That Between Butt and Leg Rash and Saddle Sore: What Causes It, and How to Treat It

When we were doing the launch for the new version of Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy, we had a great question from someone in the audience: what do you do when you have that nagging rash where your butt cheeks meet your thigh after cycling? Talk about a literal pain in the ass!  The rash that’s just annoying enough to make life difficult, but not so bad that it means skipping your ride.

We’ve got the scoop.

It’s probably being caused by a bit of friction paired with a lot of sweat. Most people experience it even more when riding on the trainer, because air flow from wind is cut off, so you stay sweaty longer. While it’s not the simplest thing to prevent, there are a few ways to make it less of a P in the A.

  1. The same first steps as we always say! Optimize your bike fit, and make sure you tell your fitter about any issues. Make sure your saddle fits your sitbones (shops can usually measure this), and make sure you’re wearing a good quality chamois.
  2. Consider your saddle. You might want one with a more abrupt thinning out where the back of the saddle (the wide part) turns into the nose. The thinner nose won’t work for some people, but for those who are running into a friction-on-the-thighs issue, this might alleviate some of the pressure.
  3. Stand up more during your ride to increase air flow and shift positions slightly
  4. Avoid pressing down on your sitbones/butt and instead, try to stay lighter on the saddle. This might be a too-much-pressure issue.
  5. Get out of shorts ASAP post ride, get that area clean, and skip normal bikini-style underwear that would hit right where the rash happens. Go for a thong, or boyshorts for more coverage. Even better, just toss on a maxidress and go commando to let everything breathe a bit.
  6. Use diaper cream with zinc to soothe and dry the area. Don’t do this in place of chamois cream during the ride, this is post-ride treatment only!

For more resources for happy riding, check out author and cycling coach Molly Hurford’s site at for articles, podcasts, coaching, and tons more!