Save your ass
As any seasoned cyclist will tell you, butt comfort is of the utmost importance. To achieve tush nirvana can be done following a few simple suggestions.
First, and most important, is use good cycling position and road bike posture. You’re probably thinking “thanks Captain Obvious,” but it’s harder than it sounds to perch your body atop your bike in the proper configuration.
Ideally, your back should be at a 45 degree angle with some weight on your hands (but not too much) and your core supporting the bulk of your torso. You’ll want to push your chest out and forward to open up your breathing and allow your pelvis to rotate back and under to maximize comfort on the saddle. Avoid hunching over (lovingly referred to as “turtling”) as that closes your airways, forces you to crane your neck up to see the road in front of you, and makes it difficult to generate power.
If you ride a lot and want to maximize your cycling position and efficiency on the bike, the best thing to do is schedule a professional bike fitting.
The second most important step toward butt comfort is finding the right shorts. If you’re looking for the best value and comfort, you can’t beat the Louis Garneau Neo Power short. This short benefits from compression to keep the shorts and padding in place and eliminate movement, which can lead to friction. Friction is to be avoided at all costs as it causes skin irritation, saddle sores, and more unpleasantries. The padding in these shorts is good enough to hold up for your next century ride, or a quick spin on your Peloton.
What are bib shorts and why should everyone who rides with bike shorts use them? So, bib shorts are a one piece short that have “suspenders” on the top to avoid a traditional waistband. The straps are under your jersey, so you don’t even notice them. These may look strange, but once you try them, you will forever be a convert! The top half of the short is super ventilated and just holds everything up better. This translates to the padding staying in place better, and your “plumbing” being kept up and off the saddle more efficiently. Right about now, you’re probably wondering how those side of the road bathroom breaks are going to work out with a bib short? The shorts pull down easily in the front to allow access. For women’s bibs, some brands use a buckle on the bibs to allow easy access as well. There is a reason why every pro rider in the Tour de France uses bib shorts.
If you’re not convinced that lycra shorts are for you, you might want to consider baggy style shorts from Louis Garneau and Endura. Baggy shorts are usually used for recreational riders (hybrid/comfort bike users and mountain bikers.) These have a padded liner underneath a baggy top short to look more casual. In some cases the liners are removable, so you can wear your nice lycra bib shorts under the baggy shell and get the best of both worlds!
If your cycling position is suspect, the absolute must have for saddle and butt harmony is chamois butter. This liquid gold lotion is spread on the padding of the shorts and your skin (where it touches the chamois) to promote gliding between the two. Choices in butters are abundant and people get practically religious about which one they use. We love the Enzo’s Button Hole the most because it’s thick enough to stay in place all day, is all natural, and it’s actually made in the US.