Commuting to Work—Common Cycling ‘Issues’
“I commute to work and I’m having some minor sores and chafing issues, even though it’s a short ride. Help!”
Don’t stress. We’ve got some solutions.
I’d say the biggest issue is that you’re getting a bit chafed during your ride and then staying in your sweaty gear/underpants with the same panty line that you rode in for your shift.
First, look at your commuter bike fit. The odds are good that something—saddle or saddle height—could use some tweaking. Most of us dial in our road bike and mountain bike fits, but ignore our regular, trusty commuter. You don’t need to pay for a fit if that’s not in the budget, but do take some time tweaking it for max comfort. And definitely consider swapping saddles!
Next: Just switch out your underwear when you get to work (a pain, but I think it’ll make a difference) and opt for ones that hit a different spot (i.e if you wear typical bikini knickers to ride, wear a hipster pair or a thong or just a slightly different pair). That way, you’re avoiding chafing the same area, and swapping out the pair that’s already gotten sweaty.
If that doesn’t work, or you want a more intensive solution, I would swap the in-ride underwear for a brief with a cycling pad: brands like Club Ride have knickers/boxer briefs with actual chamois in them that you could wear to work and change out of. You could also just wear your normal cycling shorts to work and do a quick Superman-in-phone-booth style change at the office!
Bottom line is just going to be riding in one pair, and swapping out. You might also want to look at your pants and see if any seams are rubbing in the wrong place, and maybe swap pants too.
Last thought: if changing at work is absolutely impossible, I’d maybe try wearing a pad with wings when riding to change the pantyline without actually changing said panties, then taking it off when you get to work.
(Want more help with all things chamois and cycling comfort related? Check out my guide to happy riding, “Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy.”)