Cycling Hygiene - The Do's and Dont's

Bacterial infections, yeast infections and sores in the groin, upper leg and butt are uncomfortable and embarrassing, and may force you to take time off from cycling.  The most common sores include blocked or infected glands, which show up as lumps in the form of cysts, chafing problems and pain in the pelvic bone area where your weight may be resting.  The best treatment is to prevent them in the first place.  Here is the list of Do’s and Don’ts:

DO: Get a Bike Fit

Take your bike to a cycling shop with your cleats and what you would normally wear during a ride.  They will be able to fit your bike at the correct measurements to help your posture, pressure and get maximum power & efficiency when out riding.  This will help you enjoy the ride for longer!

DON’T: Put up with an uncomfortable saddle.

Although it takes a couple of months to get used to a new fit and saddle, if it’s not working for you best to try something new.  Make sure the saddle isn’t pointing up or down, this creates a lot of pressure on your lady bits.  If problems persist, maybe try one with a cut-out area near the nose.  It’s important to note everyone has different sized hips and sitting bones, so what may work for your friend, may not work for you.

DO: Invest in a good pair of knicks.

Even though lycra doesn’t look amazing on everyone, there is a reason why we wear it.  It protects our lady bits!  Get shorts with thick, seamless padding, the soft cushioning will help you enjoy the ride for longer.

DON’T: Wear your underwear when riding or racing.

This is quite a common mistake for newbies, you are meant to ride all natural down there. That means nothing, including G – strings and ‘barely there’ undies.  You don’t want another bit of material causing chaffing.

Do: Wear Chamois Cream.

With clean hands apply a good emollient to your genital area and thighs to help prevent chafing.  Find a chamois cream or jelly that works best for you.  If you don’t have any, Vaseline does the trick.

DON’T: Wear lycra for a long time before or after training.

Get out of your padded shorts as soon as you’ve finished your ride.  Thoroughly wash and dry your crotch and wash your padded shorts when you get home.  NEVER cycle in shorts you haven’t washed as there will be a lot of sweat and bacteria from the last ride which may cause infections down town.  

Don’t: Touch it!

If you do spot a sore, don’t squeeze, touch or add any more irritation to it.  Sleep without underwear to allow the irritated skin to breath and heal quicker.  Try and avoid using perfumed washing powder and soaps as this may add to the irritation of the skin.

Do: Wax

If you’re going to groom down there, waxing is much better than shaving.  Waxing is great because it removes the hair completely from the root to prevent the hair from causing irritation.  Or if you don’t want the hassle or pain of waxing, consider laser hair removal!

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Amy is the Owner and Head Coach of TriChicks and has over 10 years coaching experience.  Amy created TriChicks to help lower the barrier to get women into the sport. 

You can read more about her HERE