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Saddle sore on one side only. (Update)
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Looking for some guesses on why I continue to get consistent painful and large saddle sores on my left taint only. Always seems to be the same spot. Looks like a boil with blood instead of puss at the tip.

I currently have two of them.

It was happening with my old bike and now with my new bike. It happens worse on my tri bike, far less on my mountain bike. They develop faster on the trainer than on the road.

I do the following for prevention:

Clean my ass before putting on bike shorts
Use ample chamois butter
Takes shorts off immediately when done
I use Hemorrhoid cream to take down swelling after the ride, and at night.
I now sleep with very loose pajama pants instead of underwear as underwear puts pressure on the spot.

What am I doing wrong. This has been going on for a few years now. Getting ready to give up.
Last edited by: Triagain3: Mar 24, 17 13:02
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Maybe a different saddle would help? Different shorts?
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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A lot of factors at play here but considering what you have said I would look at two (related factors) saddle height and leg length discrepancy.

Most people have some amount of leg length discrepancy but as the issue gets more extreme you can end up rocking while you pedal. Muscular imbalances due to historic injuries can have the same effect even if your legs are the same length. Not only are you rocking but you will not be effectively distributing your weight leading to the left only issues. In general this kind of issue gets worse the higher you have your saddle and the less you are able to move around on the bike i.e for most people the issue is worse on the TT bikes and trainers than on mountain bikes or on the road.

As a short term fix I would lower your saddle to see if you get any relief. Then check your flexibility and leg lengths with an aim to get a shim in your shoes if need be.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Triagain3 wrote:
Looking for some guesses on why I continue to get consistent painful and large saddle sores on my left taint only. Always seems to be the same spot. Looks like a boil with blood instead of puss at the tip.

I currently have two of them.

It was happening with my old bike and now with my new bike. It happens worse on my tri bike, far less on my mountain bike. They develop faster on the trainer than on the road.

I do the following for prevention:

Clean my ass before putting on bike shorts
Use ample chamois butter
Takes shorts off immediately when done
I use Hemorrhoid cream to take down swelling after the ride, and at night.
I now sleep with very loose pajama pants instead of underwear as underwear puts pressure on the spot.

What am I doing wrong. This has been going on for a few years now. Getting ready to give up.
Looks like you're doing all the right things with regard to hygiene. Perhaps a small adjustment in saddle height (lower); examine hip-to-pedal (leg-length and extension) measurement for differences,...adjust if possible (cleat shims, etc.). Experiment with other possible position adjustment to decrease pressure from soft tissue (taint) areas.

(Trainer time always magnifies position issues due to the static, non-movement of body. MTB is kinder because body motion is increased and position is more upright.)
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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I'd check fit first

The saddle and its position should be first thing

I've NEVER done well on a wide split nose adamo / Cobb type saddle

I ride a shimano Aerofuel saddle. It's much narrower on the nose, and that helps.

I'd be interested to hear your saddle selection.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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I ride an older specialized saddle on the road bike. Same saddle I have used for the past 9years.
I ride a sitaero on the tri bike.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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I rode the sitero in the past. Having. I had to sit so far towards the nose to make it work, that it didn't work. If that makes sense.

Again, I'd start w fit...maybe look at some of the narrow noses non split saddles. We're so conditioned to think we need a noseless saddle to be able to rotate, but that's not entirely true.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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Just had leg length checked. ASIS to Malleoli, left and right leg are equal.

I will drop saddle by 5mm tonight and ride the week out at that, see what happens.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Triagain3 wrote:
Just had leg length checked. ASIS to Malleoli, left and right leg are equal.

I will drop saddle by 5mm tonight and ride the week out at that, see what happens.

Just because legs are same length doesn't mean you don't have poor riding posture contributing.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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T.Skelton wrote:
Triagain3 wrote:
Just had leg length checked. ASIS to Malleoli, left and right leg are equal.

I will drop saddle by 5mm tonight and ride the week out at that, see what happens.


Just because legs are same length doesn't mean you don't have poor riding posture contributing.

I understand that. I will see what happens with a small saddle drop. don't really have anyone here to check posture this week.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Saddle too low could put you in a compromised and weak position
I get what you are saying but perhaps the saddle is ideally located just a poor saddle choice for you.

Now you're going to put it in a bad position purely based on information you've received from an online forum without even posting a picture or video of you on the bike.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [scott8888] [ In reply to ]
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scott8888 wrote:
A lot of factors at play here but considering what you have said I would look at two (related factors) saddle height and leg length discrepancy.

Most people have some amount of leg length discrepancy but as the issue gets more extreme you can end up rocking while you pedal. Muscular imbalances due to historic injuries can have the same effect even if your legs are the same length. Not only are you rocking but you will not be effectively distributing your weight leading to the left only issues. In general this kind of issue gets worse the higher you have your saddle and the less you are able to move around on the bike i.e for most people the issue is worse on the TT bikes and trainers than on mountain bikes or on the road.

As a short term fix I would lower your saddle to see if you get any relief. Then check your flexibility and leg lengths with an aim to get a shim in your shoes if need be.

my experiences exactly. i just had a guru fit and lowering the saddle and putting a shim in the right shoe (right side saddle sores) will hopefully solve the problem. my right leg is 3-5mm shorter than my left.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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T.Skelton wrote:
Saddle too low could put you in a compromised and weak position
I get what you are saying but perhaps the saddle is ideally located just a poor saddle choice for you.

Now you're going to put it in a bad position purely based on information you've received from an online forum without even posting a picture or video of you on the bike.


It will take me 1min and $0.00 to lower my saddle and try the new position. I will start there before I start throwing cash at new saddles.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Triagain3 wrote:
T.Skelton wrote:
Saddle too low could put you in a compromised and weak position
I get what you are saying but perhaps the saddle is ideally located just a poor saddle choice for you.

Now you're going to put it in a bad position purely based on information you've received from an online forum without even posting a picture or video of you on the bike.


It will take me 1min and $0.00 to lower my saddle and try the new position. I will start there before I start throwing cash at new saddles.

Fair enough...but that won't mean it's right. You can do things wrong, and you can do things right just because it's comfortable doesn't mean it's right.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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T.Skelton wrote:
Triagain3 wrote:
T.Skelton wrote:
Saddle too low could put you in a compromised and weak position
I get what you are saying but perhaps the saddle is ideally located just a poor saddle choice for you.

Now you're going to put it in a bad position purely based on information you've received from an online forum without even posting a picture or video of you on the bike.



It will take me 1min and $0.00 to lower my saddle and try the new position. I will start there before I start throwing cash at new saddles.


Fair enough...but that won't mean it's right. You can do things wrong, and you can do things right just because it's comfortable doesn't mean it's right.


What is your point exactly. If I get ride of the sore by dropping my seat 5mm than I am happy as hell. If I drop my seat and the sore stays, I move it back up. What exactly have I lost?
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Time maybe?

Here's my thing

Let's say lowering your saddle takes some pressure off and it goes away.

That's great.

BUT what if your saddle is too low now? The issue may have been saddle height but it also could be fore/aft. Hell, it could be saddle tilt.

So you find yourself a "solution" that doesn't address the real issue.

The big problem? Maybe your sore goes away, so you think it's all good...when 3 months from now you've developed another issue that me worse that a sore and could have been prevented that ends up taking you out for 2-3 months waiting for some tendinitis or calf strain to go away.

Just post a video here at least for people to see. Post a picture of your saddle on the rails with a level on it.

There's some decent advice on here but it's kbvious you found some sort of confirmation bias and are all set with that for now.

I'm not trying to be a dick. I'm trying to prevent you from going through your asshole to get to your elbow.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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T.Skelton wrote:
Time maybe?

Here's my thing

Let's say lowering your saddle takes some pressure off and it goes away.

That's great.

BUT what if your saddle is too low now? The issue may have been saddle height but it also could be fore/aft. Hell, it could be saddle tilt.

So you find yourself a "solution" that doesn't address the real issue.

The big problem? Maybe your sore goes away, so you think it's all good...when 3 months from now you've developed another issue that me worse that a sore and could have been prevented that ends up taking you out for 2-3 months waiting for some tendinitis or calf strain to go away.

Just post a video here at least for people to see. Post a picture of your saddle on the rails with a level on it.

There's some decent advice on here but it's kbvious you found some sort of confirmation bias and are all set with that for now.

I'm not trying to be a dick. I'm trying to prevent you from going through your asshole to get to your elbow.

Gotcha. I will take a video and post it.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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I always have some kinda of sores down there (since i took up riding) but they just don't hurt anymore.

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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [BBLOEHR] [ In reply to ]
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BBLOEHR wrote:
I always have some kinda of sores down there (since i took up riding) but they just don't hurt anymore.

Yup. It's kind of almost par for the course / comes with it. I didn't want to be a dick and say it's probably a rule # 5 scenario.

8-12 hours in the bike, sometimes it just happens

Actually, I don't know when I didn't last have one

Kind of like someone developing calluses playing guitar.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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I once read where John Cobb said he could fix many saddle sore issues by rotating the seat slightly right or left. He said that applied even on tri bikes that one might not think were adjustable that way.

Sadly, I never got any more detail as to which way he would try first for what kind of a saddle sore -- but with asymmetrical saddle sores, an asymmetrical solution (rotation) might be a better answer than a symmetrical one (lowering seat).
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Triagain3 wrote:
It will take me 1min and $0.00 to lower my saddle and try the new position. I will start there before I start throwing cash at new saddles.
I've had saddle sores on and off a bit. Lowering saddle can help. One more thing I find helps to get rid of them once you have one. Put a small piece of athletic tape over it when you train. For me, this completely protects it and it goes away fast. After it's healed it might not come back even without the tape.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [hugoagogo] [ In reply to ]
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hugoagogo wrote:
I once read where John Cobb said he could fix many saddle sore issues by rotating the seat slightly right or left. He said that applied even on tri bikes that one might not think were adjustable that way.

Sadly, I never got any more detail as to which way he would try first for what kind of a saddle sore -- but with asymmetrical saddle sores, an asymmetrical solution (rotation) might be a better answer than a symmetrical one (lowering seat).


That is funny you say that. I have been noticing a few strange sensations lately and a few clothing issues.

1st, my chamois drifts to the left, I actually have to stand up from time to time and adjust it.
2nd, I feel like I have a well planted sit bone on the right, but can never anchor it on the left (The side with the sores)
3rd, while riding on the trainer yesterday I paused and looked down at my seat to see if it was straight, I feel like I should point the nose a little to the right.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. [T.Skelton] [ In reply to ]
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T.Skelton wrote:
BBLOEHR wrote:
I always have some kinda of sores down there (since i took up riding) but they just don't hurt anymore.


Yup. It's kind of almost par for the course / comes with it. I didn't want to be a dick and say it's probably a rule # 5 scenario.

8-12 hours in the bike, sometimes it just happens

Actually, I don't know when I didn't last have one

Kind of like someone developing calluses playing guitar.

I ride 15-18 hours a week (roadie), no saddle sores now, but it took a lot of work and realizing that 99% of fitters set saddles too high. I found that a lower saddle was key and most fitters tend to place riders on the higher end of the acceptable range. Even just 5mm lower can make a huge difference in comfort assuming the seat has correct fore/aft adjustment and has the proper tilt. Who cares if you lose 1-2% power, i would much rather lose a little power and enjoy the training. Once i found the proper saddle height and fore/aft adjustments i can ride a fairly wide range of saddles with no discomfort.

Random tangent but i still find it funny that the seat height that i find perfect is within 1mm of the LeMond method, while two different fitters have given much higher seat height numbers that were not comfortable but were "orthodox". I even had one fitter tell me that being slightly uncomfortable is normal and that is why there is chamois creme. I can ride all week, no creme, and not get saddle sores, it just takes a lot of time to find that ideal position.

Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes."
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. (Update) [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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So I checked my saddle height using Knee angle at BDC and was at the low end of normal range. So left that.

I rotated my saddle approx. 2 or so degrees to the right.

I have road my bike 5hours since Teusday, 3.75hours on the trainer. And The two saddle sore were tender on Tuesday and Wednesday, but were healing. Yesterday and today I had almost zero pain. And they are already basically healed.

I will be riding approx. 5 hours this weekend. Will update following that.
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Re: Saddle sore on one side only. (Update) [Triagain3] [ In reply to ]
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Good to hear!
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