How to prevent chaffing on the bike.

How to prevent chaffing on the bike.

AVOID THE UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE OF CHAFFING. Chaffing on the bike commonly occurs around the bike saddle. It will effect your ability to enjoy your riding. Understand how to identify and prevent chaffing, its potential causes, as well as how to manage chaffing if you experience some symptoms.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

How to Identify Chaffing

Chaffing what is it and what might you experience – see or feel

Chaffing is caused when 2 structures repetitively rub causing friction and heat.

What you may be feeling/seeing: burning sensations, redness, infected hair follicles, raw skin, blistering, lumps. This can be common on the inner thigh, between butt checks or any area that comes into contact with your bike seat and less common around the armpit area.

It is important to identify chaffing early on so beware during and after rides for any of these symptoms. If you have had a change to your bike saddle and its set up as well a change in the frequency or time on the bike then it is the time to be vigilent and do a post ride check.

Chaffing what are the causes and how to prevent it.

Bike Clothing

Wearing the right clothing, clothing that will match your level of activity on the bike will help prevent chaffing. If you are riding for a period of time it is important to use a performance fabric. A fabric that is soft, will move with you and will wick moisture from the skin therefore preventing the build up of moisture. The presence of moisture is more likely to cause the breakdown of the top layer of skin and also assist in the rubbing between 2 structures. Wearing loose clothing can also produce rubbing as you repeat particular movements like pedaling and also handle bar movement.

Clothing seams result in the fabric no longer being smooth and can cause irritation at these seams if rubbing occurs. Good quality bike pants/underwear will be designed so the seams are not positioned where rubbing can occur from repetitive movement.

Always wear clean bike pants or underwear. Remember you are wearing your cycle pants or underwear directly against your skin (we do not wear underwear under our bike pants or bike underwear as this provides additional seams and increases the liklihood of irritation) so wash after every use to avoid the build up of any bacteria.  Always make sure you have washed your new bike pants and underwear to soften before use.

Saddle shape and set up.

Bike saddles come in different shapes. Different shapes to match both the female and male differences. As well as differences for the type of riding you do. Where you make contact with the seat is dictated by your position on the bike and and the style of bike.  For example up right riders who sit with a straight back transfer weight directly down through their sit bones towards the back of the seat.  Compare this to a road rider who is bent along way forward and will have weight and pressure points more to the front of the seat. Therefore it is very important that the shape of the seat matches the position you ride in and type of rider you are. Having the correct shape as well the cushioning in the right places reduces the risk of rubbing on the seat.

The seat also needs to be set up correctly. The incorrect height/ tilt of the saddle can influence where there is increased pressure on the seat and lead to rubbing issues.

Learn more at: Bike Saddle Adjustment – Height/Tilt/Reach

Incorrect Pedaling Technique.

How you pedal can effect whether you get any rubbing on your saddle. It is important you have good hip knee ankle alignment throughout your pedal motion. Subtle changes in your pedal action can influence whether you experience any rubbing on the inner thigh or not.

Learn more at : Chi Riding : Pedaling.

Change in saddle/time spent on the bike

Remember you need to build up slowly with any change. Whether that be a new saddle or bike, increases in distance and time on the bike. Building slowly with allow early identification of any chaffing problems and get these resolved before they come a bigger problem and give you body time to adapt to the change..

Hip/Knee/Foot alignment when pedaling. .

How to manage chaffing 

You need to identify whether you may be experiencing any chaffing issues. The best management comes from early detection of any symptoms. Next – try to determine what might be the cause of the chaffing/rubbing. Sometimes the cause can be a very subtle issue so it is important to go through and identify all possible causes or eliminate them. You may find you need to make more than one change to solve the problem. If you have symptoms it is important to take steps to heal the symptoms and manage the time on the bike so your symptoms do not get worse.

Using Chamois Creams

Chamois Creams work in 3 ways.

One: you can use as a barrier to prevent any onset of chaffing. This is particularly relevant if you are new to cycling, trying to build up distances quickly or “breaking in” a new saddle (getting used to the shape and where the saddle contacts your body). They are also very effective in prevention if you who are planning long rides and/or repeated days of riding.

Two: use to soothe tenderness or burning that may have resulted from riding. This will help ease your symptoms but remember it is very important that you address the cause of the chaffing.

Three: Chamois creams often contain healing agents that will help heal the problems that are a result of chaffing.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

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How to keep my biking hydration bladder and tubes clean.

How to keep my biking hydration bladder and tubes clean.

How to keep my biking hydration bladder and tubes clean.

Using a specific cleaning kit for a hydration bladder (reservoir) makes keeping the bladder and its tubes clean, hygenic and means they will last a lot longer

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

I have always been a  little unsure about hydration bladders(reservoir) as my method of carrying water on the bike because of challenge of keeping them clean. Even with a bit of effort they seem impossible to dry and therefore water remains in the bladder and the tube after use. Our kitchen bench often has bladders propped open over drink bottles and tubes lying around on benches as we try and find the best way to dry the insides or the bladder and tube and avoid them growing mold.

With better design into solving some of these issues – its has got easier, it has got more hygenic. 

Let’s look at how best to keep your bladder clean and hygenic. Using this method does require an investment in the Cleaning Kit but given your initial investment in a hydration reservoir and backpack it’s worth it, especially for a family where there is often more than one reservoir to keep clean. Keeping the reservoir clean will extend the life of the reservoir and make sure it is hygenic to use.

The Cleaning and Drying Process

1. Remove the tube from the bladder

2. Cleaning the Bladder

  • Always empty your bladder after use.
  • Pop some warm water into the bladder. Add a little a environmentally friendly detergent.
  • Use the large brush to scrub the inside of the reservoir
  • Tip the water out and rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry the inside of the reservoir with a towel
  • Insert the hanger and hang to allow to dry thoroughly
  • Insert the port to allow the inside of the reservoir to dry thoroughly

For a more thorough clean you can use the cleaning tablet (there are a couple in the kit) or add a tsp of baking soda and let sit 5-30mins and then repeat the cleaning process described above

3. Cleaning the Tube

  • Rinse the tube with water
  • Scrub the tube using the tube brush. The brush is designed so that it can clean the full length of the tube.
  • Rinse the tube again with water.
  • Tip the tube up to remove the water
  • Hang the tube to dry with the bladder.

4. Once dry store so you are ready for your next ride

Choose the correct chamois

Contents in the Hydration Bladder Cleaning and Drying Kit

Choose the correct chamois

Hydration bladder using hook and port for drying

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

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The Old Ghost Road – Family Sharing

The Old Ghost Road – Family Sharing

We are collecting and sharing family experiences of riding on The Old Ghost Road so you can see what others have done.   This will give you some confidence and understanding of whether your kids may be capable of doing the same type of ride. The age is only a guide – you are better to focus on matching your families capability or riding experience, with this in mind you may have to read more than one section.

We hope this will help you and your family goRide more places, more often with a SMILE. This story is an active resource (we will be constantly adding to it) and sharing family experiences and comments.

Have you ridden The Old Ghost Road with family or a group?  Your story could appear here or in the individual riding section…

Simply hit the goRide Sharing button above and complete the questions.

RIDING THE OLD GHOST ROAD 

PLEASE NOTE: if your family has children that sit in more than one age range you will have to read more than one section

Kids Ages & Gender:

7 year old girl and 9 year old boy

Attached or Towed – how?  

Towed up hill (7yr old girl) on this trip as we were under time pressure – used a Tow Whee tow rope

Date of Ride

June 2019

Describe your families riding level or how often you usually ride together

Almost never in winter but approx twice per week in summer

Multi Day or Day Ride:

Multi day. Lyell to Lyell Saddle Hut return

Describe how you did the ride. Time/distance/days etc

We rode over two days. The hut was really fun.

ADULT COMMENT: Share with us your experience of the ride, what did you think of the trail?  Why?

We left Nelson after children’s football on Saturday and we were riding from Lyell by 2.30pm. The children did really well on the 18km distance despite less than ideal conditions – it was raining lightly within an hour of taking off (despite the forecast having been clear #Westcoast!) which made the trail much more slippy than normal. We had the hut to ourselves and played card games by candle light. Next morning we rode out – needing regular breaks for Miss 7 year old as her arms got sore on the down hill – it was by far the longest ride she had ever done, but she loved it and is already asking when we can do it again – but in summer this time as her toes were too cold on this trip!!

KIDS COMMENT/S: Share with us your child’s/children’s experience of the ride, what did they think of the trail?  Why?

The track was cold, wet and rocky. But I enjoyed it.

Any tips or comments for other families…

A great family ride. The advantage of a winter trip is that the hut is quiet.

Old Ghost Road - goride Family Sharing

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

 Kids Ages & Gender:

7 year old girl and 9 year old boy

Attached or Towed – how?

Towed up hill (7yr old girl) on this trip as we were under time pressure – Tow Whee Tow Rope

Date of Ride

June 2019

Describe your families riding level or how often you usually ride together

Almost never in winter but approx twice per week in summer.

Multi Day or Day Ride:

Multi day.  Lyell to Lyell Saddle Hut return

Describe how you did the ride. Time/distance/days etc

We rode over two days. The hut was really fun.

ADULT COMMENT: Share with us your experience of the ride, what did you think of the trail?  Why?

We left Nelson after children’s football on Saturday and we were riding from Lyell by 2.30pm. The children did really well on the 18km distance despite less than ideal conditions – it was raining lightly within an hour of taking off (despite the forecast having been clear #westcoast!) which made the trail much more slippy than normal. We had the hut to ourselves and played card games by candle light. Next morning we rode out – needing regular breaks for Miss 7 year old as her arms got sore on the down hill – it was by far the longest ride she had ever done, but she loved it and is already asking when we can do it again – but in summer this time as her toes were too cold on this trip!!

KIDS COMMENT/S: Share with us your child’s/children’s experience of the ride, what did they think of the trail?  Why?

“The track was cold, wet and rocky. But I enjoyed it” – 7 yr old girl

Any tips or comments for other families…

A great family ride. The advantage of a winter trip is that the hut is quiet.

Old Ghost Road - goride Family Sharing

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

get Better and goRide – The Old Ghost Road – goRide Family Sharing 

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

goRide Sharing Form

The Old Ghost Road – Choose the Challenge

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Make biking easier with good efficient pedaling

Make biking easier with good efficient pedaling

Do you find getting up that hill or a short sharp rise a little challenging? Do you get tired when biking distance? How you pedal can influence how hard or easy these types of activities on your bike can be. So there is a lot to be gained from thinking about your pedal action on the bike and making that action more efficient.

IMG_0886

Efficient pedaling helps you get up a hill

The seat has been adjusted up a couple of inches.  Notice how the leg is much straighter at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Efficient pedaling helps you ride distance

Lets look at ways to make your pedaling efficient

Seat Height: The first thing you need to do is make sure that the height of your seat is correct. This will allow you the optimal bend and straightening of the hip, knee and ankle to give you the maximum transfer of power and strength to your pedal. See 3 Simple Bike Seat Adjustments – Height, Tilt and Reach for information on your correct seat height.

Foot Placement on the Pedal: If you are not wearing clip in shoes we need to consider placement of your foot on the pedal. The ball of your foot needs to make contact with the pedal. Close to the arch of your foot.

Foot Alignment: The heel position relative to your toes should be similar to when you stand. Basically your heel should not point excessively out or in.

This position will give you the most efficient transfer of energy from those large powerful leg muscles through the foot then to the pedal. It will also help you to maintain a position of stability so it reduces the chances of your foot slipping or getting thrown from the pedal.

Foot placement on the pedal goRide

Foot placement on the pedal

Foot alignment on the pedal 600w

Foot Alignment: General rule = similar to how you stand. Your heel too far out or in is incorrect alignment

The Pedal Action:  There is a lot of information out there about what is the most efficient pedal stroke.  We are going to keep it really simple and our focus is pedaling while seated for the recreation, everyday rider.

A pedal stroke refers to a full revolution of the pedal that is going from 12 to 12 on a clock face. However both the left and right leg contribute to this revolution, to a pedal stroke.

  • Push Phase – The most powerful part of your pedal stroke is the push part, between 12 and 5 o’clock for both legs. This is also the easiest and most natural part of the stroke. We have big muscles that are designed to do that push, pushing down at all 3 joints the hip, knee and ankle and it is easy for them.
  • Momentum Phase – With a good efficient push phase you will have momentum to carry you through from 5-6 o’clock
  • Recovery Phase – (Note the opposite leg is in the Push Phase during the Recovery Phase) the leg is light on the pedal during this phase, so as not to provide any resistance to the push from the other leg and allows this leg to come around to prepare to repeat its push phase

Pedaling is continuous from one side to the other, a complete pedal stroke (from 12 to 12 on the clock face) comprises

  • L leg push and momentum while R leg recovery
  • R leg push and momentum while L leg recovery

and so on. Often we can have a dominant leg, so be aware of both legs being even?  Are your left and right legs contributing equally?

As long as we keep the whole action smooth, continuous and rhythmical, not jerky, and we can keep the momentum between the push and non push phases then the result will be efficient pedaling.

Push through the heel and have loose ankles: As you do your push phase on either leg you want to focus on pushing down through the heel not the ball of the foot. Your ankle should be loose and as you push down there should be a slight drop in the heel. I often see bikers pushing through the ball of the foot and this is a big contributor to getting what we call anterior knee pain – pain at the front of the knee….so focus on pushing through the heel.

Knee alignment:  The knee position relative to your toes. When you pedal your knee should be in line with your toes. When viewed from the front, your hip, knee and ankle should all line up.  As you look down during a pedal stroke there should be times when you can’t see your toes because your knee should block your vision.

Chi riding pedaling alignmnet knee heel goRide

Alignment of knee over the toes

Chi riding pedaling correct hip knee ankle alignment goRide

Looking down – as I go through the pedal stroke I won’t be able to see my foot due to correct alignment

Core control: The message is you need to engage your core when you bike. You drive your pedal action with the large powerful muscles of the leg. For these muscles to work well and give you good strength and power your mid region needs to be stable. In fact if your large powerful leg muscles work without that stable mid region they produce all sorts of horrible shearing forces on your low back and pelvis that can potentially lead to pain and dysfunction!  Read more at Tip 2 – Core Control.

get Better and goRide –  Make biking easier with good efficient pedaling.

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

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How to Grip your Handlebars

How to Grip your Handlebars

How do you grip your handlebars?

It is not often something we think about when riding but it is really important. When you ride – think about and get a feel for how you grip your handlebars. You might be surprised what you learn. 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

How should you grip

Your grip needs to be light and relaxed. Think more about connecting with your handlebar grips rather than gripping them. Enough grip to have control of your bike and steering and not strangling the handlebar grips. 

We are wanting you to rely on you core control to maintain your upper body position on the bike rather than propping yourself up by your grip and your arms.

This light relaxed grip needs to be maintained right throughout the duration of the ride….that means when you get tired…when you go up hills. These are times when you often without even noticing you start gripping those grips even harder. When you go riding be conscious of your grip you will amazed at what you start to notice/feel. 

Grpping too hard and pulling on your handlebars can lead to discomfort in your arms shoulders, neck and back.

Choose the correct chamois

How to maintain a light relaxed grip

To have light relaxed grip you need to have good core control when you ride. You can learn more at our Chi Riding stories.  Chi Riding – Core Control and Chi Riding – breathing

In your riding position you should be able to effectively remove your hands from the handlebars. Your arms should not be working to prop you up. If you are leaning heavily on your arms, or the palms of your hands get sore on your handlebar grips, it is a sure sign that your core muscles are not working efficiently.

Having good grips and bike gloves can help

  1. Good grips that promote a natural hand position.  The diameter of what you are gripping needs to fit your hand size and suit the type of riding you are doing (surfaces and time on the bike).  If you have problems in this area we really suggest ergonomic grips that support and relieve pressure points. Read more in our story Features of a Handlebar Grip
  2. Wearing gloves helps maintain connection with your grips. Bike Gloves come with different levels of padding to match the time you spend on the bike.  See Why are Bike Gloves Important?
  3. Changing your hand position.  This is an easy thing to do and it’s important with the longer the amount of time you spend on the bike.

What symptoms feelings can you get from problems with your grip

There are a number of symptoms or areas of discomfort that can suggest your grip needs some attention

Numbness/ pins and needs in your hand

Discomfort through your forearm and elbow

Tension in your upper shoulders and neck. .

Shortness of breath ….though there are many factors that can contribute to shortness or breath having a relaxed grip and upper body when you ride will help your breathing be more efficient on the bike.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride