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  1. #1
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    Old Butt - Numb Question....

    I've been out 3 times on my new week old hybrid, having not ridden a bike for 40 years. But after an half hour or so, my butt is painfully numb, if the two aren't mutually exclusive. I'm thinking of swapping seats for something a little wider but a co-worker said don't bother - I'll toughen up if I give it a week or two - and that I'll be surprised. Easy for him to say, he's not 56. My cycling club has a 35k leisurely passed ride on Sunday. I know my cardiovascular system is up to snuff - but I'm not sure my bottom is. Any advice?

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    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    Wide is not likely to be better. That doesn't mean different won't be. You want your "sit bones" on the seat not mussel - think of what a skeleton looks like. What happens if you stand up every few min.? Is there an LBS that will let you try some saddels?

    Joe

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    Assuming your bike fits you properly and saddle height/fore and aft has been adjusted correctly plus handlebar is set right, I'd say give your butt a chance to get used to riding. Your butt, at this early stage, is wondering what the hell is going on.

    Beginning riders usually have pain for a few weeks. If pain persists or becomes severe then take action.

    As joeprim suggested, stand and pedal frequently; that can make a big difference.

  4. #4
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    Wider is better if you are sitting upright, a friend of mine rides with a Giant cruiser seat on his Giant OCR touring bike and he loves it. I recommended it to him because that was what he needed. He asked me why I don't ride with one, and my reply is that I ride so much that my rear is use to the saddle that I already have. But if ever I would want a totally comfort saddle the Giant cruiser saddle woud be it.

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    It will hurt no matter what for 6-8 weeks. At least mine did. Then try a new seat. Are you wearing cycle shorts? They might help a bit. I heard Preparation H toughens the tissue but never tried it.

  6. #6
    displaced AZ Wildcat Clayton's Avatar
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    I agree completely with Louis. The only thing I can add is to measure the span of your "sit bones" and make sure that the saddle you're using will accomodate that width.

    If the saddle is appropriate in width then just give it a little time. As was already said, your butt is probably asking what in the world is going on?

    If you need to make a change then find an LBS that will let you return a purchased saddle in exchange for another one.

    I hope you enjoy your upcoming ride.

  7. #7
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    One of the forgotten factors in advising a new rider is that s/he is using muscles in that pelvic region that have not been used for a long time, or even at all. There is going to be a period where those muscles (and likely ligaments and tendons) are going to complain for a while until they start to get used to this activity.

    Having said that, it sounds as though you prefer a more upright position, and a wide and (believe it or not) firmer saddle may be in order so your sitbones are properly located and taking the appropriate weight.

    Numbness in this region usually is attributable, as someone else said, to the squishy seat squeezing the soft muscle tissue together, affecting primarily the nerve network through there.

    You may need to readjust your seat position quite a few times before you find the happy medium. Don't be afraid to do this.
    Last edited by Rowan; 04-15-05 at 10:40 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    I've been out 3 times on my new week old hybrid, having not ridden a bike for 40 years. But after an half hour or so, my butt is painfully numb, if the two aren't mutually exclusive. I'm thinking of swapping seats for something a little wider but a co-worker said don't bother - I'll toughen up if I give it a week or two - and that I'll be surprised. Easy for him to say, he's not 56. My cycling club has a 35k leisurely passed ride on Sunday. I know my cardiovascular system is up to snuff - but I'm not sure my bottom is. Any advice?
    it's your seat. I can ride 70 miles+ on my bike no pain, and I can't take more than 30 minutes at the gym
    on the stationary 'bent' the seat sucks... don't ride in pain. get a seat that works for you.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge
    it's your seat. I can ride 70 miles+ on my bike no pain, and I can't take more than 30 minutes at the gym
    on the stationary 'bent' the seat sucks... don't ride in pain. get a seat that works for you.

    Hate say it but you must give your butt/saddle time to get to know each other. This will not happen overnight, and I would suggest that at least a couple of weeks are taken before spending out on a new saddle. However, there are the new anatomically designed saddles that are far better than the cheapie as sold by the LBS or even the saddle as fitted by most manufacturers on their bikes.

    I Always use the flight titanium saddle and always found them reasonably comfortable for my style of riding and bike set up. However one of my bikes has a more upright stance and the flight is not comfortable on this one. I went to a Selle Italia, with the cut out for the pelvic bone, and this is very comfortable. So much so that my pilot on the Tandem went for the same model. Only a couple of drawbacks, and that is that has a very short nose, is a little too wide after about 60 miles, and it is the womens version. (I don't tell people that though)

  10. #10
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    I've been out 3 times on my new week old hybrid, having not ridden a bike for 40 years. But after an half hour or so, my butt is painfully numb...
    ...a co-worker said don't bother - I'll toughen up if I give it a week or two - and that I'll be surprised. Easy for him to say, he's not 56.
    You didn't mention the brand and model of saddle you have, but if it is too soft (too much padding) that may be the problem. A saddle that is too soft will never be comfortable after 5 miles.
    Give your glutes a chance to toughen up and look around for a "good" saddle.
    I'm not a hybrid bike kinda guy, but most hybrids I've seen in bike shops had saddles that weren't having.

    Saddle on my commuter: Terry Fly
    Saddle on my road bike: Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow
    BTW: I'm 60
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  11. #11
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    Give your butt a chance to break in as well as the saddle, don't skimp here find yourself a well-made saddle, a little cash here goes a long way. I change positions often when I ride as well and stand up at times, fiddle with the height and pitch until you get it dialed in, this is kind of trial and error and takes some time. I'm 52 and ride a Fizik on a roadie.

  12. #12
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    I had the same problem until I went with one of the "Split Seats" from Specialized. Once I got the split seat I did not have the sensation of my but going to sleep.

    Worked wonders for me.

    Tom

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I guess they don't call me old "hard ass" for nothing! I can ride just about anything.

    Anyway, I would shy away from "soft" saddles - as others have mentioned, they will squish your skin and make it sore for any ride of 30 miles or more.

    It takes a few weeks for your bottom to become "numb" to this strange thing it is sitting on.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
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    Time on the bike will probably be the best help. But Brooks will probably be the long term answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I guess they don't call me old "hard ass" for nothing! I can ride just about anything.
    And, what's more, without the need for bike shorts!!

  16. #16
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    And, what's more, without the need for bike shorts!!
    Yes, discovered that only a couple of months ago!

    But(t) I am not as good as the guy in his 70's I see all the time who rides about 8,000 miles per year wearing only a Bikini in the summer time!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-16-05 at 06:51 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  17. #17
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    Nearly everybody has butt pain problems when starting to ride again or for the first time. In addition to all the advise here already, I have one suggestion. Run, don't walk, to your computer and order yourself a Brooks B-17 saddle. This is the most comfortable saddle you'll ever own. Some people talk about the break-in period for the Brooks (it's a fairly hard leather when you get it out of the box), but I never experienced any problems whatsoever from day one. Solved my butt pain problems and now I wouldn't ever consider another type of saddle, and I've tried many. You won't regret the decision.

  18. #18
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    Nearly everybody has butt pain problems when starting to ride again or for the first time. In addition to all the advise here already, I have one suggestion. Run, don't walk, to your computer and order yourself a Brooks B-17 saddle. This is the most comfortable saddle you'll ever own.
    I'm not sure what saddle came with my hybrid - http://www.mielebicycles.com/2005/en...COLOR=BORDEAUX - but I'm sure it's a basic one. My LBS said they would give me a credit on the saddle if it's brought back within the first week. So I'm not waiting for my butt to toughen up on an entry level saddle - I'm going to move up a couple of notches at least. By the way, yesterday I did the 35k "touring ride" with the cycling club - took 2 hours with a little headwind - at 56 my 5th ride on my new Miele Tuscana! For the ride, I used my wife's saddle - a wider department store CCM seat - and the pain was bearable! I'm heading for my LBS first thing after work today - and I get a 10% discount with membership in my cycling club. Thanks for the advice gang! It's good to be here - and good to be back on a bike. Mark

  19. #19
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    I second the Brooks suggestion. I recently got back into biking more regularly (at 50), and even bought a new Felt Road bike. It came with a Selle Italia Gel saddle, which made my butt ache a bit. I remembered I had an old Brooks B5N saddle that I had removed (for some cock-eyed reason) from my 1971 Dawes Galaxy. I swapped them out, adjusted for height, and after about 300 miles of riding over the last month, the results are great. I'm having more issues with my back and arms, and they are just getting in shape things.

    Check out Brooks. If you are using a hybrid/comfort/upright rider, check out there offerings beyond the road type saddle (typically B17).

    Good luck and welcome to the road...

  20. #20
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Butt pain is common with hybrid bikes for one main reason. The riding position of a hybrid puts too much weight on the seat and very little on the arms. Folks who ride hybrids generally ride slower, thus more of their weight is supported by the saddle and less by the legs and arms.
    Wag more, bark less

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olebiker
    Butt pain is common with hybrid bikes for one main reason. The riding position of a hybrid puts too much weight on the seat and very little on the arms. Folks who ride hybrids generally ride slower, thus more of their weight is supported by the saddle and less by the legs and arms.
    Technically, a properly fitted bike will result in no weight on the arms. However, core strength -- in the abdominal and back muscles -- can play a role in this. Any person should be able to ride along with no pressure on the hands. I don't argue with the more upright position of hybrids placing more weight on the sitbones, however.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    The Specialized dealers measure the width of your sit bones with a memory foam piece that has a measurement ruler on the board. If you have some foam, about 1/4-3/8 inch thick, that keeps the indents in it for a few minutes, sit on it on a hard surface, and you'll be able to see the parts that are compressed under your bones. Measure the distance center-to-center with a metric ruler to get millimeters, then look for a saddle that's the proper width. A Specialized dealer can do this for you, if you want.

  23. #23
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    Or if no foam, find a newly dug garden bed or a child's sand pit with uncompacted sand, and sit on it. Then measure the distance as D-chief says.

  24. #24
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Technically, a properly fitted bike will result in no weight on the arms.
    Um, I'm afraid I can't agree with you on that one. I'm not aware of anyone who can ride a road bike with drop handlebars and not put weight on the hands.
    Wag more, bark less

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olebiker
    Um, I'm afraid I can't agree with you on that one. I'm not aware of anyone who can ride a road bike with drop handlebars and not put weight on the hands.
    I am.

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