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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 06-28-14, 04:33 PM   #1
luisM1234
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Started Riding, have pain in my butt.

I got a Kona Lanai yesterday and rode it for about 5 miles, my butt really started to ache alot. Im not sure if i should change the saddle into something more comfortable or rest for a couple days. and let my bones get stronger.
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Old 06-28-14, 05:00 PM   #2
misanthrope
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If you're new to cycling it's not uncommon to find that your saddle is a pain in the ass. Your ass and not your saddle might well be to blame however. It's takes a little time at first for your ass to get accustomed to sitting in the saddle, and adapted to the specific forces acting on it. I'd stick with your current saddle for a while, endure the discomfort and expect it to get at least significantly better. If you don't, and just change the saddle, there's a good chance the new one will feel just as bad.

If after "wearing it in", you're still finding it uncomfortable, then begin to think about a replacement. Ensure you've put a lot of effort into getting your bike adjusted to fit your anatomy first though, as a bad fit can and will cause various forms of discomfort.
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Old 06-28-14, 08:27 PM   #3
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Your bike fit not being quite right could also do this. (All it takes is to be off by 5 mm.) Think the most likely fit issues to do this would be the seat being too high, or sitting too upright (ie, the bars set too high).
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Old 06-28-14, 08:38 PM   #4
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A few thoughts...

Don't let all of your weight be on your butt. It's called a saddle and not a seat because you're not supposed to be completely sitting on it. Your weight should be supported a little by your butt or (sit bones,) your feet and your hands.

You may need to be professionally fitted for the bike, or adjust the thing yourself. One option is to raise the seat & lower the bars. This will rotate you forward so more weight is on your hands. Just check out some of the online fitting videos to get a good idea of how to do this properly and remember that it's more art than science.

Padded pants! Those lycra pants cyclists wear may look a little silly, but most of them have pads in the butts. This helps a TON. If you're not about to go around wearing something akin to a woman's pantyhose, look for mountain bike shorts. They look like normal shorts, but have the pads in the butt.

Padded gloves! Only buy these if you adjust things so your hands are bearing more of the weight & then they start to hurt. Try on several pair, and don't overspend. Cycling stuff usually has a ******** amount of mark-up...


Welcome to cycling! Hope this helps.
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Old 06-29-14, 04:17 AM   #5
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If the location of the pain is your sit-bones, resist the temptation to get a "comfort" saddle. It may seem counter-intuitive, but by taking pressure off the sit-bones, they distribute it to even more sensitive soft tissue areas. Get your body used to being on the saddle by doing frequent short rides and see how it is after two to three weeks.

Bike shorts are also a good idea. The chamois in bike shorts adds a little padding but the main benefit is that by moving with your body, they prevent friction/chaffing as you naturally move around on the saddle.

If you bought your bike at a shop and they fit it for you, don't mess with the fit right away. If the bike hasn't been professionally fit, definitely visit your local bike shop and ask for a "basic" fit service (you don't need a "pro" fit yet). A basic fit shouldn't cost more than $50 and will ensure that your bike is set up so that it's reasonably comfortable and you're not at risk of injury.
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Old 06-29-14, 09:11 AM   #6
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That point bears repeating. Do not get a soft, squishy, gel or thickly padded saddle.

They look comfy and for the first 10 miles they are, then they are bad. The reason is that you have what are called "sit bones" which are a protruding part of your pelvis, that supports your weight on the saddle. If the saddle is soft, the sit bones press deeply into two places on the saddle, and everywhere else the saddle pushes up against your soft tissue. Now your weight is being supported by your soft and sensitive tissue, and that is a bad thing. The people who like thickly padded saddles are people who ride infrequently and for short distances. They never get used to a proper saddle. A thickly padded saddle is a sure sign of a novice and/or casual rider.
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Old 06-29-14, 12:11 PM   #7
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A thickly padded saddle is a sure sign of a novice and/or casual rider.
I generally agree with most of what you posted, but that last point is just wrong.

Don't confuse your preference for some sort of hard & fast rule about saddles... blindly labeling people isn't the smartest thing, either.
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Old 06-29-14, 12:49 PM   #8
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I generally agree with most of what you posted, but that last point is just wrong.

Don't confuse your preference for some sort of hard & fast rule about saddles... blindly labeling people isn't the smartest thing, either.
Okay then, it is a >99% accurate sign of a novice or casual rider.
Look at 100 experienced, serious riders: I'm not sure you'll find even one thickly padded or fat gel saddle.
Look at 100 bikes with such saddles: I doubt even one is used for long rides.

Definition: experienced, serious, long -> 30+ mile rides regularly. I don't mean someone who is experienced at riding 10 miles.
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Old 06-30-14, 09:01 PM   #9
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The best way to condition your butt is by taking short rides of ~1/2 hour every day if possible, otherwise as frequently as possible. Rotate your pelvis forward to press your sit bones into the saddle. And yes, harder saddles are more comfortable, period. Which doesn't mean rock hard, but thinner or firmer padding is better. They sell soft saddles particularly on lower end bikes because marketers believe that soft saddles sell those bike better, not that soft saddles are better per se.

Besides sit bone pain, there are two other areas of saddle fit which are important:
saddle width, both at the back and between the legs
and saddle fit to the perineum.

If saddle width at the back is wrong, this can cause sit bone pain that doesn't go away with more riding. It's best to get fitted for a saddle of the proper width, or the width of the present saddle confirmed by your local bike shop.

If saddle width between the legs is too large, this can cause chaffing which also doesn't go away with more riding.

If saddle shape in the perineum area is wrong, your privates can get numb on rides of over an hour. This is very much not OK. Don't let that happen.
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Old 06-30-14, 09:23 PM   #10
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This is probably just a preference thing... My previous saddle was a narrow saddle, but had a good bit of padding toward the rear. It gave me plenty of free range of motion without the worry of chafing, but also gave me a cushy place to sit if I went hands-free on long rides (30+ miles.) I don't think padding is the problem, but shape. Most padded seats are fat bulbous things that rub on you in all the wrong places.
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Old 07-05-14, 08:36 PM   #11
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I ride 6,000+ miles/year in a fairly aggressive position (8 - 9 cm bar drop), yet I need what most cyclists would call a "too soft" saddle. (Not a wide one, though.) I spent 3,000 miles trying to get used to a fairly hard saddle . . . final straw was on the 3rd day of a tour when my sit bones hurt so bad, I worried I was coming down with bone cancer, or something!
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