Wax on, Wax off?

No this is not a karate kid post, although it has been a long time since I've seen that movie - it might be a great Netflix idea! So, be forewarned this is going to be a little more graphic than my typical; ran this far, rode this much, love to swim and my dogs are the best type blog....

For as long as I can remember I've had saddle issues. I've tried every size, shape, material and cushioning under the sun, on both a road bike and tri bike and I think I've settled on about the best I can get (specialized toupe on road, serfas tri on TT). While of course they aren't perfect, the post ride chafing issues are at least less than they ever have been and I'm riding more than I ever have.

Unfortunately I still have some nagging issues that come up. Without going into TOO much detail, the issues are basically on the bikini line and can be rather painfull (especially when putting on a swimsuit after a long ride!). I use so much LUBE (aquafor) that it takes about 3 washings in the shower to get the crap off, and I'm convinced it's eating thru my shorts (not to mention the awful stains left on anything other than black). I even re-apply multiple times on long rides when I'm sweating a lot. I've pretty much decided it's just my body and I have to live with it... and then I saw something on TV.

I was watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Real being the ironic word because I'm not sure any square inch left on any of these women is still REAL. They are bat shit crazy, but yes I am still helping their ratings and giving them more money to spend on their plastic faces by watching it, but I just can't help it. It's like a bad accident and I can't look away. Don't judge. I watch Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and The Bachelor as well. I'm a teeny-bopper at heart.

Anyway, so the last episode I watched (I'm a little behind) one of the gals Kyle Richards (related to the Hilton empire) and her husband were doing The Gran Fondo in Napa to raise money for Charity. Props to the girl for 1. Sporting the ever flattering cycling kit instead of Prada 2. Finishing the entire ride (69 miles) 3. Being the 2nd highest fund raiser

So, to prepare for the ride she of course has Olympic Cyclist Mari Holden as a coach (not to mention support crew and local coach for during the ride). The two are filmed on the bike having a conversation about waxing while on a "training ride". Mari told Kyle that she MUST get waxed. Take it all off. Kyle looked stunned, and asked if she could just put on another pair of bike shorts and if EVERYONE waxed. Mari replied with something along the lines of "the smart ones do." Sure enough Kyle bit the bullet and in the next scene had a wax person (what are they called?) at her house and it was all caught on FILM (network approved, of course).

Now, I have to wonder.... Is it really all it's talked up to be. No smart ass comments BOYS, I'm pretty sure your opinion is YES, but I am guessing you can't tell me the benefits in relation to saddle sores and chafing.

Anyone? Do tell... Also, your favorite lube that doesn't stain or eat away at your shorts :-)

Muchas Gracias


Molly said…

Yep. I was told the secret to saddle comfort in long distance riding was Brazilians. I've sorta alternated between that and just bikinis but this year with an IM on the schedule I'm sticking with the full 9 yards. I have friends who are very anti that sort of thing who even admitted that they had to resort to some serious trimming for comfort, but I think the waxing is easier. It will depend on your personal level of hairiness and comfort, but I go every 3 weeks. I'm not sure it can eliminate every problem (sometimes all the lube in the world won't help on a hot day), but I think it's helpful. I also finally bought several pairs of brand new bike shorts for this year - those things DO wear out and I know I shouldn't still be using the ones I used to train for my last IM!
Spokane Al said…
No comment on the waxing issue. Perhaps you might consider changing from aquafor. When no swimming is involved I use Bag Balm - http://www.bagbalm.com/ . It is very reasonably priced, can be found in most grocery stores and if it is good enough for the udders of cows, it is good enough for me.
Maggs said…
I have a couple friends who stopped shaving so they would stop getting saddle sores. I used to wax, but you have to let the hair grow out a good bit before you wax again, which in Hawaii is a problem. I also read a good article that suggested a slight leg length discrepancy can be the cause of most of the problems.

I use diaper rash creme and it works great (the generic safeway brand), but it smells like diaper rash cream and is pretty hard to wash out. My saddle still smells like it from last fall, but I don't really care because it works and it's cheap.
jessithompson said…
Yep. Take it all off. Dooooo it!!!! You'll never want to go back (and your hubby won't want you to either :). Brazilian is 100% worth it. Call first to make sure the salon/spa does that kind of wax - not everyone does.

It's a little intimidating the first time, but you'll get over it. I recommend taking a tylenol about a half hour before the first time you go.

I also recommend getting some great/new bike shorts every year. My favorite lube is Tri Slide... doesn't stain my shorts at all. I have also used bag balm, but find it's harder to remove and my shorts always smell like it even after they're washed.

That's my two cents!
M said…
As soon as I saw the title to this post, I knew this was what it was about!!! Love it!

I saw that episode too and never really gave it that much thought, but upon reflection, I can say that I personally notice a big difference between my au natural rides and my Brazilan rides. I can't say it will for sure elimiate all your saddle problems, but it does help in my case.

I personally favor the full complete job front and back(tmi?) because if your going to do it, you might as well go all the way. It hurts like hell, but since I started, I can't ever go back - anything less to me feels almost unsanitary. Plus, no worries ever when it comes to swim suits or short running shorts or anything else. And for a dark brunette like me, that's worth it's weight in gold.

And one last piece of advice - don't plan any long ride the say of or after a full job - it needs a day or so to "heal."

Sorry if that was oversharing. But I'm a big advocate of this.
Tri4aCause said…
Well I am a 100% fan of Brazilians......but.....ingrown hairs got to me after about 1 yr of waxing so I had to stop. And I completely DO NOT advocated going for any rides until 2 days post waxing. Your skin gets really raw from the waxing and then to go and sit on a saddle for 1-3 hrs sweating is just asking for problems.
I say try it... and I even have a great gal that will come to your home if you want. Just watch out for the in-growns that will eventually happen bc of the riding. There is no prefect solution for female bike riders.
Jaynee said…
OMG. If you do it, please make sure you have someone film your face as it's being done... kinda like the 40 Year Old Virgin: "KELLY CLARKSON!"

I noticed someone recommended Tylenol. I'll be a better friend and recommend tequila. A LOT OF IT.
momo said…
you know you can also have it all lasered off... its permanent that way. :-)
Jamesc said…
Uhh, even guys have to be a bit more - uhh 'clean cut' south of the boarder - if you dont want saddle sores (or other funk) when you are putting on the miles. It was one of the first things they tell you at the OTC...

Hair holds moisture and bacteria......
Molly said…
I had to come back and see what everyone else said :-) Maybe my pain threshold is different but I don't think it's any more painful than a slight sting - it helps to have a really good person to go to. I don't ride the day of a wax afterwards (I get the ride done in the morning) but I'm fine on riding the very next day with no pain. Obviously your mileage may vary!
Bigun said…
I believe (and practice) in the tri-fecta of long ride bliss - as if that's even possible: 1) no hair, or as little as possible. b) Saddle Cream, as much as I can stand - I just use the cheap stuff - that Assos crap was pricy and no better. and 3) BIBS!!! Not sure why, but bibs are night and day on long rides vs. regular bike shorts. DeSoto has a new Tri-Pad Bib that I'm going to try out. I. Love. Bibs.

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