Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: litespeed, cannondale
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Originally Posted by ride w/rush
I'm sure this subject has been covered many times, but as a newbie to the biking world, I need to ask for advice on improving the comfort of my bike seat. Should I look to upgrade to another seat, or should I start with specialized bike shorts/gear?
I recently bought a hybrid Trek 7200, and mainly bike for 30 minutes to an hour, 5-6 days a week. I'm really enjoying my rides, but I'm dealing with a lot of discomfort with my seat. The discomfort ceases after my rides, no lingering effects.
Any advice on products and/or specific brands? THX
OK several things here.
The first thing to do is get cycling shorts. They allow more movement and less bunching and chaffing in the "private parts". Also do not wear underwear. Underwear sort of defeats the purpose.
Another thing, rookie cyclists need time in the saddle to firm up their muscles so they can ride comfortably on a bike seat. You should be able to get to the point where the saddle should be pretty comfortable.
When you ride, your weight is supported by the ischeal processes of the sacrum. These are little bony knobs sticking down from your pelvis called in popular language the "sit bones". Have you noticed that women's saddles tend to be wider then men's saddles? Why is that? Women tend to be smaller then men, wouldn't their saddles be narrower? Well, as you probably have anticipated, women have wider pelvises on the average over men to increase the size of the birth canal making it possible to have large headed babies. If a women were to ride a really narrow saddle, the saddle would sit between the ischeal processes and the weight would be supported by soft tissues. OUCH!
The trick is to find a saddle that fits you ischeal processes well. Also, parodixically enough, hard saddles are often far more comfortable then soft saddles. On a hard saddle, the processes suspend you above the saddle keeping soft tissues from getting crushed. On a soft saddle, the processes sink in and that means soft tissues come under pressure. OUCH!
The thing is that you just have to search around and find the right saddle. When I started out, I rode a nice comfortable looking saddle. I got my first racing bike and it had this hard, narrow, nasty looking italian saddle on it but I gave it a try. It was far more comfortable then my nice comfy looking saddle. It just fit me far better. I never would have tried it given a choice.
Now many cycle shops have a box of cheap old saddles that people have given them. You might ask them to try out some probably one at a time. If you are a decent customer, they will probably go for it. Go out and ride with a few of different shapes and stuff and find one that fits you well. Then buy a better saddle of that shape.