Saddle Sore Spots


Active Member
So basically I seem to get these spot/pimple/boil like sores on my arse only normally one on one side but it is pretty painful and annoying. I can go long periods without having any but then periods like now where every ride just makes it bigger and more painful. I am a very hairy chap so have tried trimming down there as I think these sore pimples may be being caused by hair. I think trimming did help but maybe I need to trim it more often. I have thought about shaving but could imagine the prickly hairs would be painful as it starts to grow back, or maybe it is best to shave and just do it regularly.
I have had a bike fit so think that my saddle height is about right.
I always shower and wash my shorts after every ride. I also use chammy cream.
I recently got a saddle fit with a retul saddle fit machine which tells you the width of saddle you need.
I have been indoors on the turbo which doesn't help but I have got a rocker board which eases it a bit.
I would be glad of any ideas or advice from anyone who has experienced similar. I'm pretty sure its caused because I'm a hairy git, I only get one sore and the other side of my ass is fine. I would class myself as a pretty experienced cyclist and generally do about 7 -10 hours a week in the saddle


Legendary Member
Get waxed, lasts much longer than shaving and no spiky regrowth.
If it's just one side, you could try angling the saddle fractionally towards the other. I on,y get soreness on the right, probably how I sit as that's the dominant leg, eased by pointing the saddle fractionally to the left


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Wouldn't bother with waxing. You may need better shorts or a better saddle. You shouldn't need chammy cream with most modern shorts (possibly only if you are doing a long ride).

Might be worth slapping on some nappy creme after a ride (it's antiseptic).


Legendary Member
Bad news isn't it, bum boils are horrible. I think close shaving is a bad idea as that can actually cause infections. Have you got curly hair? If so some hairs can actually curl round after shaving and dive into the sides of the follicles causing infections, black people suffer quite badly from this , which is why so much depilatory powder is sold in Africa as shaving powder.

If it's not infected follicles then you need to battle the infections with antiseptics. Try an antiseptic soap or wash, something sold for teenage spots would work; look for the active ingredient and Google it to check it's actually effective. I believe the groin area gets quite quickly infected with bacteria because of warmth and moisture and obviously the anus. You could also get into the habit of finishing off after a bowel movement with an antiseptic wipe or two to get really clean. I actually think the Muslim habit of washing is better than using tissue, it must have evolved in the desert for reasons of human hygiene. Finally when that sore spot appears I sometimes find I can beat it by dabbing with Corsodyl mouthwash, which contains a powerful antiseptic.


Let me know if you find anything that works as I still haven't sorted mine.

Up to now I have tried various soaps, anti septic and anti fungal washes, different shorts, saddles (including angles and heights), shammy creams, Sudocrem, cool baths/showers etc, epsom salt baths, making sure I stand up regularly . Nothing seems to work. The pain can be quite bad if you get a big one direct on your sit bone.

Use Epsom salts if you want to draw them out quickly and bring them to a head.


Legendary Member
I find I get them at the crease of where your leg joins your groin, more so on the right side. Often worse at the start of the season when I am picking up the miles then it normally calms down.


Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
I also only get one on one side. If I know I am going to be on the bike for more than an hour, Sudocrem applied before a ride helps me. A generous dollop on the skin where the irritation occurs.


I used to get really bad pimples and sores after long rides. Experimented with lots of different things, but have eventually settled on a generous layer of something called "2Toms Buttshield" (I kid you not) before a ride instead of chamois cream - found a stall at the RideLondon Expo one year giving out samples of it and got on really well with it, so have bought a supply of it online since. Then afterwards I use Germolene, but only on those areas that are actually sore (e.g. not a liberal application), as this is both antiseptic and also has a mild anaesthetic, which can be very welcome.


self serving virtue signaller
Similar experiences - a couple of spots between leg and groin that flare up sporadically, I think hair follicle related.

I'm a savlon aficionado, applied both pre and post ride. I find that clears them up in 2/3 days, and as long as applied when first noticed, they never get bad enough to stop riding (I'm a daily commuter).
Loch side.
People's first reaction to saddle sores is usually infection, but often is ischemia, which is not related to infection.
You have to distinguish between infection and ischemia.

The remedy for abrasions and surface-source infections has been given above.

However, if the sore spot is seated underneath the skin with no signs of surface damage, the sore is from ischemia. Dead tissue thanks to a lack of blood in that area. Saddles pushing against sit bones prevent blood flow in a very specific spot and causes the tissue to die and a boil of sorts to form. The only remedy here is to drain the boil, not ride for a while and then gradually build up mileage until your arse has hardened enough to deal with the problem. There is no topical solution for that type of boil.


Über Member
I get similar; usually / far worse on one side and it appears seemingly always in the same spot. I also figured (rightly or wrongly) that it was an issue relating to irritation / infection around a hair follicle.

My natural reaction is to remove the hair; ideally by plucking (and following up with antiseptic) although I lack the flexibility to to manage this on my own and tbh can't bring myself to ask the mrs to do it for me.. Waxing would obviously be another approach, although I hear it's not fun and where would you stop? Suppose you could potentially do one small spot if you're not fussed about how it looks.

Salicylic acid solution (as used for acne) helps accelerate the whole process and reduce the time it's too inflamed / painful to ride on, but obviously prevention is better than cure. FWIW I don't wear much in the way of proper riding clothing (which doubtless isn't helping) although after initially getting issues on long road rides, I now find I sometimes get problems over shorter (10ish miles) town rides as well.

Even when there's no pain / minimal swelling I can still identify the area so it seems to be somewhat of an ongoing issue.. might try and contort myself later and better investigate it, after I've cleaned the kitchen. Looks like I have a pleasant afternoon ahead of me :blink:


Casper WY USA
I too have had these and tried to apply a poultice of salt and oatmeal to drain the infected area. Kind of worked. Now, when one starts, I scrub the area and irrigate it with a needle spray from a handheld shower head. You know the thing has opened because the needle spray feels like a drill bit. Once opened and draining they heal fast. These rarely occur in the winter months but the summer heat is an issue. In the summer I wear Rivendell bike shorts or long pants made of nylon fabric and which have a gusset so there is no seam to sit on. I will also wear cotton drawers that are seamless. Unlike spandex stuff there is a lot of air flow which helps. I also prefer leather saddles as it seems there is less side to side rubbing than with plastic.
Top Bottom