This page is for the Girls, only! So you, young man, click on a link and go find another page!
Hi, Girls, I am so glad you are here to learn more about the wonderful world of mountain biking! You can call it a lifestyle, a sport, an extra-curricular activity… call it what you will, the dirt is going to change your life! But let’s make sure it changes your life in a good way. Let’s not allow ourselves to get plagued with pain in our unmentionable regions. Let’s not get saddle sores and chaffing (yuck-o-rama).
There is so much to learn about mountain biking, from the equipment, the skills, maintenance… so much that the fun can easily be lost on us girls… however, smart girls like to have fun, too! Knowledge equals power, and in that power we find comfort, and if you’ve spent any time on a bike you may have an idea of what I am talking about. We’re going to look at pain prevention, because mountain biking needs to be pain free, am I right?
OUCH what is that?
It must be a saddle sore. What exactly IS a saddle sore? besides a pain in the butt? Here is a good article from our friends at Rivendell you can check out. Essentially a saddle sore is a boil that develops on the areas where we sit on the saddle. Yep, ouch. Saddle sores start out as a rash and can develop into giant zits that hurt. Hopefully you never experience this. To prevent- keep clean and dry, use chamois creme (you’ll find out later as you keep reading) and always wear clean and dry clothing. Keeping a package of feminine wipes in your cycling gear bag is a great idea to clean off after removing your shorts. Also keep a handtowel handy to dry off.
Chaffing is exactly what it sounds like… dry rubbing. This is a rash that can develop into saddle sores and the like. To prevent chaffing, proper seat height, a good pair of shorts and plenty of chamois creme. Chaffing is truly a result of too much stuff and too much friction. Bulky ill-fitting shorts and saddles cause major chaffing. Smaller saddle require you to build up resistance on your sit bones, but will me much more comfortable in the long run!
If this is your first time or so riding a mountain bike, here are a few tips to make you a little more comfortable:
The Pad, aka Chamois
Always wear bike shorts- the Camois. Bike shorts come in many shapes and sizes, and there is a great pair of shorts waiting for you to pick them up and try them on. The importance of bike shorts is the pad, also known as the Chamois. The skin of the Chamois was the original material used in cycling shorts as a “pad”. Today, technology has allowed us to stop using the Chamois, and now we have uber technical fabrics and materials that make up the cycling short pad. Some words you may hear are
- “wikcing” (fabric and materials that pull moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment to keep you dry);
- “Anti-bacterial” and this is very important (fabrics and materials are treated with anti-bacterial substances to keep away infections and uncleanliness in general);
- “perforated” (this means the pad has holes in it to keep air flow and keep you dry);
- “welded” (how can a pad be welded if it is not made of metal? welding is a method used to connect fabrics and materials without stitching so there are no seams).
When shopping, look for a pad that is not too thick. Super thick pads cause crushing and chaffing. More is a lot worse in this case. A good pad will give your sit bones a little cushion from the hardness of your saddle, and that is about the main function of the pad. This is why you do not want a huge bulky monstrous ridiculous pad in your shorts.
I recommend checking out Team Estrogen for a nice selection online, and at your local bike shop (LBS) ask for SheBeest, Fox, Castelli, Etxe-Ondo (eh-cheh-ondo). Enjoy shopping, and enjoy your first underwear free ride of your life 😉