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Old 06-27-08, 03:09 PM   #1
rektrader
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butt really hurts after 40 miles or so

I know: Everybody's butt is going to hurt sometimes on a road bike, but it has been uncanny how after 40 miles, sometimes 50, even trying to vary my riding position, my butt just starts to really hurt. If I get off the bike and take a break, then I am good for another 30 minutes or so when it starts again. So far, I am not otherwise sidelined. That is, I am ready to go again after a day off, but I'd really like to solve this problem if it's possible. The heart, lungs, and legs say go and the butt says oh no!

I am 52 and began riding again last year after many sedentary years. I am in reasonable shape. I am riding a Trek Madone, which this issue aside, I find comfortable. I have heard people say they don't like the stock Bontrager seat, but I don't want to change this unless it really would make a difference.

Saddle recommendations? Do I need better bike shorts?

Thanks!
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Old 06-27-08, 03:16 PM   #2
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Just start trying different saddles until you find the perfect buttmate!
Most LBS will work with you and many saddle companies allow up to 90 days return policy if your not satisfied.
Good hunting!
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Old 06-27-08, 03:35 PM   #3
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I think that my butt is hardened up. I have biked well over 10,000 miles on my Trek Madone this year alone.
I could not do consecutive centuries on the Bontrager (standard with the Madone 5.2) saddle. The pain developed in the sit bones and got worse with daily use.
I did not have any self doubt since I had no such problems with a cheap Serfas and certainly not with my multiple Terry Touring saddles.
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Old 06-27-08, 04:51 PM   #4
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The stock Bontrager felt like a hatchet to me the first 300 miles. I worked with saddle positions and just kept riding it. I finally got used to it and even liked it pretty well. I think everybody needs to get some butt relief during a longer ride at some point, and I'll stand up from time to time to do just that.

The specs on my Bontrager are listed as: Bontrager Race Lite Lux. May be the same one they stick on all road bikes, I dunno.

That being said, I just put on a Terry Liberator Y Gelissimo and am liking it thus far. And the cheap price of the E3 at PB is tempting me to start an N+1 saddle collection.

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Old 06-27-08, 05:38 PM   #5
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Rektrader, how heavy are you? Are there lots of bumps on the roads you travel? In my neck of the woods there are some roads that can rattle the teeth from time to time. I lightly stans on my peddals as the bike hits those bumps. It helps save my butt.
I'm not too fond of my Bontrager saddle and have tried another different one. Didn't like it so I am trying the Selle SMP Strike Evolution saddle. The problem is not with the hardness of the seat but with my pubic bone or whatever the heck you call it getting sore. So I'm trying a split seat. I hope it works.

I'm not much of a professional rider like some of the guys here. I hope you get the problem solved. Sometimes it just takes a few weeks of short 10-15 mile a day rides to harden up the butt and then go on the longer rides.
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Old 06-27-08, 06:19 PM   #6
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I'm 53 and, like you, went many years without riding; I'm just starting to get into it again. When I first started riding a road bike in my teens a lot of people told me that the more padding a saddle has, the more uncomfortable it will be on a long ride. The Brooks unpadded leather saddles were highly recommended as being the most comfortable saddles available (once you get used to them, that is). Now, 35 years later, a lot has changed but I still hear great things about Brooks saddles. So after I put a new set of tires on my bike, my next significant purchase is going to be a Brooks B17.
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Old 06-27-08, 06:37 PM   #7
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I was struggling riding my bike for any distance last year, then switched to a Terry Fly saddle and it was instantly more comfortable.

Still considering a Brooks Flyer. Tried one for 10 minutes one day and liked it.
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Old 06-27-08, 06:44 PM   #8
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I was struggling riding my bike for any distance last year, then switched to a Terry Fly saddle and it was instantly more comfortable.
Same here, I tried 6 saddles before I found one that 'fit ' me - a terry fly.


I also use Paceline's
CHAMOIS BUTT'r also a brand named Butt Butt'r.

Both wok wonders on a long ride.
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Old 06-27-08, 07:10 PM   #9
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I just put one of these on my Lemond, it a Serfas MX-2 Dorado. It's good and flat across the top, and wide enough that my sit bones don't feel like they want to roll off the edge. Good support too, not a piece of overly thick sponge like the original Bontrager saddle-never did get that to where it felt comfortable. Looks like the image didn't post so here's the link:
http://www.serfas.com/product.asp?ProductID=58

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Old 06-27-08, 07:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rektrader View Post
I know: Everybody's butt is going to hurt sometimes on a road bike, but it has been uncanny how after 40 miles, sometimes 50, even trying to vary my riding position, my butt just starts to really hurt. If I get off the bike and take a break, then I am good for another 30 minutes or so when it starts again. So far, I am not otherwise sidelined. That is, I am ready to go again after a day off, but I'd really like to solve this problem if it's possible. The heart, lungs, and legs say go and the butt says oh no!

I am 52 and began riding again last year after many sedentary years. I am in reasonable shape. I am riding a Trek Madone, which this issue aside, I find comfortable. I have heard people say they don't like the stock Bontrager seat, but I don't want to change this unless it really would make a difference.

Saddle recommendations? Do I need better bike shorts?

Thanks!
Shift to a high gear and stand up and pedal. Increases blood flow in your back, legs and butt.
I am 66 y/o rode 92 miles today in 91* sunshine. Total 327 miles so far. One more day to ride.
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Old 06-27-08, 07:37 PM   #11
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Like a lot of others here, I tried several saddles before I found the one I was comfortable with. Mine is a Specialized Body Geometry. I've gotten to the point where I can do short rides (10-20 miles) wearing just normal shorts. On longer ride, still more comfortable with the lycra padded shorts. The combination of the padded shorts and the Specialized BG saddle allow me to do a century with no significant discomfort.
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Old 06-27-08, 09:29 PM   #12
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Well, at least people have mentioned a Brooks. Let me be the first to comment about recumbents not hurting after many miles.
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Old 06-27-08, 09:34 PM   #13
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But some do get recum-butt. Certain recumbent seats are more prone to it than others.
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Old 06-27-08, 09:47 PM   #14
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Check your shorts. Get some good shorts with a thick chamois. You'ld be amazed at the difference between $20 shorts and $90 shorts. Money well spent.
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Old 06-27-08, 11:41 PM   #15
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But some do get recum-butt. Certain recumbent seats are more prone to it than others.
Yes, the upright ones can concentrate weight on the butt causing numbness. Those seats that are laid back distribute body weight over the length of your back, not the glutes or the sit bones. I've saved a small fortune in butt butter and chamois over the years.
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Old 06-28-08, 12:48 AM   #16
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There are so many Butt/Saddle variations out there that no single recomendation can be made. For the first 14 years of my cycling I was fine with a Narrow saddle and less padding on the saddle- then I ran into a problem for about 4 years. You name the saddle and I tried it. Then on the shops recomendation- I tried a Certain type of saddle and it worked. A Flite MaxGel. Fantastic saddle. And almost the same shape as My original Flite Titanium.

One suggestion- Do a ride and get the Butt Ache. Next day go to a shop that has a good selection of saddles. Put a saddle on a stool and sit on it. That bit of pain from the previous day will tell you what saddles not to buy- but with luck you will find one style that works. Specialised shops have a "Memory" Foam that they use to fit saddles to the butt. This gives an indication of the width of the saddle to go for but that does not always work either- and it always seems to recommend the top of the range/top of the price saddle aswell.

And then there are the Terry and Brooks saddles. They don't suit everyone but they do work for some.
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Old 06-28-08, 04:32 AM   #17
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I've got an EZ Sport. I can sit on that recumbent seat all day.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:15 PM   #18
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Thank You, Everyone!

I am overwhelmed by your helpful replies! I clearly have a number of useful options to pursue.

In answer to the reply with further questions for me: I am 165 lbs. and 5'11''. My route varies, but I don't think most of my rides are particularly bone-jarring. I looked up the Terry saddle site, and then showed it to my wife. She doesn't ride as long or as intensely as I do, but she also complains, and some of their saddles seem especially female-friendly.

I remember the old Brooks Professional from decades ago. I am pleasantly surprised to hear they are still in business. I've been reading bikeforums.net for awhile, but I am still clearly behind the curve on bike products available out there.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:22 PM   #19
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I have a Brooks B17 on my Long Haul Trucker. My usual rides are 30 to 35 miles at a stretch. I used to ride until my butt felt "bruised" - usually about 15 or 20 miles - and from then on the rest of the ride was quite uncomfortable. Based on advice received on this site, I started taking regularly-scheduled breaks - just a couple of minutes - every 20 to 30 minutes. Made a world of difference.
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Old 06-29-08, 05:45 AM   #20
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I am overwhelmed by your helpful replies! I clearly have a number of useful options to pursue.

In answer to the reply with further questions for me: I am 165 lbs. and 5'11''. My route varies, but I don't think most of my rides are particularly bone-jarring. I looked up the Terry saddle site, and then showed it to my wife. She doesn't ride as long or as intensely as I do, but she also complains, and some of their saddles seem especially female-friendly.

I remember the old Brooks Professional from decades ago. I am pleasantly surprised to hear they are still in business. I've been reading bikeforums.net for awhile, but I am still clearly behind the curve on bike products available out there.

Thanks again, everyone.
Whatever saddle you settle on, my experience has shown it takes a good 60-70 mile test ride to know if it's a keeper. I can just about manage any saddle for 40 miles but going to a higher mileage will tell me just how comfortable it can be. There are lots of options out there. Check out Selle Italia's as well. I would suggest checking out models that have the ergo cutout as well. It would also help you to know what width would work best for you-138, 143, 145, etc. A Specialized shop can do a 5 min test by sitting on foam that will give a number to start with.

Also, I've seen where saddles work great for several seasons but for whatever reason a model can turn on you without any reason. Go figure.

Good luck.......I have skads of different models in my bike box in my garage........some are even new in the box!!!
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Old 06-29-08, 02:35 PM   #21
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I'm riding a stock Felt Z70 sadle since April and maybe it's broken in properly or the fact that I really love my Boure Elite shorts, or recently added Assos Chamois creme, my butt never hurts even after 20, 30, 40, or more miles. I guess it all depends on several factors...find what works for you and you'll be a happy puppy.
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Old 06-29-08, 02:44 PM   #22
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What I find interesting about saddles is the range of subjective opinions about each one, and that looks can be deceiving.

The stock saddle that came on my Roubaix (like this one, but black) looked horribly uncomfortable to me at first so I planned to swap it out later after I gave it a chance. I'm surprised how comfortable it is and I have no plans to change it, but about 30 miles is my threshold before I need to get off or briefly stand on each pedal for a rest. Even a squishy sofa can get uncomfortable after a few hours of not changing position.
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Old 06-29-08, 03:28 PM   #23
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Yen, you are riding 30 mile stretches without a single stop?
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Old 06-29-08, 04:04 PM   #24
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Tom: Oh, not without a single stop. We stop briefly along the way to take a drink in the shade or eat a snack (I dislike eating/drinking while riding in traffic) or to walk the bikes across a busy street to continue along the bike trail. But I didn't notice any butt soreness until we were almost home at the end of the 30 miles.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:53 PM   #25
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Like a lot of others here, I tried several saddles before I found the one I was comfortable with. Mine is a Specialized Body Geometry. I've gotten to the point where I can do short rides (10-20 miles) wearing just normal shorts. On longer ride, still more comfortable with the lycra padded shorts. The combination of the padded shorts and the Specialized BG saddle allow me to do a century with no significant discomfort.
geofitz13, which Specialized BG model do you ride?
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