Problems with saddle sores

Hi all,

Hoping to get some help with an issue I’ve been having for roughly a year now.

I’ve been getting saddle sores left, right and center for about a year - year and a half, ever since I got my new bike.

Most of the resources I find online says they are related to saddle height, and I’ve been lowering my saddle bit by bit for the past weeks, but I’m at the point where I feel it’s getting too low, this might just be me not being used to it yet and being used to having a high saddle.

2 bike fitters have put my saddle height at 80 cm, as my inseam is 89-90 cm, my height is 186,

Right now I’m at 77,5 cm saddle height (center of BB to the middle of the saddle).
It’s generally the right side that suffers the saddle sores and I also feel quite a lot more pressure on the right side of perineum.

I would like to lower it 3-5mm more, but I’m curious what you all think in regards to the current height.

Motionysis link: https://www.motionysis.com/video/?v=qyghprooj3eo
Still picture: https://i.gyazo.com/7345c40ecd9ee3c25c69e79e70725262.png
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/JngyiA1eqms

I would very much like to get this sorted as my tummy is getting out of control!

Assuming you’re talking about indoor rides. I’m sure there are others on here with more experience and I don’t know much about bike fitting, but for me finding the right combo of bibs, cream, and even sometimes adding a little extra anti-chafing cream during the middle of an longer indoor ride has helped reduce the saddle sores. Nothing has magically fixed it 100% though. It’s more about reducing the pain levels to the point that it doesn’t interfere with completing rides or reduce my motivation to get on the bike.

Unfortunately it’s also outside and not only when on the turbo…

It’s not a chafing issue, more like hard lump…

I would start trying different saddles. There’s no reason to be fiddling this much with fit. I spent two full seasons doing that and then decided to try new saddles. That fixed the issue. There are also certain chamois that I can use w/o chamois cream and then there are some that I must use chamois cream with.

I have found Specialized saddles to be great and currently run Phenoms on both of my bikes.

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There are several threads about saddle sores, the most recent of which is here. Search the forum to find the rest - all contain great information.

I too have been dealing with a couple of sores for about two months. I’m no medical expert but there are definitely several different causes, each of which would need potentially different remedies.

  • Chafing
  • Infection
  • Ingrown hair follicle

Mine seems to be the latter. I had three different brands of bibs, each with a different pad type and thickness. I ended up getting a second set of bibs with the pad with the most cushioning (Sponeed). For me, any amount of direct pressure further aggravated the ingrown hair and prevented healing.

There are definitely some universal remedies to try, though.

  • Wear only clean bibs - never reuse without washing first
  • Wash as soon as possible to minimize growth of bacteria
  • Ensure proper fit for both your bibs and bike (one of my bibs was too tight and I think that contributed over time)
  • Pre-ride anti-chafing cream (even Glide works)
  • Post-ride cream, maybe even anti-bacterial such as Neosporin, Clotrimazole, Cortisone, etc
  • Rocker plate and / or standing frequently to get some movement and give your underside a break from the saddle
  • Adequate cooling down under

If you shave, and your sore is from an ingrown hair, trim your undercarriage instead of shaving.

These are just the things I can remember off of the top of my head. Read the other threads for lots of good info.

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Looking at this video I don’t think that lowering saddle height will help you because you’re not rocking left-right on your saddle, your leg is not extending over the saddle to cause chafing. You might try tilting your saddle forward tiny bit at see if that maybe helps. But otherwise it might be that your bibs or saddle don’t suit you very well.
Unfortunately it’s highly individual issue, that’s why no one can tell you exact solution :confused:

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If you say it is a hard lump under the skin, check out this article below. I dealt with it for over 10 years and it is basically due to high peak pressures as you cycle. To solve this problem you need to identify the areas of peak pressure and reduce / eliminate them. For me that was solved by getting a bike fit where the fitter used a pressure sensor over the saddle. We actually ended up raising my saddle and moving it back, which allowed me to rotate my pelvis forward and reduce the pressure on the ‘sharp bones’.

The saddle I had was the right width for my pelvis so I did not have to change it, but I was prepared to. I also asked about the snub-nosed / shortie saddles and they would have made it worse because of how they flare out in the back. Shorts with more padding mitigated the issue for a while, but did not resolve it. I think raising the saddle and moving it back helped as with better leg extension it took more weight off the seat and onto my legs.

My recommendation is to find a fitter that does saddle pressure mapping and go there. You should be able to identify the high pressure areas and figure out if your saddle is a good fit for the shape of your body, if you should rotate the saddle down / up, and moving the saddle up/down/fore/aft. Mine was 50 miles away and I would have taken full days off work and driven much further if I knew it would resolve the issue.

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Phenom’s are great for me also. Have one on my XC mtb. Before, I used to get numb. Never since.

My 2 cents.

Struggled with saddle sores for years, tried every single cream, remedy in the known universe etc.

Lowered saddle. Not mm… centimeters. 2cm to be precise. Problem gone. My saddle was WAY too high. Yes it felt low for quite a while. Try dropping a full 2cm at least. Go up from there to find your sweet spot.

If you tend to get sores on one side, it’s often a saddle that is too high.

I now hit 20hrs a week, very rarely have problems. If I do, it’s poor hygiene and usual hair follicle issues. If you’re unable to take a 4 day break to properly get rid of the sore, use the uber pro hack. Just put a very robust Band-Aid on it. There are now some particularly strong adhesive fabric versions that stay on for ages. Just leave it on till it goes away, could be a full week. Sounds crazy… works a charm.

Finally, if all that doesn’t work. Buy a new saddle, one with a deep pressure relief channel and try either a flat saddle or a curved saddle. People tend to be one or the other. Also, many have success with the new short nose power saddles. Not all do, they really didn’t suit me at all.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks, that’s what I have done for now, went from 80 cm and down to 77-78 cm.
I’ve tried 12+ saddles, but I think I’m just going to have to try to stick with the lower saddle height and see if that helps!

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I have the same problem as you. I’ve been to many fitters and through many saddles over the years. I still always have a hard bump under the skin near my left sit bone. I’ve been trying lower and fore/aft positions lately, ignoring the fitters and just trying to find my own solution. I’m good for an hour with no pain indoors or 3 outdoors, but anything beyond that and I’m getting out of the saddle every 5 minutes. My current attempt at a solution is watching “Bike fit Tuesday’s” on YouTube and trying some of their recommendations, including moving my cleats all the way to the back.

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Also consider the steer height. If I remove two spacers now I sit terrible. You may want aero and drop but doesnt outweight saddle problems.