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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 07-23-11, 03:37 PM   #1
chefisaac
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at the end of the day............. my butt hurts.....

The last four miles of the rode today, my butt started to really hurt. I am not sure why. I had padded shorts on but perhaps its not enough padding?

Where should I try to tweak?

- the saddle?
-the shorts (get ones that have more padding)
- just condition the butt?

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?
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Old 07-23-11, 03:50 PM   #2
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I think you said this is your third ride, and with spending 3 or so hours in the saddle I think some pain is to be expected. I'd give it some more time.

That being said my butt hasn't really hurt since getting my brooks. I am dealing with some chafing though, but I think there are some other things I can do for that.
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Old 07-23-11, 05:08 PM   #3
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It gets better the more time you spend on the bike. From what I understand, you don't want excessive padding in the shorts or the seat. I have 2 pairs, one moderately expensive and the other kind of expensive, the more expensive pair has less padding but is twice as comfortable. From what i can tell with my limited time in cycling, is that like everything else you get what you pay for.

You may also want to try some of that chamois butter, or other bike shorts lube. From experience it does get better the more you ride.
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Old 07-23-11, 05:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
The last four miles of the rode today, my butt started to really hurt. I am not sure why. I had padded shorts on but perhaps its not enough padding?

Where should I try to tweak?

- the saddle?
-the shorts (get ones that have more padding)
- just condition the butt?

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

If the first reply is right that you've only ridden a few times then it's to be expected you'll have a sore behind at first. That said there's nothing wrong with trying to make things better.

Check where your weight sits on the saddle. The wide part of the saddle should support your sit bones. If you sit too far forward you'll put your weight onto more sensitive areas, which won't feel great after a time.

If your saddle is too high you'll be rocking slightly from side to side to turn the pedals. That won't do anything to help your rear either, it will make you sore faster, and won't do your legs much good either. If that's the case lower your saddle a little.

If the nose of your saddle is too low you'll tend to slide towards the front, which will cause the issue of your weight in the wrong place. If it's too high you'll tend to squash sensitive parts against it and potentially tend to slide off the back of it.
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Old 07-23-11, 05:21 PM   #5
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The padding on the shorts isn't really there to provide more padding - it's there to reduce or eliminate chafing. Fast89fox is correct - more padding often makes things worse, not better. The extra padding will often cause your weight to be born by the soft tissues - exactly what you don't want.

So, the question is - without getting too graphic, please! - where exactly are you hurting? is it on the bones (usually referred to as sit bones)? This is where your weight should be supported, and can often feel bruised as you build up your mileage and time on the saddle. Although not pleasant, if this is where you are hurting that's actually a good thing - your saddle is supporting you where it should be. Keep riding and you should build up a tolerance for this.

If the pain is elsewhere, you probably need to try a different saddle or adjust the position of your current saddle.

If it's really chafing, then chamois butter, different shorts or (sometimes) a different saddle will usually take care of that.

If it's saddle sores (boils or zits in really uncomfortable places) - then the same answer as chafing, although improved hygiene is also a frequent solution. Note that a doctor may need to lance a really badly infected sore.

JB
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Old 07-23-11, 05:35 PM   #6
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The padding on the shorts isn't really there to provide more padding - it's there to reduce or eliminate chafing. Fast89fox is correct - more padding often makes things worse, not better. The extra padding will often cause your weight to be born by the soft tissues - exactly what you don't want.

So, the question is - without getting too graphic, please! - where exactly are you hurting? is it on the bones (usually referred to as sit bones)? This is where your weight should be supported, and can often feel bruised as you build up your mileage and time on the saddle. Although not pleasant, if this is where you are hurting that's actually a good thing - your saddle is supporting you where it should be. Keep riding and you should build up a tolerance for this.

If the pain is elsewhere, you probably need to try a different saddle or adjust the position of your current saddle.

If it's really chafing, then chamois butter, different shorts or (sometimes) a different saddle will usually take care of that.

If it's saddle sores (boils or zits in really uncomfortable places) - then the same answer as chafing, although improved hygiene is also a frequent solution. Note that a doctor may need to lance a really badly infected sore.

JB
It totally could just be the saddle like jonathanb715 mentioned. I went through a few saddles before I found the one for me. Luckily my lbs has a exchange program. One word of advice, don't get a big fat gel padded saddle, cause you will be hurting more trust me. I really think that chamois butter does help.
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Old 07-23-11, 06:30 PM   #7
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I had no idea that I've ridden over 620 miles these last two months until I added them up. During that time, I hadda get my butt used to my bicycle seat..... a gel Specialized saddle for which I had the distance between my sit bones measured. Recently I've been going through seat position: fore & aft, angle of tilt, height from the pedals. What never ceases to amaze me, is how ever-so-slight adjustments can make a HUGE difference in perceived comfort.

In addition, I have three pair of cycle shorts.... all cheap. I am starting to appreciate things like seemingly absent seams (mine have got MAJOR seams, and they can suck!). The material the padded area is made of, gel or chamois.... it's shape, the overall quality of the shorts, etc.(?!!?). One of my shorts feel like chafe is inevitable if I put long enough time in the saddle, another pair puts unwanted pressure/abrasion where I sit (actually a handy pair to wear when figuring out saddle positioning).

And then there is the anti-chafe goop...... I haven't quite figured that out yet. How much, where, how often, is there anything better or best??? I got it from a local rider that the most readily available and affordable stuff around (biggest "secret") is yer basic Bag Balm from virtually any pharmacy, and costing MUCH less than designer stuff sold by your LBS'

My butt is getting broken-in, I'm starting to appreciate why better ($$$) cycle shorts/bibs might be better, and I can not begin to tell you how just the most minute adjustment of my leather Brooks Imperial (w/central cut-out) cycle saddle can make a world of difference. But it takes almost a whole ride to figure out how you might want to adjust/correct the saddle position. My Specialized saddle by the way, is VERY forgiving with regard to positioning, but I'm starting to understand why the leather Brooks can be quite comfortable.

You're gonna hafta put time in, not be afraid of adjusting your seat, and think about splurging for some quality shorts.... someday, I hope to replace my cheap shorts with some quality bibs.
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Old 07-23-11, 06:42 PM   #8
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The padding on the shorts isn't really there to provide more padding - it's there to reduce or eliminate chafing. Fast89fox is correct - more padding often makes things worse, not better. The extra padding will often cause your weight to be born by the soft tissues - exactly what you don't want.
+1 Some good advice here in jonathon's post.

Also, just my opinion here, gels have no business being anywhere near a bike or rider.

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In addition, I have three pair of cycle shorts.... all cheap. I am starting to appreciate things like seemingly absent seams (mine have got MAJOR seams, and they can suck!). The material the padded area is made of, gel or chamois.... it's shape, the overall quality of the shorts, etc.(?!!?). One of my shorts feel like chafe is inevitable if I put long enough time in the saddle, another pair puts unwanted pressure/abrasion where I sit (actually a handy pair to wear when figuring out saddle positioning).
Ahh... the eyes are opened...

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And then there is the anti-chafe goop...... I haven't quite figured that out yet. How much, where, how often, is there anything better or best??? I got it from a local rider that the most readily available and affordable stuff around (biggest "secret") is yer basic Bag Balm from virtually any pharmacy, and costing MUCH less than designer stuff sold by your LBS'
There are many different kinds of chamois creams around. I personally use Friction Freedom. It has an anti-bacterial ingredient. I find it's on a par with Assos' Chamois Creme, but costs alot less. I don't use it all the time, but whenever I get a saddle sore, I start using it again. Sore goes away after a couple days. I use one finger full, and apply directly to the skin covering my sit bones and the area between scrotum and anus. Other riders apply it directly to the chamois pad, covering the whole pad. (I don't like that 'cause it'll smear on the legs when pulling up the shorts.)
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Old 07-23-11, 07:33 PM   #9
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Here is the bike and saddle:







Wfournier and I both thought the saddle might be a little narrow for the OP. Then again, we both ride Brooks, so what do we know?

The OP and his bike:

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Old 07-23-11, 07:37 PM   #10
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In my experience, if the saddle feels uncomfortable then you either need more time on the bike or perhaps better shorts.

If the saddle is downright painful, you need a new saddle. At the end of the day, an ass hatchet is always going to feel like an ass hatchet...
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Old 07-23-11, 07:38 PM   #11
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And then there is the anti-chafe goop...... I haven't quite figured that out yet. How much, where, how often, is there anything better or best??? I got it from a local rider that the most readily available and affordable stuff around (biggest "secret") is yer basic Bag Balm from virtually any pharmacy, and costing MUCH less than designer stuff sold by your LBS'
I use the Bag Balm - it works, and it lasts a good long time. However, it's base is petroleum jelly - Vaseline. Lots of people get reactions to it, and I've heard it can break down some materials used in bike shorts (I've never had a problem with either). It also has lanolin and an anti-biotic compound in it. It works for me. I use it if I'm riding more than 2 hours - and it's worked well on rides as long as 200 miles. If I'm going to use it I use lots. YMMV.

JB
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Old 07-24-11, 03:08 AM   #12
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mkadam: where do youget the Friction Freedom from?
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Old 07-24-11, 07:22 AM   #13
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Direct from them.
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Old 07-24-11, 07:41 AM   #14
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thank you!
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Old 07-24-11, 07:43 AM   #15
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kinda expensive.
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Old 07-24-11, 08:17 AM   #16
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If it is any consolation, my butt hurts looking at your saddle. This is of course coming from a convert to Brooks.
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Old 07-24-11, 08:53 AM   #17
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please see my sig.
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Old 07-24-11, 02:43 PM   #18
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FWIW, here's a quick & brief review of top/popular cycling-specific chamois cremes.
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Old 07-24-11, 03:18 PM   #19
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I recommend rewrapping your bars. All things will be better then.
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Old 07-24-11, 04:39 PM   #20
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please see my sig. "The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt."
I'd venture to guess that this is the issue.


chefissac- Does it feel like someone (your bike, perhaps?) kicked you in the butt and your sitbones are now sore? Do you have some soreness if sitting on a hard surface?
If so, you probably just need a little more time to break in your butt. A 3 hour ride without at least a couple weeks of shorter rides is usually going to be a painful experience for someone starting out on a smaller sadde, being a clyde doesn't help the matter. The chamois creams some are recommending are a good idea if chafing is or could be a problem.


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FWIW, here's a quick & brief review of top/popular cycling-specific chamois cremes.
The Chamois Butt'r Eurostyle briefly mentioned in the review does have anti-bacterial/microbial ingredients. It's also half the price of the Friction Freedom per oz., widely available at many bike shops, and also has $1 sample packs if someone wants to try it out.
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Old 07-24-11, 05:34 PM   #21
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The Chamois Butt'r Eurostyle briefly mentioned in the review does have anti-bacterial/microbial ingredients. It's also half the price of the Friction Freedom per oz., widely available at many bike shops, and also has $1 sample packs if someone wants to try it out.
Thanks for the info. I hadn't tried it yet.
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Old 07-24-11, 05:40 PM   #22
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mkad: thanks for the review link. Very helpful. Perhaps it was a little biast since they are sponsored by Fricton Freedom?
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Old 07-24-11, 05:50 PM   #23
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Is the sit bone the tail bone ?

I think it is chaffing. When I sit on a hard surface it hurts only a little but when I rub the area where the seat was in contact with my skin, it hurts. So I think it is chaffing???
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Old 07-24-11, 05:51 PM   #24
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craig: I just bought that bike and the first ride I did, the tape slipped because my of hand position. Is the factory wrapping usually bad?
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Old 07-24-11, 06:02 PM   #25
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craig: I just bought that bike and the first ride I did, the tape slipped because my of hand position. Is the factory wrapping usually bad?
Did you buy it new from the shop? I've never seen a brand new bike have tape slip anything close to that bad from a single ride. Something wasn't done right. It's hard to tell from the pics, but it could have been wrapped in the wrong direction, or not pulled tight enough, or they didn't use the DIY wrencher's secret weapon: double-stick tape under the bar tape, on the outside face of the bar's curved sections. Your brake levers aren't loose on the handelbars by any chance, are they?

Not having ever worked in a bike shop, I don't know if bar wrapping is done as a part of the assembly process, or if bars come wrapped from the Giant factory, but someone someplace did something poorly on yours. I'd show it to the LBS.

Also, the tail bone is not what folks around here refer to when they talk about the "sit bones." The tail bone is the coccyx, and isn't, or shouldn't be, in contact with your saddle at all - it's right in the middle at the very bottom of your spine. The sit bones, or ischial tuberosities, are the bottom extensions of your pelvis, and they're a pair. You can feel them pretty easily if you sit on your hands on a hard surface. Those are the structures that should be supported by a proper-fitting saddle, and not the soft tissues of the perineum between them. Even so, there are some soft tissues between the sit bones and the saddle, and they'll get bruised a little on your first rides. They toughen up in time. I always tell friends new to cycling that the only thing that hurts worse than your first ride is your second, and in some cases, your third.

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