Blisters: A Racer’s Worst Enemy

Gloves are the best prevention for blisters.  Make sure they are in good condition.Everyone gets blisters. If you ride, then you get blisters, it’s that simple. Most of the time, if you haven’t ridded in a while, you are more susceptible to get them. However, the cause is pretty simple. Not only can you apply this to your hands/gloves, but you can use this for new boots as well.

The two main causes for blisters are friction and pressure. When there is enough force, the topmost layer of your skin is separated. This forms that little bubble and water gets into the separated area. Eventually, when you ride long enough, the skin will harden and become thicker in response to the constant friction and pressure. This is when you get your calluses.

Another factor is getting blisters is moisture. In the summer time, I sweat like crazy when I ride. As a result, my gloves would get a little wet. When your gloves are damp, the moisture from the material makes your hands softer, making your hands a prime target for blisters. Even if you have just grabbed a cold drink, the condensation can collect on your hand and make your hands softer as well. This is not to say you shouldn’t hold a cold drink, but just set it down so your hands stay dry.

From what I have read, there’s not a specific way to prevent blisters. Mike Alessi has been seen wrapping his hands in the boxers’ tape. The tape would cover the spots right below your fingers and around the thumb. You can use athletic tape or even duct tape if you are blistering bad enough. Again, make sure you are dry and your gloves are dry too. Same with your boots, moist socks can cause painful blisters on your feet. Also, Band Aid makes blister blocks, so that might be something to look into.

Some say you should pop your blister, but it is okay to do so. Just make sure you clean it thoroughly to prevent any infections. Eventually, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about blisters, as calluses should form. Just try to take some precautions and try to ride through it!!!

Posted on Sep 30 2009, under Riding Techniques, Training | No Comments »

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