In preparing for a recent sportive I learned some valuable lessons when going over the two-hour mark on a regular basis. The post 120 minute milestone seemed to consistently herald the arrival of discomfort in the downstairs department.
Anyone who has ever been on a bike will identify with this and, of course, it’s perfectly natural to have soreness when starting out with cycling; or even when breaking in a new saddle of a slightly different shape or material.
But with over 1000 miles on the clock so to speak with my Giant road bike (the brand Giant, not the fact that I have an enormous bike ☺) still experiencing problems pointed to more than just bedding into the sport; so, naturally, I decided to change my saddle. After a bit of online research the Giant stock saddles didn’t shower themselves in glory, the reviews pointed toward Selle Italia’s range and I plumped for the C2 Gel Flow model, in addition to some bib shorts which again were regarded as far more comfortable.
Setting out in my new shorts and saddle I had never felt as comfortable on a bike, that was until I crossed the two hour mark and the pain returned, much to my understandable frustration; what the hell more could I do!
I decided to do even more research and found that it could be down to friction and so decided to invest in my final solution, aside from paying a hundred pounds for either shorts or another saddle, that solution was a £10 tub of chamois cream. I also invested in a very good pair of bib tights as the 65 mile sportive was looking to be a painful prospect and not just on the legs. I had no time to test either out as the cream and tights arrived the day before the sportive and I had to bite the bullet so to speak.
I am pleased to report that after 75 miles I was still comfortable in my saddle and was rid of a persistent problem that has hampered my love of cycling in one way or another from day one. All I needed was to apply cream to the cushioned insert to my bib tights and to my backside where I was getting pain and hey presto as if by magic I was cured. What a difference!
So to the makers of the magic cream I thank you from the bottom of my heart and the heart of my bottom.