A serious matter

…of bum ache. I’m new to Zwift and loving it, but need some serious advice on how I can stop my backside from hurting so much. Not suffering from chaffing, just feeling bruised and gets unbearable after 1hr riding. Wondering if anyone has suffered the same and then found some padded shorts that resolved the issue. Any recommendations or links to decent priced (not breaking the bank) padded shorts would be really appreciated. I’ve tried most things including 2 pairs (of cheapish padded shorts), towels, padded seat etc. Help!!!

Make sure you stand up on the pedals periodically (like every 15 minutes). It also takes time for your body to adapt.

  1. Quality cycling shorts with built in chamois
  2. Chamois cream on your butt where the sit bones are plus some around your groin
  3. Stand up and pedal for 10 seconds every 5 minutes going by the elapsed time on the screen
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But are you new to cycling? If so, then I’d say it just takes time to get used to longer periods in the saddle.

If you’re a seasons cyclist, then it’s more likely to be the fact you change position far less often in Zwift. You don’t stop and put a foot down for the traffic lights, don’t get out of the saddle on climbs as much, etc.

I don’t think chamois cream will help, especially as it’s not even chaffing that’s the problem. You could try a different saddle though - particularly if you use a different saddle on Zwift from other bikes. Sometimes you just have to find one that works for you. A saddle I swear by might be terrible for you.

Also stand up occasionally to relieve the pressure on your 'arris.

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Thanks for the advice so far. Yes I’m new to cycling and use it as a good exercise following snapped Achilles heel, so football boots hung up. I stand up every now and again which does relieve it, but comes back immediately on longer rides (greater than 10 miles or so). I’m hoping some good shorts will help but unsure which ones to get. Probably trial and error. Thanks for comments and help.

I found this link explaining how to choose bike shorts. It’s good information and the prices are not too high.
What helped relieve the area in my case:

  1. finding the right saddle height
  2. dropping a couple of kilos
  3. baby powder, but that’s more for the chaffing.

good luck!

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Christian, just like Clau says below, saddle height is key. Too high can hurt the perineal area because you’re reaching, but too low can hurt also, because as you move further back on the saddle to compensate, you bend more (including at the hip) and also put yourself into a spot on the saddle that’s probably not the right one.

Best thing i ever did was get a professional bike fit.

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Much appreciated Claudia.

Thanks Devin.

Interesting about the too high saddle… I do end up a bit numb in the front office when zwifting which doesn’t happen outdoors and I wonder if saddle height will play into this, thanks for the info

D Jarvis

consider getting a saddle that suits you. sometimes the ugliest cheapest saddles are more comfy to ride on, rather than that “carbon rolls-royce”

also the numbness comes from the vibrations on the trainer which you dont normally experience outside. - you have to stand occasionally, and think about that saddle.

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I’d say that a good quality pair of cycling shorts (with built in chamois) can’t be over looked. Sure you can buy cheap ones, but you generally get what you pay for…get the best you can afford and you’ll feel the benefit.

I would suggest getting a proper bike fit. I have the same saddle on all my road bikes and all the bikes have had a proper fit done on them. The bike on my turbo is actually my touring straight bar bike that I ride thousands of miles on and never get a numb bum. Also a quality pair of shorts with a good chamois will pay dividends. I wear my road riding gear.


I was the same as you when I first started zwifting, and got some $20 padded shorts off Amazon made a world of difference, but still had some discomfort.

Talked about it with my LBS, and they gave me a couple of loaner saddles, one of which completely eliminated any discomfort.

With all that being said, I find riding indoors, I do not move my booty around nearly as much as I do outdoors, so I make a point of standing on the pedals every 10-15 minutes.

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This past summer, I got a saddle fit (this was after doing a bike fit the previous summer) to help with comfort on the trainer. Riding on the trainer is a bit more unforgiving when it comes to saddle comfort as the body position tends to be static. What I learned from the saddle fit was that bike saddles come in different widths which means you need to match the saddle width with your specific anatomy. The saddle that I ended up choosing was definitely an improvement.

I would recommend padded shorts and finding a saddle that your ■■■■ agrees with. It takes a while to get used to, but the majority of pressure should be on your sit bones and not the flesh in between. I personally like saddles that have the empty area down the middle. My old road bike came with a relatively squishy seat and gave me numb nuts after 20 mins on the home trainer. My local bike fitter recommended a few different saddles and never had any problems since.

Measure your sit bone distance, and get a saddle that fits. I see too many of my riding partners buy the lightest or coolest saddle, and complain it’s too painful without considering this. I had my sit bone distance measured about five years ago, and now know what size saddle I need. It doesn’t matter if it’s padded heavily, a poorly sized saddle will hurt. Too narrow and you are between your sit bones and up your tush. Too wide and you’ll be hurting because you’ll be sitting right in the center groove. Too much padding and you’ll get sore too believe it or not. A firm correctly sized saddle will not hurt after you ride it for awhile.

Bike shorts are another additional thing you can do, but again too much padding and it’s the opposite impact. Personally I stay away from anything with “gel” in the description.

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i use a similar saddle on the bike i use on my trainer and on my road bike, but also find i get a sore bum, i’m a heat python rider, it reduces over time but is still there.
I use an additional padded cover, which i add and take off during the ride, gives different pressure points, use good quality cycling shorts, chami cream, and use a fan to reduce sweat, and stand occasionally to stretch muscles and give bum a rest :wink:

Many variables, but I would say the number one thing to get right is your saddle. What works for one person might not work for others. I suffer from Noassatall, so out are the high end thin naugahide over a piece of carbon. The cheap Bell saddles, along with a mid-thickness chamois does the job. It would be good if you could find a bike shop that would give you a trial period on the saddle that you buy.

Check horisontal position of the saddle. Most of riders prefer 0 angle, but if you feel discomfort, try to change it slightly.