The unstoppable force of Saddle Sores

Has anyone ever just randomly started getting saddles sores when nothing has changed? I’ve been using the same style saddles for several years and same bike/fit for the past 2 years and never had a saddle sore in the current set up. Then all the sudden a few weeks ago I got a saddle sore on my right side. I let it heal before riding and now I have a saddle sore on the left side (I’m guessing from subconsciously shifting how I’m seated from the previous sore). I honestly don’t even know where to begin to diagnose the issue.

I’ve done 4+ hours indoors on the trainer multiple times this year and done 9+ hours outside without issue in either situations. I’ve been using the same detergent, same body soap, same shoes, cleats, bibs…same everything lol. What’s happening to me?!? Any insight would be much appreciated.

Did you change laundry detergent’s?

Weight gain or loss?

@daness40 to clarify for everyone, you mean a badly infected hair follicle / pore that is sore to the touch, right? Not a small bone bruise / pressure point? Please confirm so we’re all on the same page! :slight_smile:

Do you take your kit off & shower asap after your ride? Any chance you hung around for a while, even once, in your kit after a ride? That can trigger one.

Do you use chamois buttr or similar?

Any chance you got time crunched and let your kit go an extra ride or two without washing it? [Full disclosure: I wash my shorts after every 2 - 4 rides. I don’t wash between every single ride.]

On the ‘Never had one before, now two!’ thing, honestly, meh. Happens. Wouldn’t stress, just try to find the cause & eliminate.

Apply some Sudocrem Healing Cream and it will go away. Now every time I bike I apply some of that cream to both side in addition to the chamoise cream. I always found chamoise cream too be too runny while the Sudocrem is thick and doesn’t rub off easily.

Scrupulously clean your behind after #2s.

This is the most important thing to determine. The treatment and prevention are very different.

If it is “pressure related”, the steps you will take are different than “hygiene related”. For hygiene related, I haven’t had a problem since using Noxema directly on my chamois, every ride. Chamois cream isn’t about friction (that’s fit), it’s about keeping it relatively clean during the ride. So overly applying the cycling-specific chamois creams can a) be expensive, b) actually create more slippage if you’re not careful.

Since you haven’t changed anything (and make sure you haven’t, not that you think you haven’t) :smile: then it is likely hair follicle / hygiene related.


You can do all the right things and sometimes it will happen.
All it takes is the right number and type of bacteria to be in the right place when a pore opens up.

I like to think of it as driving. Do the right thing all the time but sometimes a fender bender is inevitable.


One other thing. I know you said that you said you’re wearing the same bibs and now you’re getting sores. You may want to look at your bibs as well. As the bibs age, the stitch seams are the 1st place they usually go and then the chamois. The seams don’t even have to fall apart but as they ge, the thread isn’t as smooth anymore and it cause skin irritation that bacteria go into. May want to change to a new bib to see if it changes. In the mean time, you can apply neosporin and Boilese to the area to help you get through them as you ride.

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Another N=1…I’ve found when leg grippers lose the ability to hold the bib in place around the quad they can ride up and cause material to bunch in places you don’t want material to bunch.

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I used to get some soars when riding indoors, but it has improved lately. It was very hard to understand the reason as the bike fit including the saddle was the same indoor and outdoor.

Some things I have found:

  • Is the indoor bike level? If not, you will have more pressure on one side than the other. Measure it.
  • To improve cooling I often did not use the straps on the bib shorts when indoors, but this might change the fit for the shorts.
  • I normally have a towel on my handle bar when indoors. Often this ended up on one side only with my left hand on top of it. This will result in an asymmetric position.