I am riding a new Cannondale with good quality bibs, a base layer, and body glide. After a 15-20 mile ride I feel like a got a Brazilian wax and my groin area starts really feeling the bumps/potholes big time. Any advice on how to improve saddle comfort other than developing calluses?
Mostly time. Saddles are the most personal part of the bike and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. My LBS has a loaner ISM Adamo Racing seat that I used this weekend. Works at least as well as expected but one still has to toughen up the sit bone area.
85 Specialized Expedition, 07 Motobecane Immortal Spirit built up with Dura ace and Mavic Ksyriums, '85 Bianchi Track Bike, '90 Fisher Procaliber, '96 Landshark TwinDirt Shark Tandem, '88 Curtlo
First I'd get rid of the base layer and just wear the bibs. That's the way they were intended to be ridden.
After that, there are a number of variables. Tilt of seat, fore/aft adjustment, type and quality of the seat, and number of miles in your butt. I always figure at least 100 miles to break in my butt to a new seat, and many more than that with the new B-17 I have in the garage waiting on my newest build project. And then there is the axiom that not all butt/seat combinations are compatible.
Keep playing with it, you will work out the right mix of adjustments and or new seats.
Saddles tend to be a personal thing. What I like may not be what you like and vice versa. In my experience I prefer seats that are usually wider than the normal racing seats, but my position on my bike is a factor in that.
From the type of chafing you describe, it sounds like the saddle may be too wide for you. You could try tilting the nose downward (from its present position) slightly and see if that gives you relief. Otherwise, borrow or buy a narrower saddle and see if it makes a difference - many LBS and mail order shops have good return policies on saddles.
Felt F1,Felt FA, Fuji Club LE and Specialized Allez
From my experience, my Felt F55 I used to own is the only bike I've ever owned that had a seat that was comfortable to me right from the factory. Many cyclist go through several seats before they find the right one. Go to your LBS and ask them for their advice. They may be willing to let you try out a few different models.
Any advice on how to improve saddle comfort other than developing calluses?
Sounds like you need a different saddle. I wear inexpensive bib shorts and never use any sort of chamois cream, but I can ride all day without major problems. I attribute this to having the right saddle. In my case, it's the right saddle is a Selle SMP Strike Extra. You may find that you need something completely different, though. I've also had good luck with various WTB saddles (e.g. Rocket V).
Chamois cream (butt butter) has helped me tremondously. I tried several different saddles and finally settled on one that didn't cause too much discomfort, but (hehe) was still having chaffing issues. Bought me some inexpensive chamois cream from the local Performance store and never looked back. Good luck!
You might try going to your LBS and getting measured for a saddle. From there you can experiment and find what will work best for you. I did this and am in the process of trying different types of Bibs and Chamois creams to see what will work best for me. Major trial and error when it comes to this .......
I went from a Terry Liberator to an Avatar 155. I'm 6'3" 265 and now I'm considering a Brooks B-17. I am just not feeling right 40-50 miles into a ride. I had my sit bones measured when I bought the Avatar and the 155 was the size the LBS said. The Avatar is far better than than the Terry was but now I am thinking the Brooks may have been a better choice for my size. Opinions anyone??????????
Well I decided to get the b17. It came the afternoon (from bikeisland.com) we were leaving for Walla Walla. We were going over to visit family and do the Anne Weatherhill ride (http://annweatherillcyclingclassic.blogspot.com/) So I through the box in the back of the car and off we went. The night before the ride I decided to put it on my bike just to test it out. I was leary of doing a metric century with a new saddle. So I rode around a little bit and decided this was a very comfortable saddle. So I made the decision to ride the metric with it on. Break in what break in the saddle was comfortable from mile 1 all the way to mile 50 and beyond. My old saddle was the Avatar 155 and usally I was squirming quite a bit 30-40 miles in. No squirming here. I know this has been said before but I do highly recommend the Brooks B17. It may not look fancy or high tech but who cares when your a** is covering the whole thing. A lttle about me I'm a bit over 6'2" 265lbs. Happy biking.
I love the Avatar that came on my Specialized. Glad you have found a saddle that works for you malcom40! Specialized and Brooks saddles seem to both have many loyal followers.
On my time trial bike I have tried 4 different saddles though. Just got the Cobb V-Flow + and I think it is the one I'm sticking with on that bike.
Quelerct, I would say irf you have at least 100 miles on your current saddle and you are still having BAD pain then it's time to consider a new saddle and/or better shorts. Seat height and tilt could also contribute. Perhaps something besides Body Glide should be tried also. Could you be having a reaction to the Body Glide? All bike shops will have some brand of chamois cream, though I have been using A&D ointment for this purpose at the recommendation of a friend (A&D has been keeping babies happy for years!).
oh my goodness, I need a new saddle. Gonna get an elderly seat. One of the buig deals with the springs and bigger seat. My rear aches with every bump, cut down curbs, etc....That is the weakest link, gonna get a new saddle, gotta do it.