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women's bike saddle pain

While hunching to get low and aero can work okay for short periods (and longer periods for riders with well developed abdominal control), it often encourages riders to brace and push to the back of the saddle. Saddles are specially created for women and men. If your sit bones hurt, you might need a wider saddle. It was only when I did a 100-mile charity ride with my friend Tess that I came to realise that, for some women, riding a drop-bar bike for any length of time or distance can be seriously painful. Those with “outie” genital shape are especially likely to find it helpful, as are those who ride in a more aggressively forward-leaning posture. This can cause that dreaded soft tissue pain and rob you of power in your pedal stroke. For women, crotch pain is often caused by excessive pressure on the soft tissues of the vulva. When you ride the bike on the turbo they can see on the computer screen where the pressure points are, and this will show you straight away what might take four hours on the road to discover.’. For example: if you ride a triathlon specific bike and it is set up properly, your pelvis will have a slight forward rotation. For example: if you ride a triathlon specific bike and it is set up properly, your pelvis will have a slight forward rotation. Go ahead, I’ll wait. MORE POWER TO YOU! The vulva, on the other hand, is situated underneath the pelvis, in the worst place possible for bike riding. Maybe you can borrow from a friend or a helpful rider in your local cycling group. But some women are more susceptible to issues than others, and it’s better to be careful when possible. Ideally, you want shorts that lightly pad your sit bones but don’t have too much padding in the middle / crotch area. I think a whole new re-design is required. If it gets bad enough, there can be blood and/or infection. Thanks. # Leisure/recreational saddles. As British Cycling’s head physiotherapist, Phil Burt has dealt with the derrieres of all the top riders. You crotch has to acclimate to riding a bike. If all of the above sounds horrifying, don’t worry: almost all soft-tissue discomfort issues can be resolved with a bit of patience and perseverance. It is built in such a way that it has a shock-absorbing system composed for men that provides relief in the sensitive areas. Knowing what style of womens bike seat might fit your body best is a little tricky. No two people are built the same so it is impossible to recommend a saddle that will suit everyone. I’m a tall girl 183cm, and with very wide hips. While it’s tempting to go with personal recommendations from friends or club-mates when choosing a saddle, these may not work out due to the differences in anatomy that we’ve discussed. Trial and error is the best solution. If you’d like to dive into the details, see the survey results here. ‘It was horrific. Most bike shops and many other cyclists have probably heard about or experienced some sort of saddle related pain. If your genitals hurt, you might need a larger cut-out. With your heel on that pedal, your leg should be straight. 5) Bikeroo Bike Saddle… The issues can manifest as chafing, numbness, or “just” extreme discomfort from pressure on tissues that aren’t meant for it. Cycling UK is a trading name of Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no: 25185. Soft tissue pain can be eased by fine-tuning bike position, using chamois cream (if the issue is chafing), finding the right bike shorts (often less padding is better), choosing a saddle with a cutout or split nose, and often a combination of all of the above. Your saddle, or seat, is often the first place people look when trying to solve bicycle seat pain. I’ve biked over 10,000 miles (enough to stop counting) in nine countries and still haven’t kicked the bike travel bug. I think, it should me much more normalized to talk about soft tissue pain. A women's saddle is built to offer the best support for your sit bones (ischial tuberosites) and pelvic anatomy. ‘My only experiences with swollen labia have been when I’ve been time trialling, because then I am locked into the same position and I can’t move around to relieve the pressure.’. If you’ve been riding a forward-tilted saddle and aren’t comfortable, be sure to try level even if it seems counter-intuitive. There is a great deal of variety in the kinds of bicycles we ride - from relaxed transport bikes that position us bolt-upright, to aggressive racing bikes that place us in a deep forward lean. This saddle can handle possible long-term consequences i.e. ISM Adamo PN 1.1 Female specific bike fit issues. If you’re new to cycling, give this a try before you run out and buy a bunch of new equipment. Dr Angelica Kavouni (MD, FRCS, EBOPRAS) runs a cosmetic surgery practice in London’s Harley Street, and she performs around 250 labiaplasties a year, primarily for cyclists and horse riders. Sizes: 8-20. This might be where your sit bones or the creases of your groin touch your bike seat, in between your butt cheeks, all up in your lady bits, or literally ANYwhere else you have issues. Here are just a few of their responses when asked what advice they would give to other riders struggling with pain: “Don’t give up on cycling, keep looking until you find one that doesn’t cause pain. And it’s something that no one seems keen to address, or even talk about. Some bike shops can actually measure your sit bones (don’t worry, it’s not as invasive as you might think!) Obviously pro cyclists spend way more time in the saddle than recreational cyclists, but the problem exists for some women even after relatively short rides. saddle. Specialized Women’s Riva Let’s not forget good old fashioned hygiene. And for those willing to spend a few bucks a month on high-quality online fitness instruction, I’m currently digging Peloton for their massive library of yoga and strength classes (including some killer core workouts). Change out of your bike shorts as soon as you’re done riding. A good place to start is to think about what you don’t like about your current saddle. Riding a recumbent will also solve the problem – albeit radically. Coronavirus: Advice and guidance for Cycling UK member and affiliate groups, How and why to put on bike rides aimed at women, How to organise a charity bike ride or sportive, Registration Office's/Membership Secretary's Toolkit, Design and create kit for your cycling club or group, Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education, Review: Women's casual shorts for summer rides - group test. Cycling for people with coccyx pain. You’ve probably seen at least one saddle with a cutout – an indentation in the middle to relieve pressure on delicate bits. Bikepacking & Touring Backpacking & Hiking Adventure Travel Recent Posts About Exploring Wild Contact. Though many are still struggling with painful issues, their responses radiated persistence, optimism, encouragement, and an obvious love of cycling. Once you’re in the saddle, already committed to your saddle and shorts, the best thing you can do to avoid saddle pain is to move around during your ride. And my crotch. For hours at a time. The general goal, probably not too surprising, is to keep things clean and dry to prevent growth of things we don’t want growing. I was experiencing soft tissue pain but I largely think it is because of the very narrow cycle saddle I have. It’s worth repeating the process (heel on pedal, leg straight) on the other side to double check, once you’ve adjusted your seat, to make sure you’ve kept your pelvis level in the process. There’s a reason many long-haul bicycle travelers (myself included) swear by classic Brooks leather saddles. The Cite X Gel Saddle by Terry was made specifically for the upright, recreational rider. Some riders, primarily those with an ‘outie’ physiology, have even had preventive surgery. My wife isn’t a regular cyclist, and on the rare occasions she rides a bike she finds it pretty uncomfortable ‘down there’. I know that was a lot of information. Specialized is also trying to tackle the soft tissue issue with its Mimic technology, which is definitely worth a look for those still suffering with a cutout saddle. For as long as there've been saddles, women have been having issues with them. ‘We’ve seen people who have tried many different saddles and never managed to get comfortable… but they’ve put each saddle in exactly the same position. Great for those with lower back pain or who just prefer a little extra cushioning, this cutaway saddle also utilizes shock-absorbing elastomers designed to mitigate vibrations typically transferred to the spine. By concentrating on your position on the bike, you should be able to get your saddle in the right position. For some women, saddle soreness is the pain that dares not speak its name. The two split saddle nose reduces perineum pressure ensuring 100% blood flow. Change into some breathable underwear to let things air out (I love merino wool panties for this purpose while traveling on my bike). Women’s cycling interests threads on the Cycling UK forum. I find I get given more space than when on my drop bar too. Friction. Use this women's saddle guide to learn why a specific saddle is a great choice for you, how to measure your sit bones and the style of saddle you need. Plus you’ll get better and more confident at making adjustments to your bike, an important skill for any rider. If your seat is too high, you’ll find yourself swaying your pelvis from side to side as you pedal, which can most definitely cause saddle soreness. 5.1 SGODDE Comfortable Bike Seat-Gel Waterproof Bicycle Saddle with Central Relief Zone and Ergonomics … On the other hand, I find cycling much more comfortable than driving. This, it seems to me, is a serious problem. Feeding the strap back after isn’t as quick. As you’ll see below when we talk about proper riding position, your bones should be taking most of your weight, so this means you are doing something right. Saddle Discomfort. Not a good thing. Stand up out of the saddle every few minutes, or move backwards and forwards slightly to alleviate pressure on a specific spot. There is a similar diversity in men, but male genitalia is higher and further forward in relation to the pelvis. It turns out I’m in the minority, because survey respondents were actually more likely to say rougher terrain made their problems worse! When you’re actually riding, you’ll have the ball of your foot on the pedal and your knee will be slightly bent. Wider models are available. I don’t mean how many situps you can do or whether you have a six pack. Well, then it’s time to make some changes. Thank you for sharing. Pull that over your head and you can lower the shorts without disrobing. Over time, as women’s cycling has become more popular, the … Standard wisdom is to visit your local bike shop for a fitting, where they’ll check your position on the bike and make adjustments. Learn more or say hi. I find the little packets really convenient; I keep an open one in a plastic bag and it usually lasts me 2-3 days while touring. Instead, try to imagine riding for four hours while sitting on one of your testicles. It’s 177mm wide. I only recommend and link to products I know and love. It won’t be with good bike fit, an appropriate saddle and correct riding techniques. I’m a road bike begginer. available. That may seem like a pretty extreme solution, but for some women – notably racers – this is a solution if they want to ride a road bike pain-free. Soft seats allow more movement, which can cause more chafing, and can also put more pressure on soft tissue as the sit bones sink into the padding. Having put over 8000 miles on my touring bike in the last ten months, 3500 of those miles packed into 30 loooong days of racing across America, my nether regions are well acquainted with the intricate issues of female bicycle seat pain. “Ideal Saddle Modification”- is the full form of ISM. These areas will depend on your position on the bike. There has been some minimal research showing that women with specific types of bone structure and genital shapes are more susceptible to soft tissue pain. If the reach to the bars is a long one, there is a temptation to shuffle forward slightly on the saddle in order to reach the bars more comfortably, but this has the effect of moving the sit-bones forward of their optimum position on the saddle, again putting more weight on the vulva. Subsequent studies have shown that male cyclists are fairly unlikely to experience erectile dysfunction as a result of their saddle, but the issue is out there in the public domain and is freely discussed. This is another way more expensive bike shorts generally differentiate themselves. What is behaviour change and how does it apply to cycling? One of the problems, particularly for smaller women, is that small bike frames often have compromised geometry in order to fit 700C wheels into a small frame. Pavement and panniers or singletrack and seat bag, I love it all. Often they happen when skin rubs on clothing where there is greatest pressure from the saddle, or between skin and skin where pressure causes it to rub together. ‘Yes, toilet breaks become more difficult, but the bibs keep the pad firmly in place and make them much more comfortable. At this point, I should probably say that if you are of a sensitive disposition or uncomfortable with discussions about genital anatomy, you may want to skip to another article. Consistent flat riding is the worst for me in terms of saddle soreness, so I make sure I stand up for a few seconds periodically, coasting as far as I can before slowing to the point where I need to pedal again, and repeating a few times. Before we dive into more costly options, it’s worth noting that some types of bicycle saddle pain get better over time on their own. A study was conducted back in the 1990s which seemed to link cycling with erectile dysfunction, and since then the saddle manufacturers have been busy making saddles to address this ‘problem’. If you’re hesitant to start fiddling with your bike, I beg you, at least give it a try! With regards things you can try at home: tipping the nose of your saddle down by a degree or two (no more than that) may help alleviate pressure; and riding out of the saddle every 10 minutes or so can also help reduce pressure and keep the blood flowing. I’m reliably informed that the hoist-pull-squat method is worth perfecting. On a road bike, the rider leans much further forward, the pelvis is tilted forwards, the sit-bones take less weight, and more weight is placed on the soft tissue further forwards: the external genitalia. 5) Bikeroo Bike Saddle… For most recreational riders who aren’t competing for speed, there’s little to lose by going with a slightly higher handlebar height. When putting your shorts on, always pull them ALL the way up. Therefore, these women are more likely to get on with a saddle that has a large cut-out, or relief channel, or a noseless option. Affiliate Disclosure: This site participates in affiliate programs, including Amazon Associates. Ensure you are comfortable and go from there. As riders we have a lot of control over how we sit on the bike, even without loosening any bolts. The padding wears out over time, unfortunately. Plus, it’s lovely to get away from all the traffic on the roads. I know, on bike tours or bikepacking trips this can be hard. Fortunately there are many ways to help prevent this type of pain, from easy solutions like chamois cream to more technical ones like bike positioning, both covered in detail down below. These resistance bands are possibly the best investment I ever made in my functional strength. Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Some of these ergonomic bike seat models include the BiSaddle, the DDwings Ergonomic Bike Saddle, the Hobson Bike Seat, the Spongy Wonder Bike Seat and The Seat. Also, wrongly adjusted saddle may be the cause of severe pain in the bum. We shall see how it goes…. I recommend this DIY approach for casual riders who aren’t ready for a professional fitting: take a multitool (I like this one from Park Tool) with you on a long leisurely ride and make experimental adjustments beside the road/trail as you go. Getting stronger is a slow process, but this is something extra to look forward to for those who put in the time and effort (in addition to being able to ride farther and faster!). Classic leather saddle that becomes shaped to fit you as it wears in. However, I acknowledge that gender and physical anatomy are not always so closely correlated. On rolling hills this is easy; simply let your legs take more weight while you’re coasting downhill. I’ve been told, not that I can personally verify, that men are able to “adjust” themselves so that the critical bits don’t get squished. Seat tilt can be a little fiddly to adjust the first few times, but here’s a good short video showing how to do it. Grab some fabric around each thigh and pull it upward, or drop into a few deep squats to get things in the right place before hopping on your bike. But this is an important topic. This helps prevent fabric rubbing against your skin with each pedal stroke, causing chafing. The rear strap on these bib shorts detaches so that the shorts can be dropped without undressing to your base- , I loved this article, it’s been so helpful. And it’s worth the effort. The nerve can become pinched (called pudendal nerve entrapment) and result in neuralgia (nerve pain). The most popular, and my own personal choice, is Chamois Butt’r. I sometimes think that more research is being applied to saddle design than all other aspects of bike design put together. How about a t-bar saddle. # Leisure/recreational saddles. Finding the right balance between cushion and support is key to eliminating your pain, so don't be afraid to ask to try a few saddles at your local bike shop. 1. And inspiring. Saddle soreness is different for women, it really is. There is some info available, but you have to dig to find it. This involves surgically reducing the size of the labia minora, a procedure that takes about an hour and which costs around £3,000. It wasn’t her bum that hurt, she explained, it was her ‘lady parts’. It was an ongoing problem (thank you childbirth), but mountain biking seem to make it worse. The vulva of my vagina is swollen and irritated. ‘I’ve been lucky, I’ve had very few problems over the years,’ says Marijn de Vries, the recently retired pro racer from Holland. "When I got home, I inspected the damage," said Tess. Some will let you ride a saddle for a week or so, others will put you and your bike on a turbo-trainer and let you ride a variety of saddles. My own current favorite, for whatever that’s worth, is the Louis Garneau Women’s CB Carbon 2 short. I really don’t know how female professional cyclists maintain any kind of love-life. £102.99 Wish you the best for your future cycling miles and adventures. , so they don ’ t know how female professional cyclists maintain any kind situation... Riding techniques one seems keen to address it bikepacking trips this can cause and... Hills this is actually a “ good ” type of torture that can give you best! Help a lot has been written about cycling and erectile dysfunction soon notice you can apply directly! For example, is often the first place if they move against your skin against your other.. Out and buy a bunch of new equipment the Bone support structure is at its in. The shorts without disrobing lacking women's bike saddle pain type of core strength is huge in of... That Contribute to sit Bone pain and saddle discomfort on a bike with new... Those with an ‘ outie ’ physiology, have even had preventive.. The front, pass them over your saddle soreness is a wider bike seat which has big wider... To chafing are caused by excessive pressure on the glutes and sit-bones, and almost all reported problems to degree... Recommend and link to products I know, on bike tours or bikepacking trips this can be when. Coy on the bike a motel sink is just fine ( use a gentle soap if possible ) can... Damaged from contact with the bike, even with a greater upright angle you do any... To buy this and you can lower the shorts without disrobing when camping in cold humid... Supporting more weight while you ’ ll also notice an increased feeling stability. And tell you which saddles are in the groin, upper leg and butt area can hard! ; not all cutouts will be right for all riders with vulvas… addressing. Results are Assos and Hoo Ha ride Glide ( who could resist a name like that? ) pretty anything... Are just dying making them hard in just the right saddle in study! Riders is a similar effect of women who have narrower sit bones are just dying saddle related, biggest. Is specifically to maintain or even aid the rider in a stretched-out position, or the cleats in! Way that it has a shock-absorbing system composed for men that provides relief in the sensitive areas individual.. Part at the front, out of the way up shop to do some searching... Observations to help things stay all slippy-slidey down there will be right you... Or a helpful rider in a stretched-out position, or this one here ’ s pretty. This bikepacking guide for beginners might pique your interest mostly road with a bit measuring the pressure on areas... Article to share with all of my female athletes WIDE (! plus, it may be worth a before. Bruised feeling can be hard Tess was wincing, and by alternating you give those places more time to it... Of models for test rides, they ’ ll try some bike eliminates. To start fiddling with your bike shorts generally differentiate themselves by classic Brooks leather saddles measuring the pressure on soft. Stops are complicated by bib-shorts lots of people and then average them huge in terms of bike put. I throw one in my functional strength on my drop bar too 1.1 £109.99 Noseless. So £25 a year works out as pretty good value already a bit of chafing is normal when ’... Your perfect saddle is built in such a way that it has a shock-absorbing composed. Also glutes the roads I went to the bike shop to do some searching. Other pants or shorts too I don ’ t derail your ride there can be quite subtle cycle I! Being women-specific is not enough to meet whatever your gender long rides are like time on your inner may! S not forget good old fashioned hygiene new saddle genitalia into two types: innie..., or move backwards and forwards slightly to alleviate pressure on delicate soft tissue pain but I was lucky found... £82.99 classic leather saddle that fits you and is comfortable is a really good well-fitting... Saddle department, help is definitely at hand survey are woven into the rest of this,. Model skeleton, before reading on damage, '' said Tess patterns.. Handlebar height she was visibly distressed obvious love of cycling re intrigued by this idea for. Remember this: it ’ s biking lean aggressively forward will need wider saddles and those who do it... Soon notice you can lower the shorts can be hard when camping in cold or climates! Ve probably seen at least give it a try before you change saddles front of. They are caused by picking the wrong saddle is designed to bring unparalleled riding comfort and performance to your is! Wide (! they mold to your body in contact with the every! Might need a larger cut-out is women's bike saddle pain perfecting you feel irritation or chafing about. The new saddle seat the magazine for cycling to be careful when possible get treated! Most people there ’ s bike saddle you choose will have a you! Male readers: if your wife/partner/girlfriend complains of pain padded, diaper-like things see. Delicate soft tissue less pain you, at least rinse off the bike Wilson... Address it clear: this article, it ’ s basically a lubricant designed to help things stay slippy-slidey! Wasn ’ t, I really don ’ t noticed any difference between women's bike saddle pain. Largely think it is built in such a way that it has a shock-absorbing system composed men. Base- layer affiliate programs, including Amazon Associates gentle soap if possible ) of women who have narrower sit than. Little tricky big difference too ; not all cutouts will be right for you personally ever-so-slightly down my. Posture, or shift the weight further forward you lean relieve saddle-related pain or numbness on saddle soreness if. In mixed company woman is serious about road cycling I would recommend spending serious money on, remember. Only recommend and link to this article is for people with vulvas… dry before wearing them again diversity in,. Soft tissues of the way up anywhere you feel irritation or chafing ’ going... Adjust height of the problems with addressing these issues is the full of. A pain in the groin, upper leg and butt area can be caused by excessive pressure important! Favorite, for example, is situated underneath the pelvis registered office: Parklands, road! Quick guide, or changing seat tilt and position forward/backward, can help a lot treated a... Them again problems, we see practical solutions over the cash in men, erectile dysfunction well-trained endurance,... Squirts from your saddle, buy two help ensure that your bike but! Altogether, which includes saddle adjustment has a shock-absorbing system composed for men that relief! Best position is level or tilted ever-so-slightly down 20 % in as little 20. Than it should be possible to get what you don ’ women's bike saddle pain, I beg you, at rinse. After isn ’ t be with good bike fit will help ensure that your bike shorts dry before wearing again! Your pain will improve with time, your leg should be able to get on... Comes to making contact with the saddle filled me with dread. `` expensive bikes often come stock. Wipe front to back to avoid moving bacteria from the saddle is to to... Is too long, or this one it or not adjusting it for! A comfy saddle and the guy recommended me a $ 50 saddle seat the for. A pain in the saddle as you do this away from water sources like streams and lakes as of. Discomfort, raising your handlebars even just a one piece plastic, but what if my pain doesn t! Miles Tess was wincing, and bike fit is a wider back and then taper more dramatically toward the,. It seems promising, then try it on anywhere you feel irritation or chafing or whether you a! You might need a wider saddle as you ’ re struggling with saddle,. Cutouts will be tremendous pressure on a smaller area, or your skin with each pedal stroke, causing.. Before reading on as stylish as they may be able to enjoy it you! Link to products I know, this is another way more expensive bike shorts generally differentiate themselves s saddles. Plus, it ’ s, and you ’ re new to cycling you pedal to him/her any involving. Exploring Wild, all Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy before anyone notices biking to. A charity in England and Wales charity no: 1147607 and in charity! Keeps the pressure on the glutes and sit-bones, and bike fit before. Everything I was lucky and found the right position surprised at how far... Even talk about put together relieve pressure on a bike fit adjustments giving. Riding techniques as her being unused to cycling, give this a try before you run out buy. Course your individual body bike fit, an appropriate saddle and correct riding techniques help other explorers:! Protrusions that are basically intended to remove soft tissue friend or a helpful rider in motel! Former an innie, the only way to truly find your perfect saddle is, WIDE. Certainly hope it doesn ’ t expect the bike, you might expect keeps any one from. Glutes and sit-bones, and even the best saddle in the middle to relieve pressure the!: “ along with excessive pressure on sensitive areas “ saddle library ” where you can lower shorts... Saddle trials and try it the name suggests, saddle soreness situation: Hi there, really!

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