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  1. #1
    Uninformed Informer
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    A week in the saddle and counting......

    Ok, so it's been a 8 days since I bought my bike and exactly a week of riding.

    So I started riding last Wednesday and quickly discovered that my unconditioned bottom was not going to take the abuse of the harsh, extremely hard, saddle that came on my bike. Thursday I went to the bike shop to check out some of the saddles there.(must say Empire Bike in Poway doesn't have much selection) I bought a RoyalGel saddle for just under $30 and it made a huge difference. So I kept riding and Friday was a much nicer day as my tush had a chance to rest the day before. The ride was great, only about 20 minutes but still great.

    Saturday I noticed some pain in my hands and wrists like when I type at the computer all day with bad posture and thought it was just my riding style. So I went out Saturday to ride and tried to change my seat around but it was in just the right place and I was still having pain in my hands. Looked around the forum and discovered that my handlebars might be the culprit. Sure enough I unhooked my front brake, raised the handlebars about 3 inches and wow did that ever make a difference, before they were way lower than my saddle. Felt great right off the bat. Unfortionately this was about 2 and a half inches above the max height mark so I have to buy a new quill stem if I plan on keeping this bike. I found one on Amazon that looks about right. Delta Rise Quill Bicycle Stem. The downside is I don't get paid untill next week and I don't have the money to get it now. So I basically bought a bike that was a bit to small for me. That's what I get for buying used for my first bike

    Sunday-Tuesday passed without much incident, rode for about 15 minutes each day just for the saddle time.

    Today my sister wanted to go for a ride with me and I believe we covered about 3 miles in about 25 minutes. The hills were torture but man was it fun to go back down them. We went on a loop around the neighborhood and it's a nice even grade uphill on one road, followed by a left turn with a steep upgrade for about a quarter block. The last left turn takes us to a nice even downgrade back to the house which was a great way to finish off the ride.

    I took some pics with a nicer camera than the one used for my first post, but they will have to wait untill I can get a photo account(they're kinda big)
    Last edited by SoCal Commute; 07-30-08 at 09:48 PM.
    DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held responsible for any offense taken. Should you have taken offense to my comment my lawers will be in touch. Said lawers are most often seen flying disk shaped vehicles accompanied by men in tin foil hats. Should this DISCLAIMER offend you, you are hereby declared a lost cause and the men in tin foil hats will be in touch.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Regarding the saddle, in my experience a "softer" saddle actually brings on more problems than it solves. With a softer saddle you sink down into the padding, which permits the saddle material to push up against and between the more tender tissues of your bottom. Subsequently, as these tissues move around from the efforts of pedaling, chafing occurs. This chafing then opens up the skin to infection, and saddle sores and just general discomfort results. The softer saddles feel good for the first few miles, then the damage starts. I replaced all of my saddles with the Brooks B17's, which are seemingly as hard as rocks. Now I can ride for multiple hours at a time - taking a few minutes break every 20 - 30 minutes - in perfect comfort. I've reached this state of butt/saddle interface nirvana where I actually forget the saddle exists.

    Your original post didn't state what type of bike you have, or with what type of bars it's equipped. I had similar issues with a mountain bike equipped with flat bars, of the type found on crossover bikes. Regarding hand numbness, I found that no matter how I raised, lowered, tilted, and adjusted my flat bars, I never really overcame the hand/wrist pain/numbness issues until I went with bars that permitted multiple hand positions, as I had on my road bike. Recently I replaced my flat bars with trekking bars, and this finally alleviated the problem. Before, with flat bars, I couldn't ride more than two or three miles without experiencing numbness. Now, with the trekking bars, I've ridden for an hour or more with no problems.

    This is what worked for me - YMMV.
    Last edited by tpelle; 07-31-08 at 07:32 AM.
    Steel Club = BF-STL-00064

  3. #3
    Uninformed Informer
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
    Regarding the saddle, in my experience a "softer" saddle actually brings on more problems than it solves. With a softer saddle you sink down into the padding, which permits the saddle material to push up against and between the more tender tissues of your bottom. Subsequently, as these tissues move around from the efforts of pedaling, chafing occurs. This chafing then opens up the skin to infection, and saddle sores and just general discomfort results. The softer saddles feel good for the first few miles, then the damage starts. I replaced all of my saddles with the Brooks B17's, which are seemingly as hard as rocks. Now I can ride for multiple hours at a time - taking a few minutes break every 20 - 30 minutes - in perfect comfort. I've reached this state of butt/saddle interface nirvana where I actually forget the saddle exists.

    Your original post didn't state what type of bike you have, or with what type of bars it's equipped. I had similar issues with a mountain bike equipped with flat bars, of the type found on crossover bikes. Regarding hand numbness, I found that no matter how I raised, lowered, tilted, and adjusted my flat bars, I never really overcame the hand/wrist pain/numbness issues until I went with bars that permitted multiple hand positions, as I had on my road bike. Recently I replaced my flat bars with trekking bars, and this finally alleviated the problem. Before, with flat bars, I couldn't ride more than two or three miles without experiencing numbness. Now, with the trekking bars, I've ridden for an hour or more with no problems.

    This is what worked for me - YMMV.
    Yeah I have heard great things about the B17's and would like to try one eventually. I chose the RoyalGel because it was cheap and my budget is very limited. So far I have had no problems with numbness or pain aside from the slight tenderness when I get back on the bike at the start of my rides. I believe this will go away after my body gets used to the bike again.

    I have a 92 Specialized Rockhopper, mtb with straight bars.
    Once I replace my bar stem I will see how the bike feels and if that doesn't help I'll probably end up selling it and getting something that fits. My hopes are high though

    I understand the need for multiple hand positions and the next thing on my list after the bar stem is a Bullhorn bar with a set of bar ends.
    DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held responsible for any offense taken. Should you have taken offense to my comment my lawers will be in touch. Said lawers are most often seen flying disk shaped vehicles accompanied by men in tin foil hats. Should this DISCLAIMER offend you, you are hereby declared a lost cause and the men in tin foil hats will be in touch.

  4. #4
    Uninformed Informer
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    Just wanted to add to my comment. I know about the importance of multiple hand positions but the pain I am experiencing is after about 10 minutes in the saddle, not the hours that others are reporting on before switching to road bars.
    DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held responsible for any offense taken. Should you have taken offense to my comment my lawers will be in touch. Said lawers are most often seen flying disk shaped vehicles accompanied by men in tin foil hats. Should this DISCLAIMER offend you, you are hereby declared a lost cause and the men in tin foil hats will be in touch.

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