Is “the” Seat Spoiling my “Seat”? Cycling and Your Bottom Line

As avid spinners (indoor cycling) ourselves, we get the “my bottom has gone numb sensation.” We also get the “um, things don’t feel so comfortable in the saddle” sensation. However, the bottom line is that your bottom line can tolerate a whole lot. While the pressure from constant sitting in a somewhat awkward position can cause numbness, it should not cause any long-term damage or have a negative impact on your sex life. And let’s face it, unless you are doubling and tripling (a.k.a. two or three back-to-back cycling classes), you are never in the saddle for more than 60 minutes, tops. However, if you are finding the ride particularly rough on your rear, here are some tips on how to smooth it out…

  1. Chafing: Thigh, bottom, and vaginal rubbing can happen to the best of us. And when it does happen, it can burn—big time. The best way to treat this is to apply Vaseline, Body Glide, or Aquaphor both pre- and post-ride. Keep the area lubricated, and make sure that all parts glide past each other without any friction!
  2. Outfit Change: While you may like the way a pair of pants looks, not every pair of pants was meant to go for a spin! Some are more comfortable than others. Try out different brands, materials, and sizes. Consider investing in a pair that has a cushioned bottom.
  3. Adjust Bike Settings: How you set up your bike can impact your body, from your head right down to your toes (and bottom). If things don’t feel right, don’t be afraid to readjust AND to ask a professional (a.k.a. the teacher or the studio staff) if things look right. Altering the position of the bike can change body mechanics and positioning. This alone can help combat some of the discomfort riders can experience. Different angles = different pressure points = no more discomfort.  If this doesn’t work, then consider adding extra padding to the seat. Most cycling studios have extra seat covers to give you extra padding if you need.
  4. Don’t be stationary: Although this may sound ironic, when sitting on a stationary spin bike, changing positions (from the saddle to second or third) can help get the blood flowing to different parts of your lower bottom. This can relieve the pressure on your bottom in a big way.
  5. Time it: When you ride and when you shave or wax is important. It’s probably not a great idea to do a class after getting a Brazilian wax. Following hair removal, the skin can be raw and sensitive. Sitting on a bike immediately after may not be the best idea.
  6. Space it out: No matter how much you love to ride (trust us, we get it!), it’s not a bad idea to take a break occasionally. A day off your bottom can often alleviate some of the discomfort. Additionally, it’s not a bad to explore new activities…you never know what you might find!

The upside to your rear side is that, for most riders, your bottom becomes pretty well acquainted with the saddle after a few rides. So keep on spinning. Who knows, your bottom may actually benefit from a couple of cycling classes.