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Thread: Saddle Input

  1. #1
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    Saddle Input

    I know the subject has been beat to death, but I searched and am not really finding the answers to my questions so I thought I would post here anyway.

    A little background, I am a big guy, 5' 10" just under 300 lbs now down 24 lbs since the beginning of June when I started cycling. I am riding a 2001 Jamis Aurora if that matters and plan on doing rides that put me in the saddle for a long time. This past weekend I rode 66 miles over about 5 and a half hours.

    I have three different saddle's I've used the stock saddle that came with my bike (can't remember what it is, I was getting a lot of pain after about 20 miles on it) a Brooks B17 and a B17 Narrow that I found in a shed at my Dad's place. I've been using the B17 but have had some issues with chafing at the base of my butt. I did some reading and saw that it was suggested this could be caused by a saddle that is too wide. This prompted me to throw the B17N back on for a little and it seems to be better as far as the chafing goes but I've also had some perineum issues, not numbness but more like chafing. That are can be pretty tender after longer rides. The perineum issues are worse with the B17N probably because despite a few times over with the proofride it is still kinda like a board after being in a shed for about 20 years.

    So my question then is how should I address this. My impression is that the issues I am having are not simply a matter of breaking the saddle in (although that is some of the issue with the B17N) but that I should look for something with a cutout. I have considered a Brooks imperial (maybe go with the narrow) along with the Selle An-Atomica (seems like a really nice saddle but more $$) or something completely different like a Selle SMP or Terry Fly.

    Based on the issues I have been having I would value input on what you think would be the best option for me? Saddles are personal so my previous searches most came up with what people say works for them, but that doesn't really tell me if it'll work for me.

  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    What kind of shorts are you wearing on these longer rides? I've found that non-cycling-specific shorts can cause perineal issues when worn on rides, and for that matter, cycling shorts that are too loose can, as well. It doesn't take much friction to cause problems, nor does it take long for a small bit of flesh to become traumatized if it isn't held securely by form-fitting shorts and gets pinched in the process.
    Craig in Indy

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Some bike shops have saddle test ride programs. Might be worth looking into.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    I've got a pair of Pearl Izumi shorts that I have been wearing on longer rides (I also have a pair of canari shorts but I don't wear them very often and only for short ride as they do not fit as well). The PI shorts fit pretty well, I have noticed they are starting to get a little looser but they still seem to stay in place well. I should be getting a pair of Falconi bibs today to try those.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Its really not intellectual between ones sit place and what is sat upon.
    Try out different saddles.
    Chafing may be skin cleaning situation, bacteria moving below the surface..
    I got a quart of Betadyne surgeon's scrub,
    and brought a small container on long tours.

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    Thanks for the comments so far, I've decided that I'm going to try one more thing before buying another saddle, I'm going to try getting a seatpost that will give me some more setback. Looking at there the sitbone indentations are forming on my B17 makes me think that I may be too far back, which would make sense as to why it seems too wide (and sometimes feels like I'm sitting on the frame). Might not help with the pressure issue, we'll see on that, but if I can solve some issues I'm that much closer to solving all of them.

  7. #7
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    Just one minor comment - I've trolled around the Pearl Izumi site in the past, and I think their shorts cap out at 45" waist. If you weigh 300 lbs (or just under), I'm guessing these shorts are too small for you, which could be a significant problem. Forgive me if I'm out of line here, and congrats on the weight loss so far!

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