If you enjoy riding your bike for hours, chances are that you will experience a sore bum at some point in your biking experience. This is a highly common incident but never a welcome one. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned rider, you can experience a sore bum at any point of your riding phase.
Problems with a Sore Bum while Riding
Irrespective of how strong your legs are or how finely tuned your entire body is, once your back or bum area starts hurting due to continuous riding, it could take away all the fun & exhilaration of adventure riding.
It not only affects the overall enjoyment of your bike-riding experience, it can also impact the overall speed you’re driving with. With a sore bum, you will be in the constant urge to keep moving from time to time while trying to find a comfortable position. You will not be focusing entirely on the road ahead while riding.
Soreness and the overall discomfort caused by it could easily ruin your ride. However, if you tend to develop sores actually, you would be off your bike for a longer haul.
What are the Causes of a Sore Bum While Bike Riding?
The sore bum experienced during intense bike riding is referred to as “saddle soreness.” While this is quite common on a bicycle, you might as well experience similar conditions on a bike.
As the name implies, this condition is associated with pain as well as discomfort that are experienced in specific areas of the body that come in contact with the bike’s saddle –including the butt area. The “sit bones” on your butt can be adversely affected when you opt for choosing more uncomfortable or aggressive riding positions.
In addition to the butt area, the region between the thighs & the genitals might also experience discomfort. You might as well experience chafing on the inner thighs due to prolonged sitting posture.
Some soreness accompanied with temporary inflammation & even redness could be experienced with longer days on your bike. However, constant pain in your butt area and the back could adversely affect your overall ability to ride the bike effectively.
Infected hair follicle
The classic sore butt due to continuous bike riding might also be the result of an infected hair follicle. This condition is quite common and referred to as “folliculitis.” Infected hair follicles due to constant friction while riding your bike could lead to the formation of small sores all across your back area.
While these might clear up easily, if you leave them untreated for long, it could easily lead to painful situations. In typical cases, you might even need to visit a professional to get the antibiotic therapy.
Pressure from the entire bodyweight on the bike’s seat is combined with friction with constant movement during riding the bike along with reduced blood flow and moisture accumulated due to sweat. All of these could lead to creating a perfect environment for the overall discomfort while leading to sores in your bum area.
Relevant Factors to Sore Bum While Riding
The chances are that if you are riding your bike after long and for prolonged hours, it could lead to a sore bum. However, there are cases that could attribute to continuous sore areas on your back even when you ride on a regular basis.
After a few continuous rides, if your bum is still hurting and feeling sore, then there might be something wrong with the bike’s seat or your seating position. Here are a few factors to consider altogether:
• Width of the Seat: When you sit on the bike seat, the sit bones in your body provide ample support. The sit bones in your body appear as dual bony knobs that you are able to feel at the bottom of the rump. You would want the sit bones to rest firmly on the bike’s seat such that the bones are capable of supporting the entire bodyweight.
In some individuals, the sit bones tend to be narrower when these are together. At the same time, there are others having wider sit bones –particularly women. If the sit bones rest off the sides of your bike, then you are in store for a highly uncomfortable ride. This is because the sensitive area between the sit bones in the body will be responsible for supporting the entire weight of your body.
This is the reason why it is recommended to adjust the bike’s seat properly while analyzing the width of the sit bones.
• Softness of the Seat: In addition to making sure that the seat’s width is proper, you should also ensure that the overall hardness of the seat is right. Quite contrary to the common belief, the presence of a super soft bike seat could make the overall ride immensely uncomfortable. This is because the sit bones keep pressing down into the seat’s soft foam. As such, the sensitive area between the bones will be receiving a lot more pressure from the body.
You should look for a bike’s seat that is soft enough for the sit bones to be comfortable while absorbing the entire body weight. However, the seat’s foam should not be too soft such that they would keep pressing down into the seat while displacing the body weight to highly sensitive areas of the bum.
• Position of the Seat: A major factor that could contribute to a sore butt while riding a bike is the positioning of the bike’s seat or your seating position. It should not be too forward or too backward. You should also refrain from sitting on the wrong part of the seat. You should sit in the position wherein your sit bones are able to rest comfortably on the seat without putting pressure on the sensitive areas around the bum.
You might as well consider installing a proper bike fit to ensure that your butt remains comfortable even on long rides. Generally, you would like to start over with a level seat while observing how the overall performance is. As per your need, you can adjust the level slightly upward or downward to enhance the overall comfort while sitting.
Tips to Prevent Sore Bum While Riding a Motorcycle
If you are facing the situation of sore bum every now & then, you can consider following some preventive measures to avoid the same. Here are some important pointers to keep in mind:
• Find the Correct Riding Position: When you wish to remain safe from the sore bums due to continuous riding, finding the right riding position is the key. Try to adjust the position of the handlebar as well as levers & controls to suit your sitting position. At the same time, you should emphasize correcting the sitting position on the seat such that there is no added pressure on the sensitive areas of your back.
While it might not be a major issue, however, the position of a “seated slump” is a major issue with the bikers as they ride. It is the slump that might adversely affect your spine & back health. The experts, therefore, ask the riders to practice the tucked position with your head tilted up, knees hugging the bike’s tank, legs & armed tucked, and tailbone rolling out with the back arch. As you maintain a good body posture while riding, it will help in improving your overall ability to maneuver, react, and turn easily.
• Wear Comfortable Undergarments: The kind of underwear that you sport during a bike ride can also decide whether or not you will receive bum sores. If the undergarments are too tight and body-hugging, there is less scope for air to pass through. As such, due to the accumulation of moisture & sweat, along with constant friction caused to prolonged sitting can lead to sores. To prevent the same, you should aim at wearing only comfortable undergarments.
• On-bike Exercises: You can practice some effective on-bike exercises to relieve the overall build-up of pressure while improving blood circulation at the same time. You can start over with some peg stands that could be implemented for around 20-30 seconds. Another great exercise option while riding is the 20-rep chin tucks. This movement helps in maintaining the overall mobility –whether you are sitting idle, working at a computer, or riding your favorite bike.
Motorcycling should be a fun-filled experience. Ensure that you take proper care of how to prevent sore bums when you are riding for prolonged periods. By adopting the right techniques, you can not only prevent sores at your back, but also enhance the overall riding experience.