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Old 02-23-11, 07:44 AM   #1
matthewleehood
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Cycling is a pain in the.......Perineum !!!

After a couple of weeks of daily commuting on my snazzy new bike I thought that the pain in the Arse so to speak would become less.... I am using decent Cycling shorts (or so Halfords say) and doing roughly 28 miles per day but my butt is getting sorer by the day! how long does it take untill you get used to this? or am i always going to feel like Satan is trying to tear me a new one???
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Old 02-23-11, 07:55 AM   #2
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minor pain for a short break in period is normal, but prolonged or worsening pain is not good. You need to make an adjustment to your setup. You should try small things at first, like moving your saddle forward or backward, making minor adjustments to the angle of your saddle, raising or lowering your seatpost. If none of your minor adjustments work, you could try replacing your saddle.

Just to make my point clear, the pain should not be worsening. Your bike is not fitted correctly if your pain is increasing. If you don't know how to make those adjustments, take your bike to your local bike shop and describe what and where the pain is and they should be able to help you get it fixed.
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Old 02-23-11, 07:56 AM   #3
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You need a different seat/saddle. The stock ones that come on bikes are usually horrible. What kind is it?
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Old 02-23-11, 08:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanwood View Post
minor pain for a short break in period is normal, but prolonged or worsening pain is not good. You need to make an adjustment to your setup. You should try small things at first, like moving your saddle forward or backward, making minor adjustments to the angle of your saddle, raising or lowering your seatpost. If none of your minor adjustments work, you could try replacing your saddle.

Just to make my point clear, the pain should not be worsening. Your bike is not fitted correctly if your pain is increasing. If you don't know how to make those adjustments, take your bike to your local bike shop and describe what and where the pain is and they should be able to help you get it fixed.
+1

Though it may seem counterintuitive, try tilting the nose of the saddle up a tiny bit. This will help force your weight back on to your arse instead on the perineum. You may need to move your seat forward or your handlebars back if you find yourself sitting on the nose of the saddle.
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Old 02-23-11, 08:18 AM   #5
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Well, yeah, sorry about my suggestion... you definitely should try adjusting it first. Then, if you cannot get it dialed in, you may need a new seat.
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Old 02-23-11, 08:21 AM   #6
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You need a different seat/saddle. The stock ones that come on bikes are usually horrible. What kind is it?
The Saddle is a Selle Italia XO Gel

Quote:
Just to make my point clear, the pain should not be worsening. Your bike is not fitted correctly if your pain is increasing. If you don't know how to make those adjustments, take your bike to your local bike shop and describe what and where the pain is and they should be able to help you get it fixed.
I think I need to go and have a propper bike fitting as i Bought the Bike from Planet X online and havnt actually changed anything (apart from the pedals) since i took it out of the box ....
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Old 02-23-11, 09:08 AM   #7
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http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-seat/
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Old 02-23-11, 09:11 AM   #8
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Just fiddle with it for a while first. Backwards, forwards, up, down, nose tilt... It's taken me nearly 400 miles of constant adjustments to get mine right where I am most comfortable.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:54 AM   #9
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Adjustments are good, but you dont always get immediate results. Make an adjustment and try it for a few days before adjusting again. You might even need to take a few days off to heal and then go back to it before the "getting used to it" effect kicks in.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:04 AM   #10
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Adjustments are good, but you dont always get immediate results. Make an adjustment and try it for a few days before adjusting again. You might even need to take a few days off to heal and then go back to it before the "getting used to it" effect kicks in.
This.
Take a few days off. When pain reaches a certain point, no amount of adjustments will dial you into a realistic correction.
I am not familiar with that specific seat. Seats are one piece of equipment that is very personal to the rider, thus hard to "recommend."
However in general, avoid soft seats and 'some' types of gel seats. It's another counterintuitive point where softness actually creats pressure points rather than eliminates them.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:37 AM   #11
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Adjustments are good, but you dont always get immediate results. Make an adjustment and try it for a few days before adjusting again. You might even need to take a few days off to heal and then go back to it before the "getting used to it" effect kicks in.
same, also you don't say what kind of bike it is or your cycling history but it's a road saddle and if you aren't accustomed to road riding position it takes as much technique and conditioning as everything else. Most modern saddles are designed to reduce perineum pressure but there's no way around it, you sit on a bicycle seat. If you're sitting more upright with bars above seat position you might need a wider saddle. I used to ride on regular narrow saddles all my life but as I got fatter my bars moved up to 1" below the saddle. I got a new saddle with the perineum relief but it felt too narrow, according to Specialized butt-o-meter I fit the 135mm wide saddle but it just felt too narrow. I got the 143mm and it's perfect.
As far as your question "how long does it take to get used to this?" depends a lot on what "this" is. When I was first touring in my late teens and early 20's I simply tolerated the discomfort and would ride the whole day. Didn't even wear bike shorts. Then when I got into regular road riding and training/racing all day riding really was a pain, pain and overcoming it was a big part of the riding. Then when I tapered off 3 1/2 hours was pretty much all I ever road at one time. I wasn't into the pain anymore. Now I'll get off the bike after 90minutes and stretch. So modify your expectations for "this" and you can get used to it pretty soon. Oh, get out of the saddle more often.
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Old 02-24-11, 04:38 AM   #12
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same, also you don't say what kind of bike it is or your cycling history but it's a road saddle and if you aren't accustomed to road riding position it takes as much technique and conditioning as everything else. Most modern saddles are designed to reduce perineum pressure but there's no way around it, you sit on a bicycle seat. If you're sitting more upright with bars above seat position you might need a wider saddle. I used to ride on regular narrow saddles all my life but as I got fatter my bars moved up to 1" below the saddle. I got a new saddle with the perineum relief but it felt too narrow, according to Specialized butt-o-meter I fit the 135mm wide saddle but it just felt too narrow. I got the 143mm and it's perfect.
As far as your question "how long does it take to get used to this?" depends a lot on what "this" is. When I was first touring in my late teens and early 20's I simply tolerated the discomfort and would ride the whole day. Didn't even wear bike shorts. Then when I got into regular road riding and training/racing all day riding really was a pain, pain and overcoming it was a big part of the riding. Then when I tapered off 3 1/2 hours was pretty much all I ever road at one time. I wasn't into the pain anymore. Now I'll get off the bike after 90minutes and stretch. So modify your expectations for "this" and you can get used to it pretty soon. Oh, get out of the saddle more often.
I'm riding a Planet X SL Pro Carbon Drop bar Roadie, it is my first road bike so as you say it may be that i'm just not used to it, I'm riding roughly 14miles twice a day (commute to work) wich takes about 45 mins each way so its not a prolonged amount of time... I am looking to do my first 50 in a month or so so if hit hurts like this after my reasonabky short commutes i'm not looking forward to the feelling after 50miles!!

hopfully a visit to the LBS will help.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:02 AM   #13
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Get a saddle with a cut out. Something like a Selle Anatomica or Specialized saddle like Avatar, Alias, Toupe. I really like saddles with cut out now, I had a bad experience before, but I'm in the process of replacing all my regular saddles with ones with cutouts. I hardly get numb anymore. But it is true what they say about hardening your butt on the first few rides if you are starting up. You need to break in your butt in, after it hardens up you should be able to go longer without discomfort if the saddle is comfortable for you in the first place if not get a new saddle.

It's a good starting point to get your saddle as level as possible to start out. Use a rigid ruler or something flat and place it on your saddle. If your bike has a sloping top tube getting the saddle level can be a little tricky since you can't compare the tilt to the top tube, I'd use a ruler with a built-in level. Adjust the fore and aft and see if it is comfortable for you while maintaining optimal pedaling cadence.

If it is still uncomfortable, maybe tilt it up or down a tiny bit. Your cycling position preference normally dictates whether to go up or down. I you ride upright a lot (i.e. mainly on the hoods), it's better to tilt it up a tiny bit.

Last edited by 531phile; 02-24-11 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 02-26-11, 12:33 AM   #14
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Agree with what everyone says, but if it includes soreness/rash also, you might want to look at a barrier cream, a combination soothing antiseptic. Avoid petroleum jelly compounds though as you want your bits to breath!
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Old 02-26-11, 09:17 AM   #15
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One simple thing you could try is to lower the saddle by about a centimeter/half inch. If you have it so high that your leg is dead straight with the toes pointing slightly downward at the bottom of the pedal stroke, you're forcing your hips to rock sideways around the saddle, as most people have one leg slightly longer than the other. Having a slightly bent leg also gives you somewhere to go over frost cracks and potholes.
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Old 02-28-11, 01:04 AM   #16
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+1 @ saddles with cut-outs. My ~$25 Bontrager CRZ Sport was rideable for 35mi. rides with no buildup. It would probably take 4x the price to get that level of comfort out of a non-cut-out saddle. Alas the CRZ Sport is discontinued and to me cut out means cut out from stem to stern. I have found an in production saddle that meets that criteria and I intend to buy several and store them in dry ice.

H
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Old 02-28-11, 04:36 PM   #17
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However in general, avoid soft seats and 'some' types of gel seats. It's another counter intuitive point where softness actually creates pressure points rather than eliminates them.
What he said! I'm surprised nobody has chimed in yet, but a Brooks saddle - hard saddle leather - worked out best for me. I now have B17's on all of my bikes. (There's a reason that Brooks has been making this same saddle for over 100 years!) A plastic saddle is impermeable to moisture, whereas a leather saddle can "breathe" - preventing perspiration being trapped against your skin, which softens it and makes it more susceptible to friction damage.

Also keep in mind that when you are sitting on your saddle, your weight is squeezing all of the capillaries shut in that area and forcing the blood away - not conducive to healthy tissue. Make sure that you permit some time during your ride to allow for capillary replenishment of the affected area to take place. Either stand up to pedal frequently, or even just stop and stand for a minute or so every, say, 15 minutes.
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Old 02-28-11, 07:50 PM   #18
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I like my Selle SMP TRK
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Old 03-02-11, 05:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ryanwood View Post
minor pain for a short break in period is normal, but prolonged or worsening pain is not good. You need to make an adjustment to your setup. You should try small things at first, like moving your saddle forward or backward, making minor adjustments to the angle of your saddle, raising or lowering your seatpost. If none of your minor adjustments work, you could try replacing your saddle.

Just to make my point clear, the pain should not be worsening. Your bike is not fitted correctly if your pain is increasing. If you don't know how to make those adjustments, take your bike to your local bike shop and describe what and where the pain is and they should be able to help you get it fixed.
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+1

Though it may seem counterintuitive, try tilting the nose of the saddle up a tiny bit. This will help force your weight back on to your arse instead on the perineum. You may need to move your seat forward or your handlebars back if you find yourself sitting on the nose of the saddle.
+2

Also give this a read http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Just went through this very scenario the other day with a new saddle and after moving the saddle around for 30 mins, it came down to a final adjustment 1cm down and 1cm forward and correctly adjusting the saddle so it is more or less flat. After all that I'm a whole lot more comfortable and able to put more power to the pedals.
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Old 03-15-11, 06:41 PM   #20
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From the link in post # 19: "A note from John Allen -- The conventional wisdom is that men's sit bones are farther apart, so men should ride narrower saddles than women. This is generally true, but there is great individual variation amd overlap..."

If in fact men's sit bones are farther apart, men should need wider saddles, not narrower ones. I wish that Sheldon's master repository of cycling information would be preserved as a shrine to his dedication and expertise and not be subject to evermore careless editing and addendum by 'experts'.
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Old 03-15-11, 07:27 PM   #21
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Male "sit bones" (ischial bones) are closer together than those of females. You can see that plainly in the diagram on this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelvis page - the drawing on the right side. The female pelvis is wider so as to adapt it for childbirth, permitting the head of the infant to pass through the birth canal.
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Old 03-16-11, 12:36 PM   #22
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Male "sit bones" (ischial bones) are closer together than those of females. You can see that plainly in the diagram on this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelvis page - the drawing on the right side. The female pelvis is wider so as to adapt it for childbirth, permitting the head of the infant to pass through the birth canal.
Except for guys like me that have wide sit bones and need to use a so-called "female saddle." Bottom line is that all the cushioning, gell, and adjusting will do you no good if your saddle is narrower than your sit bones. Your sit bones need to be ON your saddle; not straddling it.
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Old 03-21-11, 01:02 PM   #23
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Brooks.
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Old 03-21-11, 03:37 PM   #24
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Brooks.
...... given proper treatment and break in, that is.....

I had about a week-10 days of adjustment on my B-17N, with the expected pain and such, but the saddle has amazingly comfy ever since. Once my initial "bio adjustment" period was done, it just got better an better as the leather broke in.
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Old 03-22-11, 01:09 PM   #25
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While many people have made good points about adjustments first, new saddle second, I think a point that's being missed is riding style.

Those who are new to biking often sit on the saddle, putting nearly all their weight on it. Some bikes - upright "Dutch" bikes and their ilk - are designed to support this riding style, and also only go short distances. Pretty much all other bikes - touring bikes, racing bikes, MTBs - are designed to support only a portion of your weight. Effectively you should be leaning against the saddle, but also supporting weight on your hands and feet.
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