I bought a brand new bike, fitted with a brand new saddle. For the first few rides, it felt good, comfortable for the bum. The only noticeable annoyance was the surface being very adhesive. The bib would stick to the saddle making repositioning very hard.

So far, 1 to 2 hours rides went smoothly. But then after my first long cyclo of over 5 hours of active cycling saw my butt destroyed. The skin got badly burn on the contact zone. I could feel it progressively: after 4 hours it was really uncomfortable, the last 45 minutes where a nightmare with my performances heavily affected.

My theory is that since the shorts are sticking on the saddle, it's my skin that moves over the chamois during the small repositioning movements, hence causing the burning after a while.

Did anyone experience the same, or this skin burning symptom is from another cause?

The incriminated saddle is a Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Superflow (with a cutout). My previous one was a plain Fizik Aliante.

  • 1
    Do you still have the old bike ? You can transfer the preferred saddle over.
    – Criggie
    Aug 7, 2022 at 21:53
  • No way of knowing if your theory is correct, but I did get a new saddle with slightly more "traction" than I was used to. Initially, I dealt with this by unweighting to reposition, but eventually the saddle lost some of its stickiness.
    – Adam Rice
    Aug 7, 2022 at 23:59
  • 1
    @Criggie the original bike is gone, but I have the reference of the saddle. I could just buy it again.
    – Rwanou
    Aug 8, 2022 at 6:39
  • 2
    @Rwanou talk to the bike shop and see if its too late to do a saddle swap - they might help you if you buy the new saddle from them. Another option is to buff the new saddle and see if it make the surface slicker.
    – Criggie
    Aug 8, 2022 at 9:02
  • My latest mountain bike came with a very grippy saddle and I knew it was going in the bin from the first test ride
    – Paul H
    Aug 8, 2022 at 21:07

3 Answers 3


Yes, this could well be caused by your shorts sticking to the saddle. Ideally, all movement should be between the shorts and the saddle, so that there's no sliding frictional contact at your skin.


Your theory seems most likely to be correct. If you try to reposition by shuffling then something has to move, and if the shorts don't move against the saddle, then you'll be moving inside the shorts.

There are a few things you can do to address the situation.

  1. Try to work out what is causing you to need to shuffle so much. This is a good thing to work out since on hot days when shorts get very wet with sweat, shorts sometimes don't slide so well even on a slippy saddle.
  2. Use chamois cream - if already using cream then look for a longer lasting more slippery type.
  3. Try wearing 2 pairs of thinner shorts - not usually recommended, but a trick I picked up doing endurance MTB races (10hrs pedalling over bumpy terrain can create a lot of this type of friction!)
  • 2
    I’d swap out the saddle to something with a sliding surface as step 0 before trying any of these options.
    – RLH
    Aug 7, 2022 at 22:42
  • The most common case for shuffling is repositioning after getting up on the pedals. I never manage to sit back exactly where I want after standing. And if I'm developing some power (which is often the case when you stand), it's quite hard to put the bottom back where it belongs while pedalling.
    – Rwanou
    Aug 8, 2022 at 8:44

Another option, if the incriminated saddle has a leather or leather-like surface is to find a leather conditioner that will lower the friction and reduce the stickiness of the saddle. You could even try a spray furniture polish and rub it on/into the saddle. You should get immediate feedback if it remedies the problem (either permanently or for at least some period).

This could be a quick fix until it breaks in and does not need further treatment(s).

  • A friend suggested to apply vaseline on the saddle 😀. Unfortunately the materiel looks like rubber, it seems like some composite material which is the padding without any extra layer on top. I don't see how I can treat that surface.
    – Rwanou
    Aug 12, 2022 at 8:15
  • @Rwanou Vaseline wouldn’t be my first choice either. I was thinking along the lines of Lemon Pledge. And thinking further, maybe a silicone spray/lubricant would be an option. I use silicone spray on the guides for car windows to get them to slide better. And another possibility: Amour All protectant. As a case in point, if I somehow get any one of these three (Pledge, silicone spray, Armor All) on my hardwood floor, the floor becomes extremely slippery when wearing socks. If I’m not careful I can fall on my bum!
    – Ted Hohl
    Aug 12, 2022 at 10:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.