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  1. #1
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Eclipsed the 20 mile mark

    For those of you following along, I finally eclipsed the 20 mile mark without a rest break. Yeah, I was proud as I hobbled away.

    I mentioned in someone else's post about pain in the nether regions. I didn't want to hijack his post though so thought I would express my thoughts in my own. The saddle woes. Ouch!

    But aside from the pain I have learned some valuable information in my short time pursuing this sport. My number one lesson is, buy the best components you can possibly afford! Sheesh, I have to adjust my derailleurs every other week. Acera and Altus are low end components which work well when in proper adjustment. The problem is, the shifters need a lot of that if you're riding them a lot. Thankfully, people like Sheldon Brown thought to write all the instruction needed to handle this task and it really isn't that difficult after you do and redo it once. Heavy emphasis on the redo!

    I have also learned that addressing issues with my current bike can alleviate, to some extent, my constant obsession with buying another bike. Oh, I look at all the fancy expensive bikes when I'm out riding on my inexpensive hybrid. I always think how much faster I'd be on whatever is my current obsession. CX bikes are my current drool over bikes. But the simple truth is, I'm still new at this and really don't have any idea what I really need even yet. On the plus side, I've gotten to know my bike on a real personal level.

    I'm sure that the day will come when the Misceo will no longer fill my needs. Or, the low grade components will finally wear out past the point of no return. And at that time I will be in a much better place to know what I need next. Maybe a CX bike or maybe a full bore roadie, or even another hybrid. Who knows! But until that day I'll just keep pedaling away and wishing I lived in a place without all these damn hills!

    Oh yeah, the saddle. I think I'm gonna try a Brooks.
    Last edited by Texasplumr; 08-27-12 at 09:18 AM. Reason: oops
    Russ Lane
    ATX
    "I'm old and I'm slow"

  2. #2
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Very cool.

    One consolation to the hills is that the hill country is pretty down there.

    Is your bike new? Could it be that your cables are just stretching?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    It was new in May. Had the initial tune up in June. Since then it has needed adjusting every other week. Yeah, I'm fairly certain they are still stretching and it doesn't look like they are gonna stop. It doesn't take much to make it difficult to shift. Especially from the small to the middle chain ring. Riding around here I find myself needing the small ring. I could probably mash my way up some of the hills I spin up, but why? My knees are happy I have a low range.

    I could probably just upgrade the shifters too, I think. But it really isn't hard to adjust them. I built a stand in my shop and it takes me 5 minutes tops now.

    Yeah, the hill country is beautiful. I love living in central Texas. And the best part of climbing is that I know I'll eventually be going back down!
    Russ Lane
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    "I'm old and I'm slow"

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    20 odd years ago and I aspired to get an Altus equipped bike- how things have changed.

    The bike you have sounds as though it is serving a purpose and you realise that. Use it to get the fitness up so that longer rides can be done---but with that all important Coffee and Pie break. Whether you realise it or not- All the first bike is there for- is to tell you what your second bike will be. You have already found that a respectable groupset is worth it. I used to say 105 as a minimum but I have a 2012 Tiagra equipped bike that is all I Need it to be. Style of bike and you will suss out what riding you settle into and the style of bike will follow on from that. But silly things like Size and fit of bike are something you learn along with maintenance. So stay with your current bike till you have the fitness and you know what you want. Then start looking at the options and that is when you may have to come back for advice.

    And on the Brooks??????? Give your current saddle time to settle in and to harden the butt. If in 3 months you are still in pain- then you should have changed the saddle months ago.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    When I started riding 4 years ago my butt was killing me and I kept swapping saddles and one of my friends who is an experienced cyclist kept asking me how many miles I had and I would tell him 200, then 300, etc and he would say keep pedaling, it's not your saddle it's your butt. Sure 'nough at about 1500 miles my butt quit hurting
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    20 odd years ago and I aspired to get an Altus equipped bike- how things have changed.

    The bike you have sounds as though it is serving a purpose and you realise that. Use it to get the fitness up so that longer rides can be done---but with that all important Coffee and Pie break. Whether you realise it or not- All the first bike is there for- is to tell you what your second bike will be. You have already found that a respectable groupset is worth it. I used to say 105 as a minimum but I have a 2012 Tiagra equipped bike that is all I Need it to be. Style of bike and you will suss out what riding you settle into and the style of bike will follow on from that. But silly things like Size and fit of bike are something you learn along with maintenance. So stay with your current bike till you have the fitness and you know what you want. Then start looking at the options and that is when you may have to come back for advice.

    And on the Brooks??????? Give your current saddle time to settle in and to harden the butt. If in 3 months you are still in pain- then you should have changed the saddle months ago.
    Your posts always make me smile.

    It ain't the butt that hurts. Lets just say that I'm glad I don't want more children. Tilting this one doesn't help and I've gone forward and back with it to no avail. And it has been on it since May. I think my nether regions are already telling me that I should have changed it months ago! My LBS, who I trust are recommending a Brooks but it seems that the options are nearly endless.

    I hear about shops who let you test ride them but since by most accounts it takes time to break a new saddle in, I'm not sure That would work either. I don't think I can put enough miles in, in even a weeks time to be absolutely sure. I come from a motorcycle background and I always had custom built saddles. It takes 1000 miles to properly break in a motorcycle saddle. It might be less with a bicycle seat but the process is the same.

    Brooks seems like a good place to start since the resale market is pretty good for them.

    If I'm missing anything though, I'm eager to learn. That's my main reason for joining this forum.
    Russ Lane
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    "I'm old and I'm slow"

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Congrats on the achievement. In another year that 20 miles will be just a modest evening ride, and your butt won't hurt.

    I happen to be one of the folks that loves Brooks, but they are fairly expensive, starting at about $100. Experiment with all your adjustments first. It might just be some minor thing like a couple of degrees of tilt, or the fore/aft adjustment.

    Edit: I just saw your last response, posted while I was typing mine. In that case it may be worth investing in a Brooks, they are easy to sell on the used market if you decide you hate them. The B17 is a good all around choice. I have a B17 on my tandem, with Team Pro and Colt saddles on the road bikes.
    Last edited by Yo Spiff; 08-27-12 at 01:46 PM.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    been very happy with my Brooks. found my receipt last night I can tell you where I bought it if you're interested. would have to be later the paperwork is at home.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  9. #9
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texasplumr View Post
    ...Since then it has needed adjusting every other week. Yeah, I'm fairly certain they are still stretching and it doesn't look like they are gonna stop. I built a stand in my shop and it takes me 5 minutes tops now.
    If this (and the saddle) are the bike's biggest problems, and since you do your own work, I'd suggest investing in a set of higher quality cables before you upgrade the derailleurs.

    Congrats on meeting your distance goal!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmccain View Post
    If this (and the saddle) are the bike's biggest problems, and since you do your own work, I'd suggest investing in a set of higher quality cables before you upgrade the derailleurs.

    Congrats on meeting your distance goal!
    Thank you!
    I'll look into cables after my saddle issue is resolved. I was thinking shifters and cables at some point. But cables alone would be a cheaper option if that is an option. For some reason I thought they had to be purchased as a set. Shows what I know!
    Russ Lane
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    been very happy with my Brooks. found my receipt last night I can tell you where I bought it if you're interested. would have to be later the paperwork is at home.
    Thanks, but I'll probably just use my LBS. I like them and I owned a small business for ten years. I buy local when I can. I want them to be there as long as I am!
    Russ Lane
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  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Brooks are not for everyone but type of saddle is important. Not only type but width so find a Specialized dealer and use the Bottometer. That will give a starter for saddle width but that is not always right. Believe it of not- the best saddles are your width and with a firm solid base. I have a Flight Max gel that offers just a little bit of padding and a San Marco Aero that offers the same. Best saddle I had was one of the original Flight Titanium saddles. No padding but just a bit of Flex in the rails.

    Best way of finding a saddle is the day after a ride and go into the shop and find a step or stool and place the saddle on it. The residual pain that is left after the ride will soon tell you when you have found the right saddle
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member El Segundo's Avatar
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    One of the LBS' in our area sells the WTB brand of saddles which have a test ride program. You basically buy the saddle and use it awhile if not comfortable take it back and try another model. That is what we did when my daughter could not get comfortable on her saddle.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ecrider's Avatar
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    Eclipsed the 20 mile mark

    If you're having trouble with the nether regions a Brooks may be the last saddle you should try. If you want to try one though get the B17 imperial, which is a cutout and gives perinial relief. You can find one for about 85. I love the Selle Anatomica, which is like a Brooks cutout that is already broken in. It also more adjustable. You couldn't find them for awhile after the owner died but they are back in full production. Take it from someone who had the same problems you are experiencing, it will make that problem go away.

  15. #15
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Congrats on the 20 miles! Before you know it, 20 will be cake.

    Just to be sure, you are wearing snug fitting padded cycling shorts?
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  16. #16
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Many of us have tried multiple saddles before finding what we like. I am in the anti-Brooks camp.
    Try to be sure you are putting your weight on the sit bones.

  17. #17
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    Hey, I'm an ATX cyclist, too. There are many choices of rides here. I'd suggest that you take a look at the ACA (austincycling.org) for a good selection of recreational rides at a variety of different paces. The "hosted rides" are pretty nice for people just starting out. You can progress from there all the way to (semi-)pro racing groups should your journey take you there. I do very heartily recommend the ACA (Austin Cycling Association).

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mort Canard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    Many of us have tried multiple saddles before finding what we like. I am in the anti-Brooks camp.
    Try to be sure you are putting your weight on the sit bones.
    This! The area you want to avoid riding on is called the perineum. It has the blood supply and nerve bundles for your genitalia. Personally I like Brooks saddles but they are sensitive to fore and aft tilt as are a lot of saddles. If the nose of the saddle is too high you won't be sitting on the sit bones.

    One additional recommendation is to get out of the saddle for a bit about every mile or two. You can sprint or just stand on the pedals for 5-10
    seconds. It helps a lot!

    Congrats on the 20 mile mark.
    "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles" Butch Cassidy

  19. #19
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the 20 mile, non-stop ride -- that is an accomplishment.

    Bike shorts with gel pads can help more than a saddle. I wear mine under a pair of shorts so that I have pockets. A friend of mine uses a gel saddle pad instead of th bike shorts.

    Also, make sure that you have all those private things positioned out of harms way instead of all tucked in... That can also help relieve pressure on the perineal region.

    But, regardless of the saddle, or the shorts or anything else: 20 miles in a saddle is probably gonna hurt.
    --------------------------------------
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    Congrats on the 20 miles! Before you know it, 20 will be cake.

    Just to be sure, you are wearing snug fitting padded cycling shorts?
    That's affirmative! And, thanks.
    Russ Lane
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    "I'm old and I'm slow"

  21. #21
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
    Hey, I'm an ATX cyclist, too. There are many choices of rides here. I'd suggest that you take a look at the ACA (austincycling.org) for a good selection of recreational rides at a variety of different paces. The "hosted rides" are pretty nice for people just starting out. You can progress from there all the way to (semi-)pro racing groups should your journey take you there. I do very heartily recommend the ACA (Austin Cycling Association).
    Thanks! I am a member. I actually got the family membership even though it is just my wife and I. We took the Traffic 101 course after buying our bikes. Haven't tried any group rides as of yet but will probably do that one day. She's having hip replacement surgery next Tuesday so it will be after she has fully recovered. When she gets the OK from her doctor we'll start easing her back into this. Hell, the bikes were her idea!
    Russ Lane
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Texasplumr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Congratulations on the 20 mile, non-stop ride -- that is an accomplishment.

    Bike shorts with gel pads can help more than a saddle. I wear mine under a pair of shorts so that I have pockets. A friend of mine uses a gel saddle pad instead of th bike shorts.

    Also, make sure that you have all those private things positioned out of harms way instead of all tucked in... That can also help relieve pressure on the perineal region.

    But, regardless of the saddle, or the shorts or anything else: 20 miles in a saddle is probably gonna hurt.
    Ha ha you're probably right! I wear good padded cycling shorts. I used to wear cargo shorts over them but decided the seam might be causing me some of the discomfort so quit doing that. And it did help.

    I'm looking at some of the saddles with the cut out now and will probably start there. Makes sense to me. Damn, some of them cost as much as my whole bike!
    Russ Lane
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  23. #23
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texasplumr View Post
    ...

    I'm looking at some of the saddles with the cut out now and will probably start there. Makes sense to me. Damn, some of them cost as much as my whole bike!
    That makes sense to me too. But, if it were that easy, I figure they would all have cut outs. But, like you say, it does make sense. So, if / when you get one let us know how it works. I've been thinking of doing the same. I'm willing to put up with some pain -- but not if I don't have to.
    --------------------------------------
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  24. #24
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    The Specialized saddles work well for me. No numbness issues even on 8-9 hour rides. I like the Toupe line but there are other lines with somewhat different shapes.

    The Brooks shape is not good for penile numbness- it's rounded cross section will put pressure on the nerves in the center. That's why I like a saddle that's flatter in cross section. Having a central cutout is even better.

    Putting up with pain is sometimes required for cycling, but you should not HTFU and ignore penile numbness. That can cause permanent damage.

    Get in the habbit of standing every so often. I use small rises as an excuse to stand rather than shift down but you can stand even on dead flat ground, just shift up and stand for a few pedal strokes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member cbresciani's Avatar
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    Way to go!

    I have a pair of MTB cycling shorts that have pockets, best of both worlds padded shorts and pockets.

    If I were you I would also look into a saddle with a center slot or channel. They are on all my bikes and it really helps with the numbness.
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