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Cycling After Tattoo (Complete Guide)

Cycling After Tattoo

Are you a cyclist who recently got a new tattoo? If so, you might be wondering if it’s safe to get back on the bike after getting the tattoo.

While it is okay to get back to cycling after tattooing, there are a few risks involved. My advice is to wait at least 4 – 7 days before you go cycling. It’s always best to err on the side of caution IMHO. 

In this post, I’ll be discussing the potential risks and considerations when it comes to cycling right after getting a tattoo. I’ll also give you some tips on how to care for your tattoo while cycling if you must go cycling, and any potential precautions you should take to avoid irritation or infection.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of how to safely enjoy your favorite hobby while also making sure no harm comes to your new tattoo.

Can You Cycle After Getting A Tattoo?

It is generally safe to cycle after getting a tattoo when the tattoo is fully healed and there are no scabs. Cycling when the tattoo is still fresh can cause infections and some other complications.

Also Read: How To Waterproof A Tattoo

Can You Cycle After Getting A Tattoo

But you can still cycle by taking the necessary precautions and minimizing the risks. Let’s take a look at some of the risks of cycling after a fresh tattoo: 

Risks Of Cycling After Tattoo

There are some risks including infections and fading tattoos. Let’s take a look at them in more detail:


A fresh tattoo is an open wound, and as such, it is at risk of becoming infected. Riding a bike will make you sweat and the sweat (has germs) can get into the tattoo, increasing the chances of an infection. 

Sweating is why it’s not recommended to work out after a tattoo too. 

Plus, when you are riding the bike, dirt, and microbes will hit the tattoo from the air if it’s in an open area and not covered up. Germs from our clothes could also get into it if it gets constantly rubbed.

Also Read: Is polysporin good for tattoos

Tattoo Fading

If your tattoo is not covered when riding, it will be exposed to sunlight. Too much sunlight is bad for tattoos, especially if the tattoo is still healing or the area is sensitive.

The sun’s UV rays can dry out the tattoo damage the sensitive skin and cause fading or discoloration of the tattoo. Moreover, too much sun exposure can also increase the risk of infections.

If you are wondering why not just put some sunscreen on, just forget it. Sunscreen is BAD for fresh tattoos.

Other Damage To The Tattoo

A fresh tattoo is also more delicate and prone to damage than a fully healed tattoo.

Riding a bike with a fresh tattoo can cause the tattooed area to become stretched or rubbed by your clothes, which can lead to fading or distortion of the tattoo and even bleeding.

If you are in the scabbing phase, tight clothes will damage it when it rubs while cycling.

Takes Longer To Heal

If any of the stuff we talked about above happens, your tattoo will take longer to heal. Anything that affects the body’s natural healing mechanism will delay the healing process.

Tips For Cycling After Tattooing 

To protect your tattoo from the sun, microbes, and other irritants, you can keep the tattooed area covered when you are riding. If you HAVE to go cycling, that’s the best and only option.

Tips For Cycling After Tattooing

But don’t cover it by wearing tight clothes because it will rub on the tattoo when riding and damage the tattoo. Lose clothing would usually be okay, but since you are cycling and you’ll sweat, it would still get into the tattoo and increase the chances of infection.

Wrap the tattoo with something like Saniderm, Tegaderm, or even some saran wrap. If you use Saniderm or Tegaderm they will lose their stickiness if you sweat a lot. Saran wrap should be fine with some lotion applied first.

Finally, once you get home, always wash and clean the tattoo just in case sweat gets through.

Quick Tip: Try not to cycle in the sun during the peak hours of the day (usually 10 am to 3 pm) because that’s when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.


Riding Motorcycle After Tattoo?

It’s generally advisable to avoid riding a motorcycle immediately after getting a tattoo.

The combination of tight clothing, the pressure your body exerts against the seat, and potential exposure to dirt and debris can irritate the fresh wound and introduce bacteria, increasing the risk of infection and hindering the healing process.

Moreover, long exposure to the sun while riding can cause sunburn on the new tattoo, which can lead to fading and damage to the artwork.

How Long to Wait to Work Out After Tattoo?

It’s generally recommended to wait at least 48 hours before engaging in physical activity after getting a tattoo.

It allows the initial healing process to begin without the risk of excessive sweating, which can lead to bacteria growth and infection in the fresh wound.

Furthermore, avoiding physical strain helps prevent the stretching or pulling of skin that might distort the appearance of the new tattoo.


Sun, Germs, and clothes rubbing on your tattoo are the issues you are going to face if you go cycling after a tattoo before it’s healed. To protect your tattoo from all of these, be sure to cover up, and avoid direct sunlight when possible.

Overall, it’s super important to follow aftercare instructions recommended by your tattoo artist and to give your tattoo time to fully heal before engaging in physical activities that have risks. Just my 2 cents.

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