Ask many cyclists what they consider to be the number one thing that prevents them from cycling further and many would say "saddle soreness". Saddle soreness, as its name suggests, is a painful backside and groin caused by spending time perched on the seat of the cycle. Eliminate saddle soreness, eliminate pain and enjoy a more comfortable ride allowing you to travel many miles.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to reduce saddle soreness. The majority of methods to reduce saddle soreness involve spending some money however this particular method does not. A new saddle is much like a new pair of jeans in that it will be very uncomfortable at first but given time and use it will mould to the shape of your body and fit perfectly. When using a new saddle you have to adjust to the shape of your body, a process which is going to take some time, the length of which will depend on how much you use your cycle. The first few ride outs are going to hurt, but stick with it and you will find the pain gets less and less with each ride. If you are still experiencing pain after a couple of months the saddle on your cycle is clearly unsuitable and will never mould to the shape of your body. In these circumstances you are advised to buy a new saddle.
A new saddle can be bought from any good bike shop. If you need to buy a new saddle never buy one online. You need to go to the shop and speak to someone who knows what they are talking about. Listen to what the salesman has to say and take the advice as you will be sold a saddle that is suitable for your particular body shape and one that will mould to you for even more comfort.
Padded cycling shorts are an excellent way to reduce saddle soreness and if you only own one particular item of cycling clothing, it should be a pair of padded shorts. Padded cycling shorts have a large chamois pad around the backside and groin which is designed to offer additional comfort and protection when on the saddle. Padded cycling shorts come in a range of different types of styles and include padded under shorts, thigh length shorts, three quarter length shorts, full length tights and bib and braces amongst many other styles. When buying cycling shorts you should go for fit and comfort over design. The cycling shorts must fit properly to offer maximum protection.
Ill fitting shorts are likely to chaffing, rubbing and will cause you more damage than if you were just wearing a normal pair of shorts. There's no doubt about it, padded shorts will prevent saddle soreness however there is still the chances the chamois pad of the shorts may rub or chaff and damage your skin. To prevent this happening there are chamois creams available, such as Udderly Smooth, that are smeared over the chamois pad before you put the shorts on. Putting on a pair of shorts with a chamois pad covered in cream does feel a bit strange but it really does work. The creams are hypo allergenic, moisturising and can be used on sensitive skin. They do prevent rubbing and chaffing and I use chamois pad cream on all cycle rides, regardless of the time or distance.
Using some of the advice above you will find the amount of saddle soreness reduce in no time, however it is worth noting that whilst saddle soreness can be reduced it will never be eliminated and after a cycle ride all cyclists will have some discomfort from spending time in the saddle. It is a part of cycling that all cyclists have to get used to. All hobbies have their bad points, and saddle soreness is the pain in the backside for cyclists.