Recently, a few different women have asked me what it takes to keep the buns pain free while on a bicycle. I heard myself giving the same tips over and over, so I thought it would be worth sharing to many of you.
1. A narrow seat. For some reason, people feel the need to buy a larger, more cushy, maybe even a gel seat or what we call saddle. Although it may sound more comfortable, it is actually worse for your buns.
While sitting on the seat, you should balance on your sit bones. The more fleshy part of your bum that is on the seat, the more pressure you put it on and the more bruising that occurs. This is why if you watch any professional riders, they have super skinny saddles. They balance on their sit bones, relieving the pressure from their buns.
2. Invest in good padded shorts. I say “good” because you can buy a pair for about $30 at Dick’s or Sports Authority and they won’t give you the necessary padding. I made this mistake last year in a 50 mile race and my lower extremities were on fire. They don’t look pretty I know. They make my butt look larger, I know. But, they are necessary. And many companies are coming out with women’s specific mountain bike shorts, or “baggies.” Even if you don’t mountain bike, shorts like this are great because they are made for women’s physiology (aka padding in all the right areas-if you know what I mean), and they stylish as well as form fitting. Plus, they cover up what we are all conscious of. A great option to not wearing just the lycra if you aren’t comfortable with that.
3. If you are still having pain after multiple rides, I would recommend taking yourself and your bike into a bike shop to have your self fitted on your bike. This can be a huge culprit for butt pain. For example, if your sitting too high and your hips are rocking with each pedal stroke, then you are rubbing your buns back and forth creating friction and pain.
Lastly, sometimes it takes time to “condition” your buns. Give it a few times. But, the soreness should be minimal and quite tolerable. If it is not, then I would suggest considering these three tips.
How do you prevent soreness while riding a bike? Any other tips to share or gear that you swear by?