Question Padded seat covers Yes or No

Looking up and getting conflicting advice on the pros and cons of using a seat cover to improve comfort.

For my situation I am somewhat overweight, but putting in the distance on my road bike to improve this, cycle in either standard sport shorts or jogging bottoms depending on the temperature.

I have only recently brought the bike back out from its winter hibernation and have a bit of swelling just below my buttocks but it does not look red or inflamed like it could be infected.

Do you think that swelling will go down with a little rest and getting the body used to being seated on the saddle?

Are there any creams I should apply to the skin in that area to reduce swelling and chafing whilst riding.
Mar 8, 2010
Hi - I'm no expert but:
  1. Get a good pair of bib cycling shorts/leggings with a good chamois pad. Do not use sports shorts or jogging bottoms as these are not tight fitting there is more chaffing.
  2. Apply chamois cream to your body and the chamois to reduce chaffing, inflammation and bacterial infections
  3. Padded saddles are the opposite of what you need. They might seem attractive if you are just popping to the shops but if you are doing long rides, the idea is to have as little contact with the saddle as possible so there is less to rub. So although road bike saddles may look hard, slim and therefore uncomfortable, the opposite is true.
Hope this helps and good luck
Cycling shorts would be a help - they are made to not have 'folded seams' that can cause rubbing and abrasion. No underpants are worn with padded cycling shorts.

If you desire to wear underpants, women's 'snuggies' might be good.
Also men's 'dress shorts' are usually made with less bulky seams.

For especially tender skin, you could try 'A&D Ointment'. If infection is a worry, I used 'Betadine solution' first, and A&D over it.
Reactions: jmdirt
"decent pairs of cycling shorts" may be ok for an average cyclist. If You have issues with the area which relates to the saddle, GET REALLY GOOD SHORTS, (the BEST) as a possible PART OF THE combination of fixes. -No undies, no any other kind of shorts: that's a given. Get 2 or 3 pair after figuring out what You prefer and wash them after every use. Wash them with a detergent like a sport wash which leaves less residue.

Another part of the combination, is to look into the exact saddle: there are so many and some may be more beneficial to the specific concerns You have. ---some may help other problems but perhaps there's a type for Your needs.

Combinations to help include realizing the concept with road cycling, a basic understanding is that (potentially & vaguely) 30% of Your weight is on the bars, 30% is on the pedal and 30% is on the saddle. So: Don't allow Yourself to spend too much time with more weight on the saddle...

Start out with shorter rides if it's early season, for You.

If, "overweight, but putting in the distance on my road bike to improve this", is part of the consideration, THEN DIET is part of the combination of things to help. TO MAKE IT SIMPLE for start, GET ALL PARTIALLY HYDROGINATED FOODS OUT OF YOUR HOUSE. Start there and get hip on diet. But no cyclist should allow that in the door of Your house. Bad juju and to keep it short, that's all for now.

I see you've been a poster since 2017, so I'm thinking You may be familiar with much of what I just wrote, however, hope to add to Your knowledge.
-Support your LBS!

-But since you are experimenting with what works, shop a discount website so that its affordable to try several different options as needed. For example, I like a chamois that my LBS doesn't sell, but I regularly find them at about 50% off on the www (reg. $199-220, on www $90-110). I don't want to advertise, but if you message me I will offer suggestions for discount places on the www.

-Be careful of too many 'lines'. Each one of those lines may help the chamois form to your body, but each line is also a potential chafer.

-Thicker is not better. Don't think of a chamois as a "pad".

-As GCW said, the seat shape can make a difference but that is a deep, expensive, time consuming rabbit hole. With a little attention to seat position 'most' can be comfortable.

-Error on the side of low. Obviously not so low that you cause other issues.
Discount suggestions very welcome. I don’t have a huge amount of disposable income to spend on top of the range gear.

In an average week through March - September I will likely aim to average 8 hours a week riding with half of that on one long ride per weekend so it’s not like I am doing 250km a week.

Have made a strong start to weight loss and improving diet particularly with swapping for healthier snacks. Would welcome more info about partially hydrogenated foods.
Partially hydrogenated oil:

It’s in most breads, crackers, pastries, cookies and so many other foods.

*When We sprint and / or exert lots of energy, We burn glycogens / stored sugars for energy and We have a short, limited supply of that.

*When We ride long distances for hours at tempo or easier pace, We burn fat for fuel.

Our bodies need fat. But it needs to be good fat.

*When Our bodies burn fat, the last fat it will burn is partially hydrogenated oils. Some nutritionists indicate Our bodies don’t ever burn it.

So We utilize all the good fat & end up with the bad fats left in the body and those bad fats are the ones which clog arteries and create other bad health issues. It leads to obesity.

**Double whammy: When Your eating bad fats, You’re not getting the good fats.

Look at shelves and shelves of grocery store breads and You will barely find bread without partially hydrogenated oils. -That example extends to crackers, pastries, cookies and it’s in almost anyplace that it can be introduced. It take extra work to rid Your house of that crap.

Look at labels and don’t ever bring it into Your home. -Avoid it like a heart attack.
Have made a strong start to weight loss and improving diet particularly with swapping for healthier snacks. ...
When you get the urge to 'snack' (for enjoyment, not nutritional needs), try drinking canned flavored seltzer water FIRST, and also always have apples available (or other convenient fruit). Another option is oatmeal - quick to make in microwave without needing the 'quick oatmeal' type - use large (quart size) glass measuring cup.
Mentally - keep telling yourself that being a little hungry is GOOD - that's when you're losing weight. Limit meals to what's necessary for nutrition.