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Thread: Saddle Comfort

  1. #1
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Saddle Comfort

    Just getting back into cycling. Bought a Giant Defy 1, upgrading several components. LBS adjusted the bike to fit me, taking several measurements, and plenty of time. Been riding quite a bit, and maybe I'm just not toughened up yet, but I'm still having some comfort issues. After a long ride, my palms are tender near the base of my thumb, despite gel gloves. I'm also experiencing pressure at the front edge of the sit bones. My weight isn't evenly distributed over the sit bones - more toward the front. I've thought about dropping the nose of the seat, but it's level now, and lowering the nose would force more weight on my already sore hands. Handlebars are already as high as they will go, and seat height is correct. Seat is also correct fore and aft, and it took changing the seat post to a zero offset post to get it there.

    I'm hesitant to mess with the settings the bike shop took so long to get right, but I think there must be some minor adjustment that will make the seat and my hands more comfortable. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Weight on the front of the sitbones is correct. They'll toughen up. Actually what happens is that the flesh over them gets used to oxygen deprivation.

    As for the hands:
    Numb Hands
    You aren't complaining of "numb hands" but the diagrams and photos are very worth examining. Try to get your hand and arm positions to be similar to those women.

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    I've been riding for 25 years, during which I've tried 30 - 40 different saddles . . . and I'm STILL experiencing saddle discomfort . . .

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakossa View Post
    I've been riding for 25 years, during which I've tried 30 - 40 different saddles . . . and I'm STILL experiencing saddle discomfort . . .
    So start your own thread: maybe someone has some insight. I, and most folks with whom I ride, can ride for 12-24 hours with very few breaks without particular discomfort anywhere other than just getting tired and sore and etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Weight on the front of the sitbones is correct. They'll toughen up. Actually what happens is that the flesh over them gets used to oxygen deprivation.

    As for the hands:
    Numb Hands
    You aren't complaining of "numb hands" but the diagrams and photos are very worth examining. Try to get your hand and arm positions to be similar to those women.
    I'll experiment with hand position as per the article. As to weight distribution, I can put my hands on the bar next to the stem, and my weight distributes evenly, and my rear end feels more comfortable. I want that evenness when I'm on the hoods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    Just getting back into cycling. Bought a Giant Defy 1, upgrading several components. LBS adjusted the bike to fit me, taking several measurements, and plenty of time. Been riding quite a bit, and maybe I'm just not toughened up yet, but I'm still having some comfort issues. After a long ride, my palms are tender near the base of my thumb, despite gel gloves. I'm also experiencing pressure at the front edge of the sit bones. My weight isn't evenly distributed over the sit bones - more toward the front. I've thought about dropping the nose of the seat, but it's level now, and lowering the nose would force more weight on my already sore hands. Handlebars are already as high as they will go, and seat height is correct. Seat is also correct fore and aft, and it took changing the seat post to a zero offset post to get it there.

    I'm hesitant to mess with the settings the bike shop took so long to get right, but I think there must be some minor adjustment that will make the seat and my hands more comfortable. Any ideas?
    Is this the saddle that came with the bike? Usually the factory provided saddless are pretty low quality. I would guess that most mfg would presume that since a saddle is such a personal choice, anyone in the saddle a lot is going to put their favorite one on the bike anyhow. Sounds to me like a fundamental mismatch between you and the one you have. As has been said before, getting to the right saddle takes a bit but once you do, you are good for a long time.

    Most bike shops will let you try and experiment with different saddles and will help you do it. It's to their benefit because ultimately they will sell you a new saddle. Go back and ask them and ask to try some other saddles.

    Also, little tweaks can make a big difference. So even if your LBS got it close to right, sometimes just a millimeter or two can matter a lot.

    J.

  7. #7
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    Just mark and measure everything the bike shop did to create a baseline to return to if the adjustments don't work. Riding on the trainer and fitting in the shop can't duplicate real life conditions so don't be afraid to fine tune.

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    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    I'll experiment with hand position as per the article. As to weight distribution, I can put my hands on the bar next to the stem, and my weight distributes evenly, and my rear end feels more comfortable. I want that evenness when I'm on the hoods.
    It may not be the saddle at all. It could be that you're too stretched out when you're on the hoods. If you're moving forward on the saddle to compensate, you would be adding weight to your hands while at the same time not getting the proper support for your sit-bones. I know you've had a fitting, but functional challenges don't always show up during a fitting. You may have been fit for a more aggressive position than your body can sustain long-term. I'd suggest this to the fitter at your LBS as they can likely give you a shorter stem to try out and see if it makes a difference on the road.

    Or, your fit may be fine and you just need a new saddle. But that quest can be long and arduous, so I like to make sure I have all other aspects of fit nailed down first.

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    Gel gloves may not necessarily help your hands. Try riding without gloves at all, then try some gloves with less padding, see how things feel. As with saddles, sometimes less padding is better, or a different shape to the padding.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Get out of the saddle more often? stand on the pedals , gives your back side a break ..

    of course you can try more saddles ..

    There are carbon seat posts made to flex, specialized put one under the Racers on the cobbles yesterday

    and USE in Britain made a nice weight range adjustable suspension seat posts
    with an elastomer spring combo which would take the shocks out ..
    And they are a zero set back head. Not sure what is available from them now.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-10-14 at 03:07 PM.

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    One trick that will help when trying different fit settings is to mark up the bike. I use a whiteout pen to make a mark on the seat post, handlebar, and the saddle front to back position. Then, as I move settings around looking for ultimate comfort and blazing speed, it is easy to get back to the original setting. I think it is also helpful to maintain a written record of every setting on the bike. As one becomes fitter on the bike, some of those settings may well need adjustment.

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    You should record all the measurements as they are and mark them on the bike. Then flip your stem to the positive angle if it is already on the negative. Otherwise you could try a shorter stem, because I agree that it sounds like you may be too stretched out, which would cause you to lean forward more than you should on your sit bones and the end of your palms nearest your wrist would contact instead of the whole palm. You can check your placement using the Peter White fitting method mentioned below.

    For fittings I prefer to use KOPS as a starting point, which is probably what the shop used to set your fore-aft saddle position, and fine tune it using the method by Peter White (How to Fit a Bicycle) or that used by Steve Hogg (SEAT SET BACK: for road bikes Bike Fit Steve Hogg's Bike Fitting Website ; see the Point of Balance section) if you have a trainer. These methods focus on weight distribution instead of knee placement only. Even with these methods you will need to adjust over time as you fine tune your placement to strike a balance between flat speed and climbing power.

  13. #13
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Criner View Post
    Gel gloves may not necessarily help your hands. Try riding without gloves at all, then try some gloves with less padding, see how things feel. As with saddles, sometimes less padding is better, or a different shape to the padding.
    I have better luck with padded gloves than with gel. There are lots to try.
    sharon
    when did I become vintage?

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