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  1. #1
    Untrained Assassin revdave27's Avatar
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    Saddle, Sit, Shorts

    Okay... 3 days back on a bike and my err... "undercarriage" is sore as all get out. I did some looking on line to see what I could find out... So... What the heck are your "sit bones"? and how do I know if I am on them? Also... how many pairs of biking shorts do you guys own? I know you are only supposed to wear them once... holy hell... and could the pain be from not sitting on a bike saddle for many years?
    "Yeah, I'm fine... is my bike okay?"

  2. #2
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    I've got 4 pairs of shorts at the moment...er...3 pair of shorts and 1 bib. Love the bibs. Won't buy shorts any more.

    As for sit bones, you should be able to feel them under your rump when you sit in a chair and lean forward like you're on your bike. I just tried a few saddles until I found one that worked well for me. That said, I'm not opposed to looking for others that might be better.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by revdave27 View Post
    Okay... 3 days back on a bike and my err... "undercarriage" is sore as all get out. I did some looking on line to see what I could find out... So... What the heck are your "sit bones"? and how do I know if I am on them? Also... how many pairs of biking shorts do you guys own? I know you are only supposed to wear them once... holy hell... and could the pain be from not sitting on a bike saddle for many years?
    Sit bones are properly called "ischial tuberosities". They're the bony bumps you're supposed to sit on. here's a diagram, from behind. You want a saddle that supports your weight on these bones, which doesn't put excessive pressure on the soft tissue on the rest of your behind. The late, great Sheldon Brown has an informative article about saddles, fit, and position.

    It's quite possible that some or most of your discomfort is lack of practice. Unless you ride a bike or a horse, you don't generally sit like you do on a bike. It's also likely you've got a fit or adjustment problem.

  4. #4
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    Only 3 Days? I also have only been riding three days and my butt hurts. It just takes time in the Saddle to get your glutes used to the ride; however, a good seat also helps. My current bike has a Bontrager Saddle but I recently ordered a Fizik Arione because I have heard it is a great saddle.

    First Day: Rode 16 miles, my butt hurt the whole way.
    Second Day: 20 miles, my butt did not really hurt until about the 10 mile mark.
    Third Day: 24 miles, my butt did not really hurt until I hit about the 13 mile mark.

    For me, once it starts hurting, it hurts bad. I am chalking it up as a bad saddle and being new to the bike. I cannot wait until my Arione gets delivered but in the meantime, I just suck it up and ride. I need to increase my endurance because I have not exercised in over 2 years. I have been a complete couch potato..
    "Everything is possible, the impossible just takes a bit longer."

  5. #5
    Village Idiot Jack Reacher's Avatar
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    My tail section is hurting now as well. Speaking from past experiences, the soreness goes away with time unless you got some kind of problem with the fit. I just got back into cycling and I'm breaking in a new bike and saddle now and I don't expect my but to hurt much more than a week provided I can ride everyday.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I my experience, if your butt is sore after a ride and you go out and ride more the next day, you're just asking to end up with even more pain. When you start back to riding after a long layoff, it's best to give your butt some time to recover between rides... Try riding every other day or every third day. Or mix long rides and short rides. With moderation, it should only take a week or two before you're used to sitting in the saddle again.

    That said, once you start crossing the 30- or 40-mile mark, it's important to have your riding position dialed-in and a good saddle underneath you.

  7. #7
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I'm going to go ahead and tell you to give it a few weeks for the sit bones to break in. Whatever you do, don't rush off and buy the biggest gel seat you can find. Sure they will feel more comfortable at first but once you start logging some distance you'll find the gel will squish up into your tender bits leading to chaffing. Stick it out with the firm saddle but give your rump a break when you need to. Stand up when your coasting or just plain get off the bike for a few minutes if you have to. Your not in a race (as far as I know) so who cares?

    To answer your question I own one pair of shorts and one set of bibs, I won't wear either unless the ride is going to be over 50 miles. I'm just really comfortable on my stock saddle wearing regular gym shorts. Guess I got lucky.

    Something else for you to consider: I get butt pain when I start playing with my saddle height. Have you been adjusting yours recently? When your sitting on your saddle and your left (or right) foot is in the 6 o'clock position your left (or right if that’s the side your looking at ) knee should almost be locked entirely out, just a very slight bend. Be sure that your hips stay level, if they are rocking back and forth so you can get your foot all the way down that will surely lead to butt, hip, back, and knee pain.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by revdave27 View Post
    Okay... 3 days back on a bike and my err... "undercarriage" is sore as all get out. I did some looking on line to see what I could find out... So... What the heck are your "sit bones"? and how do I know if I am on them? Also... how many pairs of biking shorts do you guys own? I know you are only supposed to wear them once... holy hell... and could the pain be from not sitting on a bike saddle for many years?
    You should only wear them once between washings. You can, and should, wash them.

    I own five pairs of bib shorts, one of which is now unwearable from a split seam in the chamois, one of which has an opened seam, one of which is too big, and two that fit.

  9. #9
    Spark of the Divine Fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    I've got 4 pairs of shorts at the moment...er...3 pair of shorts and 1 bib. Love the bibs. Won't buy shorts any more.
    Ok, I give up. What's a bib?
    Rides: 2008 Raleigh Detour 4.5 (Ivy) and 2006 Trek Sole Ride 100 (Lurch)
    Wife to: 2007 Raleigh Mohave 2.0 (22")
    Mom to: 2006 Trek 7200 (25"!), 2008 Raleigh Venture 3.0 (22"), 2007 Raleigh Mohave 2.0 (16"), and a little tiny Allycat Shadow trail-a-bike & PV Glider balance bike :)

  10. #10
    Spark of the Divine Fire
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    The solution depends on where you are hurting. Can you be more specific? Could be chafing, your boys could be getting squished, or your butt could just need to get used to it. Not that i'm the expert, but if you need solutions, specifics would help.

    What kind of pain? What kind of bike? What kind of saddle?
    Rides: 2008 Raleigh Detour 4.5 (Ivy) and 2006 Trek Sole Ride 100 (Lurch)
    Wife to: 2007 Raleigh Mohave 2.0 (22")
    Mom to: 2006 Trek 7200 (25"!), 2008 Raleigh Venture 3.0 (22"), 2007 Raleigh Mohave 2.0 (16"), and a little tiny Allycat Shadow trail-a-bike & PV Glider balance bike :)

  11. #11
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelaharms View Post
    Ok, I give up. What's a bib?
    Bib shorts come with shoulder straps. They are great for keeping everything in place, including a big gut.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Bib shorts come with shoulder straps. They are great for keeping everything in place, including a big gut.
    They also don't have the elastic strap right on your gut. I find that the waite band on regular shorts are constantly moving around when riding. I finally bought a paid of bibs a month ago... they are much more comfortable.

    Good cycling clothing reminds of what I went through with Scuba diving. When you 1st try on the stuff it just feels strange if not outright uncomfortable. Once you get into the environment for which the equipment was designed you completely forget you are wearing it. Even a heavy cold water wet suit becomes just an extension of your skin once you get below the water. I have knick named my bike shorts - diaper pants. They feel funny off the bike. Once you are riding however, you don't notice the pad at all. What I do notice is that I don't get any chaffing and I last a whole lot longer on a bike.

    You do definitely need to slowly get your body used to spending more and more time on a bike seat. If you find that with more and more riding, the pain gets worse than you clearly have a saddle problem. This can either be position or saddle type. In my case I had to get rid of the OEM Bontrager Race saddle on my LeMond bike. With more miles, I was getting more numbness and more pain. I switch to a Selle Royal Dardo and life become much better. There are probably even better saddles out there, but it was reasonably priced and seems to be working pretty well. Just remember what works for someone else may not work for you. Bike fit is truely an Art. There are loads of folks who claim to use precise measurements that "guarantee" a perfect fit. There are plenty of other professionals who will debunk those claims show that those systems were based on averages. The various fitment "systems" are a great starting point, but certainly are not guaranteed to work perfectly for everyone. What ever you do, start my making SMALL adjustments. Even a 1/4" change on seat hight or saddle location can make a real difference.

    Happy riding,
    André

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    If you give your butt a day off between rides, you should be okay after 10-14 days. If not, it is the saddle. It could be position, or just the saddle. The above advice about saddle position is spot-on. Set it up with a standard position such that your knee is over the ball of your foot when the pedal is at 3 Oclock, and your knee has a slight bend in it when your pedal is all-the-way down. Then, make small adjustments until it feels right. If your butt rocks when you pedal fast, you are too high. If the front of your knee hurts on hills, you are probably too low.

    As for saddles, it all depends on what feels right to you. Some people swear by Brooks saddles, others like Fizik, etc.. I like firm Specialized and Terry saddles the best. I currently ride on Specialized Avatar and Alias saddles in the 155 mm width. Most clydes that I know around here ride 140-143 mm width saddles, though.

    Even if you don't buy a Specialized saddle, I would recommend going to a shop that sells them, and getting your seat-bones measured. They have this foam pad that you sit on, and they measure the distance between where your hip-bones dent the foam. That will give you a ball-park estimate of the saddle width that will work best for you, no matter what brand you like best.

  14. #14
    Senior Member John1992's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I put about 3,000 miles on two different saddles until I found one I liked. I would get used to the other ones with less pain as I road along, but they still ended up hurting at the end of the ride. Now I dont know what I was thinking waiting so long.

    If you ride a road bike and you are planning on keeping up with it I agree with the above post and go get you butt measured and buy a good saddle. Specialized dealers can do this. Buy a good pair of shorts and I would agree with all the other comments about how bib shorts are such an improvement over normal shorts it is not even close.

    Lastly, more padding is not the answer. Those gel seat covers are a waste of money if you plan on riding more then 30 minutes IMHO. It just bunches up more material in the area that is sore to begin with and you will probably start to feel numbness down there.

  15. #15
    Untrained Assassin revdave27's Avatar
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    Okay, so I will start with double checking my fit. Then i will give it some more time... I am doing the suck it up thing. I don't think it's "my boys" being squished... more of.. ahh behind them... even with the pain, i REALLY missed riding. Glad I am back to it. Although I am quickly realizing just how out of shape I am!
    "Yeah, I'm fine... is my bike okay?"

  16. #16
    Bike Freak
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    Amen to what has been said. Take your bike in to have someone look at you on it. Be sure the saddle height is right and properly adjusted and level. It is definitely normal to have some saddle soreness since it is nearly a new experience for all intents and purposes, but a couple of weeks of riding and I'd expect the soreness to be gone. If your rides are, like others have said, longer than 45 minutes or so, I recommend cycling shorts, I've just discovered bibs and just about can't go back to my other shorts now. I'm probably not wise in that I do wear my bibs 2-3 times before washing, but mostly 'cause my rides are only around 1 hour to just over that and don't have time to be washing them after EVERY ride, but that's definitely recommended. I'd buy more bibs but they tend to be pricier and I just can't spend that money yet.
    Martytardy

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    I personally would recommend washing your BIB's after every ride. If you do not want to using a washing machine, at least take them into the shower and wash them.
    "Everything is possible, the impossible just takes a bit longer."

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