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.

csCycling Shorts
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.

cbThe But­ter
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