I discover the benefits of padding for the first time
Every time I tell anyone about the cycling challenge I’m undertaking, there is always one question that I’m asked – whether or not I get a sore bum after spending so long in the saddle! I must admit I’m not normally one for sharing about these things but as everyone wants to know what I do to avoid discomfort ‘down there’ I thought I’d better talk about it.
When my road bike arrived, one of the hardest things I had to get my head around was giving up the comfort of the padded saddle on my old upright bike. The new saddle that came with the bike looked like an instrument of torture - very hard, long and narrow. I’d read about women’s specific saddles, with their wider seats and shorter noses, and bought myself one straight away. If I was going to spend any amount of time riding then the one thing I knew was that I wanted to be comfortable.
Even with the new saddle, after a long period of riding, I was experiencing some slight tenderness. I’d been putting off the idea of wearing padded cycling shorts (at the risk of looking silly!) but then received an email asking if I’d like to try out the Rohan Bumper Liner, a padded insert that effectively turns your normal bottoms into padded ones. It sounded like a good compromise.
I’ve tested it out now on a number of rides and must admit that I’m surprised by how well it works. Once you get past the initial feeling that you are walking around in a nappy (the same I’m told is also true of any padded shorts) and actually get onto the bike, you wouldn’t realise that it’s there. The seat is definitely more comfortable and after rides of 40-60miles I’ve felt only a small amount of tenderness. The liner is designed to sit inside your underwear, directly next to your skin. It is sweat-wicking so you stay dry and is fully washable. One thing that I would bear in mind is to ensure whatever you wear it under is tight fitting. I did spend one ride, in looser fitting kit, having to make adjustments to the position of the liner after it had decided to work its way up my back!
All in all, the padding has become a welcome addition to my cycling kit and I won’t be attempting any long rides without it!
Erica was wearing kit from Rohan including the Bumper Liner (RRP £17), a padded insert that turns your standard clothes into padded cycling clothes. She also wore the Elite Stormer Jacket (RRP £195), Swift Jersey (RRP £50) and Fleet Leggings (RRP £55). Available in all Rohan stores or on the Rohan website.
For more information on the Women's Only London to Paris Ride, call 0870 333 1662, visit Action Medical Research or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Erica is riding a 2011 Ridgeback Radium road bike (RRP £799.99) For more information, visit www.ridgeback.co.uk or join the facebook page, facebook.com/ridgebackbikes
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