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Thread: Saddle Sore

  1. #1
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Saddle Sore

    Hello everyone.

    Our car just broke, so my husband had to ride a bike on his first true commute ever yesterday, just a week after he sprained his ankle, no less. I was slightly worried, to say the least.

    He reported that his ankle hurt like hell going to class (I imagine he was trying to rush to be on time), but was fine coming home.

    Today is his second day of going the 4 miles to class, and home.

    He has a weeping, not bleeding, sore in the crease of his buttock on the right side where it meets his leg. Left side is just red and irritated. When I asked him about it he shrugged and said it stung. Obviously he is a guy and won't do anything about it but suffer. I don't want him to get seriously hurt and quit riding as soon as the car gets fixed.

    Any advice?

    He is currently riding a women's Huffy (Chainless you can see in the photobucket account link in my signature) with its stock rock-hard seat.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Is he a big guy?
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    Chances are that the seat doesn't fit him just right. If I know the area you're talking about (were all *mostly adults here), that's right around the seam line of most briefs and boxers. It may have been rubbing between his butt and the saddle the whole time he was pedaling. When I was more of a man than I am now I had a chaffing problem like no other - I solved it by wearing some slick, skin-tight undergarments like the under armor or walmart generic. I also use a skin lube that works really well, it's called butt butter, and available at most bike shops or online. As 10 wheels says, is he a big fella? it may help pinpoint the problem.

    Also, make sure that if he's going to keep riding (which he should!) he adjusts the seat height and aft position to suite him, else he may be sore all the time.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Keep the sore area Clean.

    Apply Triple Antibiotic Ointment.

    Bike shorts and chamois lube for future rides.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Bike shorts a must really (at least for me and my butt). Chamois cream is good too.

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Above advice is good. While I don't think he will need biking shorts with a chamois for a 4-mile commute, ditch the cotton briefs or boxers if that's what he wears. WalMart, Target and some other stores sell athletic briefs with 6" or 9" inseams that are made of smooth synthetic material that won't bunch or rub and that dries quickly. These will help a lot. You should also look at posts and/or websites on bike fit (Park Tools has a good video online). While a poor seat can be a problem, even a good seat is worthless if the bike is not at least reasonably fit to the rider. Just adjusting the seat height and fore/aft position will make a lot of difference as can adjusting handlebar position. Being that he is riding a women's Huffy, it probably won't be his bike long term if he gets into cycle commuting or fitness riding, so it doesn't pay to put money into a high quality seat or other modifications that may not be appropriate for his next bike. My advice is go to a bike shop and find out what approximate frame size he should be riding, and then find a decent used mountain bike in the correct size. Your first upgrade would be to get some more road friendly tires and he will have a tough, relatively inexpensive commuter. After riding the stock seat in the correct adjustment for a while, he can decide if he needs to upgrade for the type and amount of riding he is doing.
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    The saddle is probably much too wide for him and is digging into him on the sides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodabike View Post
    The saddle is probably much too wide for him and is digging into him on the sides.
    +1

    Also, he doesn't "need" bike shorts for a 4 mile commute. If you don't currently have/use chamois cream, a thin layer of plain vaseline will work under (preferably, but not a "need" by any means) form-fitting, rather than baggy, underwear.

    While many bike-specific things are very nice to have, people tend to get too wrapped-up in thinking that they are needed. Remember when you were a kid and you could ride all day on a bike that didn't fit at all?
    Last edited by Wolfwerx; 04-25-12 at 07:17 AM. Reason: o

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwerx View Post
    +1

    Also, he doesn't "need" bike shorts for a 4 mile commute. If you don't currently have/use chamois cream, a thin layer of plain vaseline will work under (preferably, but not a "need" by any means) form-fitting, rather than baggy, underwear.

    While many bike-specific things are very nice to have, people tend to get too wrapped-up in thinking that they are needed. Remember when you were a kid and you could ride all day on a bike that didn't fit at all?
    With bike short he can do some fun rides with his wife.

    When I was a kid I didn't weight 215 lbs with a fat butt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    With bike short he can do some fun rides with his wife.
    The OP seems to be indicating that he's riding for utility, primarily, now. It seems money would be better spent on a new saddle, rather than shorts. Just my opinion, though.
    And while I've recently decided to embrace bike shorts, I still have fun rides without them.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    When I was a kid I didn't weight 215 lbs with a fat butt.
    Haha, too true.

  11. #11
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Well, he set out today and made it a grand total of 2 blocks before calling me to tell me that he was ditching class today and buying a bike seat. He got a cushy Bell gel seat (exactly like one I was going to surprise him with for $11 shipping from Yo Spiff, but oh well).

    We spent the morning playing bike mechanic, as he decided since perfectly intact Chainless had wounded him, we would take her apart and make the collection of parts resembling a blue bike into a working bicycle. I learned how to swap shifters and cables, and adjust both derailleurs passably well. Chainless donated handlebar grips and both wheels as well. She looks naked.

    But, hubby seems happier on the blue bike with front and rear suspension and now a large padded seat. /shrug
    I'm sure his soreness contributed a lot to his mood, too. It was an interesting morning.

    Thanks for your help, everyone. I will find out how to work in the suggestion for underwear.

    Also yes, he is 6'2" with a 28 or 29" pants inseam- his height is all torso, and he is near 300lbs, maybe 280 but not less than that.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    With most new saddles, the rear end will need to adjust and adapt, meaning more soreness.

    Getting back on a bike being big isn't pleasant. Doing it day after day initially can be painful. But the rear end toughens up after a couple of weeks and it should become accustomed to a particular saddle, so tell him to keep up the commute! He'll get used to it and then 4 miles will be a breeze.
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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Seriously, if you're big and you sweat, cotton underwear ain't a great idea when riding a bike.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  14. #14
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    for saddle sores I have found oxy10 - acne cream to work the fastest.. Another favorite is Bag Balm for saddle sores.

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    If he can change when he gets to class, Walmart sells some thin nylon/spandex shorts that feel great for bike rides. They work best with no underpants. They're long enough that nothing is going to show. They only come up to a size 2x, but it's plenty big. They cost about $10. He could probably take his jeans with him and just put the jeans over the shorts before he went to class. I don't think tight shorts with a chamois would be that good for sitting in class for a few hours, especially if y'all are thinking of having children sometime.

    I think my husband has the same bike seat...is it the one with the cutout in the middle? If so, the hubby says it's very comfy. He used to have a bike with full suspension, but ditched it in favor of a comfort bike with front suspension because he likes the upright posture better (and because he wanted to make more work for me, fixing up the old bike he bought).

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    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    He got this one, but the selection at that store was pretty limited, in my opinion.
    13290320.jpg

    He reports 30 minutes for this morning's ride to class, much faster than the 45 it took on Monday even with him trying to rush. There is one light he might have to wait for, but he gets to take the bike path directly to campus. Also, I found out that someone has filled in some of the cracks along the way with dirt, so the ride isn't even too onerous anymore.

    He found it interesting to see a bunch of earthworms out on the path today. They are long things, too. I told him to play dodge-the-squiggle as he rode. I think maybe they get flooded out of their homes? I'm surprised not to see the birds going crazy eating them. I wonder if they taste bad.
    Last edited by redeyedtreefr0g; 04-26-12 at 01:20 PM. Reason: add photo

  17. #17
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Saddle are a strange thing. you think that softer means better.. - IT DOES NOT.. If you push a saddle down more than a fraction of an inch it is too soft..

    Most riders benefit from a fairly firm saddle with a small amount of padding.

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    I agree with socar. The softer saddles might feel good at first but with time (increase miles that it), they will mold around your pressure points and it will hurt more and more. I have been down that route.

    Also, bike shorts are great. He might be able to get away with cotton now but in the summer time, the sweat will do a number on him.

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    I've read that particular saddle gets really hot in the sunlight...not a huge deal but just tell him to check it before he sits, on hot days.

    I know not everybody thinks a squishy saddle is a good thing, and I'm sure for some people that's really true. But for me, the squishy saddle is the only way I can ride...I've tried the firmer ones and I end up with bruises. I have some medical issues that cause me a lot of discomfort as it is, I have problems with stiffness, sometimes I can't even bend enough to put pants on until I've been awake an hour or so. I can't handle all that and a bruised butt besides The most I ever ride is about 15 miles in a day. The squishy saddle supports me just fine for that difference. I never start feeling a difference until about the tenth mile.

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    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Well, as far as clothing and such, that is his decision. I've offered the suggestions for him to take or leave. Probably, he will encounter the situations I mentioned and only then will he take the advice. Or, maybe I just worry too much. I just don't want him to be uncomfortable so that as soon as the car gets fixed he abandons the bike forever.

    He was very happy to see his commute time dropping, as well as his weight already (13lbs. He said he was at 313lbs, by the way.) although he admits to that probably being water weight from too much salty foods. He seems much happier with suspension to go over bumps, and the seat is much kinder to his rear end.

    I did have one question though- he tightened the seat clamp bolts himself- because I KNOW I couldn't get them tight enough. Yet yesterday, the seat randomly changed angle on him. The clamp has the same simple metal teeth plates to keep it in place as my bike, and his weight seems to be able to shift those against each other randomly, even when they are tightened. Is there any way to stop that from happening?

    Anyway, so far so good! He's still riding.

    (I'm nervous, because my errand today is to take the air compressor along with the battery from the black car to the Camaro, so he can drive it home from where it has been parked at our friend's house. We'll have a working car. I've got my fingers crossed for continued bikey commutes and exercise )

  21. #21
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    If he's riding four miles, he can get by with regular clothes, and whatever saddle doesn't cause him sores. For longer rides, proper riding gear and a proper-fitting saddle are really recommended.
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    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    If he's riding four miles, he can get by with regular clothes, and whatever saddle doesn't cause him sores. For longer rides, proper riding gear and a proper-fitting saddle are really recommended.
    +1.

    Wide and cushy is ok for a slow short ride with a very upright position - maybe even the best. The only thing I'd caution him to do is to stand up out of the saddle every minute or two and let the circulation come back. And I mean every minute or two.

    I have a fairly wide sprung saddle on my errand bike because I wanted to ride in street clothes and I needed to be very upright at the time I set it up. But that saddle is murder on the nerves and circulation in the nether regions if I don't stand up very often - maybe even more often than once a minute.
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    Those seat clamps with the little teeth aren't the best for heavier riders. If you take it apart and look at it, the teeth are probably worn down. Once that happens, the seat can and will change angle whenever it wants to and whenever it's least convenient. You should switch that out for a seat post without a clamp attached and then one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Saddle.../dp/B00139QG14 (but not necessarily that brand, they seem to make cheap stuff). His saddle probably came with a clamp like that attached.

    The seat post you're describing has a torque specification for the bolt, but even tightening it to the proper torque didn't keep it from stripping out the teeth when I (briefly) had one.

  24. #24
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    The seat he just got did not come with a clamp at all, but the photo in the link is like the clamp we took from the underside of the mountain bike saddle. That link says single rail, and the clamp we have squeezes both rails. You're saying that with only one rail being clamped that the seat would be more secure?

  25. #25
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    That clamp holds both rails. The round part fits over the seat post and there's a tab in one side to keep it from sliding down any further on the post. You can adjust the angle of the seat, it has teeth but they're a lot thicker and the weight is distributed differently so that the teeth aren't grinding every time you shift your weight. That kind holds up better to a heavier rider, at least in my personal experience.

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