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The hair "down there" and saddle soreness...

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The hair "down there" and saddle soreness...

Old 09-12-19, 07:01 PM
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travelerman
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The hair "down there" and saddle soreness...

I've been cycling an average of 3,000 miles annually for the past seven years, rides ranging between 15-100 miles; 15-20 mile short training rides, 30-40 mile longer training, and most event rides from 50-60 miles.

I have had occasional trouble with chafing, but it seems to be worse this year than most; I have also had a few more rides in the metric century range than in previous years, and it has seemed a little more humid for more days than normal.

A century ride a couple of weeks ago resulted in some pretty painful rash from chafing towards the end, which finally prompted me to try out Chamois Butt-r. After a week of lighter rides using the product, I rode the local BikeMS: 100 miles day one, then 80 on day two. The discomfort was pretty apparent during the second half of the century ride, and was pretty unbearable for all of day two, and I still have some scabbing from the rash five days later.

To be blunt, but with euphemistic wording, I am fairly hirsute down there, and have never endeavored to shave that close to the plumbing... I am wondering if being hairy is exacerbating the problem, and how close other men shave to try and make their skin-chamois interface more comfortable?
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Old 09-12-19, 07:15 PM
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An alternate before trying shaving would be to wipe down with Sea Breeze (all the bits and your crack) after you shower. I had a really bad case of jock itch in college and part of the cure per my doctor (in addition to a strong topical fungicide) was using the Sea Breeze. After over the years finding that I am prone to jock itch, I have used Sea Breeze routinely. It seems to prevent any rashiness, include the pimples that can be common in that moist area.

The problem with shaving is that it can make you rashy by itself, as well as causing in-grown hairs and chafing from the stubble if you then stop shaving.

Last edited by Crapwonk; 09-12-19 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:16 PM
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Whew...glad I don't have that problem lol. My great Grandma was full blooded Cherokee Indian which stops me from growing hair. I have little to no discomfort while riding. No hair seems to be a major factor on the long haul ride. Maybe 20 hairs down there and 3 or 4 on my legs.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:25 AM
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I've not had the chafing and problems you describe and have never found a chamois cream necessary, but also have a habit of keeping the entire area tidy with a clipper and #2 guard. YMMV.

The shorts are snug, correct? I do see some guys with loose cycling shorts, which seems like a recipe for chafing.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:34 AM
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Couple thoughts:

1. Your bibs and saddle may not be right for you. I'd start with a nice new pair of bibs - maybe even try going down a size. Some bibs are better suited to long days in the saddle than others.
2. Use more Chamois Butt'r. Apply liberally. They make small to-go packs too - like a gel. On long rides, bring one and re-apply mid ride. (Be sure not to confuse with a gel though - you don't want to eat it.)
3. Yes, hair can be an issue and removing it may help.
4. Any chance you're suffering from jock itch? That can exacerbate your issues. Make sure you're taking off your bibs as soon as possible after your ride and wash them thoroughly. (You can change out of bibs in a parking lot by wrapping a large towel around you.)
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Old 09-13-19, 07:12 AM
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Hairy, you say? To quote Aesop Rock, I look like I'm wearing a ghillie suit when I'm not. Easily 95% of my saddle-related issues are due to hair. Trim it, but don't shave it. Shaving can lead to ingrown hairs, which are... bad.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:17 AM
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Being half Italian my Italian half is hairy. Get yourself a Wahl "Peanut" trimmer (the salon my wife goes to carries them). Comes with multiple height trimming forks. Haven't been to a barber in 20 years & will work on the nether regions too.
West
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Old 09-13-19, 09:25 AM
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Ditto, the Cherokee and other native ancestry in my family. Most of us have thick head hair that rarely thins out with age, but we don't have much fur anywhere else. I can sorta grow a beard but it'll never be that lush hipster-lumberjack level chin-merkin.

Occasionally I'll get a little minor prickly rash or itching around the plumbing but a few days use of something like zinc oxide with diphenhydramine antihistamine for itching relieves it. Seems to be related to my occasional outbreaks of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Hard to tell, it's never been bad enough to bother seeing a dermatologist.

Finding a shorts pad that suits me made the most difference. I like the "3D" orange pads in the cheap Przewalski shorts, $15-$20 on Amazon, better than the various Pearl Izumi, Aero Tech and others I've tried. That pad is the bee's knees. Occasionally my sit bones will feel just a bit tender after a 50-60 mile ride, or after a few 40 mile rides in a single week, but so far it's cleared up overnight.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:04 AM
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1 more vote for trimming the entire region down with a #2 or #3 body hair trimmer.

I also never ride without liberally smearing the 'taint' area (basically everywhere that touches the saddle) with chamois creme. I like the Assos stuff, but if you want to cheap out, you can use "Bag Balm" which is similar to A&D ointment. Note, however, that bag balm tends to be pretty greasy and can end up leaving your bibs a bit grease stained -- and is harder to wash off of your body as well.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:09 AM
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Bag Balm seem to work better for me.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:15 AM
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I found that a lot of discomfort that I thought was chafing was actually due to hairs being pulled on. 2 minutes with a clipper to clean things up really helped.
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Old 09-13-19, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I found that a lot of discomfort that I thought was chafing was actually due to hairs being pulled on. 2 minutes with a clipper to clean things up really helped.
Man. I pulled this thread up hoping to hear something along the lines of “no, hair is never the issue. Get a better fitting saddle” or something.

I’m very hairy and my hair is quite... coarse. I have a significant amount of saddle discomfort, and a good amount of it is hairs being pulled. Sigh. I don’t even like shaving my face. Legs were a hard maybe. Taint sounds.... unpleasant.

How are people dealing with the stubble? Wouldn’t that be worse?
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Old 09-13-19, 11:22 AM
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definitely don't shave that area -- for multiple reasons. Trim it down with a body hair trimmer with a #2 or #3 guard.. You may find you need to also add chamois creme to other parts (ahem) to combat the new rubbing against short hairs that now reside there... Overall, it'll be a revelation, trust us.
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Old 09-13-19, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Man. I pulled this thread up hoping to hear something along the lines of “no, hair is never the issue. Get a better fitting saddle” or something.

I’m very hairy and my hair is quite... coarse. I have a significant amount of saddle discomfort, and a good amount of it is hairs being pulled. Sigh. I don’t even like shaving my face. Legs were a hard maybe. Taint sounds.... unpleasant.

How are people dealing with the stubble? Wouldn’t that be worse?
I use the shortest attachment. I think it's 1/8". I only have to do it about every 4 weeks or so. Without a regular trim, the hairs down there get remarkably long and only when they are very long is it a major issue for saddle discomfort.

I haven't found any "issues" with the stubble. What issues would there be?

2 minutes every month is hardly a major investment of time.

And you can get a pair of clippers at WallyWorld for about 20-25 bucks that will last you literally a decade.

Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
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Old 09-13-19, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
wondering how close other men shave
I use an electric hair trimmer set to the long setting (w/o attachements). I use it to reduce the length of my body hair, not "shave". I think it helps. helps to use a mirror & good lighting (& caution around "the boys"). yes, you can trim the boys as well, but again w/ slow caution. throw down a towel so you can shake it out, outside when done, then launder it to rid of the rest of the hair. if the towel is not big enough you may have to vacuum a little afterwards. I like the big wide ones, not the narrow units meant for facial hair

this may be the one I have

Wahl Deluxe ChromePro 25-pc. Haircut Kit

other family members use it as well. if they drop it & the head goes out of alignment, I recycle it & get a new one

the only other thing I use from the "kit" are the scissors. Wifey likes the long hair clips, not sure why or when, maybe when doing her makeup?

if you've never done any man-scaping, then the 1st time may be a shocker. but the next cpl times you'll have less to trim

Wifey does my back once a year sometimes less often. when were were separated for 4 months I needed some help so found a female hair-cutter near my bachelor pad who obliged me. when she was done w/ my back she offered more but I told her I was all set. fwiw: she told me how she prefers men who are shaved (no hair anywhere) & that her husband doesn't do any man-scaping

Last edited by rumrunn6; 09-13-19 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 09-13-19, 03:16 PM
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Most pros shave down there. Trust me on this. For those of us who don't do the mega mileage as the Pros do, shaving or trimming is a way of life. PS, your better half will like it. Wink, wink. LOL
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Old 09-13-19, 03:48 PM
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Shave once a week, takes 2minutes. Zero issues
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Old 09-13-19, 04:47 PM
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I carry a squeeze or two of Chamois Butr in a baggie on rides longer than 30mi...if I start to rub, I stop and slap some more on...has worked for me so far. I do occasionally treat for chafing and potential jock itch, but it rarely seems connected to a bike ride---go ugly early and stop it in its tracks. Had not heard the Sea Breeze trick, will keep that in mind.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:49 PM
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Shave - No
Trim - Yes
Chamois cream - Always and apply more if required mid ride
Important safety tip: If you do shave, don't apply after shave lotion.
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Old 09-14-19, 11:11 PM
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If you do decide to go fur-free, try mowing instead of shaving. I had all kinds of problems shaving when I was in the service. Besides the usual skin irritation and occasional ingrown hairs, I have a large mole on the jawline and some scars on the jawline from various sports injuries and crashes. Couldn't shave without either skipping some spots and using scissors, or risking getting bloody.

Never a problem with Norelco or Schick electrics. I still have both kinds and occasionally use them after the fact on my legs or arms to clear the weeds for proper bandaging. And Wahl clippers to shape up my face fur once in awhile.
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Old 09-15-19, 12:58 AM
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Another endorsement for trimming but not shaving hair around the nether regions. British Cycling did a study that found waxing or shaving caused more saddle sores than having at least some hair down there. I shave almost to the top of my legs, but only trim beyond that with an electric trimmer. I keep it about half way in length between "fully natural" and zero length.
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Old 09-15-19, 07:10 AM
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I trim not shave. I found long hairs, plus catchy pully spandex, plus long miles = discomfort. Trim to say a #2 or #1 guide and the hair is still there, no shaving bumps or follicle issues, but hair is still short enough to not get yanked around by the spandex.

While you're at it, you may (or may not) end up trimming everywhere else too.
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Old 09-15-19, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
I trim not shave. I found long hairs, plus catchy pully spandex, plus long miles = discomfort. Trim to say a #2 or #1 guide and the hair is still there, no shaving bumps or follicle issues, but hair is still short enough to not get yanked around by the spandex.

While you're at it, you may (or may not) end up trimming everywhere else too.
Pics would be helpfull
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Old 09-15-19, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
Most pros shave down there. Trust me on this. For those of us who don't do the mega mileage as the Pros do, shaving or trimming is a way of life. PS, your better half will like it. Wink, wink. LOL
Yep. Get rid of it all.
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Old 09-15-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Pics would be helpfull
No, thank you...
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