Avoiding and fixing cyclist groin pain

Bikewagon Community College

Pain in the groin region is one of the most-dreaded problems that can arise while cycling. Both men and women face the possibility of groin pain, but fear not; there are strategies you can apply to avoid groin pain and fix any that may arise.

Just a note before we start: if you have serious groin pain or any pain that isn't resolved after a few days of rest, you should visit a doctor. This could be indicative of a more serious problem, and a professional evaluation is what you need.

Selle Italia saddle with cutout

Change your bike saddle

One of the main issues that cause discomfort and pain in the groin area is a bad saddle. While soft, wide seats may seem to be the most comfortable option for cyclists, you should avoid them like the plague! Like an extra soft bed or couch that you sink deeply (and uncomfortably) into, a very soft saddle is a bad thing for riding comfort.

Instead, look for a saddle that is firm and relatively narrow. Ideally, your weight should be primarily sitting on your buttocks, not on the groin area. If you have serious discomfort, look for saddles with cutouts to relieve pressure in sensitive areas.

There are women's and men's specific saddles on the market, so make sure you get a saddle that matches your anatomy! Women's saddles tend to be a bit wider to accommodate a woman's larger pelvis.

Adjust your seat height and angle

For both men and women, tilting the saddle very slightly forward can improve sitting position and remove pressure from sensitive areas.

Adjusting your saddle too high or too low can increase pressure on your groin. The saddle should be high enough that, at the bottom of each pedal stroke, your legs remain slightly bent.

Wear bike shorts

Cycling shorts

One of the biggest single things you can do to relieve any groin pain you may have is wear properly fitted bike clothing. Shorts, tights and pants designed for cycling use tight-fitting, low-friction fabrics to reduce rubbing and special pads in the groin area to relieve pressure and provide a much more comfortable ride. If you plan on riding any long distance at all, having proper cycling clothing is an essential part of your kit.

Try some lubrication

Many riders use some sort of chamois butter on their groin region, under their clothes, as a lubrication layer. Especially if you are riding long distances, this can be essential to stopping saddle sores and increasing your comfort.