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Causes of crotch sores on road bikes
Crotch sores on road bikes are a major problem for both men and women. It is especially common among beginners who have not yet mastered the form of their bikes, and some may even give up on their road bikes because the pain is unbearable.
The three main causes of crotch sores on road bikes are as follows: 1.
- friction between saddle and crotch
- friction with underwear
- crotch digging into the saddle when leaning forward
Women are more prone to crotch sores than men because the sensitive area of the crotch tends to dig into the saddle. Women may also experience pelvic pain during pregnancy, as the pelvis is wider to support the weight of the baby in the womb.
It is said that crotch sores on road bikes are “a matter of getting used to,” but there are also causes specific to women that affect their daily lives, so we recommend that you do not overdo it and use women’s items to solve the problem.
How to Prevent Women’s Crotch Sores
Choose a saddle for women
Road bicycles are ridden with a forward leaning posture, which tends to cause the crotch to dig into the saddle for both men and women.
Women’s delicate zones are especially sensitive to friction, so if you ride for a long time, a crotch gap can be a serious injury.
In addition, most road bike saddles have a long nose, so when a woman rides, it is easy for the nose of the saddle to dig into the crack of her crotch, which can also cause crotch sores.
To prevent the saddle from digging into the crotch and causing crotch sores, saddle manufacturers sell saddles with short noses or with holes in the saddle.
A perforated saddle has a hollow space where the crotch meets the crotch, so if you fit a wide perforated saddle so that the sensitive area of the crotch (mainly the crack) is in the perforated area, you can significantly reduce friction with the saddle.
Short-nose saddles are less effective in preventing crotch misalignment when riding, but you can reduce the friction between the saddle and crotch by moving your position during the ride, which makes a big difference.
Also, many women’s saddles are wider and fit the hips of women who have wider pelvises than men.
Wear padded racing pants for women.
In road biking, crotch gap is a problem not only for women but also for men. For this reason, padded racing pants are now available from clothing manufacturers.
Although the area where crotch sores occur differs between men and women (women’s sores are closer to the navel), some manufacturers offer a line of women’s specific racing pants. Women’s racing pants are specially designed with padding material and sewing points to fit women’s delicate zones, so choose women’s racing pants if possible.
Also, as a general rule, when you wear racing pants, you should not wear underwear to prevent the garment from shifting with the underwear. However, if you wear racing pants on your bare skin, there is a possibility that the shape of your delicate zone will echo the pants. In that case, you can use a sanitary sheet (thin one for low days) inside the racing pants to prevent the shape from echoing and also to protect the delicate zone.
If you are uncomfortable with not wearing underwear, choose underwear that does not easily sag, such as UNIQLO’s seamless pants. Another advantage of seamless pants is that your underwear won’t crack over your racing pants.
It is best to try different methods in this area and find the one that suits you best.
Shallow forward leaning posture
The main reason why you get groin misalignment when riding a road bike, but not when riding a city bike, is because of your forward leaning posture.
However, when you lean forward on a road bike, your center of gravity is shifted to the groin side rather than the pelvis because your weight is supported by the pedals, handlebars, and saddle.
In addition, since the crank is rotated a lot on a road bike in order to increase speed, the center of gravity shifts back and forth, left and right, every time you pedal, and the crotch and saddle rub against each other, causing pain easily.
Leaning forward is also an important factor in road bike riding, but unless you are going to race, you can reduce hip misalignment by leaning forward more shallowly and keeping your center of gravity closer to your pelvis.
To make the forward leaning posture shallow on a road bike, adjust the following two points: 1.
- lighten the drop in height between the saddle and handlebars (the higher the handlebars, the shallower the lean)
- shorten the distance between the saddle and handlebars
The height difference can be adjusted by simply raising or lowering the saddle, but the distance between the saddle and handlebars is affected by the length of the top tube and stem.
Hip misalignment may not improve in one shot. Fine tune your form, position, etc.
The cause of crotch sores is friction between the saddle and crotch.
The cause of crotch misalignment is friction between the saddle and the crotch, but if your crotch rubs against the saddle and causes pain, your center of gravity may be slightly closer to the saddle. When you first start riding a road bike, you tend to ride in an inappropriate position, or your pedaling is not accurate and your form collapses, causing your center of gravity to drift toward the saddle or from side to side.
On a road bike, just having proper form and position and keeping your center of gravity firmly on the pedals can significantly reduce groin misalignment.
The best way to find the best position and form is to ride a little bit at a time for a short period of time and fine-tune your own form.