About one year ago, when I first started cycling, I noticed that during long trips (60km or more) I get skin burns on the inside of my quads. That is when I decided to buy myself a nice pair of cycling shorts with nice padding.

I read in several forums that in order to minimize the friction, one needs a very tight fit of the shorts and also underwear was a no-no.

However this remedy has stopped working for me. Now I am going to try to put some Kinesio tape on the skin, when the most friction is applied.

Is not wearing an underwear a bad idea? What can I do to prevent skin burn in that delicate area?

Clarification: I have always been using my stock GIANT saddle, that I would categorize as a medium size.

  • 3
    Have you considered swapping in a narrower saddle? Some saddle cuts are too wide for guys with narrower pelvises and will chafe regardless of how much material is between your skin and the saddle.
    – WTHarper
    May 18, 2013 at 1:32
  • 5
    On long rides, I use a lubricant on the pad of the shorts to prevent chafing. Assos Chamois Cream is my favorite, Chamois Butt'r is another popular brand. Chamois Butt'r is also available in small individual packets that you can easily take on a long ride with you.
    – Johnny
    May 18, 2013 at 3:01
  • 3
    "this remedy has stopped working for me". Did it work at one point? If so, what's changed between then and now? For example, did you change your saddle? Have you gained weight or muscle mass? Changed pedal width or saddle height? All of these could be contributing factors. May 18, 2013 at 8:52
  • 1
    Neil Fein - I did gain muscle mass (about 6kg) in the past 4 months.
    – Ivan P.
    May 18, 2013 at 9:52
  • 2
    Use butt butter -- and don't scrimp on it. And no underwear. May 18, 2013 at 10:20

3 Answers 3


Since it's on the inside of your thighs, it's a good bet that our seat is too wide, or not properly adjusted.

A chamois crème will help, but I think the saddle change is a better idea.


1) Check your shorts for seams, tags or chamois edges that could be causing chafing. Try different brands of shorts.

2) Check saddle edges and try a smoother/narrower nose saddle as others have suggested.

3) Check your seat post saddle clamp. Your thighs may be rubbing on it. If so you can try a different one or try smoothing the edges with Sugru.

4) Shorts/saddle combination can make a difference. I have shorts that chafe with one type of saddle, but don't chafe and are very comfortable on another. They're are no rules as to what combinations work. It's very individual since the rider's anatomy is the third part of that mix.

5) Try to determine if moisture is a big contributor to the chafing or if it's primarily caused by rubbing. If it's moisture, a powder like "Monkey Butt" powder can help. If not, chamois cream in liberal amounts may help. Another option is Lantiseptic. It's primary purpose is to prevent bedsores. When applied to dry skin it creates a moisture barrier and serves as a skin protectant. It's used by many randonneurs for chamois cream. It can also be difficult to wash out of shorts so it's generally something you don't want to use every ride, only if you're going to be out for several hours.


There are a number of changes you can make that can help, and I've found that it is a matter of personal preference what solution you ultimately choose.

Creams and lubricants are very effective at preventing this rash, but they can be messy. Something as simple as Vaseline will work, though there are a number of other options out there.

It could be possible that you need to trade out your old seat, but this solution can tend to be hit-or-miss. If the seat is the problem, then replacing it will of course work, but there could be any number of potential issues that are causing it. It might be better to look into some more versatile solutions instead of spending money on a new seat only to find that it wasn't your problem in the first place.

Another option you can look into is synthetic underwear. It can aid in the dissipation of moisture, and provide an extra layer to help reduce the friction on your leg. I personally swear by the ExOfficio briefs, and have had no problems since switching over to them.

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