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  1. #1
    she
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    Chafing and seat woes

    I thought the shorts would be my dream answer but now I know a few other things need planning here. I'm sliding foward on the seat so I'm not sure if the seat needs to be a little up or down. When I'm looking at the saddle it looks tilted up a wee bit. But if I tilt it down won't that make me slide more foward? Now I do want to get a new saddle. Not a brooks unless its at a garage sale LOL I can afford about 50 bucks. I like the ones with the openings and my LBS is selling a terry for around that much. For you women do you find the openings much help? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    I saw a girl with a saddle that was in two halves - i.e. the middle was like a passage for your wedding tackle to hang in. From a humble male perspective this looked potentially quite advantageous. I'm sure I would find it diabolical if I had to sit on mine!

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    If the saddle nose is tilted upwards, and you still feel like you are sliding forward on the nose, there may be a fitment issue with your bikes setup, and perhaps an ergo adjustment would help to correct that. If your usual LBS says its fine, or doesnt see an issue, its ok to take it to another LBS for a second opinion. Sometimes a fresh set of ideas can come with a fresh set of eyes. Personally i first started riding, the LBS i bought the bike from put me in a very upright "fat guy" position. It was uncomfortable, and it hurt my wrists and back, and i didnt feel stable in the bike at all. But they insisted that it was the best position for me. I went to another (closer) LBS, and they immediately drastically changed the ergos on my bike, and put me into a much "racier" position. My wrists stopped hurting, my power output increased, my speed increased, and my ride distance nearly doubled in a matter of weeks, because i wasnt getting near as fatigued on the bike, and it actually felt fun to ride.

    That said, saddles are tremendously personal, and individual things. For example it took me nearly 3 months of trying out different saddles, until i finally found one that fit my physique comfortably. In the end i discovered i prefer a harder saddle with less padding, a flat nose, a kick up curve in the rear of the saddle to help with my more upright position (compared to the super fast guys that weigh as much as my leg), a tail bone cut out, a perineal relief channel, and in a medium width. All said and done, i ended up with a Specialized Romin Expert in a 143 width. But that was only after i put my ass through a countless number saddles, and by being able to slowly zone in on a specific shape through trial and error, and eventually find out what fit me best.

    Furthermore I have two female riding friends, one of them has a Terry saddle similar to the one Jim describes above. She swears by it. The other friend bought that same one on the others recommendation...and...absolutely hated it. She eventually ended up with a saddle that had a flat profile, no channel (but a softer center "relief area") and a flatter nose (a Selle San Marco Aspide Glamour if i remember correctly). Which is about as far away from the split Terry saddle as you can get.

    So knowing that, you should check with a few of your LBS and see if they offer a demo saddle deposit program, or have a really good return policy, so you can try a saddle out for a few rides and put some miles on it to see how your back side and *ahem* "area" take to it. And usually after a couple rides you will know right away whether or not its going work for you. There is unfortunately no "magic bullet" for finding a good fitting saddle, not even a Brooks, and it is a lengthy process of trial and error to find out what works best for you with your bodies physiology. But any process that gets you out on your bike more, and in the end makes you want to ride it more...cant be all bad. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    If your saddle is one of those comfort bike kind of saddles it probably will need to go. I also got a Terry Butterfly (which does have a cutout but I am not sure that was necessary )and now I am so comfortable that I can ride 20 miles without the need for padded shorts. But it was pricey, more than I ordinary would spend but it was before the stock market crashed.

    I like the idea of seeing if your bike shop will let you try out some saddles. I actually tried out a neighbors bike saddle which helped me realize that I needed one totally different from what I had. There are saddles that are more T shaped, some more pear shaped. I found the T shape more comfortable for me.

    I would first see if it is the position of your saddle. For me it turned out to be both position and the saddle too. I was always wanting to push myself back on the saddle and it turned out that my saddle was too far forward. At first I tilted the nose up and it felt much better because I was forced back and wouldn't slide forward. The bike fitter said, no, no, no. Instead, he leveled the seat and moved it back. Adjusting it back made a big difference. If it is still a problem after adjusting the position of the saddle I would try another saddle.


    Short of a bike fitting you might have someone help you adjust the seat height and position using a method like this: http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html.

  5. #5
    she
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    Wow you guys are giving such good advice. Gold I actually have the pear shape sit but it does have quite a long nose. Its not a comfort seat which I don't like at all. Jim I had that seat once and I didn't care for it as there was no nose at(correct me if I'm getting the wrong seat here) as for your wording "wedding tackle" well laughed my head off! First time I heard that!! Buck I agree with you it may not be the seat itself but ....everything else feels good. My legs are not tiring and my arms don't ache but it also dosent mean a few things can't be tweated a bit. My LBS will let me try out different seats so I'm ok there. I'm going to start with the smaller suggestions like Gold mention and work from there. Won't be able to ride home today as my seat tools are at home but errr um hum I can use the rest. LOL

  6. #6
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    If you're sliding forward on a slightly uptilted saddle then there are a few fitment issues I'd look at:

    - Sounds from your statements about arms and core that you are not poorly fitted to the top tube length. You don't seem to be leaning too far over the bars, which is often the case for people sliding forward.

    - Your saddle could be too far back on the rails. If you're trying to compensate for a forward leg position you might be sliding forward on the saddle in an attempt to line up your legs for a better position over the pedals.

    - You might be riding too wide of a saddle. If your saddle is too wide, you'll scoot forward to where your sit bones are more comfortable as the saddle narrows toward the nose. Unfortunately, this puts your tender bits forward as well, onto parts not meant for sitting. (Parts of the saddle and parts of your anatomy.)

    I'm partial to cutout model saddles for different reasoning (opposite gender), but one of my saddles is a women's model. On my road bikes I use Brooks B-17 or B-17 Imperial saddles. On my SSCX race bike I have a Selle Italia Diva gel flow. It's a standard plastic split shell cutout model with differential density gel padding. The rear profile is fairly flat and wide (160mm) so it might not be the best for you if your issue is the saddle width as I mentioned above. Have a shop measure your sit bone width (Specialized dealers can do this) and see what size saddle you need. Then look at cutout models that fit the bill for both width and price range. $50 might be tough to come by, but under $100 is usually doable. I snagged my Diva for around $70 online.
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  7. #7
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    wedding tackle
    !?
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  8. #8
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    My wife would be another vote for the Terry Butterfly. But, as everyone else has said, the seat is a particularly individual item. It really is just trial and error. She was lucky that she found one that worked nicely on her first try. I am on my 3rd road bike seat but I think I have found one I like. (Actually it is a fairly cheap seat from Performance. No need to spend extra money if cheap fits.)
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  9. #9
    she
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    If you're sliding forward on a slightly uptilted saddle then there are a few fitment issues I'd look at:

    - Sounds from your statements about arms and core that you are not poorly fitted to the top tube length. You don't seem to be leaning too far over the bars, which is often the case for people sliding forward.

    - Your saddle could be too far back on the rails. If you're trying to compensate for a forward leg position you might be sliding forward on the saddle in an attempt to line up your legs for a better position over the pedals.

    - You might be riding too wide of a saddle. If your saddle is too wide, you'll scoot forward to where your sit bones are more comfortable as the saddle narrows toward the nose. Unfortunately, this puts your tender bits forward as well, onto parts not meant for sitting. (Parts of the saddle and parts of your anatomy.)

    I'm partial to cutout model saddles for different reasoning (opposite gender), but one of my saddles is a women's model. On my road bikes I use Brooks B-17 or B-17 Imperial saddles. On my SSCX race bike I have a Selle Italia Diva gel flow. It's a standard plastic split shell cutout model with differential density gel padding. The rear profile is fairly flat and wide (160mm) so it might not be the best for you if your issue is the saddle width as I mentioned above. Have a shop measure your sit bone width (Specialized dealers can do this) and see what size saddle you need. Then look at cutout models that fit the bill for both width and price range. $50 might be tough to come by, but under $100 is usually doable. I snagged my Diva for around $70 online.
    Thanks I can really use your advice. Im bringing my seat tools to work tomorrow and figure this out. Im not too sure Im using a to wide saddle cause its pear shape and not very wide. I think Im doing just what your saying about sliding to get better position over the pedals. We will find out tomorrow....stay tuned.

  10. #10
    she
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    !?
    Actually a british idiom!! Looked it up.... this is what it means,

    your wedding tackle (British humorous)
    a man's sexual organs
    Copied from the free dictionary by farlex

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    Actually a british idiom!! Looked it up.... this is what it means,

    your wedding tackle (British humorous)
    a man's sexual organs
    Copied from the free dictionary by farlex
    In very common use. Probably more prevalent, these days, than meat and two veg.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    If your saddle is one of those comfort bike kind of saddles it probably will need to go. I also got a Terry Butterfly (which does have a cutout but I am not sure that was necessary )and now I am so comfortable that I can ride 20 miles without the need for padded shorts. But it was pricey, more than I ordinary would spend but it was before the stock market crashed.
    I do love my Terry Butterfly Ti - watch for it on sale but it is a pricey saddle.

    That said, sliding forward is caused by something else. The actual mechanics of what you are doing is something you need to figure out since we all are not there. Are you pulling yourself forward on the bike because the reach is a stretch? I just think before you purchase a saddle you try and figure out why you are sliding forward. The nose of the saddle on my road bikes all point slightly (ever so slight) downwards and I don't have a problem sliding.

    Whatever, figure it out first (Clif gave great advice). I think the saddle is probably not your problem. There - I saved you money!
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    Thanks I can really use your advice. Im bringing my seat tools to work tomorrow and figure this out. Im not too sure Im using a to wide saddle cause its pear shape and not very wide. I think Im doing just what your saying about sliding to get better position over the pedals. We will find out tomorrow....stay tuned.
    Im all for people doing their own maintenance on their bike...but may i suggest that you let your LBS install the saddle onto your bike while you wait? That way you can assure proper placement, and possibly even hop onto a trainer with your bike and the new saddle to try it out. That way you can get a good initial indication of whether or not it will work for you, without having to make multiple trips to and fro, and ride on something that could be extremely uncomfortable.
    Every bike shop i know will install parts for free, and will give some setup help, so youve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

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    Have you tried moving the nose of the saddle up even more? That might stop the sliding. You mentioned chaffing in the title. There are some riding cremes that can be used to help with chaffing. I don't know the names of any specifically for riding but I seem to remember that queen helens creme sold at W mart works fairly well.

  15. #15
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim p View Post
    Have you tried moving the nose of the saddle up even more? That might stop the sliding. You mentioned chaffing in the title. There are some riding cremes that can be used to help with chaffing. I don't know the names of any specifically for riding but I seem to remember that queen helens creme sold at W mart works fairly well.
    If the saddle is already nose up a bit and it's not a slung leather model, then tilting it further will only lead to more issues regarding chafe. Chamois creme shouldn't be necessary on a properly fitted saddle until you're putting fairly high mileage (40 - 50 at least) or it's insanely hot and you sweat like a wildebeast (my issue.)
    I'm partial to Assos brand, but with the ingredients (menthol, witch hazel) I can't say I'd suggest it anywhere near where a nose-up saddle might chafe a lady.
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    Sorry if my comment was off base. It wont cost much and it will only take one ride to see how it would work for she.

  17. #17
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    You don't mention what sort of bike it is, but CliftonGK1 has a point about it possibly being too wide. Saddle width is really related to riding position more than anything.
    A fairly upright position calls for a wider saddle because you're on a wider part of your pelvis. The more you lean forward, the narrower the part of the pelvic bones you're resting on, and the narrower the saddle you'll need.
    For example, my upright commuter bike has a medium wide touring saddle, but my road and touring bikes are both equipped with a Selle Italia Shiver Flow. I never thought I'd like a saddle that narrow, but am surprised at how comfortable it is on long rides.

  18. #18
    she
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    So far I discovered I have pretty large sit bones! I need a wider than pear shape seat. I'm not surprised since I've always rode on the pear shapes and NEVER once did I feel comfy. I agree with you Cliff about the above post. That wouldve been more painful.

  19. #19
    she
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodabike View Post
    You don't mention what sort of bike it is, but CliftonGK1 has a point about it possibly being too wide. Saddle width is really related to riding position more than anything.
    A fairly upright position calls for a wider saddle because you're on a wider part of your pelvis. The more you lean forward, the narrower the part of the pelvic bones you're resting on, and the narrower the saddle you'll need.
    For example, my upright commuter bike has a medium wide touring saddle, but my road and touring bikes are both equipped with a Selle Italia Shiver Flow. I never thought I'd like a saddle that narrow, but am surprised at how comfortable it is on long rides.
    I see what your saying. It makes sense. It may mean that a pear shaped seat is narrow for me. A wider one would fit me better. I ride a hybrid bike.

  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Since you rock a hybrid and have a more upright position and wider sit bones, Even the Diva Gel Flow might be narrow for you at 160mm at the widest point. The Brooks B17 tips in at 170 - 172mm and I find it comfortable on my touring-type setups for long distance riding. Within your price range(ish), the Velo Orange Model 5 is on sale right now for $65. It's a sprung suspended leather saddle with dimensions similar to the B-17. 170mm width, longer rails for adjustability, plus it's a sprung frame which takes some of the sting out of rough roads when cruising an upright frame.
    Check it out here.

    (warning: Product endorsement)
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  21. #21
    she
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    I really had a stupid award moment yesterday afternoon. In trying to set my bike seat back I was thinking the back part of the rails should be the part thats pulled back but thats not the case is it? LOL its the front of the rails that's pulled back. Duh! Any way you guys are right. It needed the nose down and the seat back and presto! It felt wonderful! Which was feeling absolutly nothing with the seat. Thanks for a good ride home fellas and gals!!

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