How to Get Rid of Spin Bike Saddle Sore | 8 Things You Can Do

Indoor cycling is an excellent way to stay fit and active. However, saddle sores can quickly ruin your workouts if you are not used to cycling or have the wrong equipment. The best way to get rid of spin bike saddle sore is to prevent it altogether.

Throughout this article, we will look at top tips from experienced cyclists on how to avoid getting spin bike saddle sore and help you treat or get rid of spin bike saddle sore if it is already too late and you need help advice on treatment.

Ultimately it does not matter how fit you are, how much you spend on your spin bike or how fancy your cycling clothing is. When your backside starts to get sore while riding your spin bike, you will not be able to carry on with your training plan. So it is in all our interests to get rid of spin bike seat pain as soon as possible, or even better, avoid it altogether.

What is spin bike saddle sore?

Spin bike saddle sore is a common occurrence among beginners and experienced cyclists. It does not only affect those cycling indoors, but here we want to help you with spin bike saddle sore specifically.

A saddle sore is when you get pain or discomfort in the areas of your body touching the seat. This can be your sit-bones, your genitals or chaffing on your upper thighs. While a certain amount of discomfort or even temporary redness is inevitable on longer spin bike sessions (30 mins plus). If it is consistent or the pain unbearable, then you are best acting fast to prevent more severe injury.

A classic saddle sore is more than aching sit bones after a long ride. A spin bike saddle sore is usually an infected hair follicle or boils in your nether region. Although infected hair follicles cause relatively small sores and can go away by themselves with time, untreated boils can quickly become very painful, and you should seek medical advice from a professional if it reaches this stage.

Suppose you have a relatively small saddle sore. In that case, you can treat it at home and use over the counter antibiotic/fungal creams to ensure any rashes or sores do not become infected or spread. The combination of pressure from your body weight, friction from pedalling and increased perspiration creates the perfect breeding ground for chafing your skin which can escalate and cause real problems if it becomes infected.

Do not let the thought of spin bike saddle sores put you off indoor cycling altogether. Although it is relatively common, it is often not very serious and, at worse, can cause some minor discomfort while riding your spin bike and force you to take a week or two break from your training schedule. The good news is that not everyone gets spin bike saddles sores, and prevention is always the best cure.

8 Tips to prevent spin bike saddle sore

1. Correct set up of your exercise bike


The number one cause of spin bike saddle sore is an incorrect fitting exercise bike which should be avoided for many reasons. Assuming you are using your exercise bike at home, you should be able to set up your spin bike once and not have to worry. But, if you are going to the spin studio or sharing your bike with family or friends, make sure you note the adjustments that are perfect for you and replicate that setup every time you get back on the bike.

The key to setting up your exercise bike so that you do not develop saddle sores is comfort and ensuring that the seat is not at an unnatural angle causing unnecessary chafing. You can get the right set up using trial and error, research online or ask your local spin instructor.

2. Clothing – Padded Cycling Shorts

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Padded men cycling shorts do more than make you look like you know what you are doing on an exercise bike. Although the padding may look relatively thin and insignificant. That small amount of foam or gel padding around your most sensitive areas is all it takes to prevent spin bike saddle sores on short and long rides.

Men and women padded cycling shorts also helps to keep everything in one place, and they usually help prevent a build-up of sweat as they wick away moisture and are extra breathable. When investing in padded indoor cycling shorts, get gender-specific ones. Male and female cycling shorts have anatomically suitable padding for each gender. So while you can get unisex cycling shorts, you are best getting cycling shorts that are suited to your anatomy to stand the best chance of preventing spin bike saddle sores.

3. Upgrade to a comfy spin bike seat

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Spin bike seats are not known for their comfort, but there are plenty of options out there. Most exercise bikes will have a universal fitting so that you can swap out the stock seat for a comfier indoor exercise bike seat.

Do be mindful that when it comes to spin bike seats, bigger is not always better. You can create extra chaffing if you have a seat that is too wide for your body. So try a few out before you settle, but know that swapping your spin bike seat is a sure-fire way to keep you comfortable for longer.

4. Add a Padded Seat cover to your spin bike


Before investing in a new seat, you could buy a spin bike seat cover that will give you that little extra layer of protection to help prevent aches in your sit bones. A seat cover is also your best option if you are looking to avoid spin bike saddle sore from going to a spin studio.

5. Use Chamois Cream to minimise the pain


The most painful spin bike saddle sore comes from chaffing or ingrown hairs that then get infected. A great way to reduce the friction on your upper thighs and genitals is chamois cream. You can apply Chamois cream directly to your skin or the padding on your cycling shorts. While it may feel a little strange at first, its effectiveness at preventing spin bike saddle sores is miraculous. Chamois cream not only reduces friction but also hydrates your skin (preventing cracking) and is antifungal/bacterial.

6. Be patient while cycling indoors


You may have the perfect set-up, lovely padded cycling shorts with layers of chamois creme all over them, but if you do not give your body and skin a chance to recover while training, saddle sores can quickly ruin your fun. Especially when you are new to indoor cycling, listen to your body and rest up if you notice persistent chafing or irritation before it gets infected or worse. It is much more effective to take a few days to rest to allow your skin to heal rather than have to take two weeks off the bike because you left it to get a lot more serious.

7. Stand up while riding a spin bike

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During your workouts, mix it up a little and stand up for sections of the ride. Even just a few minutes of rest is all it could take to relieve any aching and help to prevent spin bike saddle sores. Standing up while on the spin bike also gives your whole body a workout and can help break up the monotony of a gruelling spinning session.

8. Make sure of good hygiene care


Spin bike saddle sore only becomes serious if it becomes infected and goes untreated. Fortunately, as it is in a sensitive area, you will notice the pain and discomfort early enough to be proactive with treatment.

To help prevent any chafing or cracking of the skin from getting infected, you must have good hygiene practices, including using chamois cream, washing after your workout and thoroughly drying afterwards. Also, have at least two pairs of padded cycling shorts as you should only use them once before washing them. By having two pairs, you can not use the excuse that they are in the wash for not going to the next spin bike session.

Spin Bike Saddle Sore Prevention

Rest, good hygiene and more rest. It is not worth pushing yourself to the limits and ignoring the first signs of saddle sore. While you may expect some minor redness or discomfort if it doesn’t go away or begins to impact performance on (or off the bike), then take a break from indoor cycling.

The quickest way to get rid of a spin bike saddle sore is to spot it early enough and take a break from cycling until your skin has fully healed. If you look at the affected area and notice painful whitehead spots, avoid the temptation to squeeze them, as this will increase the risk of infection. Ideally, you should take a rest from the bike, keep the area clean and bacteria-free while your body does its thing and clears it up naturally.

However, if it has already developed into boils, you should seek medical advice from a medical professional. Although you could use over the counter remedies and wait for it to clear up, you are best to ask the professionals and get it sorted before it becomes too severe.

So while prevention is the best cure, spin bike saddles sores do not have to result in you stopping indoor cycling altogether or even from having to take a few weeks to break from your training plan. With a little bit of rest, some adjustments to your exercise bike set up, clothing and introduction or chamois creme, you will be able to get rid of spin bike saddle sore for good.

FAQS about spin bike seat pain

What to do if it hurts down there after a spin class?

If you are new to indoor cycling, a little bit of discomfort after your first few rides is perfectly normal. Especially if you have only just read the top tips to prevent spin bike saddle sore. However, if you find that it hurts down there more than usual or in severe pain, you need to rest from indoor cycling until you are healed.

Hopefully, you just have a bit of chaffing and inflammation so that after a few days off the bike, your skin heals itself, and you can start where you left off during your next spin bike session. If you notice chaffing and it is still painful after a few days, it may have become infected. Although not comfortable, your body can usually heal itself. If, however, it does not get any better with time and results in boils, it is time to see a medical professional sooner rather than later.

It is worth pointing out that for the number of people who use magnetic spin bikes and cycle regularly, it is infrequent that you need to seek medical advice for saddle sore. Usually, the pain down there is just your body getting used to a new workout. By taking the proper preventative action, you will be able to “enjoy” your spin classes without fear of any lasting damage or injury down there.

How long does it take to get used to a spin bike seat?

You are not alone if you find spin bike seats uncomfortable, especially if you are not used to cycling for extended periods. However, the good news is that once you get used to a spin bike seat, it stops being painful, even if you are sitting on it for hours at a time.

It usually takes a few workouts for your body to get used to a spin bike seat. That is on the basis that your exercise bike is set up correctly and you are wearing padded cycling shorts. Without padded cycling shorts, it can take a little longer for your nether regions to get used to being perched on those small spin bike seats.

Spin bike seats should not be uncomfortable after you have used them a couple of times. If you are still getting pain or discomfort after a few rides, you need to consider changing the seat, getting a cover, or investing in extra padded cycling shorts.

How to make an exercise bike seat more comfortable?

The good news is that you do not have to put up with an uncomfortable spin bike seat. Although spin bike seats are not known for being super comfortable, there are plenty of options for you to make them more comfortable so that you can enjoy riding your exercise bike and focus on the workout.

Before investing any money to make your exercise bike seat more comfortable, you should play around with the position of the spin bike seat. All exercise bikes will allow you to move the seat up and down. However, ideally, you have one that also moves forwards and back. Making micro-adjustments can make the exercise bike seat a lot more comfortable.

If moving the exercise bike seat is not enough, you can get some upgrades that will make your exercise bike seat more comfortable without replacing the seat altogether. Exercise bike seat covers are an excellent way to give you that extra little bit of cushioning you need to be comfortable on your exercise bike. These are a great option if you are going to the gym for a spin session, as obviously, you will not be able to replace the seat or have the same amount of time to keep adjusting the set-up.

Finally, ensure that you are using nicely padded indoor cycling shorts. Although the padding looks small, you will notice that it gives just the right amount of protection and comfort when you find the perfect pair.

Final Thoughts

Spin bike saddle sores can be common but should not stop you from getting into indoor cycling or attending your next spin class. Follow the tips to prevent spin bike saddle sore above so that you can focus on enjoying the workout without fearing getting saddle sore when you jump off the bike.

If you find yourself with a bit of spin bike saddle sore, do not panic, it is perfectly treatable, and your body often fixes itself in no time. However, if you are experiencing severe or persistent pain and think it may have got infected and developed into boils, speak to a medical professional about the best treatment options. That being said, it is incredibly rare that spin bike saddle sore results in requiring medical attention and following the above top tips to prevent getting saddle sore will help you stay focused on your training plan and keep you on the bike.

Robbie Ferri
Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri from “Riding with Robbie” has been cycling for almost ten years. In that time, he has broken World Records, Bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. Robbie picked up a bike and started cycling when he was about 25 years old and said it was the best thing he ever did. The experiences and the fun he’s had have given him a huge passion for helping inspire others to ride further, farther, and get fitter.