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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 05-01-12, 10:29 PM   #26
Axiom
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My best advice (and I mean this in a positive manner) is go ride more. Stop worrying about wheels, saddles, cadences, body building,spinning, or the host of other questions and go ride.

I find most answers come from doing.
I do ride, but I enjoy asking questions and posting on bikeforums. And if you have wheels that won't hold up during a long ride, or an extremely uncomfortable saddle causing problems, you can't ride.
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Old 05-02-12, 06:53 AM   #27
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I guess I have to ask: What do you mean by groin pain? There are a bunch of different structures there, and different stuff can be going on depending on what the pain is.

If it's the feeling of numbness/tingling - like when a limb falls asleep, it may mean a number of things: Saddle too narrow. Saddle too soft and "conforming". Saddle too low relative to bars, putting too much weight on the perineum. It can also mean that not enough of your weight is being supported by your legs. In general, but especially on a long ride, you don't want to sit with your weight primarily on the saddle - you should be supported by your legs and, to a lesser extent, your arms (though too much of that causes pain in the wrists, etc). It's also a good idea, if you're experiencing numbness, to get up out of the saddle every minute or so, to give the area a break.

If you mean a pain more like bruising around the genitals or feeling like you just got kicked in the nuts, that could mean saddle too high relative to handlebars, saddle pointed too far up, saddle too far back (so you're sliding forward and riding on the nose).

I just bought a second-hand bike that had one of the Terry saddles with a big cutout in it. I know opinions on these things are mixed, but considering that the bike gives a pretty upright ride (which means more weight on the saddle), I can't believe how comfortable that saddle is, even for rides of two hours. You may be a good candidate for a saddle with a cutout...
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Old 05-02-12, 03:12 PM   #28
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I guess I have to ask: What do you mean by groin pain? There are a bunch of different structures there, and different stuff can be going on depending on what the pain is.

If it's the feeling of numbness/tingling - like when a limb falls asleep, it may mean a number of things: Saddle too narrow. Saddle too soft and "conforming". Saddle too low relative to bars, putting too much weight on the perineum. It can also mean that not enough of your weight is being supported by your legs. In general, but especially on a long ride, you don't want to sit with your weight primarily on the saddle - you should be supported by your legs and, to a lesser extent, your arms (though too much of that causes pain in the wrists, etc). It's also a good idea, if you're experiencing numbness, to get up out of the saddle every minute or so, to give the area a break.

If you mean a pain more like bruising around the genitals or feeling like you just got kicked in the nuts, that could mean saddle too high relative to handlebars, saddle pointed too far up, saddle too far back (so you're sliding forward and riding on the nose).

I just bought a second-hand bike that had one of the Terry saddles with a big cutout in it. I know opinions on these things are mixed, but considering that the bike gives a pretty upright ride (which means more weight on the saddle), I can't believe how comfortable that saddle is, even for rides of two hours. You may be a good candidate for a saddle with a cutout...
The best way I can explain it is this -- think of a garden hose. Now imagine squeezing that garden hose in relation to the "southern" area. It feels sore, like there is too much pressure on the "garden hose" and groin area. My saddle is a Bontrager SSR and it is about half an inch lower than my drop bars. Could this be the issue? I heard the brooks saddle with the cutout (the imperial?) would be a great choice.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:23 PM   #29
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The best way I can explain it is this -- think of a garden hose. Now imagine squeezing that garden hose in relation to the "southern" area. It feels sore, like there is too much pressure on the "garden hose" and groin area. My saddle is a Bontrager SSR and it is about half an inch lower than my drop bars. Could this be the issue? I heard the brooks saddle with the cutout (the imperial?) would be a great choice.
I recall seeing a picture of your bike when you got it. Out of curiousity, what is your cycling inseam? And, what is the distance from the center of your bottom bracket to the top of your saddle in line along the center of your seatpost? I think mostly in mm or cm, but, can deal with inches if that's all you've got for a tape measure.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:19 PM   #30
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I recall seeing a picture of your bike when you got it. Out of curiousity, what is your cycling inseam? And, what is the distance from the center of your bottom bracket to the top of your saddle in line along the center of your seatpost? I think mostly in mm or cm, but, can deal with inches if that's all you've got for a tape measure.
Because of the deal I took it even though I am 32" inseam and the owner said he was 33" and the bike was 60cm. Although every part of it is comfortable, I have the groin issues. I really don't want to sell it, so I don't know if a new saddle will help. Will a bike only slightly bigger really have that big of an impact? Because when I got it I figured it wouldn't be a big deal at all.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:30 AM   #31
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Because of the deal I took it even though I am 32" inseam and the owner said he was 33" and the bike was 60cm. Although every part of it is comfortable, I have the groin issues. I really don't want to sell it, so I don't know if a new saddle will help. Will a bike only slightly bigger really have that big of an impact? Because when I got it I figured it wouldn't be a big deal at all.
Too large a frame sure won't help, but I doubt it's the cause of your discomfort, unless you've already lowered the saddle all the way and you're still struggling to reach the pedals. The bigger issue with marginally out-sized frames is a longer top tube, putting the bars farther out of reach and messing with your position/posture.

I'm still having a bit of difficulty understanding the nature of the discomfort. When I think of groin pain, I think of pain in the musculature from the crotch area down into the inside of the thigh. I get the feeling from your description it's more of a genital issue. Is that right? How old are you? I ask because if you're old enough to be into enlarged prostate territory, some saddles (and their positions) can exacerbate the problem causing increased pressure on the bladder and a feeling of having to urinate. At least they have for me. Of course, if I completely misunderstood your description, then you can ignore all that.
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Old 05-03-12, 07:52 AM   #32
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It sounds like a shorter stem might help here - your frame might be a little big for you, and you're too stretched out and have too much weight on the "garden hose" area (and the surrounding plumbing).
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Old 05-03-12, 07:53 AM   #33
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I assume we're talking about the Trek 1.2.

I wear pants with a 32" inseam and ride a 60 cm Trek Madone. It seems strange to me that your saddle would be lower than the tops of your handlebars. I just measured mine and the seat is 3 1/2" higher than the tops. I believe they're both H2 fits as far as frame geo. A 4 inch lower seat height seems excessive.
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Old 05-03-12, 08:40 AM   #34
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Is this still the configuration? Have you raised or lowered the saddle since these photos were taken?

Is 32" your pants size or your "cycling inseam"?
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Old 05-03-12, 09:44 AM   #35
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If that's the bike I can see why there's so much difference. Spacers and extreme stem angle.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:44 AM   #36
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After seeing the pics, I take it back about suggesting the shorter stem. I'm stumped, other than thinking that the saddle is awfully long and skinny - I couldn't ride one like that.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:40 AM   #37
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I want a stem like that! It looks effectively really short.

Craig, Ax is 18. He is our baby Clyde.
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Old 05-03-12, 08:44 PM   #38
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Craig, Ax is 18. He is our baby Clyde.
Well, forget what I said about the prostate then. When you get to be my age you see things through a decidedly different lens.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:53 PM   #39
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Old 05-03-12, 10:11 PM   #40
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Trousers too low.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:48 PM   #41
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I took those pictures after I got it, so that was the setup the original owner had. I swapped the seat out for a Bontrager SSR, and I had the seat lowered about an inch. The fitting I got was only $25 so I kind of regret spending the money since I still have fit issues. Oh, I also switched out those R540's with Bontrager platform pedals. The owner said he had a stem extender? maybe if I get that removed it would help? And 32" is my inseam.

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Trousers too low.
I always keep my pants pulled up, so I don't think that is the issue.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:52 PM   #42
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And, what's the saddle height?
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Old 05-03-12, 10:59 PM   #43
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1) Yes you should buy a new saddle but you have to find the correct size and shaped one for your build. good luck with that. Many people here including myself are pleased with the offerings from fizik, unfortunately $65 wont cut it, more like $100. I have an antares.

2) No need for a spin class in my book. especially if you dont benefit from it and it causes you pain.

3) Yes, get clipless pedals and shoes. I ride speedplay lite actions with diadora shoes. total price $150ish. speedplay have alot of "float" in their design, thats to say that you foot isnt stuck onto the pedal at one angle, you have some clockwise/counterclockwise rotation before it unclips. this alleviates alot of knee pain caused by other pedal systems. clipless pedals are not made for walking in so they are all tricky off the bike but speedplay may be the "trickiest". you will want a pair of cleat covers if you plan on spending any time off the bike. ($10)

4) No you should not take up the whole lane when you are riding straight. If you are turning left, then yes you should move from the right shoulder to the left turning lane but then get back to the right shoulder after your through the turn. When You re coming up on a stop sign or a red light in traffic it is acceptable for you to take the lane like a car for added visibility and to avoid the "right hook".
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Old 05-04-12, 08:06 AM   #44
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Your 18 with no back issues and you lowered the seat 1 inch since the picture?

the set up is all wrong, you are sitting way to upright on a saddle that isnt made for upright sitting. That stem needs to go, and go fast. and you need to smack the $25 fitter for letting you out of the bike shop without telling you this.

i will forgive you for having a white sheet over your chair because your 18 years old.
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Old 05-04-12, 08:28 AM   #45
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  1. Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?
  2. Do any of you do spin classes? After doing my first class I quit after twenty minutes because of intense knee pain. Aerobically fit, but my knees cannot handle a spin bike for whatever reason. Should I continue spin classes or keep doing long rides?
  3. I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?
  4. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.

I apologize for all of the questions, but they have been bugging me for a few days now. I have a younger brother who rides with me and I cannot emphasize how important it is to NOT ride against traffic. I also want to up my maximum ride distance from 30 miles to 50, and then 50 to a century.

Thanks!

1) Try out a variety of saddles. I prefer Brooks myself, but they're all over the $65 mark you mention. Saddles are a highly personal thing, so you should try out a bunch. Most bike shops will let you try one out before buying.
2) I've never tried spin classes, but if you are experiencing knee pain it's probably a fit issue. See if you can adjust the seat more. More experience cycling will let you know if the seat is too low or too high. For me personally, if the pain is at the top of my knee cap, I raise the seat, if it's at the bottom, I lower the seat.
3) I recommend clipless. My average cadence jumped by about 12 going from platform to clipless, from about 78 to 90. I could never even approach 100rpm on platforms, but now I routinely get up to 110 on intervals before my lungs tell me to stop or I'm going to die.
4) If the shoulder feels dangerous, take the lane. Your safety is more important than making a driver behind you 30 seconds later to his destination. They will pass when it's safe.
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Old 05-04-12, 06:58 PM   #46
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I really appreciate all of the help!

I plan on visiting a different LBS in a couple of days and look at a new stem and seat. I will also raise the seat and get a professional fit by the end of this month. And it looks like Brooks of F'iziki (I believe this is how you spell it) will be the two main brands of saddles I'll be looking at.
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Old 05-04-12, 07:14 PM   #47
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Axiom,

Don't make seat adjustments based on a bunch of speculation from us, when you haven't even provided the pertinent details with regard to what your current seat height is. If you actually want to attempt a decent "internet" fit. Get a friend to help take your "cycling measurements". Follow the instructions on Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator. That will give you some rough starting points. Then, measure where your bike is set right now. Compare the two. Then, before making any adjustments. Get on said bike while on a wind trainer, rollers or even leaning against the wall and get the same friend to take a couple photos of your self, in riding position, with the cranks parallel to the ground and with the crank and your leg at full extension(in line with the seat tube). Make sure your heel is roughly at the height it would be while cycling. Repeat these photos with your hands on the flats, hoods and drops.

From that, the collective here will be able to give you a pretty good idea of where you might want to consider making fit adjustments. It's not rocket science. Not at the begining stages, at least.

With regard to pedals. If you're going to continue to use your bike for commuting to class and/or work, leave the platform pedals on, so you can ride in sneakers or other non cycling footwear. Typicaly with platform pedals your seat height will be slightly lower than it would be with cycling shoes (which tend to be designed with a false high heal). Also, your ability to spin in sneakers and in the absence of foot retention will be slightly limited, due to the fact that you can't effectively scrape and lift. If I were going to make a recommendation with regard to pedals while maintaining the bikes commuting function, it would be to invest in clip and straps for the platforms you have. Or, purchase platforms that can accomodate clips and straps. This would allow you to ride with any street shoe you choose and still achieve an improved pedal stroke over platforms alone.

Don't limit yourself to Brooks and F'zi'k(Sp?). Just find what works for you. I ride Selle Italia and have for years. A friend of similiar proportion rides San Marcos. Specialized make a good range of widths. Saddles are an extremely personal fit issue and no one on the internet knows what shape your sit bones are. Sit bone shape has little to do with weight. Weight is just the exterior coverage. Underneith their is your skeleton and thats what needs to be accomodated.

Hope this helps,
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Old 05-04-12, 07:24 PM   #48
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Axiom,

Don't make seat adjustments based on a bunch of speculation from us, when you haven't even provided the pertinent details with regard to what your current seat height is. If you actually want to attempt a decent "internet" fit. Get a friend to help take your "cycling measurements". Follow the instructions on Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator. That will give you some rough starting points. Then, measure where your bike is set right now. Compare the two. Then, before making any adjustments. Get on said bike while on a wind trainer, rollers or even leaning against the wall and get the same friend to take a couple photos of your self, in riding position, with the cranks parallel to the ground and with the crank and your leg at full extension(in line with the seat tube). Make sure your heel is roughly at the height it would be while cycling. Repeat these photos with your hands on the flats, hoods and drops.

From that, the collective here will be able to give you a pretty good idea of where you might want to consider making fit adjustments. It's not rocket science. Not at the begining stages, at least.

With regard to pedals. If you're going to continue to use your bike for commuting to class and/or work, leave the platform pedals on, so you can ride in sneakers or other non cycling footwear. Typicaly with platform pedals your seat height will be slightly lower than it would be with cycling shoes (which tend to be designed with a false high heal). Also, your ability to spin in sneakers and in the absence of foot retention will be slightly limited, due to the fact that you can't effectively scrape and lift. If I were going to make a recommendation with regard to pedals while maintaining the bikes commuting function, it would be to invest in clip and straps for the platforms you have. Or, purchase platforms that can accomodate clips and straps. This would allow you to ride with any street shoe you choose and still achieve an improved pedal stroke over platforms alone.

Don't limit yourself to Brooks and F'zi'k(Sp?). Just find what works for you. I ride Selle Italia and have for years. A friend of similiar proportion rides San Marcos. Specialized make a good range of widths. Saddles are an extremely personal fit issue and no one on the internet knows what shape your sit bones are. Sit bone shape has little to do with weight. Weight is just the exterior coverage. Underneith their is your skeleton and thats what needs to be accomodated.

Hope this helps,

Sage advice here ^^
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Old 05-04-12, 07:40 PM   #49
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Axiom,

Don't make seat adjustments based on a bunch of speculation from us, when you haven't even provided the pertinent details with regard to what your current seat height is. If you actually want to attempt a decent "internet" fit. Get a friend to help take your "cycling measurements". Follow the instructions on Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator. That will give you some rough starting points. Then, measure where your bike is set right now. Compare the two. Then, before making any adjustments. Get on said bike while on a wind trainer, rollers or even leaning against the wall and get the same friend to take a couple photos of your self, in riding position, with the cranks parallel to the ground and with the crank and your leg at full extension(in line with the seat tube). Make sure your heel is roughly at the height it would be while cycling. Repeat these photos with your hands on the flats, hoods and drops.

From that, the collective here will be able to give you a pretty good idea of where you might want to consider making fit adjustments. It's not rocket science. Not at the begining stages, at least.

With regard to pedals. If you're going to continue to use your bike for commuting to class and/or work, leave the platform pedals on, so you can ride in sneakers or other non cycling footwear. Typicaly with platform pedals your seat height will be slightly lower than it would be with cycling shoes (which tend to be designed with a false high heal). Also, your ability to spin in sneakers and in the absence of foot retention will be slightly limited, due to the fact that you can't effectively scrape and lift. If I were going to make a recommendation with regard to pedals while maintaining the bikes commuting function, it would be to invest in clip and straps for the platforms you have. Or, purchase platforms that can accomodate clips and straps. This would allow you to ride with any street shoe you choose and still achieve an improved pedal stroke over platforms alone.

Don't limit yourself to Brooks and F'zi'k(Sp?). Just find what works for you. I ride Selle Italia and have for years. A friend of similiar proportion rides San Marcos. Specialized make a good range of widths. Saddles are an extremely personal fit issue and no one on the internet knows what shape your sit bones are. Sit bone shape has little to do with weight. Weight is just the exterior coverage. Underneith their is your skeleton and thats what needs to be accomodated.

Hope this helps,
I will have a friend assist me tomorrow and do exactly what you suggested. And you are right, it's not rocket science. However, ever time I mention something about what I have learned when it comes to cycling I have someone else tell me something differently, so it's hard to take advice if I am not sure whether or not it is correct -- though your advice seems sounds and logical unlike the advice some local riders and local bike shops give..
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Old 05-04-12, 08:13 PM   #50
dehoff
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Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
I will have a friend assist me tomorrow and do exactly what you suggested. And you are right, it's not rocket science. However, ever time I mention something about what I have learned when it comes to cycling I have someone else tell me something differently, so it's hard to take advice if I am not sure whether or not it is correct -- though your advice seems sounds and logical unlike the advice some local riders and local bike shops give..
Just make sure that whoever is taking the photos is holding the camera at approximately the same height as the vertical mid-point of you on the bike (they might have to get down on one knee or hold the camera close to the height of the top tube) and they're straight back from your bottom bracket(close to 90 angle from the bike). This way you'll avoid any perspective distortion in the photo and it will be easier to see exactly what is going on.

This would be a good example:


This would not be as good, due to the camera not being at a 90 degree angle to the bike (too far in front of the bike) and holding the camera too high:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fitold.jpg (17.3 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 3bikeFit.jpg (29.3 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by dehoff; 05-04-12 at 08:18 PM.
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