A member of an online Bike Forum recently referenced an issue that is not at all uncommon:
“I am having a somewhat serious issue. Whenever I ride any distance farther than about ten miles, I experience chafing at the underside of the tip of the business…I have determined that this chafing is the result of the tip of the twig rubbing the border of the chamois. This totally sucks.”
Indeed, the chafing of those sensitive areas is a miserable phenomenon, one that plagues the cycling masses with unfortunate frequency. So what can be done about protecting ourselves against the fury of the seat and the viciousness of the cloth? Well, as it turns out, it comes down to two main things: bike shorts and some goop called ‘chammy butter,’ whatever that is.
Sometimes those of us who are flat-out broke just deal with what we’ve got. But really, if you can do anything to avoid the enemy (jeans) to prevent the misery (chafing), then your overall cycling experience will immediately improve. The answer? A proper pair of bike shorts. Like with most things however, you get what you pay for. With these you want form fitting, not only to show off the fine buttocks you work so hard for, but also because with bike shorts, extra material means more moisture and more rubbing, the two things you most want to disappear. A good pair will have a liner and chamois pad that is sewn into a comfortable and appropriate position that minimizes friction. As Bike Forums user, “pityr,” says in response to the aforementioned issue: “I solved that problem with a nice pair of Castelli shorts…They have a nice felt front portion that give the junk a comfy spot to chill while [you’re] out riding.” Sounds nice.
Ah yes, Chamois BUTT’r, the non-greasy, non-Vaseline, humorously titled and easy-to-remove lubricant that is designed for your butt after a long hard day in the saddle is not only for the butt. It’s good for that whole unattractive area that we so punish on our daily commute or while touring the countryside atop our trusty two-wheeled steeds. This lubricant and conditioner is designed to prevent chafing by lubricating the affected areas, or by soothing and softening already chafed or irritated skin. Combine this stuff with a solid pair of bike shorts and it’s like riding atop a cloud. And you’ll never have to relate to the unfortunate soul above whose ‘business’ has suffered the wrath of the angry saddle gods, whose life, assuredly, ‘totally sucks.’
By Bryan Schatz