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Chafing on Inner Thighs From Bike Riding

author image James Roland
James Roland started writing professionally in 1987. A former reporter and editor with the "Sarasota Herald-Tribune," he currently oversees such publications as the "Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor" and UCLA's "Healthy Years." Roland earned his Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.
Chafing on Inner Thighs From Bike Riding
Two cyclists are riding on an open road. Photo Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/Getty Images

Riding your bike brings a unique joy. It's effective exercise and it's exhilarating being in the great outdoors with the wind in your hair. Unfortunately, bike riding turns into a disaster if you wind up with chafing on your inner thighs. Don't park your bike yet, however. You can get back on the saddle and enjoy biking again with just a few changes to your cycling equipment.

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The Culprits

You're probably experiencing inner thigh chafing because of a number of factors. Not wearing the right clothing can cause friction between your legs and the saddle as well as seam pain. Seam pain is irritation and chafing that results when the seams of your shorts and your underwear rub against your thighs repeatedly. The seams can score the body like ropes. Your bike saddle may also be to blame. It may put too much pressure on on your groin area. Not slathering your legs with a skin lubricant cream before you put on your biking clothes may also result in chafing when your shorts rub against your thighs.

The Right Shorts

Bike shorts made for cycling go a long way toward ending inner thigh chafing. The shorts are designed to fit your body in a cycling position. They are made of 6 to 8 separate panels with flat seams to prevent seam pain. The shorts come in stretchy high-tech fabrics that wick away moisture and allow your skin to breathe. The longer legs on the shorts reduce friction on your thighs.The bottom of the legs have grippers to keep the shorts from creeping up your leg. The shorts also have a built-in chamois, which is a padded liner that cushions bumpy rides, reduces moisture and fights bacteria. To prevent chafing, you must not wear your underwear beneath your shorts. They are designed to fit like a second skin.

The Right Saddle

The wrong saddle can cause chafing on the inner thighs. Look for a saddle that relieves pressure on the perineum. The perineum is the area between your sit bones that make contact with the seat. Too much pressure on the perineum can cause pain, which will cause you to ride differently and result in chafing. Buy a saddle that has a groove or cut out in the center as well as extra gel padding. Comfort saddles come in different shapes and sizes, such as noseless and ring-shaped saddles. Test saddles for comfort before buying one.

The Right Lubricant

If bike shorts and a new saddle aren't enough to prevent chafing on your inner thighs, you can use a lubricant. This is called chamois cream. It's used to prevent chafing in the groin area. You can put it on your skin or on your chamois pad in your shorts, and you can also slather it on your thighs. It reduces friction, prevents bacteria from growing and makes for a more comfortable ride.

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