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  1. #1
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    New guy with some probably dumb questions

    Hi ya'll.
    I found this site while researching which bike to buy (or if to buy one at all) and I was inspired by the posts I read to go ahead and take the plunge, so I got a bottom-of-the-line new road bike (a Specialized Sequoia) with the check George Bush sent me. Thanks George.

    The reason I went with a new bike was because I read in here how important it is to get a bike that fits, and because I rapidly got tired of driving around burning $4.50 gas looking at crappy old bicycles I found on Craig's List.

    Anyway, I got it Friday and rode it for an hour in the 95 degree heat and decided that that was probably a mistake, at least for now. The next morning I was up with the sun and rode about ten miles. Although I took a spill and got some road rash, then threw the chain off going up a hill due to my imperfect shifting techniques (which I'm gradually getting the hang of) if was freaking GREAT. I rode a bike to work and back for a few months about 15 years ago (due to circumstances beyond my control) and the feeling of freedom you get on a bicycle came back to me with a rush. This morning I went over fifteen miles and it was even better. I really started to feel like the bike and I were finally getting along. And my new bike is so light and agile compared to the other bike I owned, which was made in the seventies, it made me realize that technology isn't always a bad thing after all.

    I do quite a bit of hiking around North San Diego County (where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a steep hill) so I'm not in terrible shape. The only place that hurts, other than some minor stiffness, is right in the area that hits the saddle. I remember it from riding fifteen years ago and it seemed like it gradually went away, or at least moderated a bit, but I ain't a kid anymore.

    So my question is: will that soreness go away if I keep at it and stop being a wuss, or do I have to buy bike shorts and some crotch contraption to keep myself in the saddle? Is there some adjustment I can make to the saddle that might help? Is there any way to improvise padding, thus sparing the expense of all that spandex?

    Again, this is a cool forum.

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pressman57 View Post
    Hi ya'll.

    I do quite a bit of hiking around North San Diego County (where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a steep hill) so I'm not in terrible shape. The only place that hurts, other than some minor stiffness, is right in the area that hits the saddle. I remember it from riding fifteen years ago and it seemed like it gradually went away, or at least moderated a bit, but I ain't a kid anymore.

    So my question is: will that soreness go away if I keep at it and stop being a wuss, or do I have to buy bike shorts and some crotch contraption to keep myself in the saddle? Is there some adjustment I can make to the saddle that might help? Is there any way to improvise padding, thus sparing the expense of all that spandex?

    Again, this is a cool forum.
    Yea-- A dumb question so I'll give you a dumb answer. If you keep riding -the pain may ease and then go away- Or you are going to have to buy a Rubber ring to sit on after every ride for a couple of days.

    New to biking- or Re-biking- and you have to give some time for the butt and saddle to get attuned to each other. This is normal- not only to new riders- but to experienced riders that decide to give a new saddle a try. This can take as long as a couple of weeks/months/years- but it will improve.

    You don't say how heavy you are- what saddle you have or if the LBS helped you set up the saddle position. All are relevant but proper cycling shorts (Worn without pants underneath) will assist but the padding on most shorts is there to wick away moisture from the vital areas and not to give a cushioning effect.

    Keep riding- get the shop to check out your saddle position and come back in about 100 miles and let us know the problems then.

    And those hills- Keep riding them and they take less time to climb- Won't get any easier though.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Yea-- A dumb question so I'll give you a dumb answer. If you keep riding -the pain may ease and then go away- Or you are going to have to buy a Rubber ring to sit on after every ride for a couple of days.

    New to biking- or Re-biking- and you have to give some time for the butt and saddle to get attuned to each other. This is normal- not only to new riders- but to experienced riders that decide to give a new saddle a try. This can take as long as a couple of weeks/months/years- but it will improve.

    You don't say how heavy you are- what saddle you have or if the LBS helped you set up the saddle position. All are relevant but proper cycling shorts (Worn without pants underneath) will assist but the padding on most shorts is there to wick away moisture from the vital areas and not to give a cushioning effect.

    Keep riding- get the shop to check out your saddle position and come back in about 100 miles and let us know the problems then.

    And those hills- Keep riding them and they take less time to climb- Won't get any easier though.
    +1, and welcome to the group.

  4. #4
    tsl
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    It's too early to tell how much is attributable to getting your butt back in shape, or how much is the saddle, fit or need for bike shorts.

    Give it a week or two for your sit-down to get used to being on a bike, then re-evaluate.

    There's no delicate way to put this, I'm doing my best here. If pain persists, a hand mirror can be helpful. With one foot up on the toilet seat, in those spots that hurt, do you see redness and chafing after your ride? If so, bike shorts should be next on your shopping list. (Mountain-bike shorts may help you get over the style issue associated with spandex.) If not, then a saddle adjustment or a different saddle may do it. We all have different anatomy so it's not unusual to have change the saddle on a new bike.

    Time will tell.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the words of wisdom guys. I'll give it a couple of weeks and report back. I'm a pretty big guy (6'1" 230) so it stands to reason I'm going to hurt a bit. The bike shop did set the saddle angle so I'm not going to mess with it.

  6. #6
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I took a 10 mile test ride on a Specialized Crosstrail today, and boought it immediately thereafter.

    What a dream to ride a new bike - it likes to go fast, and uphill, both.

    I took more than one for a ride, and even though the 58 frame is supposed to fit me better, the 61 is MUCH more comfortable to ride. The bigger bike is more friendly to my bad knee, and my aching back. Because of my physical problems, I just have to be stretched out more. The seat, at it's lowest point, allows me to put balls and toes down of both feet, and standover is about one inch. I rode the shorter one for a couple miles, then the larger one for eight more. It coasts uphill all by itself, and screams going down. It also corners very comfortably and sure footed, even when going fast, on those 700 X 45 semi/urban tires. These tires sure don't feel like they are as wide as they are, except for the surefootedness. Rides quiet, comfortable, smooth, and easy.

    It'll probably be a couple days before I take delivery, as they have to order the upgraded tires I want, (same tread pattern, but 120 TPI, dual compound) and install a couple options.

    I sure am looking forward to taking it out for a longer ride - real soon.

    They sure have come a long way in 30 years.

  7. #7
    Harry helps. vtc12ip's Avatar
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    Welcome. Keep at it. When I move to Oceanside in two years we'll go for a ride. In the mean time keep a seat warm for me at the Stone Brewery.

  8. #8
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    Buddy you just said a mouthful. I wonder why it too so long to learn how to weld aluminum.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtc12ip View Post
    Welcome. Keep at it. When I move to Oceanside in two years we'll go for a ride. In the mean time keep a seat warm for me at the Stone Brewery.
    Will do. That's some delicious beer.

  10. #10
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    A brand new bike properly adjusted should not be throwing the chain.

    +1 on seat time.

    +1 bike shorts, actually bibs are much more comfortable.

    I have found a lot of really good bikes around here on Craigs List. But I start by having a pretty good idea of what I am interested in, model and size wise. And if you go to the classic and vintage forum, look at some of the finds people are getting on Craigs List! I would not give up on Craigs List. If you continue to grow into this activity, you will likely be adding to your "fleet".
    Last edited by wrk101; 07-06-08 at 03:53 PM. Reason: addl info

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rober's Avatar
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    Hi Pressman, welcome -

    Everyone so far has said exactly what I could have said to you but I don't think enough emphasis was put on the shorts. Get a good pair of shorts! This will help your body and your riding more than you realize. If you are a big guy, try a pair of bib shorts. I only wear bibs now (and I'm not that big) after having suffered in traditional shorts for many years (my first pair were heavy black wool, with a chamois skin chamois - like for the car). Bibs are a great invention. Also, everyone else will encourage you to ride as much as you can - getting better can only happen if you ride. I will add my 2 cents - get out there and ride! Glad to have you with us!
    BTW, are you a pressman? I worked in commercial printing for many years, and the name rings a bell...

    PS: While I was typing this wrk101 got the bibs topic nailed. See? Go get some.

  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    BIBS !!! YES !!!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    A brand new bike properly adjusted should not be throwing the chain.

    +1 on seat time.

    +1 bike shorts, actually bibs are much more comfortable.

    I have found a lot of really good bikes around here on Craigs List. But I start by having a pretty good idea of what I am interested in, model and size wise. And if you go to the classic and vintage forum, look at some of the finds people are getting on Craigs List! I would not give up on Craigs List. If you continue to grow into this activity, you will likely be adding to your "fleet".
    I agree 100% about Craig's List and buying used in general. I've never bought a new car in my life. But I know about cars, how to fix them and how much it will cost in parts and effort to get something I can drive. All I know about bicycles is that you turn the pedals around and they go. I felt that I needed help in getting a bike that would fit me and one that I would enjoy riding and not end up on the balcony getting rusty.

    As to the chain, I think you're right. I'll take it back to the shop and I'll bet they fix it for free.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rober View Post
    Hi Pressman, welcome -

    Everyone so far has said exactly what I could have said to you but I don't think enough emphasis was put on the shorts. Get a good pair of shorts! This will help your body and your riding more than you realize. If you are a big guy, try a pair of bib shorts. I only wear bibs now (and I'm not that big) after having suffered in traditional shorts for many years (my first pair were heavy black wool, with a chamois skin chamois - like for the car). Bibs are a great invention. Also, everyone else will encourage you to ride as much as you can - getting better can only happen if you ride. I will add my 2 cents - get out there and ride! Glad to have you with us!
    BTW, are you a pressman? I worked in commercial printing for many years, and the name rings a bell...

    PS: While I was typing this wrk101 got the bibs topic nailed. See? Go get some.
    Yeah Rober I've been a sheet-fed pressman for thirty years now. It pays the bills.

  15. #15
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rober View Post
    Hi Pressman, welcome -

    Everyone so far has said exactly what I could have said to you but I don't think enough emphasis was put on the shorts. Get a good pair of shorts! This will help your body and your riding more than you realize. If you are a big guy, try a pair of bib shorts. I only wear bibs now (and I'm not that big) after having suffered in traditional shorts for many years (my first pair were heavy black wool, with a chamois skin chamois - like for the car). Bibs are a great invention. Also, everyone else will encourage you to ride as much as you can - getting better can only happen if you ride. I will add my 2 cents - get out there and ride! Glad to have you with us!
    BTW, are you a pressman? I worked in commercial printing for many years, and the name rings a bell...

    PS: While I was typing this wrk101 got the bibs topic nailed. See? Go get some.
    40 years ago I ran a Millie and a 4c Harris. Got two messed up finger tips to show for it.

    Also, think about the new prostate saddles. I also turn the nose of the saddle to the right a hair just to make a little room for things. I also wear riding shorts.
    Burr,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burr View Post
    40 years ago I ran a Millie and a 4c Harris. Got two messed up finger tips to show for it.

    Also, think about the new prostate saddles. I also turn the nose of the saddle to the right a hair just to make a little room for things. I also wear riding shorts.
    If you ran a four-color Harris that must have been a LONG time ago. I still have all my fingers, but I've had some close calls. I did get my hair caught one time and spent about four hours trying to get it all out of the rollers.

    Excellent suggestion about making room and such. It's already done.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Butt Buttr - and plenty of it.

    Vaseline works just as well.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
    Butt Buttr - and plenty of it.

    Vaseline works just as well.
    Vaseline!! I never would have thought of it but it makes perfect sense. Thanks! You guys are awesome.

  19. #19
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Welcome to the group. We cannot accurately evaluate your worth to us without a picture of your bike. And then pictures of where you ride. Good shorts is good. Good bike fit is gooder. Nothing is better than riding and riding and riding. Do you actually swing dead cats?
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    You might have to try several different saddles to find one that your body can agree with. Don't be afraid to change something just because a bike shop set it up, at least not after trying it for a time. Some of us never use any products on our chamois.
    Oh, and welcome, and be sure to ask questions. You'll get a bunch of different answers.

  21. #21
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    The saddle/shorts combination can be critical. Too much padding can be as painful as not enough. It will get better but you may reach a point where a change in gear (saddle, shorts, or even bike) may be needed. But that should not be until you are venturing out for more than an hour or two.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    You've already received plenty of good advice on cycling shorts so I'll just say welcome.
    =============================================================
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    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
    -- Antonio Smith

  23. #23
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pressman57 View Post
    Hi ya'll.
    I found this site while researching which bike to buy (or if to buy one at all) and I was inspired by the posts I read to go ahead and take the plunge, so I got a bottom-of-the-line new road bike (a Specialized Sequoia) with the check George Bush sent me. Thanks George.

    The reason I went with a new bike was because I read in here how important it is to get a bike that fits, and because I rapidly got tired of driving around burning $4.50 gas looking at crappy old bicycles I found on Craig's List.

    Anyway, I got it Friday and rode it for an hour in the 95 degree heat and decided that that was probably a mistake, at least for now. The next morning I was up with the sun and rode about ten miles. Although I took a spill and got some road rash, then threw the chain off going up a hill due to my imperfect shifting techniques (which I'm gradually getting the hang of) if was freaking GREAT. I rode a bike to work and back for a few months about 15 years ago (due to circumstances beyond my control) and the feeling of freedom you get on a bicycle came back to me with a rush. This morning I went over fifteen miles and it was even better. I really started to feel like the bike and I were finally getting along. And my new bike is so light and agile compared to the other bike I owned, which was made in the seventies, it made me realize that technology isn't always a bad thing after all.

    I do quite a bit of hiking around North San Diego County (where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a steep hill) so I'm not in terrible shape. The only place that hurts, other than some minor stiffness, is right in the area that hits the saddle. I remember it from riding fifteen years ago and it seemed like it gradually went away, or at least moderated a bit, but I ain't a kid anymore.

    So my question is: will that soreness go away if I keep at it and stop being a wuss, or do I have to buy bike shorts and some crotch contraption to keep myself in the saddle? Is there some adjustment I can make to the saddle that might help? Is there any way to improvise padding, thus sparing the expense of all that spandex?

    Again, this is a cool forum.
    ONE WORD, OR ACRONYM, HTFU
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
    ONE WORD, OR ACRONYM, HTFU
    Ok, I give up. I think I know what the "F" means, as in RTFM (read the fine manual), but HTFM?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Slim View Post
    Welcome to the group. We cannot accurately evaluate your worth to us without a picture of your bike. And then pictures of where you ride. Good shorts is good. Good bike fit is gooder. Nothing is better than riding and riding and riding. Do you actually swing dead cats?
    I try not to swing dead cats, it's just become a habit with me.

    The old lady took the camera to her grandson's birthday party of I'd send pictures.

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