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  1. #1
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    I bought a bike but I don't know how to ride.

    Hey Everyone, I'm trying to teach myself how to ride a bike at age 22. I bought a specialized hardrock, but being 6'1 and 280, i'm finding that the saddle that came with it is pretty painful to ride one. is it something i'll get used to? or should i set out on a trek to find a better saddle?

    thanks.

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    At 280 and just learning to ride any saddle will be pretty painful. Take it slowly, look around here and on the net to see if you have your bike adjusted properly and your saddle high enough. I used to get alot of pain until i adjusted it properly and read a little about the proper form for riding (percentages of weight put into hands, feet, seat). It seems pretty simple get on and ride but there are alot of little things that will make your ride more enjoyable, spend some time and look around try some things you think might work and what not, then if you are still haveing problems with your saddle it might not hurt to start looking.

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    When you ride, look at how much weight is put where when you sit down - that is probably the biggest indication. Like with what was mentioned, you want to make sure the bike is adjusted properly, but save that, if most of your weight is not going on your legs, then it's probably time to look into a different seat.

  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Start off with a shallow grassy slope and your saddle low enough to stand flat footed and use the hill to learn to coast and balance. As you master that, raise the saddle to proper pedaling height and still use the downslope, but pedal a bit instead of coasting. The grass will help you avoid getting hurt if you tip. It will also help you master the brakes and steering and such. Also, Wear a helmet!

    Once you move to flat ground, and pavement, remember that too slow and cautious will be unstable. Go ahead and grab a little speed.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    If you don't have any, get some cycling shorts. Roadie type with the black spandex or if you're the shy type, some mountain bike shorts with the cover over the spandex (Bermuda type shorts over spandex).

    Find another saddle. Most of the time the stock saddles are just enough to get the bike out the door at saletime.

    Like the others said, good setup is important. Can make the difference between wanting and not wanting to ride. To put you in the ballpark, raise the seat high enough so that your heel is flat on the pedal at the 6 'oclock position. Should have a sligth bend at the point. Make fine adjustments from there. Small increments can make a big difference so little by little is the best way. WHATEVER you do, don't try to ride the bike with the seat way too low. It' ll killl your thighs and you will lose the desire to ride VERY QUICKLY!

  6. #6
    Keep on, keepin on B Piddy's Avatar
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    Dude- At 6'1" 280, you should just stick it out and man up to that saddle. Yeah it's not what you want to hear but if you stick it out, it'll feel better than some big doughy seat.
    You rack up a few hundred miles every month, plus eating better, you'll be feeling money, trust me.
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  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Piddy View Post
    Dude- At 6'1" 280, you should just stick it out and man up to that saddle. Yeah it's not what you want to hear but if you stick it out, it'll feel better than some big doughy seat.
    You rack up a few hundred miles every month, plus eating better, you'll be feeling money, trust me.

    No big doughy seat!...Maybe something like a WTB saddle (mtb). Has a cutout in the shell for the buddies, but not in the cover. Very comfy! Got one on my roadie!

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    Buy a Brooks saddle. Don't wear underwear with your Lycra shorts and learn how to maintain your bike. Oh, ride every day but take it easy if you feel kinda weak. Quit drinking diet soda and always wear gloves. That's all for now. :-)

  9. #9
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    OK guys. I've been thinking about this brooks saddle thing.

    Now, I own 3 of them, so I like them. BUT.

    It seems like a lot of the new people are starting out with 1-5 mile rides. Let's be honest... the big cushy saddles feel GOOD if you're going less than 10 miles, or are on the saddle less than an hour. In fact, if you're starting out on an upright bike on 1-2 miles, it may be a couple months before you start to think about upgrading your saddle.

    I remember starting, and my seat bones hurt momentarily for the first week on the bike, and I was way more fortunate than some people. Some people have seat bone pain after they get off the bike. So why not cut the newbies a break and let them keep the soft seat until they get rubbing or discomfort?

    Also, and maybe this is just me, when I'm in the drops I get this sense that the Brooks is fitting optimally. It's like the seat bones get set in place and the saddle becomes unnoticeable. But when I'm on the hoods (which on my bike is very upright since my bars are even with my saddle) or going no-hands, I slip a bit and my girlie bits get a bit of wear and tear. So I'm thinking that the brooks is made for a more aggressive position, which most of these new people aren't doing.

    So, those are my thoughts. I think the cushy seat is maligned for new people on uprights, especially those who haven't exercised in a long time and have enough aches and pains already as they start out.

    Agree? Disagree?
    Last edited by solveg; 06-05-08 at 08:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    I think I agree with solveg.

    If a comfy cushy saddle helps someone stick with it long enough to let it get in their blood, so be it. Ar some point in time, the technical aspect will present itself.

    Who here remembers the first time you wandered into your LBS and all you could really say was, "I want a bike". Now think about the last bike you bought when you walked in rattling off frame geometry, component requirements, wheel set ups, etc etc.

    Sadly, there is no answer for the sore bumm in the beginning delima. when the rides start to get longer, and the miles more numerous, the saddle answer will probably found.

  11. #11
    Support JDRF b_young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    OK guys. I've been thinking about this brooks saddle thing.

    Now, I own 3 of them, so I like them. BUT.

    It seems like a lot of the new people are starting out with 1-5 mile rides. Let's be honest... the big cushy saddles feel GOOD if you're going less than 10 miles, or are on the saddle less than an hour. In fact, if you're starting out on an upright bike on 1-2 miles, it may be a couple months before you start to think about upgrading your saddle.

    I remember starting, and my seat bones hurt momentarily for the first week on the bike, and I was way more fortunate than some people. Some people have seat bone pain after they get off the bike. So why not cut the newbies a break and let them keep the soft seat until they get rubbing or discomfort?

    Also, and maybe this is just me, when I'm in the drops I get this sense that the Brooks is fitting optimally. It's like the seat bones get set in place and the saddle becomes unnoticeable. But when I'm on the hoods (which on my bike is very upright since my bars are even with my saddle) or going no-hands, I slip a bit and my girlie bits get a bit of wear and tear. So I'm thinking that the brooks is made for a more aggressive position, which most of these new people aren't doing.

    So, those are my thoughts. I think the cushy seat is maligned for new people on uprights, especially those who haven't exercised in a long time and have enough aches and pains already as they start out.

    Agree? Disagree?
    +1

    If you are riding under 5 miles, the cushy seat will keep your interest up. When you ride enough that you start feeling some numbness, its time to get a new seat.
    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that is why it is called the present." - Kung Fu Panda

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    I agree with you guys about the cushy saddles being fine for short rides, but people go from riding 2 miles to riding 20 miles surprisingly fast. It's astonishing how quickly you progress on a bike. So, the "cushy saddle" phase of life is going to be alarmingly short anyway.

  13. #13
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides View Post
    I agree with you guys about the cushy saddles being fine for short rides, but people go from riding 2 miles to riding 20 miles surprisingly fast. It's astonishing how quickly you progress on a bike. So, the "cushy saddle" phase of life is going to be alarmingly short anyway.
    But there are a lot of people who don't jump into things full speed, or that bicycling might be a just a part of a new fitness program. And there are those that may "start" many times.

    I guess all I'm thinking is that the saddle is one of the first things we tell a person to change on their bikes, and we usually recommend a brooks. That's an expensive outlay for someone who may have just bought their first bike. Plus, the cushy seat might actually be more comfortable at first. So maybe it might be better to say that when they get up to 10 miles, they might want to look for a seat that's better for long rides?

    Oh, and whoever mentioned that any saddle will hurt in the beginning made a good point. Changing the saddle right off the bat is not going to make your butt harden up any faster....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by awad View Post
    Hey Everyone, I'm trying to teach myself how to ride a bike at age 22. I bought a specialized hardrock, but being 6'1 and 280, i'm finding that the saddle that came with it is pretty painful to ride one. is it something i'll get used to? or should i set out on a trek to find a better saddle?thanks.
    Did you buy your bike from a Local Bike Shop (LSB), or from private individual?

    The LBS should have helped explain the bike setup and possible adjustments as you progress if they knew you were a new rider.

    The seat can be adjusted up and down, and it also can be titled nose up, flat, or down slightly, as well the seat rails can be adjusted forward and back to improve relationship of your legs, knees and feet on the pedals.

    Hardrock Sport is fitted with standard MTB type seat and Specialized components are usually fitted tot he rides and price break. The seat is designed for upright riding position, instead it is a seat resting pivot point supporting your sitbones and portion of your weight distribution.

    As Tom S, indicated, learning to ride is your first challenge, keeping balance, then pedaling to help maintain balance, going were you want and most importantly learning to use brakes, stopping and control will keep you upright and in control.

    Brakes should be first, thing, to much front brake, the bike can buck you off, to much rear brake, a skid is possible, balancing pressure to both wheels, and you will do well.

    Start the gentle down slop, and maintain speed control with brakes, then eventually, pedal motion as you roll, and in no time you will gain confidence and more control, and then speed.

    All the best and much respect for making the effort to learn, as it is never to late to learn...

  15. #15
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    I forgot, here is link to Saddle information and adjustments, allowing you to make your own setup and find your comfort point.

    It was written and posted by Sheldon Brown, he was a true friend to cyclist worldwide, and his site can alos provide you more insight to biking and your needs expand.

    Regards

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    When I mentioned no doguhy saddle, I meant one of the those big huge tractor seats. You know 2 X 3 footer!....My sife's saddle is very cushy. Hast he cutout and gel for comfort. She does 80 miles with no issues. She used those lycra coverd seats for a couple of year (not the huge ones). I kept suggesting a better seat but she said they were too narrow and hard. I picked this up, took it home and had her try it. Form the very first ride she was in love with it! Now she hates the other saddle.

    So I simply suggest that he gets a quality seat, not the killer stock model. Not the 2 X 3 footer, but a good cush saddle. Maybe the mens' gel model by Specialized or sumthin' similar.

    Lady Specialized Dolce gel saddle


  17. #17
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 on Solvegs comments.

    Once you start riding 20 miles or so per ride, you will probably migrate to a firmer, narrower seat.

    Give the bike several rides, probably 100 miles total or so, before passing judgment on any seat.

    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    Let's be honest... the big cushy saddles feel GOOD if you're going less than 10 miles, or are on the saddle less than an hour.

    Shhhh, don't tell anyone that All cyclists are supposed to have sore posteriors.

    Seriously though, give it some time for your sit bones to develop. It might take a couple weeks but soon enough you'll grow to enjoy the hard narrow saddle. Tom's right, when you move onto flat ground and start pedaling be sure to pick up some speed. The centrifugal force of the wheels will help keep you upright, its like trying to push over a gyro. The faster the wheels are spinning the more force they excerpt to stand back up. You don't need to set a land speed record but a nice 8 mph pace is more than sufficient to get the balancing benefit.

    Good luck man, let us know how it goes.

  19. #19
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    This is such a common problem with newer bike riders. The newer saddles, with the groove in the middle, are a big improvement. After not riding for about 10 years, I just got back on and picked a WTB Laser V saddle because I like real leather on my butt. Unlike the old days, I suffered zero saddle pain. I used to suffer for at least a week, and then the pain would completely disappear. My advice is to push yourself over the hump and get used to the narrow saddle. Upgrade after the pain goes away. In my opinion, you will not be able to go from a "cushy" saddle to a real bike rider's saddle without going through the initiation and, since that's where you are going to want to be soon, why not just get it over with?
    "Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. It turns out my problem with the seat was entirely my fault, from what i read online, was that i should coast without my feet touching the ground or the pedals. and well, that just made all my weight come down on...my ass. i spent the past few hours riding down a small hill and i've got it down pretty well. With my feet on the pedals, its much more comfortable. all i need to get down now is how to start from a stop, which is proving to be pretty difficult, but i think im almost there. thanks again guys!

  21. #21
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I have different saddles for different riding positions. My hybrid puts me in a more upright position and I found my Specialized Avatar was slightly uncomfortable, so I put my WTB Speed V back on it and it feels really good. I left the Avatar on the road bike and I am able to go back and forth without issue and can ride the same distances on either bike without numbness.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  22. #22
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    So as a newbie going into the LBS, should you accept whatever saddle the bike turns up with, or should you have a discussion on saddles (size, type) the way you might on other aspects of the bike and fit? Do the manufacturers fit a given frame size with a saddle which they think will fit most riders of that frame size, or just any old saddle to the price?

    Part of the reason I ask this is that I went to test a few bikes last week - not long rides, just round the block - and found I was getting bruised sit bones almost imediately, and on sitting on (not riding) my old bike a few days later I still felt bruised (I certainly can't be said to be used to saddles - I haven't ridden for years to any extent, and wasn't exactly serious then!). I don't remember this really being an issue back then.

    The bikes were a Kona Dew (Kona Comfort saddle), Specialised Sirrus (BG Sonoma), Trek 7500 and 7.5FX (Bontrager Race Basic), and Specialised Globe BG Sport); it didn't strike me that the saddles on the first four at least were particularly cushy. I did try to discuss it with one LBS, but the answer was really 'well, you'll want to get a good pair of shorts...'

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by awad View Post
    Thanks for all the advice guys. It turns out my problem with the seat was entirely my fault, from what i read online, was that i should coast without my feet touching the ground or the pedals. and well, that just made all my weight come down on...my ass. i spent the past few hours riding down a small hill and i've got it down pretty well. With my feet on the pedals, its much more comfortable. all i need to get down now is how to start from a stop, which is proving to be pretty difficult, but i think im almost there. thanks again guys!
    http://sheldonbrown.com/starting.html has a video about starting from a complete stop. Take a bit and peruse that site for beginner info, you'll find a lot of your questions will be answered there!

    Concerning the seat: it sounds like you have it figured out! I'd recommend not upgrading anything or buying anything non-essential for the bike until you've ridden for at least a few months and have a better idea of WHY a specific component isn't to your preferences. It takes some time for the sit bones to get used to a triangular shaped object stuffed into them, so keep at it, and after a week or two and a few hot baths, you'll have no trouble anymore.

    Awesome that you decided to learn! Keep at it.

  24. #24
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Start off with a shallow grassy slope and your saddle low enough to stand flat footed and use the hill to learn to coast and balance. As you master that, raise the saddle to proper pedaling height and still use the downslope, but pedal a bit instead of coasting. The grass will help you avoid getting hurt if you tip. It will also help you master the brakes and steering and such. Also, Wear a helmet!

    Once you move to flat ground, and pavement, remember that too slow and cautious will be unstable. Go ahead and grab a little speed.
    You might want to remove the pedals at first.

  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by awad View Post
    Hey Everyone, I'm trying to teach myself how to ride a bike at age 22.
    YEAH! Noobies rock! GO GO GO!

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