Chafing

Pressure distribution

Weight distributed over a smaller surface area results in greater pressure and thereby increased abrasion rate. A saddle surface that more closely resembles the body shape distributes weight and hence pressure more evenly.

Surface smoothness

The smoother the surfaces in contact with each other, the less friction experienced. Cycling shorts/bibs should have minimal seams. Additional, everyday clothing should not be worn underneath cycling shorts/bibs. Prior to and during a ride, check that the chamois does not bunch up and is correctly positioned (e.g. widest part of chamois should cover sitbones).

Vertical friction management

While pedaling, two sets of surfaces move against each other: the body against the chamois/shorts, and the shorts against the saddle.

What we can do

  1. Find a saddle with a shape that fits, and one that is flexible.
  2. Adjust the fore/aft position of the saddle, experiment sitting at different spots.
  3. Check seat height: an excessively high seat position results in side-to-side rocking of the hips increasing friction.
  4. Check the chamois: it should not be loose and move against the body while pedaling.
  5. Actively adopt different positions during a ride: upright on the tops while climbing, rotate hips forward while on the hoods/in the drops.
  6. Keep cycling shorts clean.
  7. Use chamois cream or body powder prior to hot/long rides.
  8. Use a saddle with a very smooth surface (downside: potentially reduced ability to stay seated at a particular spot on the saddle).

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We create comfortable, performance saddles based on your anatomy and inputs, at meld3d.com.

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