When it comes to chamois cloths, chamois creams, clothing, and cycle seats, you cannot simply "go through the motions." If you skip these products altogether or use them improperly, your bike ride can leave you chafed and sore for days. There are many ways that problems can develop, so make sure you have the right equipment and learn how to use it. Avoid cheap clothing, buy a gender-specific chamois, and learn how to apply and reapply your chamois cream. Doing so can spare you some unexpectedly awkward and awful outcomes.
Embarrassing, Painful, and Expensive Outcomes
You may think that forgetting to apply chamois cream or using a cheap or ill-fitting chamois will ground you for a day or two and nothing more, but you would be surprised. These chafes and saddle sores will remind you of the error of your ways, and likely prevent you from ever making the same mistake twice.
- Your jeans will hurt. Cycling shorts often have stitching seams that are placed in the same areas as the seams on your favorite pair of denim jeans. It you forgot your chamois cream and then switch to "civilian" clothing, you are in for a rude awakening. The seams on your jeans will rub your already sore skin.
- You will need to excuse yourself so that you can discreetly treat your chafing sores. This may not sound so bad, but imagine how uncomfortable this would be in a social or business situation. Trotting to the bathroom to apply petroleum jelly or ointment to your affected private areas is certainly strange, especially for those who do not share your passion for cycling. You will not only need to carry your ointment with you, but also clean the affected area prior to reapplication-- not always the most desirable task in a public restroom.
- Your chafing sores are visually unappealing. If you have had a bad chafing incident, or worsened it through improper after care, then keep those sores hidden. Again, unless your peers are also cyclists, they will undoubtedly wonder what happened to you. They might be too embarrassed for you to even ask. For times when you know you will be in limited clothing, like the pool, try to remember your chamois cream and equipment, lest you resort to covering up.
- You may need to buy new athletic wear. If you forego the chamois cream for cyclists or the chamois, the constant rubbing that accompanies your cycling movement can rub right through your shorts. This not only gives others a surprise look at your nether regions, but also hits you in the pocketbook, expediting the need to buy new clothing.