Saddle sores 101: how to prevent and treat all undercarriage-related discomfort

Saddle sores 101
(Image credit: Prologo)

Saddle sores can be an annoying side-effect of long hours spent on the bike, even if you're using one of the best road bike saddles, and can vary from being slightly uncomfortable to requiring surgical removal. They come in many different guises, and affect some people more than others. If they become infected, they can put you out of action for weeks or even months at a time, so it’s important to know how to deal with them from the get-go.

Saddle sores can affect anyone, regardless of what equipment you have downstairs, yet a lot of advice you find online tends to mostly cater for the male parts. While we aim to cover all areas in this article, we’re also including a women’s specific section for anyone suffering labial discomfort and related issues.

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Mildred Locke

Mildred joined as Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews and BikePerfect in December 2020. She loves all forms of cycling from long-distance audax to daily errand-running by bike, and does almost everything on two wheels, including moving house, and started out her cycling career working in a bike shop. For the past five years she's volunteered at The Bristol Bike Project as a mechanic and session coordinator, and now sits on its board of directors.

Since then she's gone on to write for a multitude of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. She's dedicated to providing more coverage of women's specific cycling tech, elevating under-represented voices in the sport, and making cycling more accessible overall. 

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg

Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike