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  1. #1
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    Can you help me with Saddle pain and sit bone question - Saddle reccomendations?

    Ok so i am new to this technology and this may not be safe for children so please move along if you are offended by my crude anatomy.

    I am not sure how a saddle should fit but I am pretty certain that i should not be so sore after 15 miles that it hurts my crotch to walk.

    The saddle is 100% supporting my weight by pressing on the area between my boys and my exit. My bones in my tush are about an inch outside the edge of my saddle. I am a large person 6'7" & 225 do i need a larger seat?

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you may need a wider saddle. If there's a Specialized dealer in your area, you might ask them to measure you using their Ass-o-meter device and then recommend a saddle. Beware of saddles with too much gel or padding. They seem like a good idea, but invariably end up causing too much pressure or chafing on longer rides...

  3. #3
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    Get measured. It does soudn like you need a wider saddle, but get measured.

  4. #4
    Retro-guy
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    If you don't have a Specialized dealer nearby, you can come close with a home measurement. If you lay a sheet of aluminum foil (carbon fiber foil if you are getting fancy.... it's a joke!) on a carpeted stairs, and sit on it, leaning forward to approximate your back's angle on the bike.

    When you get up you'll see two deeper depressions in the foil, from your sit bones. They'll probably be around an inch or so in diameter, but mark the approximate center of each depression, and measure the distance between them. (The real method uses a pad of memory foam.)

    Somewhere floating around this forum I've seen a reproduction of Specialized's chart, which says which of their three saddle widths is recommended for various ranges of this sit-bones width. But basically it boils down to adding around 30 mm or so to what you measured, for a typical road bike posture, and somewhat more for hybrids and more upright riding postures.

    In my own case, my measurement came out in the 110 to perhaps 115 mm range (sit-bones width). (I am 6'4" and 240 lbs, to calibrate this a bit.)

    The chart indicated that a 143mm saddle width was appropriate for a typical road-bike posture (although a 155 was shown as OK for bikes with a more upright posture).

    In any case, the 130mm saddle that had come with my bike was clearly too narrow, and would have been appropriate for sit-bones widths of less than 100mm.

    I ended up getting a Selle Italia Prolink, which is 144mm wide, and so far seems to fit well. Certainly the numbness I was getting with the original 130mm saddle has gone away, although I am still doing a little bit of minor tweaking on saddle fore/aft position, as well as a slight tilt angle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I'd recommend a http://www.selleanatomica.com/ . You'd want to clydesdale model.

  6. #6
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    i am struggling with the same... it seems like all of the pics i see online people (pro bikers) are riding on their taint... I am hoping to figure out the same issues you are... good stuff in this thread! that's for certain

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
    i am struggling with the same... it seems like all of the pics i see online people (pro bikers) are riding on their taint... I am hoping to figure out the same issues you are... good stuff in this thread! that's for certain
    ah the taint - didnt know if people would understand that

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
    i am struggling with the same... it seems like all of the pics i see online people (pro bikers) are riding on their taint... I am hoping to figure out the same issues you are... good stuff in this thread! that's for certain
    It could be that their body weight is partially distributed to their legs and arms. You are supposed to perch on a racing saddle, not put your entire weight on it.

  9. #9
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    Well yeah, your ass is going to hurt if it is enveloping your saddle, rather than you sitting atop it. It ain't meant to be like that

    Like others have said, find a Specialized/Fizik/Bontrager dealer in your area, they all have sitbone measurement systems, and at least get an idea of how wide your saddle needs to be.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    You are supposed to perch on a racing saddle, not put your entire weight on it.
    Oh man please don't tell me this..... i don't see how I could do that for hours on end. maybe in time

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    Quote Originally Posted by wstandis View Post
    Oh man please don't tell me this..... i don't see how I could do that for hours on end. maybe in time


    Yeah, it does get easier with time, but Historian is right. Don't put all your weight on the saddle because, as you have discovered, you will begin to hurt within about fifteen minutes.

    Your weight needs to be distributed equally: Legs, arms, butt. Go to a local bike shop and have them help you with fit-up. It's well worth it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by digibud View Post
    I'd recommend a http://www.selleanatomica.com/ . You'd want to clydesdale model.
    Hey! I just ponied up and bought one of these...Took my first ride yesterday evening, best ride I've ever had, the "undercarriage" in it's totality was utterly unmolested..it was bliss and I believe I have 'finally' found the saddle that will end my never ending quest to find the perfect one that "does no harm". First time in quite some time that I rode until general fatigue rather than rode 'til it was difficult to tolerate the pain.

    6'-4" and 240LBS btw.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Ass-o-meter device
    Is this a multi purpose tool?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
    Yeah, it does get easier with time, but Historian is right. Don't put all your weight on the saddle because, as you have discovered, you will begin to hurt within about fifteen minutes.

    Your weight needs to be distributed equally: Legs, arms, butt. Go to a local bike shop and have them help you with fit-up. It's well worth it.
    Distributed equally? I don't think so! Everybody who knows anything about cycling will tell you that you want very little, if any, of your weight supported by your arms and hands. Unless I'm standing to climb or sprint, the majority of my weight is supported by my saddle. There's certainly some tension in my legs as I press down on the pedals, but not a whole lot.

    The solution to butt pain isn't to buy a saddle and then avoid putting any weight on it, nor is it to have an expensive professional fitting done. The solution is to buy a saddle (and shorts!) that are comfortable for your anatomy...

    Edit: Oh yeah, recommendations: lots of people like Specialized's "BG Fit" line of saddles (Toupe, Avatar Alias, Romin, etc) though they don't work for me. I love my Selle SMP saddle and have also had good look with WTB (e.g. Rocket V).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Distributed equally? I don't think so! Everybody who knows anything about cycling will tell you that you want very little, if any, of your weight supported by your arms and hands...
    Oh, is that right?



    I'd call that pretty evenly distributed...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
    Oh, is that right?



    I'd call that pretty evenly distributed...
    Nice picture! What the heck is it supposed to tell us about weight distribution, though?!?

    I don't see any scales in the picture, so I can't tell a darn thing about where the rider actually has his weight. My guess is that most of it is on the saddle. Feel free to point to any evidence that this rider has his weight evenly distributed between his arms, legs, and butt as you're suggesting... But don't try too hard: the guy looks pretty big and his arms are pretty spindly in comparison. Hard to image he's going to use them to support a significant portion of his weight over a 5-6 hour ride!

  17. #17
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    To amplify what is said by sstorkel, above, part of the fitting recommendations for saddle fore-aft position include the "hands up" test. If your saddle is positioned well, you should be able to lift your hands up off the handlebar (or up off the brake hoods) without having to strain too much. This wouldn't be possible if a significant portion of your body weight was being supported by your arms/hands.

    I don't know what percentage of body weight IS being typically supported by the arms/hands, but would doubt if it is even as much as 10%. (Actually, it would be interesting to see some real data on this.)

    The largest portion is being supported by the saddle, I think, with a significant amount being supported by the legs/feet on the pedals. This is just a guess, but I'm thinking something like 60% saddle, 30% pedals, 10% handlebars.

    In terms of weight distribution between the two wheels, I think a 60/40 split is not atypical, although I've seen some people report that they've actually tried to measure this themselves, using home scales, and that they have seen more like 65/35 (rear/front).

    But the weight on the saddle is not all on the rear wheels - some portion of saddle weight is transferred to the front wheel. Even more so for the weight on the pedals. And then the weight on the bars will be mostly on the front wheel, with some very tiny portion going to the rear. With enough measurements you could figure out the force vectors between the saddle, pedals, and handlebars as inputs, and the rear and front wheel as outputs, and compute the rear/front contribution for each input, and the relative contribution of each input. (You'd also need to figure out how the bike's own weight transferred between the rear and front wheels.) But then you'd be an "enginerd", like me.... :-)

  18. #18
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    Even if the guys center of gravity is as high as his belly button, that's still a lot further away from the bars than it is from the seat and pedals. So it cannot possibly be "evenly distributed."

    The long standing tradition in cycling fit is that while you pedal along you feel as if you could "play the handlebar like a piano." That sounds like a lot less than a third one's body wight. In fact it sounds like almost none.

    Note that this is when pedaling along with a realistic amount of effort. When you stop pedaling and coast you will have to put a bit of weight forward to compensate for not pushing on the forward pedal.

    While you're pedaling along the weight on the pedals makes the bike go. You mostly don't weight the back pedal, just the forward one, because weighting both would be counterproductive. So the weight on the pedals while pedaling is basically a function of how much power you are produce.

    Say you are producing 200 watts at 100 rpm and you have 175mm cranks, well, that works out to about 80 pounds on the forward pedal. If you're a skinny racer guy that would be more than half your body weight, if you're a bigger person, less than half. So different people who have different builds and levels of effort cannot all be 'evenly distributed.' A bigger rider has to place a greater proportion of their weight on the saddle. A weaker rider also has to place a greater proportion of weight on the saddle.
    Last edited by zzyzx_xyzzy; 04-28-10 at 06:40 PM.

  19. #19
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    I'm not saying his body weight is being held up vertically by his arms. But, I am saying all his upper body weight is "supported" by his arms. The force vector goes through his arms. It's in line with his arms, at roughly 45 degrees to the horizontal.

    If you are seated wrong, meaning not as shown above but rather have all weight on saddle, then your upper body remains unsupprted and too much force does indeed end up getting exerted on the crotch.

    Btw: if you can't see this "proper weight distribution" from the above picture, you're not very observant. And...I am not going to bother to help you either. Have a nice day.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
    I'm not saying his body weight is being held up vertically by his arms. But, I am saying all his upper body weight is "supported" by his arms. The force vector goes through his arms. It's in line with his arms, at roughly 45 degrees to the horizontal.
    You should probably do some more reading on bicycle fitting before doling out advice to people. Take a look at Keith Bontrager's The Myth of KOPS, for example. He says things like:

    A good cyclist uses a variety of riding position, including two different out-of-the-saddle positions - one for sprinting and a slightly different one for climbing. The rider's center of gravity (CG) over the pedals changes among all three positions; good overall bike position would assure that the rider is well balanced and does not have to expend excessive muscular energy in the arms and shoulders to support his weight in any of them.
    Peter White also has a decent article on bike fitting available. Another choice quote:

    For starters, I like to put the saddle in the forward most position that allows the rider to lift his hands off of the handlebar and maintain the torso position without strain. You should not feel like you're about to fall forward when you lift off the handlebar. If it makes no difference to your back muscles whether you have your hands on the bars or not, you know that you aren't using your arms to support your upper body. If you are, your arms and shoulders will surely get tired on a long ride.
    There's also a pretty comprehensive eBook available, though the price seems to have gone up quite a bit since the last time I looked

    In any event, the consensus of professional bike fitters seems to be that you don't want an excessive amount of weight going through the handlebars...

  21. #21
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    Whatever, dude. ^ You're missing the point.

    Point is I'll bet the farm op isn't seated on his bike nearly as comfy as the guy in pic I posted.

    And, how do I know that going in? Uh---being that I am in the Clyde forum kinda helps me clue-wise that bro isn't exactly top-light, but that isn't the real tell. Uh-uh. Most telling is in where he says he hurts----his crotch.

    In my first post, I suggested he get fit by a pro. Period.

    You, Mr. "I know saddles", comes in and tells us with unspecified authority that there is no need to spend money on a professional fitting, as if getting to root of problem is pointless, but rather that op should just go out and buy himself a new seat and some shorts.

    Uh-huh.

    I'd go with the picture myself. If I know I'm not sitting like dude in it, I'd adjust my gear and make sure I was.

  22. #22
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    Pure speculation, sight unseen: I'm guessing op's seat is tilted too far back. His weight is shifted back as well, he sits more vertical than guy in pic I posted.

    Op's crotch hurts because heat builds up between his inner thighs and side walls of the front of the improperly adjusted saddle, which is tilted too far back. When properly fit, the crotch is not even in contact with the saddle. Almost nothing that moves while pedaling is, and a majority of lower body weight is supported on the bottom of each butt cheek.
    Last edited by baron von trail; 04-29-10 at 10:20 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
    Pure speculation, sight unseen: I'm guessing op's seat is tilted too far back. His weight is shifted back as well, he sits more vertical than guy in pic I posted.
    Talk about missing the point! Perhaps you should read the original post again? Specifically, the part where the OP said:

    Quote Originally Posted by wstandis View Post
    My bones in my tush are about an inch outside the edge of my saddle
    As I suggested previously, this sure sounds like the description of a saddle that's too narrow. Which would cause crotch pain and which no amount of tilting would ever cure... Surely it doesn't take a $100-150 professional fit to figure that out... does it?

  24. #24
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    To the OP: are you sitting far enough back on the saddle? Maybe you have inadvertently moved forward on to the narrower part. Also, regarding saddle tilt. Obviously you don't want the front of the saddle jacked up too high and digging in to your crotch, but sometimes if it is a tilted up a miniscule amount at the front, it actually helps keep your butt far enough back, and lessens the hatchet effect pushing up in the middle of the perineum.

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