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Cycling Shouldn't be a Pain in the Ass // Up Your Bib Game

by Nicole Adamson August 04, 2016

Cycling Shouldn't be a Pain in the Ass // Up Your Bib Game

WHAT'S ON YOUR BOTTOM?

One of the first painful lessons I learned as a new cyclist was that saddle sore is real, it isn't fun, and it's preventable. Your derriere is the biggest point of contact with your bike. What sits between your bare bottom and your bike saddle will make or break your ride.

Things to Consider:

1. Chamois Matters

If you've experienced saddle sore you know just what I'm talking about. But, don't make the mistake of thinking that the bigger and squishier the pad the better. A pad that is too thick will compress and before you know it will be unusable. You need cycling bib short with a pad that has a density of between 7 and 13. 

Make sure you're buying a bib short that is designed for a woman. Our sit bones are wider apart than a man's, the chamois in your bike short should reflect that difference. A women’s specific chamois should be shorter and have more central soft tissue support than a men’s chamois. 

Look for a chamois that is anti-microbial, has temperature regulating capabilities, and is breathable to wick away moisture and prevent friction, the two biggest causes of saddle sore. 

Take a look at the seams around the chamois. Raw or exposed edges can irritate your legs, groin, and bottom. You want to look for nice, clean, flatlock stitching. 

2. Compression - It Does Work

Wearing a compression short isn't going to take you from weekend warrior to pro, but the right amount of compression will reduce the vibration of your muscles under stress and this will help you maximize your best performance on the bike. And, it will lift and hold you in in all the right places. 

3. Bibs or Shorts - What's the Big Difference?

Shorts are easier to remove during that mid-ride relief. The downside that cycling requires bending and when you bend wearing a pair of shorts you're going to get that inevitable dig into your middle that can be uncomfortable. Bibs eliminate the waistline problem as the leg portion of the short goes higher up on your body providing you with extra comfort and a secure fit. At the end of the day it's about what you'll feel most comfortable wearing. If you opt for bibs make sure you've got a well-designed pair that fits snug around your waist to eliminate any sweat channels, which will cause chaffing problems. 

4. They Won't Last Forever - Up Your Game

If you're still wearing shorts you bought ten years ago and you're finishing a ride in pain and discomfort, and you can't stand up in your saddle when you ride because the material is bare enough that in the right light the person riding behind will get a detailed view of your rear-end, then it's time to bite the bullet and buy a new pair of bibs. We get it, well made bib shorts can be expensive. But, if you're serious about your cycling and you want to ride pain-free then you need to make sure you're well equipped for your sport. 



Nicole Adamson
Nicole Adamson

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