Chafing sucks, whether you are a man or a woman. It is a miserable experience, and cyclists suffer from it more often than other athletes. Even though this is a common occurrence, we can do things to prevent it – without having to sacrifice our cycling time. Below are tested tips for avoiding cycling short chafing.

Wear Proper-Fitting Shorts

Buy the best bike shorts you can afford. The pad will be better, the material will be better and the seams will be sewn (and located) in a way that will minimize friction and rubbing. You’ll be able to ride longer and more comfortably. Make sure that your bike shorts fit you properly – extra material means extra moisture and rubbing

Have a Proper-Fitting Saddle

Many riders find a wider seat rubs the insides of their thighs and thwarts the natural pedaling motion. More importantly, because moisture and pressure points are the main causes of problems, having a narrower, firmer seat instead of a wide soft mushy one offers a smoother area to support your behind with fewer pressure points and fewer opportunities for friction and rubbing.

Change Your Shorts – And Change Them Often

After a ride, get out of your shorts as soon as possible and wash up. This helps get rid of the bacteria that can cause skin irritation, rashes and chafing (and also Vaginitis and UTI’s). After cleaning your body, next clean your bike shorts too. Use a spot detergent/stain remover like Shout on the chamois and crotch area and a pH-balanced detergent designed specifically for high-tech fabrics, such as Penguin Sport Wash.

For Women Only

There are certain things that women can do that men cannot – and I’m not talking about childbirth. I’m talking women-centric things that can prevent chafing. Use a bikini-specific wax or razor when shaving your bikini area – and then use an ingrown hair lotion or cream to prevent ingrown hair in the area. This can lead to chaffing and rashing, which is something that no one wants. Taking acidophilus or a general probiotic can help keep yeast at a “normal” count – minimizing you chance of getting a yeast infection. Also, if you are ovulation, use a tampon when cycling. While it isn’t good to do everyday (TSS, anyone?) it can help keep you drier, thus helping keep chafing away.

Chamois Butt’r

Using a lotion or cream meant to prevent chafing, such as Chamois Butt’r, can help keep you dry and without issue. However, this isn’t a cure-all, so you need to implement other ideas from this list to ensure that you stay chafe-free. Also, some have found success using a silicone lubricant, such as K-Y-Jelly, to lube up your thighs to prevent chafing. Hey, if it works, go for it!

Change Saddle Positioning

This is the last resort for many people, but changing your saddle position or riding position can help. You can stand up and pedal, or else move yourself either farther back or closer up on your seat. Or you can even shift your weight from one side of the saddle to the other. This is about the only way to ease the discomfort if you’re actually in the middle of a ride. Should you find yourself in this predicament, tough it out as a long as you can.