Once you’re on the bike and on the go, there are a few things one can do to help further prevent irritation and saddle sores. Daily maintenance to keep the undercarriage happy can go a long way in preventing saddle sores. I call mine, “Scathole Maintenance”. It’s a daily routine I preform to help prevent irritation and saddle sores and keep my undercarriage clean, dry, and happy.
My routine is this:
- When I stop to go #2 during the day, I don’t just take the wipe out of the package and wipe myself. I first use the wipe to clean my butt cheeks (sit bone area), removing any sweat, salt or dirt. I also give the family jewels a quick wipe down. It’s not much but removing the sweat, salt or dirt helps keep things cleaner.
- At night when I stop I repeat the above with another wipe so I go to bed clean. I also try to air out as much as possible. If it’s not too cold I might sleep without bottoms when needed.
- I also make a point to turn my chamois inside out to give the it the best chance of drying out during the night.
- While on the bike I try my best to mix up my position. This is good for my butt but also my hands too.
One can also carry two chamois, switching them out to give them a chance to dry. One could also rinse or wash one, while switching them out. Some people ride with wool boxers and baggy shorts (I did this for the AZTR and only had minor irritation). This set up offers much better breathability and carrying two pairs of boxers is much less bulky than two bibs. With proper training one shouldn’t miss the padding of a chamois.
Whatever system you settle on, be sure it addresses the key points to preventing saddle sores: Cleanliness, and Dryness. Having a daily routine like the above one can really help and should make your time in the saddle much more enjoyable.
I’m not a fan of it on multi day rides but for longer rides, chamois butter is a great option to help reduce friction and saddle sores. On multi day rides I feel one’s chamois gets too nasty with multiple applications.