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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-21-10, 08:17 AM   #1
superhero1219
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Sit bones, grr...

Hello everyone! I'm new to bike riding and to this forum. I'd like to start riding for health reasons, I'm pathetically out of shape and a bit overweight. The problem I'm having is that I cannot ride without severe pain in the rear.

My roommate and I decided to ride to the movies, which was only 1.25 miles each way. By the time we got home, my sit bones were screaming at me. I couldn't even sit on the couch without flinching, which is truly devastating for a lazy ass like me It lasts a few days too - a real treat.

People say to give it time and that I'll get used to it, but how am I supposed to build up a tolerance if it literally makes me want to run screaming at the sight of it?

I tried getting a more padded seat, tried adjusting the seat height and angle, etc. No matter what I do, I feel like I need to sit on a donut afterward, lol.

Does anyone have any advice? My arse would truly appreciate it!
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Old 04-21-10, 08:45 AM   #2
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Padded cycling shorts.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:52 AM   #3
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People say to give it time and that I'll get used to it, but how am I supposed to build up a tolerance if it literally makes me want to run screaming at the sight of it?
This is the biggest lie in cycling. The truth is that riding more on a really uncomfortable saddle will never be comfortable. Buying padded cycling shorts (or padded underwear, if you refuse to wear bike-specific shorts) may help a bit. Buying a saddle that's a better fit for your personal anatomy is the only real cure, however.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:52 AM   #4
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Is it just the sit bones that hurt or are you finding you have pain elsewhere? One thing to consider is that we of the heavier persuasion sit heavier on our poor little sit bones. Moreover, when we are out of shape, we sit heavier on the saddle because we are pushing less on the pedals and coasting more. These two issues can only be solved by riding more, even if it does hurt. If you are having pain elsewhere, aside from the sit bones, you may be having some pain from skin chafing/stretching. Cycling shorts can really help with, at least with the chafing. I am not convinced that padded shorts will do anything but there are many people who swear by them. I think I may be part of a small minority that doesn't really like them. If your saddle and/or shorts get too terribly padded you may run into problem with numbness in the nether regions.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:55 AM   #5
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This is the biggest lie in cycling. The truth is that riding more on a really uncomfortable saddle will never be comfortable. Buying padded cycling shorts (or padded underwear, if you refuse to wear bike-specific shorts) may help a bit. Buying a saddle that's a better fit for your personal anatomy is the only real cure, however.
It's not a lie. Sitting can be tough if you are out of shape, especially if you are heavy and out of shape. Every time I have returned to cycling after some hiatus, there is a period where I am sore down there. As my fitness improves, so does my comfort. Now, it is true that having a good saddle is absolutely essential but it is not a "lie" that one needs to ride more to condition oneself to riding.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:03 AM   #6
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Yeah but to ride only 2-3 miles and have pain that bad is not normal. You need to find a seat that fits you and unfortunately that takes trying alot of seats. Now you will have to build up to the saddle also but a fitted saddle shouldn't cause severe pain. The one thing we need to know is if it is a skin problem or a bruising problem.

If it is a saddle sore/skin/abrasion problem then specific shorts might help. You need the shorts to stick to you and rub on the saddle vs sticking to the saddle and rubbing on you.

If it is a bruising problem/tissue problem it would probably be an ill fitting saddle and a change may be needed.

The other thing to keep in mind is that most times, not always, but most times, a saddle with a lot of padding causes more problems than a firm saddle with little to no padding.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:06 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the responses! It's definitely a bruising problem... I've never had any problems with chafing or numbness. I just feel like I can't sit on the seat for more than 5 minutes.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:06 AM   #8
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Could that be a NOT FITTED PROPERLY's bike causing the pain? Top tube is too long for your upper body and your hands? Seat tube/seat height is too high?

I had a bike which it didn't fit me properly. Whenever I ride that bike, I feel like I want to jump out of the bike right away.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:23 AM   #9
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I agree that riding 1.25 miles and having hat much pain, or really any pain at all, is not normal. Even when I have tried evil saddles I have been able to sit on them for more than five minutes. I think ahson might be on to something. The fit could be an issue.
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Old 04-21-10, 10:30 AM   #10
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One of the biggest problems is that new riders don't want to drop $100 for a decent saddle. $50 is even outrageous to most new riders which IMO is about the minimum one needs to spend on a quality saddle.

Too many "new to riding" riders expect the saddle on a $150 bike to be comfortable. So investing too much in the saddle or quality bike shorts is unrealistic.

What bike is the Superhero1219 riding?...since he hasn't mentioned it.
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Old 04-21-10, 11:35 AM   #11
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What bike is the Superhero1219 riding?...since he hasn't mentioned it.

It's an old (~10 yrs) KHS Pro Montana with Shimano Deore XT and LX components. (FYI: I know absolutely nothing about bikes)

And he is actually a she

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Old 04-21-10, 11:37 AM   #12
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+1,000,000 on the padded cycling shorts. For $25 to $35 at www.love2pedal.com you can make your tush happy.
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Old 04-21-10, 11:41 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=superhero1219;10703266]It's an old (~10 yrs) KHS Pro Montana with Shimano Deore XT and LX components. (FYI: I know absolutely nothing about bikes)

And he is actually a she

Nothing wrong with that bike that a pair of cycling shorts won't fix. Once you get used to riding again you may want to change out the saddle (seat) for something better (less padding) for cycling. The shorts will help immensely in the whole process.
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Old 04-21-10, 11:48 AM   #14
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It's an old (~10 yrs) KHS Pro Montana with Shimano Deore XT and LX components. (FYI: I know absolutely nothing about bikes)

And he is actually a she
Doh!...

Nice bike but the saddle. I know it's hard to understand but the smaller saddles are comfy compared to those big tractor seats.

MY wife fought about it for years (6years to be exact). She did 40 milers on her lycra covered seat which is a bit smaller than yours. I FINALLY talked her into riding a Lady Gel Dolce Specialized saddle ($50). First ride she admitted it made a world of difference! Soon after she did 84 miles with no problem.
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Old 04-21-10, 11:53 AM   #15
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the original seat was a lot smaller with less padding... i thought i'd try a padded seat, but to no avail.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:14 PM   #16
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Saddle on the left is the stye she used to ride. The saddle on the right is the one she rides now. Not as plump but still got some cushion (my wife aint a skinnybutt!). Also has the cutout for a little added comfort although not every rider prefers the cutout. Known fact, not every saddle works for every rider. After riding the Dolce (on the right), she went back and bought a second saddle for her other bike the week after!

If you get a chance and have a Performance bike shop near you, they usually let you try out a saddle for 30 day, if not happy, they will let you return it.

You might also want to try a Terry Liberator (Terry is a woman's specific brand, although now they do some Man saddles). Wife is trying one out now and also likes it. But like I said, not everybody will like the same saddle. That's where Peformance's policy comes in handy.

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Old 04-21-10, 12:17 PM   #17
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BTW, if you notice, the saddle on the right is more narrow in the nose section. It allows for better leg movement alongside the saddle and lessens the chance of chafing.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:44 PM   #18
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One of the biggest myths is that a softer plusher saddle is more comfortable.. This is the same reasoning that people think a Brooks which is hard to the touch will be very uncomfortable.. You need to find a saddle that is fairly firm with a little padding and you should be fine..

I bought a Bontrager saddle in a pinch for a bike I was building up, while waiting for a brooks to come in and it was very comfortable.. It was only 25.00, a little wider than most, firm but still very supportive.. Many shops carry Bontrager so it should be easy to find and if cost is a big factor..

http://bontrager.com/model/08381
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Old 04-21-10, 12:45 PM   #19
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A fat goo filled gel seat deforms when you sit on it, forcing the goo away from where you put pressure on it, which is where your sit bones contact the saddle. The gel usually ends up getting bunched up in the taint area and the outer edges for both numbness and chafing. Meanwhile, your sit bones end up on the hard plastic base of the saddle and might be the cause of your pain. When you go saddle shopping, you want something that will support your sit bones w/o being hard as a rock.

Amazingly enough, plastic and leather saddles are good at stuff like that. No padding whatsoever, but they do give you firm support when you sit on them. I use Brooks saddles on all my bikes. All my friends knock on them w/ their knuckles, declare them hard as rocks and then get numb nuts on their stock saddles. I ride w/o bike shorts and feel perfectly fine. And like Beanz said, not every saddle works for every rider.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:25 PM   #20
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I say get a new saddle and a pair of cycling shorts. That way the saddle does what it's supposed to do (provide a place for your rear end) and your shorts do what they're supposed to do (provide support for your muscles and cushion for your tush). Performance (www.performancebike.com) has Terry saddles for women that are anywhere from $45 to $125. Both Specialized and Bontrager (Trek) have women specific design (WSD) saddles from $35 to $100. Pick a middle of the road saddle and a pair of cycling shorts from LOVE2PEDAL and you should be able to fix things for around $80.

Many of us here have dropped at least that much for just a saddle or a pair of shorts and have found the riding experience to be much more satisfying. Let me tell you this - I had a lot of pain in my sit bones before I switched to cycling shorts too. I have decently stiff saddles on both my road bike and my mountain bike. Since I got cycling shorts it isn't my sit bones I have to worry about, it's my leg muscles. In other words; for me, the cycling shorts took away all of my sit bone pain and focused the "pain" on the areas that were most deficient for me - my leg muscles. That is real life testimony.

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Old 04-21-10, 03:25 PM   #21
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I'll just share what I look for. I look for a seat that supports my sit bones first and foremost, something that has decent support underneath that can take some jarring from a heavy tuckus and rough road conditions withouth breaking 2nd, and lastly cuhsioning (bonus not always necessary), . Yes, I have actually broken a few of the cheapo seats. I also find that different bikes do have different style seats that are comfortable.
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Old 04-21-10, 03:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
It's not a lie. Sitting can be tough if you are out of shape, especially if you are heavy and out of shape. Every time I have returned to cycling after some hiatus, there is a period where I am sore down there. As my fitness improves, so does my comfort. Now, it is true that having a good saddle is absolutely essential but it is not a "lie" that one needs to ride more to condition oneself to riding.
There's "discomfort" and then there's holy-crap-I'm-in-so-much-pain-I-can't-sit-down. Very mild discomfort might go away with additional time spent getting used to the saddle. In my experience, a saddle which is downright painful will never become comfortable no matter how much time you spend sitting on it... YMMV.
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Old 04-23-10, 07:47 PM   #23
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There's "discomfort" and then there's holy-crap-I'm-in-so-much-pain-I-can't-sit-down. Very mild discomfort might go away with additional time spent getting used to the saddle. In my experience, a saddle which is downright painful will never become comfortable no matter how much time you spend sitting on it... YMMV.
MMDV (My mileage does vary.) I understand that some saddles just won't work. I am on my fifth one, for example. There was one saddle that was about to make e cry. But there is a another class of butt pain that comes from being out of shape. It is the latter that does go away after a while.
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