Originally Posted by abc123
Great stuff, thanks for all the advice. One more thing...
Do many of you use a suspension seatpost? I've demoed the Specialized Sirrus and the Giant Cypress, the later had a suspension seatpost but the specialized didn't. To tell you the truth, I didn't really notice a difference. Seems to me I'd be better off getting a credit for the (presumably) cheaply built suspension seatpost and applying that toward a premium saddle. The thing is...and I don't want to sound like a wussy or anything...but bike seats always hurt my rear. Don't know if I'm the only one but...I've recognized that that will be the biggest obsticle for me to overcome. If my butt constantly hurts, the bike is just going to collect dust in the garage and I'll have wasted my money. Maybe the handlebars will also play an important role in how the seat feels? I know everyone here has recommended drop handlebars, but the more I hunch over the more my rear tends to be in pain.
People make the mistake of thinking huge and cushy equals comfortable when it comes to saddles. Such is not the case! What you need is a well designed ergonomic saddle. The narrower your sit bones, (doesn't matter how big your a$$ is
) the narrower the saddle you should be riding. You want your weight on your sit bones and not on your entire rear, thighs and unmentionables. For example, I am built like a preteen girl, so all my saddles are extremely narrow. A Specialized Sport saddle, which is about the size of what is typically included on most new bikes, is actually too wide for me. Also, shape is much more a determing factor in comfort than is padding. One of my friends reguarly rides 100 miles in a day on a completely unpadded carbon fiber saddle. I was skeptical but tried it for a 50mi ride and it felt as good as my lightly padded Selle Italia SLR.
Remember, saddle angle also plays and important role as well. I went through this over the week on my recent roadbike build. I had originally adjusted the seat slightly downward as I didn't want, em, masculine chafing. My boss said it looked stupid so I raised the saddle so it was level. I did a 40mi ride Sunday and was so sore when I got back, I expected to find blood in my shorts. Anyways, I tilted the saddle down just a hair, and no more pain.
Don't expect to get on the bike, ride 12mi and immediately be comfortable either. It may take several weeks to "toughen up" to riding on a bike saddle again. I would NOT get the suspension seatpost. The ones included on bikes such as the Cypress are very flimsy, and develop a lot of play in them after a short while. You wont get much of anything on trade in towards a saddle, but its worth a shot.
Definately get gloves too. I like Specialized gloves. They have a large gel pad on the butt of the palm which for me really alleviated my wrist/arm pains and numbness. Also, if you saddle is not adjusted properly, or your bars aren't adjusted properly you can experience arm/wrist pain from putting too much weight forward/down causing undue pressure on your arms/wrists.
Specifically ask the shop to help you make sure the bike is fit to you, and if you have any problems that don't go away after the first week or two, bring it back in and ask the shops opinion on what could be causing the discomfort.
Drop bars take a lot of getting used to if you havent had previous experience with them. For you, I will again recommend a flat bar. Drop bars are nice for long road rides and competition but I actually don't like them for commuting. I feel that my head is down too much and the body position you maintain limits your view. If you do ride upright on drops, you may as well have a flatbar because at least with a flatbar you can still keep your hands on the brakes/shifters while riding more upright. That being said, I usually commute on my drop bar roadbike
Ok that was way too long, but hope it helps you out.