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  1. #1
    Yen
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    So, when do the sit bones stop hurting?

    We rode 24 miles on Friday, and 16 miles this morning. My sit bones were still hurting from Friday's ride (our longest so far). I'm riding on my new Specialized saddle which is, overall, more comfortable than the big fat cushy satin pillow that came with the bike, and wearing my padded liners under my bike pants protects my skin. It doesn't feel like there is any chafing, just bone or tissue pressure.

    I keep reading that it will go away and I'll get used to it......... but how? When? How do bones adjust to pressure? Do the tissues over the bones adjust, or does the brain just eventually not notice it anymore?

    How do I know when I've given the saddle enough time, and it's time to replace it instead?

    Yen
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    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    I have the women's Specialized Dolce get saddle and haven't had any problems with it. Prior to this I tried many saddles including Terry and Bontrager. The previous saddles caused several problems but the Specialized has been comfortable from day one.

    What model Specialized do you have? I know many of them come in different sizes. Were you measured for the saddle? If you were riding with another saddle that caused sit bone problems could this just be the lingering effects from it?

    Hope you find the solution. I know how painful saddles can be
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    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    I find that if I occasionally tense the muscles in the saddle-contact area - the Kegel muscle, I guess - that really seems to help. The muscles build up, and you don't feel like you're sitting right on the bone. Also, as I continue to ride and my legs get stronger, it seems like less of my weight is supported by the saddle and more by my legs. I mainly just sit my full weight on the saddle when resting my legs - otherwise I'm in leg-supported mode.

  4. #4
    Life in the Slow Lane Baroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen
    We rode 24 miles on Friday, and 16 miles this morning. My sit bones were still hurting from Friday's ride (our longest so far). How do I know when I've given the saddle enough time, and it's time to replace it instead?
    Yen
    This is something I can really identify with today. The saddle that came with my Giant is killing me. (Or one portion of me, anyway). I did eventually get used to my road bike seat, a tiny hard little thing, years ago, but in two successive comfort-type bikes (the previous being a Batavus) the saddle provided with the bike was torture. For the Batavus I ended up buying a very supportive gel-type for 65 NLG - relatively pricey, should have kept it instead of selling with the bike That one was comfy about 95% of the time. [Edit: I think it was an Avocet]. If I stopped riding for a day or two, I had to "break into" it again.
    The Giant seat seems to be way too soft. I seem to sink right through it and end up balanced between some very hard bits. Ouch. After only 2 days of riding it I'm already looking around for a new seat.

    Looking forward to hearing from everyone else.

    Ally
    Last edited by Baroque; 06-24-07 at 07:22 PM.
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  5. #5
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I have not found the answer to this question as yet. When I did my longest double, 19 miles one day and 33 the next, my tail bone was aching for the next two days. Even though it didn't hurt that much when I was taking the rides.
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  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle
    Also, as I continue to ride and my legs get stronger, it seems like less of my weight is supported by the saddle and more by my legs. I mainly just sit my full weight on the saddle when resting my legs - otherwise I'm in leg-supported mode.
    Sounds like you ride a road bike. I know a much lower pct of one's weight is supported by the saddle on a typical road bike. But on a comfort hybrid, a very high pct of your weight is on the saddle and there is little one can do to change that, short of changing bikes.

    I also don't think this problem is directly related to a soft saddle. On a recumbent all of your weight is on the seat, which is thick and cushy, and most are very comfortable on these seats, even on long rides.
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    I'm not a good commentator on this subject - I have never really experienced saddle soreness. But, it sounds as though you are giving cycling a truly honest try - and my thinking is that you should not be experiencing so much saddle soreness. (answer only if you like) are you extremely over weight? IMO, two issues would contribute to the level of saddle soreness you describe - a saddle that is at the wrong angle, or your leg strength is not sufficient so that most of your weight is supported by your buns and not your legs.

    I am no expert by any means, but, I feel I am doing something right since I have never experienced this problem.

    Talk some more and lets figure out what really is causing your problem.

    It can be solved, I assure, and the rewards are well worth the effort.

    Good Luck


    Caruso

  8. #8
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Amazing that none of the Brooksophiles have hijacked this thread.......yet....

    I am not an old hand at this, but it seems to me that if rides of 10-20 miles on consecutive days are causing your sit troubles, there are saddle or fit issues. You have been riding long enough that this should not be a big issue. And certainly any soreness ought to go away in minutes or hours...not days. If everyone had these problems, everyone would quit riding (except the masochists). Don't keep suffering, it will really detract from you cycling experience. Good bike shops have both seat fitting and bike fitting devices as well as folks who know how to use them.
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  9. #9
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly
    What model Specialized do you have? I know many of them come in different sizes. Were you measured for the saddle? If you were riding with another saddle that caused sit bone problems could this just be the lingering effects from it?
    I have the Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle: http://stores.yokel.com/papawheelies..._and_Pad/14609
    The previous saddle (the cushy satin pillow that came with the bike) didn't cause sit bone problems... it was just too fat and pushed me forward onto the nose and I was constantly having to push myself back, a waste of energy. I wasn't measured for the saddle... is that with the little board you sit on which leaves pressure marks that show where your sit bones are?
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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    I'm not a good commentator on this subject - I have never really experienced saddle soreness. But, it sounds as though you are giving cycling a truly honest try - and my thinking is that you should not be experiencing so much saddle soreness. (answer only if you like) are you extremely over weight? IMO, two issues would contribute to the level of saddle soreness you describe - a saddle that is at the wrong angle, or your leg strength is not sufficient so that most of your weight is supported by your buns and not your legs.
    Caruso
    I'll be happy to answer... I'm not overweight at all, at least not anymore! I've lost 32 lbs. (as of 2 weeks ago) and I'm now in the normal range for my height. However, my legs are pretty out of shape due to a very sedentary job and not enough exercise (the typical office-job-sedentary-lifestyle-middle-age-weight-gain). I've been really working on increasing my endurance and activity level the past few months, and now I am really beginning to feel the difference. For example, after the 11-mile ride a few weeks ago my legs were twitching and a little sore for the rest of the day. After the 24 mile ride on Friday, I felt almost nothing. But, my leg strength does still have a long way to go. I can go up inclines but I still shy away from hills until my legs get a bit stronger.
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  11. #11
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Amazing that none of the Brooksophiles have hijacked this thread.......yet....

    I am not an old hand at this, but it seems to me that if rides of 10-20 miles on consecutive days are causing your sit troubles, there are saddle or fit issues. You have been riding long enough that this should not be a big issue. And certainly any soreness ought to go away in minutes or hours...not days. If everyone had these problems, everyone would quit riding (except the masochists). Don't keep suffering, it will really detract from you cycling experience. Good bike shops have both seat fitting and bike fitting devices as well as folks who know how to use them.
    I saw a saddle at our LBS today when I took my bike in for it's first check-up. It is a Serfas RX women's model (I want to stress that my pain and discomfort is in the sit bones.....):
    http://www.serfas.com/rx_saddles/RX-922.shtml
    I may buy it when I pick up my bike and test it out. Serfas offers a 90-day ride-or-return policy.
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  12. #12
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    I am not an old hand at this, but it seems to me that if rides of 10-20 miles on consecutive days are causing your sit troubles, there are saddle or fit issues. You have been riding long enough that this should not be a big issue. And certainly any soreness ought to go away in minutes or hours...not days. If everyone had these problems, everyone would quit riding (except the masochists). Don't keep suffering, it will really detract from you cycling experience. Good bike shops have both seat fitting and bike fitting devices as well as folks who know how to use them.[/QUOTE]

    Take your saddle and your butt to the LBS and ask them to do a seat fit. You will sit on a gel pad and it will tell where your sit bones are. Compare your current saddle to the fit you obtain. If it is the right size then maybe you need to consider a different type saddle. Are you wearing cycling shorts or are you wearing street clothes? A good pair of cycling shorts will help alleviate the discomfort. A good LBS will also let you try out a saddle for a few rides to see if it is the right fit. Try a few out. I would also suggest riding more often. With the right saddle and good shorts, and a few more miles on the little tushy, you should be fine.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen
    ....now I am really beginning to feel the difference. For example, after the 11-mile ride a few weeks ago my legs were twitching and a little sore for the rest of the day. After the 24 mile ride on Friday, I felt almost nothing. But, my leg strength does still have a long way to go. I can go up inclines but I still shy away from hills until my legs get a bit stronger.
    Sounds like you don't have much time on the new saddle - give it at least 400 miles. I've been riding 23 years with no special saddle problems yet sometimes when I have higher mileage weeks maybe 150 - 200 mi my sitbones let me know to take a day or two off. Bought a Brooks, we'll see.
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    Yen
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    When we pick up my bike from the LBS on Tuesday/Wed we'll head over to the other shop where I bought this Specialized saddle. I went there only because it carries the saddle I was looking for, the Terry Liberator. He recommended this one but promised I could exchange it for the Terry if it doesn't work out. I agree, it doesn't seem like it should hurt this much.
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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood
    Sounds like you don't have much time on the new saddle - give it at least 400 miles. I've been riding 23 years with no special saddle problems yet sometimes when I have higher mileage weeks maybe 150 - 200 mi my sitbones let me know to take a day or two off. Bought a Brooks, we'll see.
    I'm afraid it will take me more than the warranty time to give it at least 400 miles. I work during the week and have a hard time squeezing in riding time after work, so it is mostly on the weekends. I don't want to take advantage of the offer from the LBS. But I will still consider your advice if another saddle doesn't cause me this much pain. Actually, I could have kept riding longer this morning, and a few moments off the saddle did help. I guess it will take a combination of things to find the right fit for me.
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    I switched to a Speicalized Alias about 9 months ago, and at least 90% of my butt-load is on my sit bones. It took 2-3 weeks for the soreness in my sitbones to subside. I was never worried during that period, because I anticipated the problem, and because sitbones are the least critical part of my anatomy in terms of injury.

    Now that I am completely comfortable with the saddle -- I did 103 miles last week with no discomfort during or after the ride -- I can be off the bike for 3 weeks without having to get back into shape, sitbone wise.

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Perhaps some pics of the "sits" would help us all to a more accurate diagnosis.

    In addition to the above suggestions, periodically standing on the pedals (getting the butt up off the saddle) will extend your discomfort-free ride time. Spinning really light gears also places more weight on the butt (which do we want to stress, the knees or the sits? Finally, butts do toughen up over time but, at times, can become irritated for whatever inexplicable reason-- as in getting a hair up there.

  18. #18
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I spoke to a long-time bike salesperson, one who has gained my respect as being quite knowledgeable, who has worked at a Specialized LBS for the past year. He said that their "sit bone measurable device" was only accurate about 50% of the time. Said it worked well for anyone with a thin, bony butt, but for a lot of people, he ended having to guess at where the sit bones were.

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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    I spoke to a long-time bike salesperson, one who has gained my respect as being quite knowledgeable, who has worked at a Specialized LBS for the past year. He said that their "sit bone measurable device" was only accurate about 50% of the time. Said it worked well for anyone with a thin, bony butt, but for a lot of people, he ended having to guess at where the sit bones were.
    So, where are the sit bones supposed to be positioned on the saddle?

    I've decided to give a little more time to this saddle. My bike will be in the shop until at least Tuesday for its first check-up and that will give me time off the bike.

    I still want to know how the bones themselves feel better after more time on the bike. Bones are hard... do they form a callous? Or do the tissues between them and the skin form scar tissue that gets tougher with time? (I always gotta know "how?" and "why"?)
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    A while back, I think Cross Chain floated the idea that you basically kill all the nerves around your sit bones...and that's the source of increased comfort. All I know is that my sit bone and sit bone area aren't critical in the way the rest of my nether region is -- or was -- so I just go with my Specialized Alias that's been comfortable after all these months and miles.

  21. #21
    Member cycler0707's Avatar
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    Never thought I'd be posting a reply to a sore seat but then I never thought I'd ever buy a brooks saddle. I've got a B-17, it took about 250 miles to break in and although it remains a little slick, after tinkering with the seat angle, I don't even feel I'm on a bike. I'm absolutely amazed and would never buy another saddle!
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  22. #22
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Saddles are just one place you have to figure it out on your own. A lot of people like the Specialized saddles, I have tried both the Alias and Avatar and both caused me a great deal of pain. I tried both for 200 miles of agony and decided it was not worth it. I was definitely sitting correctly on the saddle but my sit bones cannot handle the shape of normal race type saddles. I keep falling back to my old Bontrager Race Lux saddle which is wider going up to the nose and a bit cushy. I get no pain with this saddle at all but will occasionally get numb in the nether regions, which is why I tried the Specialized saddles to begin with.

    You can find a saddle that will not be painful, just keep looking. The downs side is that it can get expensive.
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  23. #23
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    The pain will go away when you ride a recumbent. My sit bones suffered, my hands needed padded gloves and my neck complained on my DF, but none of those complaints on a recumbent.

  24. #24
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    You don't say how much riding you did before these two days. I does take a while to get used to it, but not long if you ride much. Can you do even 7 or 8 miles 3 or 4 days a week? That'll make a huge difference.
    Also, check height and tilt. By check I mean "futz with a bit till you like it)." I know my saddle is tilted slightly up, just a bit more than is generally reccomended.
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    Given there are three major points of contact between you and your bike, all of your body weight must be distributed between these points: hands, feet, and backside. If you are feeling discomfort on the sit bones, it simply means you are carrying more weight there than your sit bones can currently accomodate with comfort. As others have suggested the addition of muscle over the sit bones can help, and shifting more of your weight to one of the other contact points can help. Finally, a seat that provides support where your sit bones makes contact is also important. For many people a seat with a flat top profile is the one that provides the greatest chance of the right kind of support. Your Specialized should meet this basic criteria. My experience has been that the Terry seat have a more rounded profile, which will work for people with a pretty narrow space between sit bones. I think working to find the right balance of where your weight is distributed between the three points and building additional muscle over the sit bones is the way to go. Perhaps your LBS can help with finding the best saddle adjustment for you? Do they offer any fitting service? It might be worth the investment.
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