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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Can a saddle go bad?

    That's not really the exact question but i wanted something short for the title.

    I ride on a Specialized Alias saddle and have done so for nearly 1,000 miles. Over that time, I've also tweaked the bike here and there -- raising handlebars, moving the saddle forward a tad, and so on. And for quite a while, the saddle has been a non issue.

    Lately, however, it's beginning to bother me. I get some pains in the muscles of my upper inner thighs right at the top, and my sit bones area also is begining to hurt a bit. But what's weird to me is that for quite a while, I've changed nothing on the bike and now the saddle is starting to bother me. I'm also riding no more, and no less distance or frequency than usual.

    In fact, the bike fits me as well as it ever has, even though it's probably just a wee bit small for me. But like I say, I've been using this saddle for 1,000 miles in comfort.

    Anyone with a theory?
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  2. #2
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    No chance that the saddle height has been accidentally changed?

    Another uninformed hypothesis is that with increased fitness perhaps your riding position may have changed.

    This is of course assuming that Boris Diego hasn't sabotaged your bike.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  3. #3
    Banned. George W. Diego's Avatar
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    The biggest mistake you can make, DG, would be to cut and run from that saddle. No, you must stay the course. If you discard that saddle, the evil ones win. Have some backbone, man!

  4. #4
    jcm
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    I agree with the other posts. You have become toned in that area you mentioned that now experiences some discomfort. Does it feel like a charlie horse? If so, you are pushing back on the saddle and your toned up (read: harder) muscles are contacting the flair portion of the saddle with greater pressure. This causes a charlie horse sensation. Move the saddle back a tad and check it out. Maybe tilt the nose up a notch, too. Tilting the saddle might rotate your pelvis back onto the seat portion without you having to do a pushup to keep yourself there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Can saddles go bad? Hell yes!!!
    I used to ride with a Selle San Marcos and it was great. Treated me like a princess. But that was then; things started to bad between us and bad got worse. Now its hooked on meth and living in a van down by the river. Can saddles go bad? You bet they can.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    DG: Agree with much of what's been posted. I ride the same saddle and have almost 6000 miles on this one. While saddles can break down, I'd find it hard to believe this has happened with the limited number of miles you've put on it. It is very possible the seat post has slipped ever so slightly, or that the tilt has shifted just a wee bit. In early April I was out and felt some pain in my right hip as I was riding. It felt like my hips were rocking. So, I looked down and back at my seat post and could see the marker line I placed at the front of the seat post; no sign of slip. Rode for another hour and thought the pain was getting more pronounced. Got off to look and realized my seat angle had slipped so that the nose was pointing upwards my almost two inches beyond where it should have been. Lesson: Things vibrate on a bicycle, which can create sloppy connections over time. I'd check adjustment just to be sure. Then if your riding style has changed, I'd play with fore-aft, and tilt adjustments in small increments. You may have to dial in your best position again.... that is if your riding position/style has changed. Good luck. No one wants to tender bum feeling, especially after you've eliminated it during your newbie era (which I believe you are well past).
    Last edited by NOS88; 09-12-06 at 10:10 AM.
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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    DG: Agree with much of what's been posted. I ride the same saddle and have almost 6000 miles on this one. While saddles can break down, I'd find it hard to believe this has happened with the limited number of miles you've put on it. It is very possible the seat post has slipped ever so slightly, or that the tilt has shifted just a wee bit. In early April I was out and felt some pain in my right hip as I was riding. It felt like my hips were rocking. So, I looked down and back at my seat post and could see the marker line I placed at the front of the seat post; no sign of slip. Rode for another hour and thought the pain was getting more pronounced. Got off to look and realized my seat angle had slipped so that the nose was pointing upwards my almost two inches beyond where it should have been. Lesson: Things vibrate on a bicycle, which can create lose connections over time. I'd check adjustment just to be sure. Then if your riding style has changed, I'd play with fore-aft, and tilt adjustments in small increments. You may have to dial in your best position again.... that is if your riding position/style has changed. Look luck. No one wants to tender bum feeling, especially after you've eliminated it during your newbie era (which I believe you are well past).
    Despite all the good reasons given for the saddle to have suddenly started playing up- and I think they are all valid- I have noticed a disturbing factor that may have come into play on this aspect of riding. For a while- I thought DG was spending a lot more time out on his bike looking at the new models that he may be tempted to purchase. His LBS gave him some very good advice in that he should ride his current bike into the ground before spending more of his well earned renumeration on a bike that he will not do justice to or require. During this period -not many postings were made by DG so he was obviously out on the bike, keeping his butt attuned to a saddle. Suddenly we get a lot more postings so I can only draw one conclusion. DG is sitting on the wrong type of seat. Perhaps he ought to set the bike up in front of the computer- instead of sitting on the comfy armchair.

    Joking around- I had this problem quite a few years ago and it turned out that someone I loaned the bike to had altered the tilt of the saddle and the fore and aft position. I did not realise it till about the 3rd ride so time to get the spanners out and adjust- but the saddle is at the rearend of the bike and nowhere near the headset- so quite an easy job for an accomplished mechanic like yourself
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  8. #8
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    That's not really the exact question but i wanted something short for the title.

    I ride on a Specialized Alias saddle and have done so for nearly 1,000 miles... And for quite a while, the saddle has been a non issue.
    Lately, however, it's beginning to bother me. I get some pains in the muscles of my upper inner thighs right at the top, and my sit bones area also is begining to hurt a bit. But what's weird to me is that for quite a while, I've changed nothing on the bike and now the saddle is starting to bother me. I'm also riding no more, and no less distance or frequency than usual.
    In fact, the bike fits me as well as it ever has, even though it's probably just a wee bit small for me. But like I say, I've been using this saddle for 1,000 miles in comfort.
    Anyone with a theory?
    Your saddle is makin a monkey outta you! or more accurately - Monkey Butt!


    no changes...
    okay, so you've got some miles under your belt...
    ridin a little 'harder'?...

    as you go 'harder', your 'position' may change, your hip flexibility WILL change...
    and depending on your initial position, you may become either more 'flexible' down there or less...

    another major factor in seating comfort and overall 'pedaling performance' is foot position on the pedal and especially 'rotation'. If you're using a clipless design (SPD or some other system) then position and rotation won't change unless you make a change. HOWEVER, using a platform pedal with some version of toeclip or no toe clip at all will allow you to change your foot/shoe position and rotation while you're ridin and you wouldn;t necessarily even be aware of doin that. Tendencies are to slide the foot forward on the pedal when 'pushing' a gear harder.
    Not having ANY idea of what you really have or how you ride, from the very little info you provide, MY GUESS IS you ride without 'clips', you're riding harder than before, especially on any climbing. When on the 'flat' and working harder you're slidin slightly forward on the saddle, putting the sitbones in a less well supported position AND you're also rotating your foot/feet so that your heel is coming inward and knees are moving slightly outward.
    If you're riding without any shoe restraints (using open platform pedal), at least get those toeclips w/o straps that help to position the foot. Then pay attention to your foot rotation angle when you do start 'working' hard.
    Ideally, maybe go to a nice clipless design with lotz of 'float' and real easy in/out - I recommend any version of eggbeater, simple, easy to use, no orientation issues at all - they even make a nice inexpensive one that is also large platform design so you can use plain old sneaks - Mallet C or S or somesuch model...
    Then expect some experimentation period while you get it all dialed in...
    upper thigh musckels - along the whole inside - assuming no major issues in leg alignment means your knees are rotating outward as you drive the stroke down - not uncommon.

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Of course they can, I've had 3 Avocet saddles. One took off one night and was never seen again. I think it eloped with the bicycle which was also never seen again. Another was stalwart, but after a while(a longgg while) the cover cracked and the foam started to break up till I was riding directly on the plastic core. A third one just snapped in two just behind the horn shortly after I bought it on ebay.

    But the saddle on my Free Spirit, that was evil and bad from the beginning. It deserved to be left behind when I moved.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    "Foam" saddles are usually composed of flexible material with a jillion bubbles trapped inside. Everytime my extra large extra lard sits on the saddle, it breaks a few bubbles. When you are down to half a jillion bubbles then the ride becomes rougher.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  11. #11
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I'd take it axiomatic that ALL saddles are evil! All saddles hurt, and that is more true for 50+, not less. Anyone who says they never have saddle pain either has a very short memory or is an outright liar - it's just a matter of how much you're willing to put up with.

    That said, you're complaining of a relatively major change in comfort level - for the bad - after a thousand miles? Saddles don't wear out in just a thousand miles. I agree with the others. It's most likely you that have changed - your flexibility, your position on the bike, maybe your new, sexy butt ... something.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    No chance that the saddle height has been accidentally changed?

    Another uninformed hypothesis is that with increased fitness perhaps your riding position may have changed.

    This is of course assuming that Boris Diego hasn't sabotaged your bike.
    I've found this summer that I like to shove my butt back, requiring a lot of saddle setback. I'm kinda top heavy but short-waisted, so moving my center of gravity more over the BB helps me reduce hand pressure, and gets my legs more engaged in supporting my overall pork. The nice thing about Aliases is that they have a nice long flat section in the rails, allowing more setback than Selle Italias and Brooksies.

    If you're pushing your butt back because that's where your center of gravity "wants" to be, you would be moving your sit bones over the rail attachment points, which are stiffer than the area just forward from there. So your 'bones could be bruised due to a stiffer perch. Also, your inner thigh is at a point where the saddle is wider. This could result in more abrasion to your inner thigh up close to the 'nads (yes, I've had many different types of saddle pain these past few years.

    I would try edging back the saddle, 5 mm max at a time, until things just get better (here's hoping they do!). Don't forget also to keep the saddle angle as you like it, and to lower the saddle a bit to compensate for the increased setback. I'm coming to the conclusion that saddle height should be measured from the center of the saddle to the BB, not along the seat tube. That prevents leg over-extension and hip rock when increasing setback. Make these tweaks in small increments, so your old bones and muscles don't get disoriented and cause you discomfort.

    Ken

  13. #13
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    DG I wouldn't take any chances ...... get rid of that saddle immediately. PM me for the proper address to mail it to.
    Carpe who?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    All saddles hurt, and that is more true for 50+, not less. Anyone who says they never have saddle pain either has a very short memory or is an outright liar - it's just a matter of how much you're willing to put up with..
    How can you presume to know what everyone else's experience has been?

    You are wrong. In June I did 50+ miles on my Conquest Flyer right out of the box on an aluminum bike with no pain then, nor the next day, nor the next.

    My memory is okay, so are you calling me a liar?
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  15. #15
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I ride on a Specialized Alias saddle...
    As a master of aliei (plural of aliases) you should have found out and reported it's alias. Only then will we know the whole truth.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Yes, they go bad. The only way to tell is to sniff it to see if it did. Let us know what it smells like.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  17. #17
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    Maybe this is the time and place to respectfully suggest the recumbent crowd retreat to their own forum...

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