Do You Need Chamois Cream?

After cycling seriously for three years now, I like to think that my bottom has HTFU’d with the best of ’em.  But that isn’t always the case.

Earlier this month, I got rides in on Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday — a rare occurrence for me.  And as I was getting dressed for the rides, I noticed that our trusty tin of Bag Balm was empty.  What the heck — I’ve HTFU’d — I’ll just ride without lubing my bottom.

The results were great.  Never had any rubbing while on the bike.  In fact, I never thought about my posterior contact point.  I figured I’d now be able to ride all the time without any kind of chamois cream, or bottom lube, or whatever you prefer to call it.

Three days later, things changed.

I woke up with a saddle sore.  Yes, one of those pimple-like things in the crotchal zone.  Irritating beyond belief.  Jeff Hemmel discussed them about a year ago.

I’ve had these things before, and they’re no fun.  But this time, I was lucky.  I put on some bike clothes and went for a ride, and it didn’t bother me at all.  So, it wasn’t the result of rubbing against the saddle itself.  When I got home, however, I sure knew it was there.

So for several days, I had this weird situation.  I could ride and not be bothered, but in street clothes — zing!

It went away in a few more days, and — knock wood — hasn’t been back.

And I still haven’t replaced the empty tin of Bag Balm.

How about you?  Are you tough enough to ride without lube?


  1. Janice in GA says

    I dunno. In all my years of bike riding, semi-seriously and lately, commuting, I’ve never used chamois cream, or any kind of lube. And I’ve never had a saddle sore.

    I’ve had saddle SORENESS, but that’s something different altogether. :)

  2. says

    I first started using it this year. It’s one of those things that you reflect upon and wonder how you ever got on without it.

    For any ride over an hour, it’s now indispensable.

  3. says

    I just use cheap generic vasilene and only put it on what I think would be the main chaffing areas, not the whole pad. Seems to help, I bought a old “ridged” MTB, turned into a back up, utility bike and it came with a “REALLY BAD” seat but using GV, I had no problems with sores on the 25 mile ride back to the house. As cheap as GV is, why not use it?

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