Tips for Treating Cyclists Saddle Sores


Saddle sores can become a serious problem that can create havoc for any cyclists working to a weekly training schedule. Once the cyclist’s saddle sore becomes serious enough it can ruin weekly goals and force you to stop training. It is very important to prevent saddle sores from even developing. Here are some tips…

  • Keep it clean down below.
  • Reduce the friction by not having the seat so high that you hips rock when you pedal.
  • Good cycling shorts. You want chamois against your skin; no underwear or anything else that can cause friction.
  • Take off those cycling shorts as soon as you done with your riding to reduce the chance of infection from sitting around in sweaty bike shorts.
  • Use a clean pair of bike shorts every day.
  • Use baby wipes to clean up. Some people react to the alcohol in the wipes and the alcohol can dry out the skin. However, there are wipes that use aloe vera.
  • Use a lubricant on your chamois. Vaseline is good and available anywhere. There are other fancy products out there too that are specifically designed for this purpose like Aussie butt cream and Qoleum.
  • Experiment with other products. Antibiotic ointment or Hydrocortisone cream on the part of your shorts and your butt where you think you’ll develop saddle sores. I have also found Teatree oil, undiluted, to be very good at removing the infection. But be careful as it may cause an allergic reaction.

Got this tip from an American… You can treat pimple like saddle sores that are uncomfortable to ride on with ointment called “Preparation H”; or a generic version. Its primary use is to treat haemorrhoids but it appears to be very effective at treating cyclist’s saddle sores by shrinking swollen tissue and easing pain. Apply it five minutes before slathering on your chamois cream and pulling on your shorts. Also try a dab on sores after rides to dull discomfort. I would assume that if this is the case then most haemorrhoid treatment might work the same.

I was wondering if anyone had had experience with treating cyclist’s saddle sores and if you would like to share their advice…

  • Michael Townsend

    If you do have a sore, temporary use of Compeed blister patches provides a temporary ‘second skin’ later of protection.

    • cyclinginform

      Thanks Michael!

  • zbicyclist

    Duck tape works wonders. Probably Michael Townsend’s suggestion of blister patches would be a bit more standard, but duck tape works. It’s sturdy and has enough adhesive to stay on.

    • cyclinginform

      Thanks zbicyclists!

  • dean

    For everyday use when no sores or broken skin is present I use sudoderm (any zinc oxide nappy paste will substitute) .
    When infection is present then I mix a small amount of anti fungal cream like canesten with a small amout of bactroban (will need GP script for this) and coat with zinc oxide paste. Clears up anything nice and quick. Also less side effect issues than steroid creams.
    Hope it helps!

    • cyclinginform

      Thanks Dean!

  • Michael Townsend

    This is great! The duct tape suggestion is excellent. I’ve been known to use self-adhesive dressing tape, like Hypafix or any of the ones that you get from the first aid section of the pharmacy. They’re a robust and fairly low friction surface and provide a neat barrier like duct tape:

    Dean – I love your bactroban and canestan mixture. I shall have to give that a try.

    I have had great success with getting my bike fit improved. I did a lot of reading of Steve Hogg’s blog entries and combined that with a couple of tips from the man himself to do my own bike fit which helped IMMENSELY. As stated in his blog, like 90% of people that he fits, my saddle was too high and too far forward. One day I’ll have the time and money resources to go to Sydney for a bike fit with Steve, but in the meantime I have almost eliminated soreness. Consequently I am ten weeks into a Cycling Inform Aerobic Base DVD programme and have had only had one sore due to an ingrown hair, which was treated and has not recurred. If I hadn’t attended to my bike fit I would be in indoor training hell and possible wouldn’t have been able to maintain the programme. Changing to Selle SMP saddles helped me too – they work well with my physiology. As an extension of all of that, I am considering purchasing another (different) Selle SMP saddle and fitting it to my second ISP mast so that I can quickly change between saddles, varying the ‘pressure zones’ regularly to give my backside a bit of variety. I think that that will help with comfort and diminish the risk of sores too.

    • cyclinginform

      Thanks Michael!

  • smoe jith

    For prevention year round I use baby powder down there! I have better luck with that than the cremes.. save the cremes for treatment if posible.

    • cyclinginform

      Thanks Smoe