bike75.gif (2872 bytes)


  Last updated: 2/12/2021

Saddle Sores

Saddle sores result from a combination of 1) local skin injury which is 2) occasionally aggravated by bacterial superinfection. Initial tissue injury decreases its resistance to infection and the bacteria (which are always present on the skin on the buttocks) then take advantage of the opportunity.

Strategies for decreasing the risk of saddle sores focus on a) decreasing initial tissue injury as well as b) minimizing the concentration of local skin bacteria.

Saddle sores fall into one of three types.

Let's look at options to decrease the risk of a saddle sore.
  1. Clothing/Equipment.
  2. Riding routine
  3. Bike adjustments.
  4. Topical agents.
  5. These creams and ointments work by decreasing friction, providing a barrier to prevent maceration (injury to moisture soften skin), and decreasing the bacteria levels on the skin of those pesky bacteria.

    What do I do? First, I spend a bit more on my bike shorts. Riding 4 or 5 times a week justifies (for me) the cost of a top end product. Prorated per mile, it is just a few pennies more. Having tried almost every possible combination of butt butters and cremes, I've had the most success applying a base layer of neosporin to the sit bone (ischial tuberosity) area followed by Bag Balm or Chamois Butter to provide a barrier. Even riding 4 or 5 times a week, that has kept me saddle sore free for several years.

    If You Do Get a Saddle Sore

    If You Must Continue Riding

    Sometimes you can't take time off. For instance, you may be on a tour or at a cycling camp.

    Questions on content or suggestions to improve this page are appreciated.

    Cycling Performance Tips
    Home | Table of Contents | Local Services/Information