domingo, julio 14, 2013
me duele el cu..
I Can’t Tell You Where it Hurts
Some injuries you don’t want to tell your mother about. In this article, we’ll talk about the most taboo of cycling injuries and give you some simple tips for avoiding this embarrassing fate.
Cycling is painful.
Cyclists brag about sore legs and burning lungs, but some injuries are too embarrassing to even talk about. One injury, in particular, can slow you down or even force you off your bike for large amounts time – and it doesn’t matter if you are an enthusiastic amateur cyclist or experienced professional. This unspoken menace has influenced results of famous races including Grand Tours.
We are talking about saddle sores – a troublesome problem and one almost every cyclist has experienced, but might be too embarrassed to admit. They are an issue, which you can’t sometimes avoid, but you can try to prevent it.
Saddle Sores Can Even Affect Legends
"You really need to ride the bike a lot, so your body gets used to it," said Zdeněk Štybar, a double cyclo-cross World champion in the elite category who is now successful road racer.
He experienced same problem recently, when he was coming back to training from an injury and surgery. “It happens, when we return after some break," Štybar admitted.
Other pros have suffered from saddle sores as well. Italian rider Ivan Basso missed this year’s Giro d’Italia because of a saddle sore reportedly as big as a golf ball. He missed over a month of training on the bike over this “little" problem.
A saddle sore forced Irish rider Sean Kelly to withdraw from the 1987 Vuelta just two days before the end, when he was in the lead. Spanish cyclist Óscar Freire didn’t defend his title from the World Championship road race in 2005 because he had to take few months off bike after a surgery solving this trouble.
Even the legendary Eddy Merckx couldn’t ride in the 1976 Tour de France because of a saddle sore.
Try to Avoid Friction
So what you can do about it apart from just getting used to long rides? Skin abrasions in your sensitive intimate area, which is in constant contact with the saddle, can get inflamed and cause more trouble than just some minor inconvenience. Friction, chafing, bobbing in the saddle, and sweat combined with long hours of training can quickly create a saddle sore.
In order to reduce the friction, you need to pick the right kind of saddle. Some kinds of bigger and more comfortable seats might work for shorter, recreational rides, but they would cause troubles for a long trip – let alone hard training. You will never see professionals using those types of seats. On the other hand there’s no general advice for a good choice – every person needs something different.
To avoid chafing you will also need to correctly adjust the height and position of the saddle. If you have to deal with saddle sores more often, it might be worth to consider a proper fitting at a specialist – various companies have some advanced systems to ensure that you have the best fit possible.
The right padding can also help preventing saddle sores. Companies like Mavic offer a wide range of different paddings for their pants.
Shorts Like Sand Paper
You definitely want to wear right cycling shorts (possibly seamless or with flat seams) with the right chamois padding (and no underwear). There are different types for men and women, but unfortunately, there is no universal advice which one to pick. You just have to find the right type for you and your saddle. The saddle should not be too small and not to wide.
When talking about cycling pants, it’s not only the cut and padding you have to worry about. “Also it’s important to use clean shorts every day," Štybar added.
It doesn’t matter if you rode your bike for one or five hours, the next day you have to put on clean and, most importantly, DRY pair of cycling pants. That prevents skin abrasions caused by crystals of salt from your sweat, which dried on your clothes. Those can turn your shorts into sand paper, scraping away your delicate skin.
Get the Right Fit
One simple trick to give yourself an idea of the proper size of saddle, without going to a time-consuming fitting, is to get an ordinary 30cm x 30cm block of corrugated cardboard.
Place the cardboard somewhere firm, such as a chair or stairs, and sit on it in your underwear (thicker clothing, such as jeans or sweatpants can change your results) for a minute. When you get up, the imprints of your hips and buttocks should be visible. Mark the middle of these imprints (where you have left the deepest impression) so you can measure the distance between them.
These marks will show you how wide your saddle needs to be when sitting perfectly upright. Now, depending on your riding style, you will need to add some cm to the final measurement to account for your normal riding position – whether you ride upright, or your back is at an angle:
If you ride upright, add 4 cm
If you ride at a 15° angle, add 3 cm
If you ride at a 30° angle, add 2 cm
If you ride at a 45° angle, add 1 cm
If you ride at more than a 45° angle, add 0 cm
The sum of both numbers (the measurement from the cardboard and the additional cm from the chart above) will tell you roughly how wide your saddle should be.
Treat Your Skin Like a Baby
Štybar also uses a special medicinal cream. “It’s also really thick, so it helps to avoid lots of friction," the rider added.
Cyclists might want to treat their intimate areas as mothers do when they take care of a baby’s diaper – keep it clean, dry and protect it with ointments and creams. All of that delicate care helps prevent bacteria from growing and keeps the skin supple.
"Skin abrasions can inflame and become really painful. That can influence your performance," said Viktor Zapletal, coach of Jiří Ježek, the best cyclist in history of Paralympic Games. He also suggests special creams for cyclists to treat and lubricate their skin.
"It’s important not to use them only when abrasions already happened, but also as prevention. When I am going for a long ride in hot weather or when I am going to sweat a lot, it’s necessary to lubricate those sensitive areas. All the special creams are really good. Pretty much every rider uses them. At the Tour de France that’s an everyday matter," Zapletal added.
Nobody wants a sore groin to slow them down during the biggest race in the world.