won’t send HR data to the bike, but you can have your bike send ride data to Strava and then that will come over into Apple Activity / Apple Health if you want. A better solution (written by a Peloton rider) is mPaceLine which can read HR from either your watch or your Bluetooth heart rate strap, and then will combine that with bike data, ride data from Peloton, etc. Update: As of February 2019 the Peloton app will now integrate with Apple Health / Activity. In the iOS app go to “More” and then “Health App” to configure it. There are some caveats; right now it only seems to sync when you open the Peloton app after a ride, not automatically. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there.

Helpful Tips

It’s not a bad idea to order a bunch of small towels. You’re going to sweat a lot. And you should have a mat under your bike, or you’re going to leave puddles on whatever surface the bike is sitting on. The Peloton brand mat is nice (and big) but a yoga mat works just a well for a lot of people.

If you’re the type of person who is going to roll out of bed at 5 am and is crunched for time — use the iPhone app to bookmark some on-demand rides. When you get to the bike in the morning you don’t need to peruse or browse; filter on bookmarked rides and you’re on your way.

If you ride in a household with more than one rider, make sure you’re logged in as the right person before you start. There is no way to move a ride between users, so if you ride as your spouse, they get the credit. Of course you did the exercise, but if you’re numbers driven — you don’t get this one back. This happens more often than you think.

Types of Rides

If you’re new to Peloton, some of the terminology and slang used will probably be confusing or at least non-obvious. Here are some basic ride types to get you started:

  • Low-Impact — this doesn’t mean low effort, but in general it means that the cadence won’t go over 100, the resistance won’t go over 50, and there will be little or no ‘out of the saddle’ (i.e. standing) sections
  • Groove — less cadence dictated by the instructor, more based on riding to the beat of the music. Can also sometimes include more movement on the bike. When people ask “What ride is more like Soul Cycle” — this is one of the frequent answers.
  • Live DJ — exactly as expected; a live DJ is in studio mixing songs and helping to drive the class. These are fun when the DJ and the instructor have a good rapport.
  • HIIT — high intensity interval training. Intense periods of effort followed by a short rest, and then back on the gas. Don’t do this as your first ride.
  • Tabata — a type of HIIT ride, but it follows a specific pattern. The classic Tabata pattern is 20 seconds of effort followed by a 10 second rest. I think ‘Tabata’ translated means sweaty. Or death.
  • 70’s / 80’s / Y2K / Classic Rock / EDM — all rides based on the associated genre of music. There are a ton more: country, jazz, broadway, etc.
  • Power Zone — based on your calculated Functional Threshold Power, these rides direct you through 7 different zones of output from ‘Very Easy’ to ‘Max Effort.’

Encore Rides

At certain times where it would be hard to fill a live studio class (or maybe even find an instructor) the schedule has ‘Encore’ Rides. These are broadcast as if they were live, but are essentially repeats of popular classes from the prior day. There are two main differences between Encore and On-Demand rides:

  • Encore rides are broadcast at a fixed time, not when you choose
  • When you do an encore ride, the leaderboard is live. You may only see 100 or so people on there doing it with you. Afterward, your results are put in with everyone who has done the ride ever; you may have been 14th place in your group, but you might be 199th once the results are merged with on-demand riders. (Yes, those are my numbers, no I’m not too bitter.)

What is HRI / Peloton Homecoming

Once a year, Peloton HQ shuts down the studio to the public and invites home riders for Peloton Homecoming weekend. It sells out in hours, and people travel from across the country to attend. In previous years this was called “HRI” or Home Rider Invasion. Tickets for 2019 are sold out, and the details about what will be happening that weekend are just now being clarified.

Multiple Riders, One Bike

The Peloton monthly subscription is per-bike, not per-rider. If you have one bike at home, you can have as many family members as you’d like ride it. Each of you can have your own username for the leaderboard, and when you start up the bike you can select which rider is using it. I know it’s mentioned above, but if you do a ride logged in as the wrong user, it cannot be moved to your account.

I’m the DJ

You can’t load your own music onto the bike, you can’t pick your own music, or watch your own videos. There are absolutely people that take a class (or more often probably, a scenic ride) with the sound turned down and listen to their own music. You’ll miss the cues for when to speed up / slow down and change resistance, but some people prefer to do their own thing. You’ll probably see some of them near the top of the leaderboard pushing 85 cadence / 65 resistance for 45 mins straight without deviating. For on-demand rides (at last ones for about the last year) you’ll see the song playing details on screen.

Calibration

Not all of the bikes are the same — let’s just get that thought out of your head right away. Peloton says they should all be within a certain spec, but there are lot of factors to consider. Remember that a certain cadence and resistance will always return the same total output, and re-calibrating your bike will not change that. What may change is the amount of effort required to push 50 resistance, etc. Don’t recalibrate unless support tells you to; a lot of people end up worse off and some have had to then re-calibrate multiple times to even make the bike rideable again.

Riding with Friends

In May 2018 Peloton introduced a lot of new features for riding with friends, including the High Five feature.

Slap that face!

There’s more to it, but they detailed all of it here when the features were introduced.

Getting a Shoutout

As mentioned earlier, having an easy-to-pronounce leaderboard name helps. Some ways you may end up getting a shoutout include:

  • Riding on your birthday (Make sure your birthday is set in your profile)
  • Milestone rides — any that get you an award are a good start: 50, 100, etc…
  • Your first live ride

You may also get called out in the pre-ride live banter — which is fun but doesn’t get recorded so you won’t see it on the on-demand replays.

Losing Weight

This should probably be at the top since the question comes up a few times a week in various Facebook groups: “Can I / How do I lose weight with a Peloton?” The answers range from benign to snarky to ‘Just try these shakes that I’ll sell you.’ I’ve lost over 100lbs since we got our bike, and Peloton even did a feature about me. I’ll write something longer about this, but just be mindful that you can ride 5 or 10 or 20 times a week, but if you don’t change how you’re eating, it probably won’t help you lose weight.

Common Problems

While we’re all hopeful that a purchase of this size would be problem-free, there are a few common issues reported by new riders.

  1. Squeaky or clicking pedals, especially when out of the saddle: Use this, or something like it. Also, for a lot of people switching to LOOK brand ‘bi-material’ cleats available at bike shops or on Amazon. Don’t get LOOK “Keo” cleats — they’re incompatible. Don’t use SPD-SL cleats either.
  2. All of your on-screen metrics are reading ‘0’: check the cable from the bike to the screen — it’s probably loose. Happens on a lot of new deliveries
  3. Trouble detaching shoes from the pedals: this one takes practice, and is covered in the intro videos. If needed, you can adjust the pedal tension with an Allen wrench (it’s a 3mm.) If you really get stuck, just undo your shoe velcro and slip out and then figure out the problem.
  4. You feel like the bars are too far away, even with the seat slid all the way forward. If your handlebars are all the way up, and you’re a shorter person, there are a few common tricks: you can get a wrench and adjust your seat within the rails that it mounts on. Depending on how it was installed this might get you as much as another inch. Some short-stature riders have also put a section of ‘pool noodle’ over the handlebars to shorten the space between the bars and the saddle.
  5. Howard Rubin has a great troubleshooting guide that you should look at if you’re having issues.
  6. If your cleat comes off the shoe and gets stuck in the pedal, Peloton has put up a great video explaining how to fix it.

John Abella just finished his first 2,400 miles in twenty-two months of owning a Peloton. You can find him on the leaderboard as Waterhouse. Last edit: February 2019 (Apple Health, Peloton Homecoming, other edits)

9 Indoor Cycling Mistakes You’re Probably Making (And How To Fix ‘Em!)

At one of my old indoor cycling studios, there was this guy. No, this isn’t that kind of story. It wasn’t his looks that kept me staring at him throughout class, it was his technique. I’m not a certified instructor (I may be obsessed, but even I’m not that hardcore), but his seat was too low, his knees too high, and his speed way, way too fast. As everyone else was trudging up a hill to Depeche Mode, this guy looked like he was about to spin himself right off his bike.

My point is, as much as I love indoor cycling, the benefits — major calorie burn without too much of a time commitment, plus endurance and strength training — are totally negated if you aren’t doing it the right way. It sounds obvious (and is true of pretty much any workout), but many people don’t realize exactly how important the right technique and preparation is in order to get the most out of a great cycling session. So, we called up Jessica King, a coach at the NYC cycling studio Peloton, to school us in all the common indoor cycling mistakes — and how to fix them.

1. Your seat isn’t at the right setting.

Having your seat too high or low can throw off your whole ride. “When the seat of your bike is too low, there is potential damage to your knees and lower back, plus your quadriceps work harder in this position leading to a labored pedal stroke and muscle fatigue early on in the ride,” explains King. “If your seat is too high, it forces the knee to hyperextend and, in time, will cause damage and pain to the knee joint, hips and back.” Um, it’s also super uncomfortable, right?

“To find the sweet spot for your saddle, stand next to your bike with your feet flat on the floor,” says King. “The seat post height should be adjusted so that it comes right up against your hip. Have a seat and clip into the pedals. When your foot is flat and at the six o’clock position (the base of the pedal stroke), there should be a very slight bend in the knee. Be sure to keep your foot parallel to the floor and avoid pointing your toes. If the leg is straight, adjust the seat so that it is slightly lower. If your knee has too much bend, position the saddle higher.”

2. Your handlebars aren’t at the right setting.

This one isn’t as serious as the saddle setting, but can still affect your ride.”If you have a history of neck, shoulder, or back issues — or you’re new to cycling — raise the handlebars slightly,” suggests King. “This will alleviate the stress to injury-prone areas, keep your body in proper alignment and allow time for beginner cyclist to develop the ‘core’ strength needed to ride with correct form. As you progress and get more comfortable on the bike you can play around with dropping the handlebars down a bit, keeping in mind they are only there to “assist” your ride. Be weary of leaning into your handle bars and stressing your wrists. Send your weight back into your legs and hips and keep the grip soft.”

3. You’re not riding in the right position.

Every rider is different, but here’s the general rule of thumb when it comes to sitting on the bike, according to King: “Keep a slight bend in the knees, with tush on saddle. The nose of the saddle should be sticking out between your thighs, and your tail should be hanging slightly off the back. With your hands resting gently on the sides of the handlebars, relax your elbows towards the floor. There should be a slight lift of the pelvic floor — your belly button pushes back towards to spine to offer added core support. Lift your heart and eyes and relax the shoulders down and away from the ears. This is starting position.”

4. Your hips aren’t in the right position.

Ah, position three — it always feels easier. But, if it feels easy, you’re probably not doing it right (sigh). “I always feel the most powerful here and I know that my glutes (AKA booty) are working, keeping my parts high and tight!” says King. “You should feel the saddle flirting with your inner thighs as you ride out in third. Be sure to keep the energy initiating from the core and working in opposing directions: forward out of the head and back out of the tail. If your hips are not back, your body will lean forward and the momentum of your climb will subsequently pull from your lower back and eventually your neck and shoulders.”

5. You’re cheating on resistance.

First of all, we’ve got a cycling myth to dispel: “Super high resistance will not give you bulkier thighs,” says King. So, no more cheating! “At Peloton, we use metrics that allow you to define resistance and interval train with precision. When your coach is calling out a target resistance to meet, most of the time, this is not a suggestion, but a calculated formula to achieve maximum results and keep you safe on the bike. You would have to ride improperly for an extended amount of time to overdevelop the quadriceps. Correct positioning and training at high resistance allows more toning and shaping of the muscles throughout your entire body.”

6. You’re going too fast.

Some classes can feel like a race, especially if you’ve got a speed demon next to you (ahem, see above). But faster isn’t always better. “If you’re anything like me, you love the thrill and epinephrine rush provided by firing up those fast twitch muscles,” says King. “However, anything above 120 revolutions per minute is not a smart place to ride for an extended amount of time — it’s is not very efficient either. A well-taught spin class should only have you at a super high cadence for a short amount of time. Otherwise, you should be on the beat!”

7. You’re not paying attention to the beat.

There’s a reason indoor cycling classes are known for their music — most instructors plan their playlists very carefully, in order create a killer workout. “I stay very connected to the rhythms and allow the music to dictate the cadence and mood of the ride,” explains King. “I use music to keep riders motivated, connected to one another and even pull emotion on steep climbs or intense moments. My soundtracks are strategically planned to follow the ebb and flow of a ride, and beats per minute are catered to match a target RPM. I say, let the music move you, inspire you and drive you to keep pushing!”

8. You’re wearing the wrong gear.

It seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen people show up to studios in jeans or flip-flips. C’mon. “There is no such thing as right and wrong gear; it’s more about a level of comfort and confidence on the bike,” says King. “Stay away from baggy shorts or pants that could become distracting as you ride. Wear a sports bra that provides ample support and keeps the girls in check. I strongly suggest wearing cleated cycling shoes that clip into the pedals — this allows you to maximize your workout and feel completely immersed in the experience. Keep in mind that you will walk out (of my ride, anyway) completely drenched in sweat, so be sure to wear athletic type clothing that doesn’t lose shape when wet. The three most important things for a successful ride: towel, water, and proper shoes.”

9. You’re cutting out early.

I get it, you’re busy. We’re all busy. But leaving two minutes early is more harmful to your body than it is helpful to your schedule. “Stretching is an important piece of the puzzle. Like anything, it’s all about balance,” explains King. “It’s very important to counter all of the intense work that you just did by allowing the muscle to release and elongate. When we ride, we shorten the muscle groups via contraction to maintain proper form. In particular, the Psoas muscle (in your spine and pelvis) and the Iliotibial Band (IT Band) get overworked and, if not addressed, can lead to loss of power and poor function on the bike — not to mention, tightness and pain of the lower back, hamstrings and knees. When stretching after class, be sure to give your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and pecs some extra love and attention. A foam roller is a great way to massage tight muscles and release lactic acid buildup without the added cost and time of a massage. Although, wouldn’t that be nice?”

Main image: gstockstudio/Fotolia. Other images: Courtesy of Peloton.

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If your butt or crotch is hurting you when you’re riding you bicycle, you might be surprised to learn that your seat (or saddle) is probably not the problem. That’s right! For most people experiencing butt or crotch pain when cycling, buying a new saddle is usually a last resort.

Before you go out and purchase a new saddle for your bicycle (something that can be both complicated and expensive), be sure to read this article in its entirely. I’ll start by giving you some suggestions on how to make your current saddle more comfortable, then tell you how to measure your body and your saddle to see if the saddle you have now is a good fit for your body-type. If you determine that you do need a new saddle, I’ll tell you what characteristics to look for in a properly fitting bike saddle, and I’ll conclude by recommending a few of the most popular bike saddles currently on the market.

Why Does My Butt Hurt When I Ride My Bicycle?

If your butt or crotch is hurting you after just a short time of riding your bicycle, the problem is usually caused by:

  • A misaligned saddle or seat post.
  • Improper handlebar positioning.
  • Poor or improper saddle design/fit.
  • A low-quality or worn out saddle.
  • Simply sitting in the wrong place on the saddle.
  • Excess fabric/body tissue between the saddle and your body.

If you are experiencing butt or crotch pain as you ride your bike, the problem can usually be solved by simply adjusting your bicycle’s saddle, seat post, or handlebars. This is the first place you want to start when trying to solve your sore butt dilemma.

If your butt or crotch is hurting you while you ride your bike, try the following before you go out and purchase a new saddle:

  • Adjust the up and down angle of your saddle.
  • Adjust the side to side angle of your saddle.
  • Adjust the height of your seat post.
  • Adjust the height of your handlebars.
  • Adjust the position of your handlebars so you don’t have to lean too far forward or too far back.

Adjusting your saddle, seat post and/or handlebars just a millimeter or two in any direction can make a huge impact on your overall comfort when riding your bike. Don’t be afraid to play around with the positioning of your saddle, seat post or handlebars. Move them around and try riding for short periods of time to see how the new positioning affects your comfort on the bike.

Remember that your saddle should be relatively level. If it is angled more than a few degrees up or down, there is probably something wrong. A saddle that is tiled too far forward will cause you to slip off the front of the seat and put excess pressure on your hands, wrists and elbows (which could cause nerve damage in your arms, fingers and hands). A saddle that is tilted too far back will have you sliding off the rear of the seat and/or putting unnecessary pressure on your nether-regions (something that is never comfortable).

Also, keep in mind that the full weight of your body is not meant to rest entirely on your saddle. Resting your full body-weight on your seat is obviously going to cause you some pain. Instead, your saddle is just one area of your bicycle on which you should be spreading out the weight of your body. As you ride, your weight should be dispersed between your crotch and your saddle, your hands and your handlebars, and your pedals and your feet.

If you are wearing loose clothing (or you have a lot of excess skin/fat) in the area between your body and your saddle, this too could be causing you pain while you ride. Any loose skin or fabric that is rubbing between your saddle and your body will begin to chafe over time, which will obviously cause some discomfort when you’re riding your bicycle.

One of the reasons Lycra bike shorts are so tight is because they are designed to reduce the impact between your body and your bicycle. The materials used in the production of tight-fitting bicycle shorts pulls in any excess body fat you might have, while at the same time providing you with a relatively flat, smooth area for your body to interact with your saddle. If you are riding in loose clothing (mountain bike shorts, jeans, etc.) try cycling in a pair of tight-fitting Lycra for a while and see if that makes any difference to your comfort on the bike.


Finally, once you find a position for your saddle that is comfortable, don’t move a thing! Marking the position of your saddle with a permanent marker is a good idea… and you might even want to put a little electrical tape around the seat post (just above the seat post clamp) so that if you have to remove the seat post for any reason, you’ll be able to quickly and easily get your saddle back in its proper position.

What Characteristics Should I Look For In A Bike Saddle?

In general, you want a bicycle saddle that is firm, but also has a small amount of give to it. You don’t want a bicycle saddle that is as hard as a rock (because that will obviously be uncomfortable), and you don’t want one of those super cushy gel-type saddles either (because soft saddles usually make your butt chafe).

Shopping for a saddle is just like shopping for a quality mattress. You want something that is firm at its core, but soft at its surface. If your saddle fits those specifications and you are still experiencing pain as you ride, the problem is probably due to either the position of your saddle, seat post or handlebars (and not the saddle itself) or to the design and quality of the saddle.

Most (but not all) bicycles saddles are pear shaped and the width of the saddle across the widest area and how quickly it widens from the nose to the back will affect overall saddle comfort. The size of your hips or the size of your behind has very little to do with the size of the saddle that you need. Having wide hips, for example, does not mean you need a wider saddle.

The width between your “Ischial Tuberosities” (commonly referred to as your “sit bones”) is what REALLY matters! Where those sit bones connect with your saddle makes the biggest impact in overall saddle comfort. If you ride with a saddle that is either too wide or too narrow for your sit bones, the end result is going to be a lot of pain and chafing.

So, how do you figure out how wide your bicycle saddle should be?

Well, every bike saddle has “cheeks” on the wide back of the seat. Sometimes the cheeks are even domed or tilted up a bit. Your sit bones are meant to land in the high part of that dome to take advantage of the padding and the overall architecture of the saddle. Saddles without domes still have a cheek area and the widest part of the saddle is where your sit bones are meant to be resting. If you want to make sure you are using a saddle that matches your personal body type, all you have to do is measure the saddle from center of cheek to center of cheek. The saddle’s center-to-center should match the center to center measurement of your sit bones. It’s that easy!

To measure the width of your sit bones, take a gallon size Zip-lock bag and fill it with enough flour for about a two inch flour cushion when the bag is lying on a flat surface. Place this bag on a hard flat surface, such as table or a chair and then sit on the bag (preferably in bare skin) while mimicking your position on the bike. Now stand up without disturbing the bag. The resulting two dimples/impressions that you see in the flour are from your sit bones! To measure your sit bones, take a millimeter tape measure and measure the impressions, recording your findings. You will want to measure the inside edge to inside edge, the center of one depression to the center of the other, and the outside edge to the outside edge.

  • Your center-to-center measurement should correlate with the spot on a saddle (the saddle cheeks) that bears the weight of your sit bones.
  • Outside to outside measurement is a consideration for some types of saddles, such as the Brooks that have metal rails, you do not want to have your sit bones resting on the metal rails. As a general rule – your saddle width should be about 2 centimeters wider than your outside sit bone measurement. Again, you want your sit bones resting on the “checks” of the saddle and you want some wiggle room for movement as you are riding.
  • Inside to inside may be necessary if you plan to use a saddle with a cut out (or hole in the middle), to ensure the sit bones clear any large center cutout in the saddle. If the inside bones fall into the cutout, it will cause a lot of pain in the bones surrounding the “soft tissue” area. To clear the cutout, you need about 20 mm extra space in between the inside distance of the sit bones. So, if the cutout is 60 mm, your inside distance should be 80 mm.

If you don’t have access to a bag full of flour, you can measure your sit bones by simply sitting on your hands and feeling for the two bones of your butt. They will feel a bit like like elbows poking down into your hands. Put the tip of your index fingers right under the part of the bones that is pushing hardest into the chair and squish the very tip of your fingers between the chair and your sit bones. Now lift your butt from the chair while leaving your hands on the chair, and have an assistant measure the distance between your fingertips. This is your center-to-center measurement! Then put your fingertips against the outsides of the sit bones. Push them right into the bones so they are on the outside of the bones. Now lift your butt from the chair again and have an assistant measure the distance between your fingertips. This is your outside to outside measurement! You might be surprised to learn that after taking your measurements you are riding on a bicycle saddle that is either far too wide or far too skinny for your sit bones. If that is the case, then yes, you will likely need to purchase a new saddle.

What Kind Of Bicycle Saddle Do You Recommend?

After having explained all of that, I don’t really have one specific type of saddle that I recommend. Every person is different, with a different body type and dimensions, and this means that the saddle that works well for one person might not work so wonderfully for the next. However, there are a few bicycle saddles that are constantly rated as being both comfortable and of extremely high-quality, and I recommend you purchase one of these saddles (in the correct size for your personal body measurements) if you are indeed experiencing any type of butt or crotch pain as your ride your bicycle.

If you’ve decided you need a new bike saddle, you’ll need to narrow your choices by first determining what kind of bicycle saddle that you need. The easiest way to do this is by figuring out what kind of cycling you’ll be doing most.

Recreational bike saddles: If you sit upright while pedaling a cruiser, urban or commuter bike and prefer short rides, try a cushioning saddle. Wide with plush padding and/or springs, recreation bike saddles have a short nose and provide plenty of comfort. You can also opt for a seat post with springs, which will further cushion your ride.

Road bike saddles: Racing or clocking significant road miles? Look for a performance saddle that’s long, narrow and sports minimal padding. During a ride, very little weight rests on your sit bones, while your tucked position requires as little extraneous material between your legs as possible for maximum power transfer and minimal chafing. New to road riding? Opt for a slightly softer saddle that will keep you comfortable while your body adjusts to hours of spinning.

Mountain bike saddles: On mountain trails, you stand up on the pedals, perch way back (sometimes just hovering over or even off of your saddle) or crouch down in a tucked position. Because of these varied positions, you’ll want a mountain-specific saddle with padding for your sit bones, a durable cover and a streamlined shape that will aid your movement.

Touring saddles: Long-distance riding demands a performance saddle—or an all-leather saddle—that falls between a mountain and road saddle. You’ll want plenty of sit-bone cushioning and a fairly long, narrow nose.

Women-specific saddles: With typically wider hips, ischial bones (“perch bones”) and smaller bodies, women generally benefit from women-specific saddles designed to accommodate these anatomical differences.

While any cushioned seat will provide comfort for your sit bones, the 2 most common cushioning materials react differently under weight.

Gel cushioning molds to your body and provides the plushest comfort. Most recreational riders prefer this for its superior comfort on casual rides. Its downside is that gel tends to get compacted more quickly than the other option, foam.

Foam cushioning offers a pliable feel that springs back to shape. Road riders favor foam as it provides more support than gel while still delivering comfort. For longer rides, riders over 200 lbs., or riders with well-conditioned sit bones, firmer foam is preferred as it doesn’t compact as quickly as softer foam or gel.

A saddle pad is an optional add-on that can be placed over the saddle for additional cushioning. Though plush and comfortable, its padding is not as contained as is a saddle that’s already padded, so it may migrate where you don’t need or want it. This is not an issue for recreational rides, but it could be for fast riders or for those taking on longer distances. If that’s your riding style, a pair of padded bike shorts or underwear may be a better investment.

Many bicycle saddles are built to protect your perineum—the area between the sit bones, through which traverse a plethora of nerves and arteries. These saddles reduce or eliminate the material in the middle of the saddle, both relieving pressure on the perineum and providing airflow and comfort during long rides.

Because everyone’s anatomy is different, some riders find great relief with a perineal cutout; others use a saddle that either has a small indentation in the saddle or no accommodation at all. This kind of pressure-relieving design benefits most men and women but is truly a personal preference.

Most saddles are made entirely of synthetic materials, from the molded shell to the foam or gel padding and saddle cover. They are lightweight and require little maintenance. Others substitute a thin leather covering for a synthetic one, but they are otherwise similar in materials used. There is also, of course, the option to use a saddle made of leather.

Many riders (road, urban, touring and recreational) have come to appreciate the “earned comfort” and long life of a traditional all-leather saddle. (Mountain bikers generally stick to well-padded saddles to help cushion bumpy terrain.)

The secret to an all-leather saddle’s comfort lies in its construction. One piece of top-grain leather is stretched and suspended between the rails of a metal frame. After you ride for about 200 miles, the leather molds to your weight and shape. Like an old baseball glove or a trusty pair of leather hiking boots, the initial period of use includes some discomfort, but the end result “fits like a glove” and is super comfortable.

Leather saddles may have perineum cutouts for protection and springs for added comfort. A bonus benefit: With no synthetic padding, the saddle stays cooler—a definite advantage on long, hot rides. One downside, however, is that in addition to break-in time, a leather saddle is not waterproof, so it needs to be treated with a leather conditioner on occasion. This protects against moisture and against drying of the leather through UV exposure. Use a saddle cover to prolong the life of your leather saddle when not riding.

Summary: Should I Buy A New Saddle For My Bike?

When it comes to finding the perfect bicycle saddle, I think the Bike Snob says it best:

If you’ve ever worked in a bike shop, you’ve experienced the customer who’s got vague complaints about comfort. Usually, it involves the saddle, which they “don’t like.” But other stuff can be uncomfortable for them, too. Sometimes it’s the shoes, or the handlebars. Sometimes it’s the pedals. Sometimes they think the bike is too harsh, or their back gets sore, or there’s just something wrong that they can’t really articulate.

These complaints can be legitimate, and sometimes an adjustment or a part swap is all that’s needed. At the same time though, bicycles are not sofas, or beds, or easy chairs. They are machines, and they are minimalistic vehicles. They are not designed for comfort without compromise. They are designed to be ridden without actually hurting you as long as you use them correctly. It’s not surprising many people don’t understand this. We’ve come to expect that life can be a completely pain-free experience, provided we’re prepared to spend enough money. There are pills to soothe your body, and pills to soothe your mind. There are driver-coddling cars, first-class seating, heated floors, and ergonomic toilet brushes. Why should cycling be any different?

Well, when it comes to bikes, there is such a thing as normal discomfort. The more time you spend on a bike at a stretch, the more uncomfortable you’re going to get. You’re going to get tired. Your body is going to ache from staying in the same position. Even your bed with the down mattress cover and high-thread-count sheets will revolt against you and give you bedsores if you don’t turn over every once in a while. Obviously some of this discomfort can be dialed out of the bike by making adjustments and part changes, but at some point the only way to get more comfortable on the bike is to ride the thing more and train your body to deal with it better – and even then, eventually you’re just going to have to get off the damn thing and stop riding, just like eventually you’ve got to get out of bed. Sometimes you’re uncomfortable because of your parts or your bike fit. Sometimes you’re uncomfortable because you’re riding wrong, or you’re thinking about riding wrong.

You see, a certain amount of discomfort is normal when you ride a bicycle. And even when you are feeling discomfort, there is usually something you can do about it to ensure that the pain you are experiencing is not at an excess level.

  • Try to adjust the fit of your saddle, seat post and handlebars first.
  • Then make sure you are using a saddle that fits you personal body measurements.
  • If you find that your saddle is worn out or you need a saddle of a different shape, be sure to purchase the highest quality saddle you can afford for the type of riding you wish to conduct.

Still have a question about bicycle saddles, sore butts and/or crotch pain? Leave a comment below and I’ll try and help you out.

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You went out for your first ride in quite awhile this past weekend. It was great. You enjoyed the ride and the places you went except for one thing; you had a sore butt while you were riding and then after as well.

Getting a sore butt while riding can be a barrier that keeps you from riding more. Beginner cyclists all the way to experienced riders will get a sore butt from time to time. There are a few different factors that contribute to it and with the right know how, you can be riding without your butt hurting at all before you know it.

Why You Get A Sore Butt When You First Start Riding

When you first start anything new that is physical, your body takes some time to adapt to it and before it’s fully adapted, you might be a little sore in areas. The same premise applies to riding and sitting on a bike seat. Your butt wasn’t made to sit exclusively on a bike seat but the human body is pretty adept at adapting to things.

Getting Your Muscles And Tendons Used To A Bike Seat

When you first start riding and sitting on a bike seat, your muscles and tendons within your butt won’t be used to the pressure. This will happen regardless of if you have the right fitting seat or not. This can even happen if you have been a regular rider in the past but took some time off. Everything will take a ride or two to tighten up and get used to the demands of supporting your body weight on a bike seat.

Why Your Butt Hurts Cycling Even After You Have Been Riding

After a few rides, if your butt is still hurting, you likely have something wrong with the bike seat. It would be wise to make sure these things are correct before you suffer through a few rides to see if your butt will just adapt to the seat.

Saddle Width

When you sit on a bike seat your sit bones are what supports you. These are the two bony knobs that you can feel on the bottom of your rump. You want these to be firmly positioned on the saddle so they can support your weight. Some people have sit bones that are narrower together while some have wider sit bones, particularly women. If the sit bones are off the sides of the saddle, you are going to have a very uncomfortable ride as your sensitive area between your sit bones will be taking all of your weight. You need to find the width of your sit bones and find a correlating saddle. Your local bike shop will likely have an assortment to try.

Saddle Softness

In addition to having the right width saddle, you will also want a saddle with the correct hardness. It is a bit contrary to what you might think, but a super soft saddle is going to be uncomfortable. This is because your sit bones press down into the foam allowing the sensitive area between your sit bones to receive a lot more pressure. You want a saddle that is soft enough for your sit bones to be comfortable when absorbing your weight but not too soft that they press down into the saddle displacing your weight to other more sensitive areas.

Saddle Shape

The shape of your saddle can also influence how sore your butt gets while riding. Some are longer and thinner while others are shorter and fatter. Typically, the wider your sit bones, the more you will want to go with the latter. In addition, saddles can come with cut outs that relieve even more pressure off your sensitive areas. Some people like these and can’t ride anything else while some riders prefer not to use them. Try them out and see what works best for you.

Saddle Position

Another factor that can contribute to a sore butt while cycling is how your saddle is positioned. If it’s too far forward or backwards, you might be sitting on the wrong part of the saddle. You should be sitting on it where your sit bones firmly come into contact with it. Getting a bike fit can be a good idea to ensure this if you are riding long distances. Additionally, if your saddle is tilted to far forward or back, you can experience a sore butt. Typically you want to start with a level seat and see how it is. If you need to, you can adjust it a degree or two up or down but ideally you shouldn’t have to.

How To Prevent A Sore Butt Biking

So now that you know what causes a sore butt, how do you prevent getting one? For the first few rides after not riding for awhile, you will probably have one. But after that you should make sure you don’t so you can keep riding ’till your hearts content.

The Right Saddle

Getting the right saddle for you, as outlined above, is the most important part of not getting a sore butt while biking. If you don’t have the right saddle for you, you simply are never going to be comfortable on the bike and aren’t going to fully enjoy the ride.

Cycling Shorts

If you are riding longer distances, you should most definitely have a pair of cycling shorts. These are skin tight shorts that have a chamois, or padded material, in them to give you a softer, more comfortable ride.

If you experience chaffing, using chamois cream will help alleviate as well as prevent your discomfort. If it’s super hot out and you are going to be sweaty or if it’s raining, chamois cream is a very good option.

Standing Frequently

Regardless of if you’re riding around town or out for a long ride, you should stand and take some pressure off your butt every now and again. This will help ensure that there’s a constant blood flow and that your butt muscles don’t get too tight. Any time the road goes uphill is a good time to get out of the saddle. If you live in a flat area, you will have to make a conscious effort to get out of the saddle on a regular basis.

Saddle soreness is probably the number one complaint among women who cycle. No topic rears its head more often on my club’s Facebook group and yet there is very little satisfactory advice on how to solve the problem.

According to Phil Burt, head physiotherapist at British Cycling and Team Sky, a few years ago so many of the pro women riders were suffering from saddle injuries that a working group was set up to tackle the problem. Burt, former Team GB doctor Roger Palfreeman and UK Sport’s Research and Innovation team asked female riders to fill in a questionnaire about their saddle issues, and were somewhat horrified at the results.

Almost all of the women reported problems. Some had suffered such serious labial swelling that they had to undergo surgery, says Burt, who believes too many women riders are embarrassed to seek help for the problem. “If you have grossly swollen labia, it’s quite personal to talk about, but it really needs addressing as soon as possible,” he says.

In his new book, Bike Fit, Burt notes that “female riders are most often affected by pressure from the outside of the saddle, causing urinary tract damage, (often experienced as a burning sensation while peeing), genital numbness and swelling.”

British Cycling’s approach was to task its famous Secret Squirrel Club with reducing the problem. One solution was to design a bespoke women’s saddle. Made out of the best material they could find for the job (they won’t reveal which), the saddle had a recessed middle but was truncated at the front end: an innovation which initially displeased the eternally finicky UCI, cycling’s governing body, who had to be persuaded to let the saddle be used in competition.

But for those of us without access to British Cycling’s bike shed, how can saddle discomfort be avoided? Here, Burt offers a few tips

1. Get the right saddle

“Saddle choice is an intensely personal thing,” says Burt. “What works for one rider can be agony for another.”

Really the only way to find the right saddle is to try a few.

Some shops have saddle fit cushions made out of memory foam, which allow you to measure the distance between your sit bones to find the right model, while a few manufacturers have demos you can borrow for a test run. The most switched-on shops – such as Condor or the Specialized Concept store in Covent Garden, both in London – run saddle tests where you pay a deposit, trial the saddle for up to two weeks and only have to buy if you like it.

It was once believed most women need a wider saddle than men because our hips are further apart – the old childbirth thing again. But a saddle can be too wide, causing chaffing on the soft tissues in the inner thighs after a long ride. Burt says it’s not true that larger ladies necessarily need bigger saddles, though women often prefer cutaway or anatomic saddles with a hole carved out of the middle. These are intended to relieve pressure on the affected area, but can backfire by redistributing the pressure to the sides and making the pain there even worse – in women this tends to cause labial numbness.

Burt recommends forked saddles by Adamo, saying several female Olympic cyclists swear by their ISM Adamos, despite them usually being marketed at men. In his book, Bike Fit, Burt says this saddle is successful in resolving issues “not solely because of the cutaway but because the two arms of the saddle front flex and rotate with the rider as they pedal.”

Burt recommends the ISM Adamo saddle. Photograph: /ISM

2. Get your saddle angle right

“The angle of the saddle can make a huge difference… due to its profound effect on the rotation of the pelvis,” writes Burt in Bike Fit. He recommends you start with a new saddle level, and then tip it ever so slightly downwards if it doesn’t feel right after a good few miles. “Those suffering from genital numbness often find huge relief in angling the saddle down a degree or two. The shape of some people’s anatomy requires this to help roll the perineum and other tissues out of harm’s way.” He says there is no good reason for tilting it up slightly – some people claim this is so they don’t slide forwards on the saddle, but Burt says this problem is generally cause by the saddle being at the wrong height or the front/rear balance being incorrect.

3. Make sure your bike fits you properly

If you get soreness on one side of your bottom, chances are you have a leg length difference and your pelvis is shifting to make the shorter leg reach the pedal. If I get saddle sores, it’s always on my right-hand side, my right leg being about 1cm shorter than my left. When I went for a bike fit with Burt, he suggested I get a piece of plastic or metal (sometimes called a “shim” or a “wedge”) that attaches in between the sole of the biking shoe and the cleat spikes that fasten into your pedals. You may need to layer a couple of shims onto your shoe to build your shoe up to the required height.

Cleat wedges or shims can help those with leg length discrepancies. Photograph: www.jejamescycles.co.uk

One of Team GB’s gold medal winning track riders has such a marked leg length discrepancy that she needs a few, reveals Burt. Ensuring that your bike is set up properly should also alleviate a lot of discomfort, reckons Burt, because it should distribute your weight optimally.

4.Get decent bike shorts

“The right chamois is key here,” says Burt. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better: Bradley Wiggins apparently doesn’t get on with one particularly expensive brand so has his own favoured model sewn into his bib shorts. Other pros swear by cheap chamois from Decathlon, says Burt. For what it’s worth, I really rate Garneau shorts, as well as these, from le Col (I’m currently midway through a test of bib shorts, which will be posted here soon).

5. Keep clean

Infections breed in humid and sweaty conditions, making your chamois the perfect party location for any bacteria wanting to breed. Wash your shorts after every ride and invest in some friction reducing cream: Burt says emollients are better than simple petroleum jelly.

6. Ride more

Everyone’s bottom hurts when they start riding. But the more you ride, the less it will hurt, as your muscles and tissues get used to it. Until you start riding too far…

Bike Fit by Phil Burt is published by Bloomsbury and is out now.

6 Ways to Alleviate Indoor Cycling Seat Pain

Whether you’re giving cycling a try for the first time or you’re a veteran at the sport, you probably love the exhilarating, energizing feeling of stepping off the bike at the end of a hard-earned class. But, chances are you’re not a fan of cycling seat pain.

You know it as the sometimes-painful feeling between your inner thighs and in your crotch region. It’s caused by the uncomfortable (and tiny) seats. This part of the bike, known as the saddle, is where your body experiences the most compression during the workout.

Bicycle seats come in different styles, widths, and cushion supports. But USA cycling expert and coach Menachem Brodie, N.S.C.A.-C.S.C.S., points out that there’s not really one size that fits all. This makes finding the right seat that much more difficult.

The good news is that there are ways to make your cycling seat far more comfortable. Here are expert-approved solutions.

Set up your bike properly.

One of the most common and often overlooked causes of indoor cycling seat pain, according to the pros, is a bike seat that’s either too low or too high. When either of these scenarios occurs, your legs don’t have the ability to fully support your body weight while you pedal.

“We may feel more ‘sporty’ or ‘fast’ with the handlebars set lower. when it comes to spinning and indoor cycling bikes, you actually want to keep the handlebars up higher,” Brodie says. “This will help you keep better posture, allow you to build up your strength and keep back pain at bay.” He recommends sitting on the saddle with one pedal at dead-bottom of the rotation (at the 6 o’clock position on a clock face). “You should be able to keep your foot flat and put your heel on the pedal with a very slight bend in your knee,” he adds.

Our expert trainers will take your cycling workouts to the next level. Learn more about Aaptiv here.

Buy a comfortable pair of cycling shorts.

You may be able to get away with wearing any old pair of leggings to certain workouts, such as Pilates or yoga. However, indoor cycling requires a specific kind of shorts, experts say. “The bib shorts are the choice of experienced riders, as with the ‘suspender’ style. They are far more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. And don’t cut off circulation to your gut,” Brodie says. Because not everyone will feel comfortable exercising in skintight attire, he suggests throwing a pair of basketball shorts on top. “Just make sure they have either a drawstring or a good waistband to keep them from falling down.”

Danielle Girdano, a certified master personal trainer, recommends investing in a pair of gel-padded shorts. “Foam will break down too easily and quickly due to sweat and pressure. But gel will hold up much longer and provide for a much more comfortable ride,” she adds.

Use chamois cream.

Plenty of cycling pros swear by this cream, pronounced “shammy.” “Used in small amounts, this cream can significantly decrease the friction you may build up while riding in the saddle,” Brodie says. But he warns not to go overboard—the size of a nickel should be more than enough. “While ideally used with cycling shorts, you can also use it with your underwear and regular workout gear. Although we do recommend the cycling shorts,” he adds. “You can apply the chamois cream with your fingers directly to the padding, ideally in the middle where most friction would occur. Or you can apply it directly to your nether regions.”

Buy a padded seat cover.

If you’re experiencing severe indoor cycling seat pain, you can opt to purchase a removable bike seat cushion cover from a myriad of stores and online retailers, such as amazon.com. Not only do these covers cushion your seat, but they also make it a bit wider. Making your purchase online is fine. However, Brodie recommends checking out the different brands and varieties in a store before purchasing online.

Shower immediately after your workout.

It’s not always feasible to shower right after your workout. But the general rule is to rinse within 15-20 minutes, even if it’s with a cleansing wipe. Brodie warns that neglecting to do so can allow germs, dirt, and bacteria to creep into your pores and cause infections. It’s also advised to switch into clean, loose-fitting underwear and shorts or pants post-workout. This can prevent “saddle sores,” which are essentially zits “down there.” “These can be very troublesome, as they can linger and grow,” Brodie says. “If you have a longer drive home or perhaps want to have a coffee with the crew after the class and not rush to the shower, be sure to take with you loose-fitting underwear and a pair of basketball shorts.”

Be consistent.

You may have complained about indoor cycling seat pain to a friend or your instructor before. And you may have received a response along the lines of “you’ll get used to it.” That doesn’t sound very promising when you’re experiencing such pain and discomfort. However, there is some truth to it, according to Girdano. “Once you have started the process of conditioning the sit bones, consistency is important,” she says. “If consistency is not achieved, then the sitting area will never become conditioned, and relief of discomfort will never be achieved.”

Consistency is key. Let our trainers guide you through the workouts and keep you accountable with Aaptiv.

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Spin Bike Seat Hurts – Obesity has become a major problem in today’s world and the reasons are right in front of our eyes. Obesity is spreading like a fire out bust in the jungle. Very hard to control from growing and very hard to lower down. The situation of human was not always like this.

People used to be fit when they were involved in the world and not just their work. The major reason for this widespread obesity problem is the inclined lifestyle towards comfort and work. Every other person is running these days. They hardly ever have any time, and whenever they get a little time, they spend it relaxing in their bed.

Another reason is the spoiled food habits. People are more concentrated on pleasing their taste buds rather than fulfilling the needs of nutrients in the body. The fast food is something that is only good if you consume it once in a while. But in today’s world, fast food has become the only thing people prefer to eat. It consumes less time and is tastier, but what people fail to realize is the secret that this food keeps harming the body.

To fight against their trouble with obesity, people then choose to exercise. Stored fat does no good to anyone and this is why it becomes important to throw it away on time. While the gym is a great way to lose all those extra calories, you are sick of; it is not possible for all to go to a gym because of lack of time or other reasons.

People then chose to set an exercising base at their house and start working within the boundaries of their home. This is good for several reasons but one major one is that people do not have to adjust their busy schedules to attend the gym.

They can exercise according to their time. Be it 3 pm in the afternoon or 4 am in the morning, a house gym is always open and you don’t have to rely on the gym for your time adjustment.

When a person sets up a home gym, the first thought that hits the mind is to keep it affordable. Setting up a gym can be a bit expensive if you do not do it right and this is why it is important to pay special attention to the machines and accessories you buy.

The most affordable machine that works great for a fitness regime is a spin bike. Spin bikes are stationary bikes that keep intact at one place but works exactly like a bicycle. The mechanism, the body, the seat, everything in a spin bike is similar to a bicycle running on the road and that is why it provides similar benefits to the body.

Spin bikes are a great way of cardio exercise and it tones up the body with ease. You can be busy with other work while you work out on a spin bike, as you do not have to your complete body while you work out on the bike. Keep the pedals moving and it will be good to go.

But there is one little problem that a few people face when they use a spin bike and here we are to help you with the solution to the same problem.

So ask yourself,

Does your Spin Bike Seat Hurt?

If your Answer is Yes, sadly, you are not alone!

We know exactly how it feels because we have researched and talked about the problem with so many people. Be it a trainer at the gym or a businessperson working out in his house gym. The problem remains with all kinds of people and it is normal. This is why we worked hard to find these 10 solutions for you to be fine with your spin bike regime.

Therefore, here is the top 10 solution for spin bike users!

Continue reading the article…

Why Spin Bike Seat Hurts?

Table of Contents

Normally, spin bike seats are hard which can cause pain and soreness to your butt. The hardness of the seat restricts it from adjusting with the hip and it sometimes creates a pressure on the hip. This pressure can hurt the butt area.

Hence, if you are using your Spin Bike regularly, you will face the problem for sure.

The pain can go away as it will make your sore butt hurt less from the seat. Your body will get used to the discomfort and will adjust according to that. Although it is not a permanent solution to the problem, there are ways, you can cure your pain and the reason for the pain. There are many problems with the discomfort and soreness caused by the spin bike like:

Uncomfortable seats

Handle position

Quality

Quality and Handel position is something you have to check before you buy the bike. It is wrong on your part if you did not pay enough attention while buying it and later are not happy with the same things.

Here Is The Top 10 Solution To Your Problem

We understand how difficult it can be to be in the situation. You do not want to miss your exercise and you cannot deal with the uncomforting seat too. This is why we have come up to help you. There are various ways and steps you can take to solve and prevent the pain caused by the spin bike. But, here we have shared top 10 ways to fix your problem, almost instantly!

#01 – Use Spin Bike Seat Cushion

If the seat is hard, you can buy a spin bike seat cushion and place it on the seat to make it comfortable. It is a simple way and you do not have to go researching about it. Just buy a convenient one with a fine amount of cushioning and you will be good to go. Your butt won’t have to adjust with the hard surface of the seat after you place the cushioning cover on the seat.

#02 – Wear Comfortable Clothes

You should always keep in mind that while riding a bike you should wear tight lycra clothes as wearing loose clothes will cause a lot of pain while cycling. The bike shorts have designs that make you feel comfortable and prevent the wrinkles caused by baggy clothes. Exercising actives your skin and the skin then expands a little. To prevent that expanding it is important to wear fitted cycling shorts. They are made up with a technology that helps your skin to be in a normal state.

#03 – Stand While Using Spin Bike

If you ride the bike for long durations then make it a habit of standing after some miles because it will help in proper circulation of blood and will not make your butt sore. Standing on the pedals once or twice after long durations will give your butt a break and take the pressure off your body.

Continues sitting causes a lot of pressure on your butt as all the body weight falls on this particular spot that is resting on an uncomfortable seat. It will prevent the pain and also provide proper blood circulation and air circulation which is important for your body’s proper functioning.

#04 – Loosen up your weight

While riding a bike never put all your pressure on the seat, the seat is has a very hard and limited surface that is not designed to carry all your weight. If you put all your weight on the seat then you will have pain. Try to loosen up a little. Divide the pressure on the handle and the paddles too. You need to know that the seats are not designed to carry the full load so putting some weight on your handle and some on the pedal and rest on the seat is the only way to work it out fine for your body.

#05 – Get your seat changed

You can always get your seats changed. Get a padded seat though it goes away with time it will provide you comfort. The padded seats will prevent the pain and pressure caused on your butts as the butts won’t have to be in the torture of the hard surface anymore. The soft surface will also provide more comfort to the butt that will allow you to work for a longer period of time. Spin Bike Seat Hurts solution.

#06 – Adjust the handles

Sometimes the pain can be caused by the irrelevant adjustment of the handlebar. Before riding the bike, you should always check the height and the position of the handlebar according to your seat. The position of the seat and the handle should always be in coordination to your body because if it is not in coordination.

Then your posture will be disturbed which ultimately cause you pain in different parts of your body. Make sure that the handlebars are in a comfortable position so that you wouldn’t have to lean forward or stretch your arms because that can cause pain in your arms.

#07 – Check the bike

Before purchasing a bike, you should check the comfort of the seat and handle appropriately so that you don’t face Spin Bike Seat Hurts problem. If you feel that the bike is not comfortable enough then, try searching for a more comfortable bike. It is essential to purchase a bike that has more adjustment features than the bike, which wouldn’t allow you to change the functions.

You should always keep in mind the guidelines you have to follow to find the perfect bike for you. Research a little and you will find the guideless, choose depending on your needs and these will help you to pick the right option. Don’t be too immediate in buying the bike, take some time and choose the right one. There are several options to choose from.

#08 – Apply Grease

Sometimes the pain and pressure can also be caused due to chaffing. You will sweat while you work out on the bike and the sweating can cause chaffing. Chaffing can be a big problem if not taken care of at the right time. You can apply baby powder, petroleum jelly or skin creams to reduce the friction and prevent the tenderness. It is important for your skin and these products will help you lubricate the skin.

#09 – Do it Regularly

Constantly and continuously doing something can help you develop a habit. Habit is something that will gradually make your butts adjust with the hard seat and the pain will not affect anymore. The sore butt will automatically put away the pain. You will gradually get used to riding the bike if you do it daily.

It will help you in getting used to the saddle, and it will help in reducing the soreness. If you start riding it regularly for more hours with the proper fitting shorts, it will eliminate the problems and pain. It will also help you in losing more weight that will put less pressure on your butt as compared to before. This will also protect you from attracting the pain.

#10 – Adjust the Seat

Your seat can be uncomfortable and hard to cause the pain. You can change the fabric and the position of your saddle as it will solve the pain caused by the hard and unbalanced seat. It will provide the proper grip while you sit and will also assist you in cycling for longer durations. Adjustment of the seat will be able to solve your problem with making many efforts and without troubling your body much. Go for this option if you are in an immediate need of walking out of that pain.

So, these were the 10 ways we found out for you after researching a lot and trying on ourselves too. I hope at least one of these ways work out for you and you get rid of the pain as soon as possible. No one likes living with a sore butt and numbness. We understand how difficult it can be and so we suggest you pick out the right option for you out of the mentioned above and get back to your regime.

Have a happy workout session. Cheers.

Topic – Spin Bike Seat Hurts

How To Make Stationary Bike Seat More Comfortable (Simple Techniques)

Spin bike seat hurts!

Stationary bike seats hurt, don’t they? It’s one of those Facts Of Life, like Death and Taxes.

For the first minute, maybe two, you’re thinking, “This is fine, maybe my butt has just got used to this unforgiving seat. After all, I’ve been working out on this bike for the last two months and I’ve got the aching (and slightly more toned) body to show for it.”

But then, minute three hits, like a sledgehammer on your rear end. The pain starts, and stays with you like an unwelcome houseguest, until the end of the workout when you dismount from the bike and stagger to the soft cushions of the couch.

Because I’ve got a pretty low pain threshold (ok, really low), I decided to do some research to see what the best options were for relieving the pain caused by those uncomfy bike seats. I’ve found some great options which have really transformed the spinning experience for the exercise bikers that I know. Shall we take a look?

Spin bike seat uncomfortable?
Quick Answer: Beroy 3D Gel Padded Bike Shorts

From beginner stationary bikers to pro riders, it’s true that everyone experiences butt pain caused by their saddle at some stage. The main problem is that when you’re on a bike (indoors or outdoors, it doesn’t matter) you only have three points of contact with it: your feet, your hands, and your butt.

In terms of the way the weight is distributed your butt takes the strain. Your hands support the least weight and are really just used to keep your balance. Your feet take more weight, but your knees make useful shock absorbers to cushion them. But, it’s your butt that supports most of your weight and it’s resting on a saddle that can often have very little padding.

Sometimes, you can relieve some of the pain by adjusting your saddle. There are two ways that you can try this:

  1. Raising or lowering the saddle
  2. Moving the saddle towards or away from the handlebars

There’s a good video here that explains the easy adjustments you can make for this.

How to sit on spin bike?

Once you’ve got the saddle to the right position, then you’ve got to make sure that your body position on the bike is correct. If not, then this can be another cause of discomfort. If you’re sitting too far forward on the saddle, this can put pressure on the perineum. This is a broad line from the genitals to the anus and too much pressure can cause a great deal of pain. Make sure that your sit bones are positioned right back in the saddle on the widest (and most cushioned) part. Check out this video for a demonstration of the correct way to sit on your spin bike.

Okay, so we’ve got the saddle set up correctly and you’re sitting on it in the correct position. Let’s move on and take a look at the best options from here to get you sitting comfortably.

How to make exercise bike seat more comfortable?

Okay, here are the best of the best ways of making that stationary bike seat comfy. There are four options for you:

  • Padded shorts
  • Seat cover
  • Chafing cream
  • Change saddle

Let’s take a detailed look at each of them now.

Padded shorts

Do padded bike shorts help? Yes, yes they absolutely do.

I’m always been used to wearing a pair of padded shorts when I go out on a bike ride. I was quite surprised when I first go into exercise bikes and found that other spinners didn’t really know about them, despite suffering from sore behinds and chafing on inner thighs. These are the exact issues that shorts with padding are designed for!

These women’s shorts are a great example of what I’m talking about (there’s a fantastic pair of men’s shorts here). The outer lycra/spandex extends to just above the knee area so it’s the fabric that rubs together, and not tender inner thigh skin. It’s the gel padding on the seat that is really where these shorts deliver. The padding gives great for cushioning for your ‘sit bones’ the ones that most of your weight rests on when you’re on a bike saddle and can get the most bruising. I would never cycle on an exercise bike or outdoors without a pair of these.

Gel Seat Covers For Spinning Bikes

Slip-on seat covers with gel padding are another great option for making your exercise bike more comfortable. This one from Zacro has lots of cushioning in all the right places. Check your approximate saddle width before ordering (this is for saddles up to 7” wide) and if you need a cover for a wider saddle, then go for this one. Saddle covers like these work great for home exercise bikes and are also fantastic if you’re going to a spin class as they are fast to install – just slip them over the saddle and pull the toggle.

They’re also great where hygiene is a concern – hey, there’s a lot of sweaty butts that have been on those bike seats!

If you’re wondering whether to go with padded saddle vs padded shorts then I’d recommend that you start with padded shorts first. I’ve found these to be the most comfortable to use on the bike and less prone to having the padding slipping around as you shift position on the bike.

Anti-chafing cream

A common complaint amongst stationary bike riders is inner thigh chafing.

It’s caused by the skin of your thighs rubbing together as you pedal and your legs move up and down. If you’ve ever experienced it you’ll know that it’s incredibly painful. Your skin can go red and most probably feel like it’s burning.

One of the best ways I’ve found to banish this is to use shorts like the ones above as the tight spandex rubs together, rather than your skin, and this can put an end to the burning. If those aren’t an option for you, or you’re still getting chafing, then reach for a soothing cream like this.

Chamois Butt’r is a widely used anti-chafing cream in the world of outdoor cycling and if you ever find yourself at the start line of a road bike event, then you’ll probably see lots of the competitors, standing in a legs-spread cowboy-style position with a tube of this in one hand and their other hand down their shorts. Don’t worry, it’s nothing untoward! But it is quite amusing to see.

Easy to apply, long-lasting, and very, very soothing to use. A great product and definitely one to pop in your gym bag for your next spin class.

Change saddle

Your last line of defense is to change the saddle for a different type. We already know that the saddles that come fitted as standard with most exercise bikes are not necessarily the most comfortable. But you’re not stuck with it!

This saddle, from Bikeroo, is a great example of the type of replacement seat that you can get. It is extra generous in the width, so gives more support if your hips are wider. It also has extra deep cushioning and, get this, suspension springs (!) that can really help to give much needed relief. It’s easy to fit (it comes with all the necessary tools) and has a huge number of satisfied customers already – check out the reviews on Amazon.

How to make my bike seat more comfortable

Stationary bike seats are really quite painful, aren’t they? A “Fact Of Life”, like Death and Taxes.

Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make the whole exercise bike experience less painful (at least on your butt!) and more comfortable. I hope you’ve found my list of options useful? Like I said, all of these have been a real benefit to the spinners, and exercise bikers that I know. Hopefully they’ll help you too.

Have fun!

Padded shorts

I’ve always worn padded shorts when I’m out cycling and so I was really surprised when I started to go into spinning classes and discovered that my fellow masochists didn’t know anything about them. That’s despite suffering from sore rear-ends and chafed skin. Exactly what shorts with this kind of gel padding are designed to stop!

These shorts from Beroy are an awesome example of what I’m talking about (see similar men’s shorts here). The stretchy outer layer extends to right around the knee area and so the fabric that rubs together…not your skin. It’s the gel padding on the seat of the shorts that is really where these beauties deliver. Great cushioning for your ‘sit bones’ that most of your weight is on when you sit on a bike saddle. I have to say, I’d never cycle on an indoor bike or out on the open road without a pair of these shorts.

**Please note that our reviews are based on customer reviews, star ratings, and online complaints. Therefore, Bicycle Volt are in no way liable**

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