Biking is one of the greatest activities out there.
It allows you to get outside, get in a great workout, and explore new destinations. But, biking does come with its downsides. One of the biggest downsides of biking is the chafing.
A beautiful biking trip can quickly turn sour when you start to realize that dreaded feeling of your thighs chafing together.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent chafing.
Check out this guide to learn how to prevent chafing the next time you ride your bike.
1. Invest in an Anti-Chafing Solution
One of the best ways to prevent chafing is to invest in an anti-chafing solution. Typically, these come in the form of balms, creams, sticks, or salves.
When choosing an anti-chaffing solution, make sure you pick one that's specially formulated for bikers. Also, look for ones that contain natural ingredients like cocoa oil and cocoa butter, as these are gentler on the skin.
Lastly, make sure that you choose a solution that's easy to carry with you or put in your pocket or pouch for long bike rides where you might need to reapply.
2. Wear the Right Shorts
The right shorts can make all the difference when it comes to chafing. Your bike shorts are in continuous contact with your skin, so if you're going to have problems, it's usually going to start there.
If you're wearing "real" bike shorts with chamois pad and liner, you shouldn't wear underwear. If you aren't wearing real bike shorts- then, that's likely your problem!
With biking shorts, you get what you pay for, so buy the best ones that you can afford. High-quality biking shorts are designed to minimize friction and rubbing, allowing you to ride for longer and more comfortably.
Also, it's very important to make sure that the shorts fit you properly. If your biking shorts are too big, the extra material can result in extra moisture, and therefore, extra rubbing.
3. Change Your Shorts Frequently
In addition to buying the right shorts, you also want to make sure you change your shorts frequently. This is especially the case if you plan to ride for several days in a row.
After a bike ride, get out of your shorts as soon as possible and hop in the shower. This will help get rid of bacteria that can cause skin irritation, chafing, and even rashes.
You should also clean your shorts as quickly as possible after riding. We suggest using a stain remover/spot detergent on the crotch area of your shorts. This will help restore the pH balance in your shorts.
Another smart thing to do is to wear different brands of shorts for each ride. This way, the seams will rub against your body in different places, and there will be varying pressure points for where your saddle and bottom meet.
4. Change or Adjust Your Saddle
To prevent chafing, it may also help to adjust your bike seat.
While it might seem smart to invest in a heavily padded saddle, this can actually exacerbate the chafing. As you sink your weight into the saddle, the padding can press into sensitive nooks. This will add pressure where you don't want it to be.
Therefore, investing in a lightly-cushioned seat is usually the best solution, especially if you plan to go for longer rides.
You should also keep in mind the width of your saddle. While it may seem like a wide saddle is the answer, narrower seats are better for preventing chafing. This is because wide seats can rub the inside of your thighs and thwart the pedaling motion.
You also want to make sure your saddle is at the right height. To find that sweet spot, center the rails and level your saddle in the seat post clamp. Then, position your seat post so you can only slightly bend your knee when you're at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
If possible, set your bike on a trainer and have a friend stand behind you as you pedal. If your hips rock, this is a sign you should lower the seat post.
5. Get a Bike Fit
If you still seem to be having issues after adjusting your saddle, it may be time to go in for a proper bike fit.
Many bike manufacturers now provide their dealers with measurement tools. An expert can help you find the right fit for your body.
6. Be Careful With Hair Removal
Cyclists are well known for shaving their legs in order to increase their speed.
If you're someone who shaves on a regular basis, be careful when it comes to shaving your bikini line and around your genitals. The hair around your genitals acts as a natural barrier and a protector against sweat. Plus, removing the hair around this area also means regrowth, which can cause ingrown hairs and follicle infections.
7. Take a Day or Two Off the Bike
If you feel some chafing coming on, it's best to take a day or two off the bike. Constantly re-exposing the area to the problem won't help.
When spending time away from the bike, stick to wearing loose, breathable clothing, as this will speed up your recovery.
8. Change Riding Positions
If you start chafing during the middle of a ride, one of the best things to do to prevent further aggravation is to switch riding positions.
Either stand up and pedal or move further back or closer up in the seat. Or, you can shift your weight from one side to the other. This will help ease the discomfort until you can get home and take a rest from the bike.
How to Prevent Chafing: Are You Ready to Put an End to Chafing?
Now that you know how to prevent chafing, it's time to hop back on the bike. Before you know it, you'll be riding your bike chafe-free.
Also, be sure to check out this guide to learn the common causes of chaffed skin.