Chafing issues during triathlon

I’ve been having issues with chafing from my wetsuit and my tri-suit, mainly during the swim, but also during the run.

Swimming, I get chafing around my neck at the line of the wetsuit, and also under my arms, where there is a seam in my trisuit.
On the run, I get chafing at the edge of the chamois, at the fold between my leg and my butt.

With the neck issues, I’ve taken to using medical tape to cover up the chafing area, but it’s really hard to do that under my arms. Any suggestions about mitigating or minimising these issues?


People put body glide on the edges of the wet suit, this may also prevent chafing at the neck.
I myself have also had a lot of chafing in the nether regions after a 70.3. I got the advice from a friend to put lube down there, helping him to completely prevent the problem.

For the swim you may opt to roll down your tri suit to the waist, then put your wet suit over it, and dress again after swim exit. You also see pros do this a lot of you watch for T1 footage, probably because it reduces restriction of the arms. I have tried it myself but it takes a lot of practice to get into a wet tri suit

Oh, thanks! I tried lubricating with vaseline once, but it didn’t make any difference. I’ll try with bodyglide or something more specific tomorrow.
Also, I love the idea of getting the seams out the way entirely by getting ride of the tri top! I tried swimming in my new tri top (with sleeves) in my wetsuit for the first time on the weekend, and I really felt like my arms were restricted.

I’d agree with the lubricate suggestion. Vaseline around the neck and be generous with it. Bodyglide can work but personally I prefer vaseline. I also use a bit of vaseline in place of chamois cream during a triathlon as its not water soluble.

It is also possible that the trisuit you’ve got just isn’t quite right for you and you need a different type of chamois. Some tri suits have a quick drying type cycling chamois whereas some have a minimal fleece type chamois which personally I prefer. Might be worth trying whichever type you haven’t got if you can to see if that makes a difference.

A short term fix for the underarm issue might be liquid skin. Easily applicable on any areas, I used it under my arms when a new trisuit was rubbing, After a few uses I guess the seam softened and I haven’t had any issues since but as a short term fix it was great. I used several layers at a time.

Plenty of other options, this is just one of the first google hits.

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Lubricate the seams of your tri suit. I have been a big fan of desoto for my forza trishorts so I bought their forza tri suit. Well, that was the year they redesigned it and changed it from a felt/cloth pad in to a light cycling pad. First time I work it my biceps got chafed, and of course down there was not feeling very good either after being used to the almost nothing of the old design (which is perfect for mountain biking since I’m only on the saddle about half the time).

I use a sleeveless wetsuit since the tri season here you’ll get most of the water right around the legal limit.

Check out all the seams in your armpits and by the chamois, lubricate those directly before you put on the tri suit. Has worked like a charm for me.

Yes, use BodyGlide or something similar at the neck of your wetsuit to help with chafing there. You should also use some on your wrists/forearms, and ankles/lower legs to help ease removal of the wetsuit. Most wetsuit companies recommend/require not using Vaseline or other petroleum-based products as it might damage the neoprene (ex., Wetsuit Care/ FAQ – Blueseventy usa).

As for issues during the non-swim portions, that could be a tri-suit issue. I had chafing on the bike with one suit that disappeared when I changed to another brand. It could also be a size issue. The suit should move with you, so perhaps it’s not quite fitting you properly if it’s chafing as you run. You might also be better off with a two-piece setup if your top and bottom really require different sizes (ex. large top, medium bottom).

Comfort can really improve performance, so I hope you can get these issues settled. Triathlons are challenging enough! :slight_smile: