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Thread: Saddle Pressure

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    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Saddle Pressure

    I've been asking for advice on saddles here the last few days, and have gotten a lot of good information, so thanks to everyone. I picked up a Selle Royal Ellipse Athletic to try out. I rode it six miles, and it's the first saddle I've tried that even pretends to be comfortable. It's a 160mm wide semi-firm gel saddle with a deep and wide groove to protect the soft tissue.

    On my short ride, I had pressure fairly evenly over my entire backside, including some on my soft tissue. I was under the impression that there should be none on the soft tissue, but I'm having a hard time seeing how that could be possible. Comments, please?

    After the ride, my entire backside was a bit weary. I'm not sure I could go more than about ten miles without really feeling it. Am I expecting too much?

    My bike has a 110mm 8 stem. I picked up a 90mm 25 stem, and I'm wondering if I should try it.

    I'm really new at this, and just don't know what to expect, please bear with me as I learn...

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    What kind of bike and how long (distance) do you expect to be riding?

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    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egranlund View Post
    What kind of bike and how long (distance) do you expect to be riding?
    The bike is a Giant Defy 1 endurance road bike, and most of my rides are ten miles or so, but I would like to build up to much longer rides. I'm 52 years old, 6' 1", and 190 pounds. I just don't know what, if any, soft tissue pressure is normal, nor do I know whether it is reasonable to expect to be completely comfortable after a long ride. I know I'll be tired, but should I expect my backside to be sore all the time?

    I want to be as comfortable after a long ride as I would be after a long drive in a luxury car. Yeah, I know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    The bike is a Giant Defy 1 endurance road bike, and most of my rides are ten miles or so, but I would like to build up to much longer rides. I'm 52 years old, 6' 1", and 190 pounds. I just don't know what, if any, soft tissue pressure is normal, nor do I know whether it is reasonable to expect to be completely comfortable after a long ride. I know I'll be tired, but should I expect my backside to be sore all the time?

    I want to be as comfortable after a long ride as I would be after a long drive in a luxury car. Yeah, I know.
    I went with a brooks, wear padded shorts, hike em up to get good compression of perinum, bring the jewels "up front" if you will, before you mount and make sure adjustment on saddle is correct.
    I have a skinny butt without hardly any extra padding, initally the hard brooks saddle felt a little unconfortable but within a week of riding and adjusting turned into a comfortable ride.


    A too soft saddle seems to me to be the most uncomfortable, it starts ok because ajdustment is for uncompressed padding in the saddle, as you ride the padding compresses under the sit bones, causing them to sink and the center padding pressures the perinum.

    IMHO

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    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986raleigh View Post
    I went with a brooks, wear padded shorts, hike em up to get good compression of perinum, bring the jewels "up front" if you will, before you mount and make sure adjustment on saddle is correct.
    I have a skinny butt without hardly any extra padding, initally the hard brooks saddle felt a little unconfortable but within a week of riding and adjusting turned into a comfortable ride.


    A too soft saddle seems to me to be the most uncomfortable, it starts ok because ajdustment is for uncompressed padding in the saddle, as you ride the padding compresses under the sit bones, causing them to sink and the center padding pressures the perinum.

    IMHO
    Seems everyone's anatomy is different. I've tried several saddles lately and much adjusting on each one, and the hard, flat saddles just put everything to sleep on me, and make my sit bones ache so bad I cannot continue to ride after just five minutes - and that's with padded shorts! My bike was fitted to me when I bought it, and I know that a fitting is just the beginning, but no amount of tinkering with a flat saddle keeps the nose from crushing my perineum. This is really frustrating.

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    How long are you "toughing it out" between saddle swaps and how long have you been riding in general?

    When you talk about pressure are you talking pain or just you slightly leaning on your soft tissue?

    It may be worth trying out the harder saddle for a week or two and see if the pain lessens. Sometimes there can be a bit of a "breaking in" period I've heard

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    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egranlund View Post
    How long are you "toughing it out" between saddle swaps and how long have you been riding in general?

    When you talk about pressure are you talking pain or just you slightly leaning on your soft tissue?

    It may be worth trying out the harder saddle for a week or two and see if the pain lessens. Sometimes there can be a bit of a "breaking in" period I've heard
    On the first few saddles I tried, the fit was so bad that it was obvious that they were not going to work. They all caused more than moderate pressure in one place or another, which resulted in pain. On this last saddle, there is no pain, but still mild to moderate pressure on the perineum. I've only put a few miles on it, though. I'll keep using it to see if it gets better, and try some further adjustments.

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    From personal experience, the current saddle on my new bike caused a ton of pain initially on my sit bones. (Bontrager Affinity 1) After a week or two of fiddling with adjustments I eventually just leveled the saddle and decided to suck it up for a couple of weeks. The pain has noticably decreased. Before I couldn't go a mile or so without it starting to hurt, now it's more like 20 miles before it starts bothering me. I expect it will continue to get better. This is three weeks and around 250 miles later.

    From what I've read this is generally how it goes when you first start riding for the season.

    As far as perineum pressure, the only time I've had that issue was with my Brooks B17N saddle and that's when it was pointed up to far. In this case it was pressure in that whenever I hit a bump it would knock me in the perineum rather than in my sit bones/spread out around the saddle a little more. Is this what you're experiencing?

    Are you getting any...manhood numbness due to the pressure? Also have you talked to your LBS and see if they can help you out with maybe a fitting or at least some pointers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    The bike is a Giant Defy 1 endurance road bike, and most of my rides are ten miles or so, but I would like to build up to much longer rides. I'm 52 years old, 6' 1", and 190 pounds. I just don't know what, if any, soft tissue pressure is normal, nor do I know whether it is reasonable to expect to be completely comfortable after a long ride. I know I'll be tired, but should I expect my backside to be sore all the time?

    I want to be as comfortable after a long ride as I would be after a long drive in a luxury car. Yeah, I know.
    In my opinion no continuing painful soft tissue pressure is acceptable. Momentary pains are ok, but it has to stop quick.

  10. #10
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egranlund View Post
    From personal experience, the current saddle on my new bike caused a ton of pain initially on my sit bones. (Bontrager Affinity 1) After a week or two of fiddling with adjustments I eventually just leveled the saddle and decided to suck it up for a couple of weeks. The pain has noticably decreased. Before I couldn't go a mile or so without it starting to hurt, now it's more like 20 miles before it starts bothering me. I expect it will continue to get better. This is three weeks and around 250 miles later.

    From what I've read this is generally how it goes when you first start riding for the season.

    As far as perineum pressure, the only time I've had that issue was with my Brooks B17N saddle and that's when it was pointed up to far. In this case it was pressure in that whenever I hit a bump it would knock me in the perineum rather than in my sit bones/spread out around the saddle a little more. Is this what you're experiencing?

    Are you getting any...manhood numbness due to the pressure? Also have you talked to your LBS and see if they can help you out with maybe a fitting or at least some pointers?
    You make a good point. I'm expecting too much too soon. Some of the first saddles I tried were miserable. I now have a Selle Royal Ellipse Athletic, which has a deep, wide channel to protect the perineum. I think I just need to make fine fitting adjustments and give myself time to toughen up. I have a habit of overthinking things. I have light pressure on the perineum, but no pain and no numbness. The LBS is geared more toward high speed, long distance riders and $200 saddles. I'm just not their kind of rider. They did fit me when I bought the bike, but you know how that is. They've helped some since then, but mostly I'm learning from other riders here, and through other online sources.

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