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Old 06-15-11, 05:35 PM   #1
MillieKY
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Saddles/ Technique suggestions for tailbone pain?

Hey all,

I 'broke' my tailbone when I was about 13 or so (hey lets rollerblade down this hill as fast as possible without checking that it really is as straight as it looks from way up here on top!!) and for years and years I never rode a bike for this reason.

Recently got into riding to lose weight and have really loved it but once I'm going more than 5 miles in a day, which is pretty much all the time, I have serious trouble. To the point where hitting a medium sized bump will cause the kind of pain that freezes me up and I just have to coast until I can get to peddaling again.

Anyone else out there deal with this? Any ideas to make it better?
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Old 06-16-11, 03:16 AM   #2
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1. I'm guessing you have a hybrid ... am I right?

2. Make sure your bicycle fits you ... make sure it is set up properly.

3. You might try lowering your handlebars a little bit so you lean forward a bit more rather than sitting so upright.
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Old 06-16-11, 10:23 AM   #3
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My wife had a problem with tailbone pain. Not unknown in women who have had children.

In the past few years they have come out with seats for hybrids and comfort bikes that have fairly large cutouts on the rear of the seat (saddle). Do a GOOGLE search on Bontrager Suburbia seats and look at the photo for a starting point on this. Should give you some idea as to what to look for. My wife can now do 40 to 60 miles a day on her seat without pain or discomfort.
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Old 06-16-11, 01:17 PM   #4
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My tailbone pain isn't all that serious and never rears its ugly head until I'm into the last few miles of an epic mountain bike ride. It hasn't been a problem since switched to the WTB Rocket V and similar WTB saddles on my more upright (mostly mountain) bikes. They have a big channel down the center and the rear of the saddle has a really deep V notch. Specialized and a few other manufacturers make similarly shaped saddles. I tend to have the opposite problem on my more aerodynamic bikes and use Selle Italia Prolink and Flite Gel Flow saddles with drop bars.
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Old 06-16-11, 03:02 PM   #5
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Will a split saddle help?

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Old 06-16-11, 03:50 PM   #6
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I might try a saddle with a split or a deep groove... I'll have to investigate. I didn't know they existed. I do sit on a pillow when I'm at my computer that's got that same V cutout but it only helps a little bit- though I imagine I'll never sit on a bike as far back as I do on a chair.

I DO ride a cruiser style hybrid, but now that I'm out on it a lot and know what I need, I think saving up for a road bike is in my future. Have you all had success moving from a more upright to a road bike? Obviously I won't be back on my tailbone as much but for me sometimes bending down (while standing) causes the same kind of pain as sitting on it. I wonder if drop bars wouldn't cause that same positional pain.

Argh... stupid youthful mistakes. Thanks for the info everyone. @WhiteKnight- doing 40miles without pain seems like a huge success! I hope I get there.

Last edited by MillieKY; 06-16-11 at 03:56 PM. Reason: hit enter by mistake... silly me
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Old 06-17-11, 03:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MillieKY View Post
Hey all,

Anyone else out there deal with this? Any ideas to make it better?
Yes, I deal with the exact situation every day, the difference being that I had fractures of the pelvis instead of a broken tailbone. This happened four years ago, so I assume it isn't going away. I'm going to take Machka's suggestion about lowering the handlebars today, and I'll let you know. Otherwise, I have no suggestions of my own.

I used to ride on a Brooks Champion Flyer that fit so well I didn't know it was there. It is now a torture device of the first order. I replaced it with a Terry Cite Y, (Cite X is the women's model) which is kind of in accord with RonH's idea in that it is moderately split all the way back. It's also somewhat padded, but not cushy. It was helpful on bumps, but just continued riding still gets painful. Like yourself, I get the same type of pain when sitting in most chairs as well.

If you, or anyone else comes up with something else, do let me know. If you don't have enough posts to be allowed to PM, my email is in my profile.

Off to dink with the bar height. . . .
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Old 06-17-11, 03:36 PM   #8
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You could try a recumbent.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MillieKY View Post
I DO ride a cruiser style hybrid, but now that I'm out on it a lot and know what I need, I think saving up for a road bike is in my future. Have you all had success moving from a more upright to a road bike? Obviously I won't be back on my tailbone as much but for me sometimes bending down (while standing) causes the same kind of pain as sitting on it. I wonder if drop bars wouldn't cause that same positional pain.
I slipped on ice and cracked my tailbone several years ago. Sitting upright in the same sort of position a person would sit on a hybrid was agony, but riding my road bicycle was all right.

You don't need to have the drop bars very low ... I have a relatively upright position on my road bicyce compared with others, but it still leaned me forward enough to take the pressure off the tailbone.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:32 PM   #10
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+1 on trying lower handlebars or a recumbent. Losing wieght might help a lot also.
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Old 06-17-11, 06:30 PM   #11
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Giant is having what looks like a big demo in Lexington tomorrow so, weather permitting, I'm going to get on a road bike for the first time tomorrow! Won't be the same as riding any long distance BUT I should still be able to tell if it'll be much better. (Here's hoping.) I'm also just kind of excited to go see all the cool bikes. I might be turning into a bike nerd... oh no...

@Nermal- I'd def let you know if I found something that worked...
@Roody- Maybe in 6 months I'll be able to tell you if weight loss helped my situation a bunch

And even though I'm new to this forum I seem to keep saying it... but it's true... thanks everyone who chimed in. How did people learn how to do things right before the INTERNET??
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Old 06-19-11, 03:41 AM   #12
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How did people learn how to do things right before the INTERNET??
1. We read BOOKS. If you go to your local library, you'll probably find some there. I liked some books so much, I found them on Amazon and bought them ... and so I've got a collection of about 10 cycling books.

Some of the books here are in my personal collection:
http://astore.amazon.com/machka-20

2. We learned by trial and error. I cracked my tailbone before I had the internet, and I just experimented to see what might feel better when I rode.

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