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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 02-07-13, 11:33 AM   #1
whitenhiemer
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Crotch Pain, new Heavy Commuter

I've just gotten into Bike commuting and go 10 miles one way each day. Usually the weather dictates when I can and can't bike that morning, but lately the weather has been better. Since I've been biking more days back to back I've noticed that I've got some severe groin pain after about 8 miles. I'm wondering if this is due to my body just needing to get used to the ride, or if I need a new saddle, or maybe even if I have my seat set to the wrong ride height. Going to the Local Bike shop to see if they can recommend something, but not till this weekend. But, I'm really enjoying the ride, I see some local Seattle neighborhoods and a good view of Lake Washington on the way in.

weight: 230 lbs, down from 388 lbs
height: 5'10"
Bike: Large Frame Road bike.
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Old 02-07-13, 12:35 PM   #2
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I'e probably start with the saddle height, your leg should be pretty straight with the heel on the pedal. The saddle should be level. If you are getting pain in the area between you testicle sac and your anus, then try tilting the saddle up or down a couple of degrees, Learn to stand up and pedal for 20 or 30 seconds every half hour or so.
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Old 02-07-13, 12:39 PM   #3
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That's flat out wrong - you should not have to put up with that.

Take a level picture of your bike and post it but it's possible you have the nose of the saddle pointed up a little (should be level or maybe even a slight decline).

Your saddle may be really, really wrong for you even if it's set up right though.

You might want to be more specific about the precise location of your pain... your saddle should support your sit bones and only your sit bones, and generally they should be quite firm. large, soft saddles tend to irritate the soft tissue around your sit bones. If the area between your sit bones is irritated you may need a saddle with a relief or cutout in the middle. Some people also like droop nosed saddles.
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Old 02-07-13, 12:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply guys, I'll post a picture of my bike a little later today when I'm able to take a good shot of it.
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Old 02-07-13, 02:04 PM   #5
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What they said and Wow congratulations on that weight loss!
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Old 02-07-13, 03:35 PM   #6
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Most people can take care of pain by finding the right saddle and getting the bike fit correctly.

If you try these things and you still are in pain, consider a recumbent. (You can consider one even if you aren't in pain, too ).
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Old 02-07-13, 03:49 PM   #7
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What they said and Wow congratulations on that weight loss!
Thank you, if I can make it down below 200 lbs, I'll be happy forever. I'm already at the point, where I never have to shop at the Big and Tall store ever again.
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Old 02-08-13, 08:26 AM   #8
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Most people can get comfortable with some combination of saddle, height, fore-aft adjustment, and tilt. Sounds like you're not there yet.

You're not riding a plush seat with nice squishy cushion, are you? That usually means the nice squishy part gets squeezed between the sides of your pelvis, and squeezes back up to pressure places that should never feel pressure. And such saddles often become uncomfortable around the 8 mile mark.
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Old 02-08-13, 08:55 AM   #9
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+1 on working on bike fit. There are some good threads on fitting, and some reputable videos online like those from Park Tools and Bicycle Magazine (beware there are a lot of videos on YouTube posted by "experts" who don't have a clue) that will get you in the ball park. From there you can tweek seat height, angle and fore/aft positioning. Once you get your basic fit down, make adjustments in small increments. Take measurements as to seat height and position from the handlebar and pedals. Speaking of handlebars, your handlebar position can affect your lower body as well. Handlebar height and stem length change your torso's relationship to saddle position. A slammed bar and long stem can stretch you out too much causing pressure to move from your sitbones to less desirable areas. Sure the pros can ride in extreme positions but they are extremely flexible and have years of training as well as some of the most sophisticated fitting on the planet. I'm not convinced that cutout seats and the like actually do anything but some people love em so who am I to say. More important is proper seat width and just enough padding under the sit bones with no harsh edges or angles. For me, a fairly flat seat works well. My favorite saddle has been the Specialized Avatar, but that is an individual preference on my part.

What do you mean by "groin" pain? Are you talking about the insides of your thighs, your perineum (from your anus to your genitals), or the genital region itself? Point pain or generalized soreness? Do you have any other pain, low back, hips, knees, etc. ?

You might also want to consider a chamois riding short if you aren't already using one, though on a 10 mile commute it shouldn't be absolutely necessary. Just like saddles, don't go for the overly padded and cushy ones. A chamois' primary function is friction reduction, not padding.
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Old 02-08-13, 09:08 AM   #10
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There's no end to the available advice on saddle position. Just keep in mind that all the rules of thumb are no more than starting points for you to use as you experiment. Make small incremental changes as you work through the process. If you don't believe you know enough yet to interpret what your body is telling you with each change, that's where a reputable fitter can come in handy.

Saddle tilt is a very personal thing. No one can say that the only acceptable alternative to level is either up or down. It all comes down to your own body. Some people don't like saddles tilted up, as they feel additional pressure. For me, a slight downward tilt is problematic - it puts too much pressure on my hands, and I feel like I'm sliding forward. The only absolute rule of thumb is to start level and then experiment with incremental changes in either direction.
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Old 02-08-13, 10:20 AM   #11
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One thing to add on the saddle tilt adjustments - only try a a degree or two at a time. Go look at a protractor and realize how small a degree is. Its nearly imperceptible. Its hard to change your tilt by one degree. be patient.
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Old 02-08-13, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenhiemer View Post
I'm wondering if this is due to my body just needing to get used to the ride, or if I need a new saddle, or maybe even if I have my seat set to the wrong ride height.
If your saddle is painful, then you probably need a different one. If it is merely uncomfortable then you may be able to fix the problem by adjusting the saddle, wearing bicycling shorts, or simply giving your body more time to adjust to being on the bike for longer periods.
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Old 02-08-13, 01:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenhiemer View Post
I've just gotten into Bike commuting and go 10 miles one way each day. Usually the weather dictates when I can and can't bike that morning, but lately the weather has been better. Since I've been biking more days back to back I've noticed that I've got some severe groin pain after about 8 miles. I'm wondering if this is due to my body just needing to get used to the ride, or if I need a new saddle, or maybe even if I have my seat set to the wrong ride height. Going to the Local Bike shop to see if they can recommend something, but not till this weekend. But, I'm really enjoying the ride, I see some local Seattle neighborhoods and a good view of Lake Washington on the way in.

weight: 230 lbs, down from 388 lbs
height: 5'10"
Bike: Large Frame Road bike.
Since you've lost so much weight your bike needs to be re-adjusted to your body as it is now. (congrats BTW!)
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Old 02-08-13, 03:01 PM   #14
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First, congratulations on all that weight loss. Do you take breaks often? every once in a while I stand on my left pedal, the bike kind of slightly leans left into my inner thigh. I really can't stand and pedal at my weight, somewhere between 260-280 at 6'2.5. I can do it for a few seconds, but I generally need to sit to pedal. I've never been so heavy in my life and I don't carry it well. Also, re-seating yourself can help. Getting the right seat at the right angle and height is very important. Schwinn sells a seat at K-mart for $20 that isn't the typical shape (it's very wide at the back and stays that way until the very front where it comes back to the rounded front) and that might help as well.

Chris
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Old 02-08-13, 03:48 PM   #15
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As far as tilt goes, most stock seats cannot be fine tuned to the nth degree. I ended up investing in a Thomson seat post, which is infinitely adjustable, to get to the exact point of comfort. Definitely not the cheap way out, but it was worth it to be comfortable for more than a few miles.
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Old 02-08-13, 03:52 PM   #16
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going to the bike shop is a good route, they can see , what a text based discussion cannot.
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Old 02-08-13, 05:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
You're not riding a plush seat with nice squishy cushion, are you? That usually means the nice squishy part gets squeezed between the sides of your pelvis, and squeezes back up to pressure places that should never feel pressure. And such saddles often become uncomfortable around the 8 mile mark.
This advice is important... you did not mention your saddle but if wide and cushy that may be he source of your pain. In addition, your position on the bike may be an issue... are you bolt upright or are you stretched out? If bolt upright you may be placing too much weight on the delicate parts... BTW your weight is not bad considering your height and should'nt be the cause of your problems. I have been much heavier than you and have never had saddle problems. I did learn early on that narrower is better than wide...
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