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Old 05-01-06, 03:15 PM   #1
bmunroe
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Saddle help please. Hiney pain. Ouch!

I was once a roadie in what now seems like a former life. We're talking Greg LeMond days. Twenty years later I've decided to try and recapture the bliss. However this time I'm doing it with a much less forgiving body. So to get to the crux. I'm 6'1" 235 lbs. Very little of this is muscle. I'm definitely packing some extra pounds. I've been back in the saddle for a month, riding approximately 45 miles per week (3 days); not much, I know, but it's a start. The problem: Hiney pain. I realize I've only been back at this for a short time, but the kind of pain I'm experiencing doesn't seem like normal break-in discomfort. It's actually like a the jolt you feel when you hit a nerve. I'm riding on a fi'zi:k (or fizik) Arione Carbon Ti saddle. Did I buy the wrong saddle for a 35 year old re-entry roadie? I'd rather not spend hundreds more dollars trying out saddles. Any suggestions to help me overcome this problem would be greatly appreciated.

-Brian
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Old 05-01-06, 03:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like as a one time roadie, you probably know a bit about saddles.

I don't know about the Carbon Ti, but it sounds like one of those no cushion ass hatchets. I cycle fairly regularly, but I can't ride one of those! Those work if you're racing and pushing really hard the entire route, because your legs and arms are working overtime, and not a lot of weight is ever REALLY resting on your butt.

I, however, commute and do "casual" distance rides. So, I pedal easy sometimes, which means a saddle that's a little more "welcoming."

Maybe you are hitting a nerve if you have less muscle in your bum. Just a thought.

I can't really recommend a specific saddle unfortunately. I was very happy with the one that came stock on my commuter, and it doesn't sell aftermarket.

Some people really dig the Specialized Body Geometry stuff. Like the Avatar. (I think that's what it is.)
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Old 05-01-06, 03:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16
Sounds like as a one time roadie, you probably know a bit about saddles.

I don't know about the Carbon Ti, but it sounds like one of those no cushion ass hatchets.
Now that I've stopped laughing I can actually see my screen to type. Yeah, that pretty much sums up my saddle. Damn! I don't know why I thought this thing would be good for me. Oh well, I guess common sense pretty much answers my question. I've heard that some of the bigger, more cushy seats can actually cause more problems, but it sounds like I went too far toward the other extreme. I'll check out the Specialized stuff. Thanks for taking the time to post.

-Brian
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Old 05-01-06, 03:55 PM   #4
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Obviously TOO cushy will be just as bad. If a saddle advertises for you to do the "thumb depress check", well, that's probably too soft.

My saddle, while being cushioned, is decently firm to the "thumb press test", which means it's pretty much just right to the weight of my bum.
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Old 05-04-06, 11:49 AM   #5
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All three bikes I presently owned are in the "sit up and beg" position that I prefer now for any distance riding. Two of my saddles are the spring type, very slightly cushioned yet still firm saddles. One is leather and one is made of man made materials. The width is approxmently the same about 8 inches at the wide point. No problems experienced on either for me. The last one is non spring that is is not as wide. I do not care for it very much. I am looking to replace it just as soon as I can locate one that is similar in size and less cushion made as my other 2. I look for support, slight give in the springs and cushions, and the proper shape (not too wide-but still addresses support where needed). It was pure luck (and research on Sheldon Brown's webpage on saddles) that drew me to these "old fashioned" saddles. Try to remember that as we age, we need more support in the sit bones, not less. And the saddles that worked in the younger days ususally does not cut it later. Go by your needs, not what other people say you need. Your comfort range will improve vastly.
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Old 05-04-06, 02:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmunroe
I was once a roadie in what now seems like a former life. We're talking Greg LeMond days. Twenty years later I've decided to try and recapture the bliss. However this time I'm doing it with a much less forgiving body. So to get to the crux. I'm 6'1" 235 lbs. Very little of this is muscle. I'm definitely packing some extra pounds. I've been back in the saddle for a month, riding approximately 45 miles per week (3 days); not much, I know, but it's a start. The problem: Hiney pain. I realize I've only been back at this for a short time, but the kind of pain I'm experiencing doesn't seem like normal break-in discomfort. It's actually like a the jolt you feel when you hit a nerve. I'm riding on a fi'zi:k (or fizik) Arione Carbon Ti saddle. Did I buy the wrong saddle for a 35 year old re-entry roadie? I'd rather not spend hundreds more dollars trying out saddles. Any suggestions to help me overcome this problem would be greatly appreciated.

-Brian
Saddles are a major problem to a lot of us. IF you have afriendly LBS- ask if you can sit on a range of bikes, preferably the day after a ride so a bit of discomfort will still be there whenever you sit on any saddle. This is what I did and I found that a wider- better cushioned saddle was what was required. We then ran through the range of quality saddles they had and I put them on a stool and sat on them. One stood out a mile as being comfortable.
Then again Find a Specialised dealer that has the Memory foam seat finder. You sit on it for a couple of minutes and they come up with a saddle size and type that will fit you. Pity it always seems to be the most expensive saddle in the shop but that's commerce for you.

As to the hundreds to be spent on saddles- I have spent thousands. Admittedly over a few years- but it sounds to me as though you need a slightly wider saddle with the pelvic cutaway and a bit of Gel. Quite a few of us older riders have settled on Selle Italia Flite saddles but there are many other manufacturers making similar. Then again- Go to the speccie dealer and see what the foam and salesman say.

Then comes the important bit- Saddle position. I have recently put a new saddle on the Tandem. Getting that seat height- Bar height- fore and aft position and nose tilt correct takes Time- and a lot of adjustment. Until that saddle is in the ideal spot- It can hurt.
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Old 05-04-06, 03:51 PM   #7
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Well, the first things to check are:

1) Is your saddle angle reasonable?
2) Are you standing up from time to time?

However, given your symptoms, it sounds likely that your seat may not be quite wide enough.
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Old 05-04-06, 09:41 PM   #8
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So besides the obvious question of seat height and angle, is it also possible that you have a saddle sore? Those can cause jolting pain in the hind quarters.
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Old 05-05-06, 02:24 AM   #9
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Hmmm... you say you were once a roadie. Are you still? Do you ride like a flat-backer? I'm 6' and 225. I started out at 270 a few months ago. I ride more upright and I find that a Brooks B-67 is the equivalent of the Holy Grail. I have one on my Trek 520 and my Trek 830 mtb. I routinely ride 60-80 mile day trips with no problems. You can spend alot more and be alot less comfortable.
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Old 05-05-06, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmunroe
...I'm riding on a fi'zi:k (or fizik) Arione Carbon Ti saddle. Did I buy the wrong saddle...Any suggestions...would be greatly appreciated. -Brian
Hi Brian!

I'm the "unorthodox" advice giver, I'm sure, but here goes: I think your current saddle is fine. I think your current fit on the bike may be lacking. In my experience, once the bike fit is OK, any number of saddles are comfortable. If the fit isn't OK, no saddle will cure the pain.

Most bike shops fit the rider to the bike using the criteria of "most efficient spin position." This may be WAY different from "most comfortable riding position." Compared to the fit my bike shop provided, I find my bike most comfortable with the seat almost an inch and a half further back and the post significantly lower in the frame. Your booty may disagree...

Here's my "alternative fit" recipe: Make a small change in seat fore/aft position & go ride for about 15-20 minutes. Ask "better or worse?"
If better, make another small change in the same direction and try agian.
If worse, reverse the change and make a different change (seat post height, for example) and try again.

This is NOT a scientific fit method, but it may get you to where you can ride without pain. As you lose weight, develop muscle, and toughen up the booty, you may find that your "best fit" may again change. Don't hesitate to re-evaluate your fit periodically.

I'm sure the "fit gurus" will flame me for my suggestion, but it works for me.
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Old 05-05-06, 09:39 PM   #11
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If nothing else works ...

If nothing else works, Cane Creek makes a short travel version of their thudbuster. This will soak up any of the bumps the road may be delivering to you.
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Old 05-08-06, 09:13 AM   #12
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It took me a few saddles until I found the right one for me.. And the right one was not necessarilly the most expensive one..

Soft saddles make by butt hurt.. I like the firm, slim ones..

BTW: I weigh 200lbs.
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Old 05-08-06, 03:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dexmax
make by butt hurt.. I like the firm, slim ones..


Sorry. That's juvenile, but I couldn't resist!
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Old 05-08-06, 07:03 PM   #14
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Try a Specialized Body Geometry saddle. They are made in firm, medium, and soft. For longer rides, the "firm" is the most comfortable. Get a version of the BG that is wide at the rear...even a so-called "women's model" if necessary. Most road saddles for men are too narrow at the back and don't fully support the area around the "sit bones".

Set your bars so the top of the bars is level with the top of the saddle. Don't set your saddle too high. Make sure there is still a distinct bend in your knee when the pedal is a six o'clock. Raise your rear off the saddle at every opportunity...anytime you are not pedaling, raise your rear up half an inch by "locking" one leg down straight. Try to pedal in a standing position for a minute or so out of every ten minutes. A good workout for your legs, and it gets the blood circulating through the areas the saddle was pushing on.

It takes a few days to get used to a new saddle and a new riding position and riding style. After you get these things dialed in, you ought to be able to ride a couple of hours and come back feeling better than when you started the ride.
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Old 05-08-06, 08:56 PM   #15
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spring saddle

Get a saddle with springs, as most used to be. I use a Brooks B66 on my bikes. Expensive, but worth it. Wallbike has them. These are also wide enough for our rear ends.
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Old 05-08-06, 09:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
which one is firm? is the avatar firm or medium?
Of the Body Geometry line, the Avatar is a bit more on the firm side.
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Old 05-08-06, 10:22 PM   #17
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i agree with the fitiment issue... check angle, and fore aft positioning. My roomie has that saddle and I also think it is great. Adjustment is everything.
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Old 05-13-06, 09:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16


Sorry. That's juvenile, but I couldn't resist!
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Old 05-13-06, 11:56 AM   #19
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All three bikes I presently owned are in the "sit up and beg" position that I prefer now for any distance riding. Two of my saddles are the spring type, very slightly cushioned yet still firm saddles. One is leather and one is made of man made materials. The width is approxmently the same about 8 inches at the wide point. No problems experienced on either for me. The last one is non spring that is is not as wide. I do not care for it very much. I am looking to replace it just as soon as I can locate one that is similar in size and less cushion made as my other 2. I look for support, slight give in the springs and cushions, and the proper shape (not too wide-but still addresses support where needed). It was pure luck (and research on Sheldon Brown's webpage on saddles) that drew me to these "old fashioned" saddles. Try to remember that as we age, we need more support in the sit bones, not less. And the saddles that worked in the younger days ususally does not cut it later. Go by your needs, not what other people say you need. Your comfort range will improve vastly.

I would like to update this by adding that I purchased another saddle like above a couple of days ago for my final bike. I am very happy with it.
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Old 05-14-06, 06:16 AM   #20
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A lot of good advice already in this thread, but also look at the bike shorts that you are wearing. I was wearing a pair of Nike shorts that i thought was sufficient, once I changed them with a pair of less expensive Cannondale shorts my comfort increased considerably.
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Old 05-16-06, 11:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic
Two of my saddles are the spring type, very slightly cushioned yet still firm saddles. One is leather and one is made of man made materials. The width is approxmently the same about 8 inches at the wide point. No problems experienced on either for me.

Go by your needs, not what other people say you need. Your comfort range will improve vastly.
folder fanatic, could you tell us what these two 8 in. wide saddles are?
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Old 05-19-06, 11:15 AM   #22
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I had the same problem with pain after getting back on my bike. Assuming the fit is acceptable (maybe the handlebars need to be higher than years gone by) make sure you're getting out of the saddle if you're not already. Doing all that I finally found some serious relief by using a Terry saddle with the cut out center. It's awesome, if I'm doing any serious time in the saddle at all there's no substitute.
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Old 05-19-06, 01:57 PM   #23
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Now THIS is unorthodox advice!

Lots of advice here, which illustrates just how widespread the problem is. You're still a bit on the young side to attain true wisdom, but since you use the term "ass hatchets" you've at least started the journey. All the aforementioned advice -- if it works, GREAT! If not, the so-far unmentioned solution may be to get a different bike. I mean, DIFFERENT. I ditched the saddle years ago and have never looked back.
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Old 05-19-06, 04:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
...get a different bike...
I plan to take Blazing's advice myself soon - I'm recumbent bound...
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Old 05-19-06, 07:25 PM   #25
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I am 6f 1 @200 pnds. Ass hatchets such as the OP described will not do for me.



I ride on this thing 50 miles in a row with no pain, even sitting in the same position for half an hour at a time.

My sitbones are 6 inches appart ... no regular saddle for me
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