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Old 10-01-11, 02:48 PM   #1
Bianchi Ben
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My Ass is Killing Me!

So this cylcing bug has hit me pretty hard. I'm up to three rides a week, sometimes four. Last week I did 95 miles, at 80 for this week. All this riding is really a literal pain in ass, or the region where the saddle meets the "meat". I do use padded biking shorts, but I also do have a rather non-forgiving saddle. The San Marco Ponza, in celeste green to match my Bianchi, of course. I'd imagine that thing has a lot to do with my discomfort. What saddle can help ease my pain?
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Old 10-01-11, 02:55 PM   #2
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How long have you been riding?
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Old 10-01-11, 03:01 PM   #3
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I've gotten serious about it in the last two months. Four months prior to that, maybe a small ride a week.
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Old 10-01-11, 03:03 PM   #4
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This is sorta like asking about what's your favorite shoe or beverage. What's good for one person may not work for another.

That said I'm riding a Fizik that came on my Bianchi 928 and on my previous Bianchi I had to replace the San Marco (I think it was) with a Fizik. On my Specialized Langster I'm riding the Specialized branded seat that was stock. I find both of these seats comfortable for long periods but I've been riding most of my life and I'm nearing 60 so my butt is "acclimated" to saddles.

Finding a comfortable saddle can be a real challenge. I'm sure you'll get some interesting suggestions.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-01-11, 03:07 PM   #5
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I'm riding a Fizik Wing Flex on both bikes.
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Old 10-01-11, 03:22 PM   #6
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Go to your bike shop, and sort through their saddles bin. You want something that will support your sitbones -- that is, wide enough for your sitbone width. Avoid the really cushy and wide saddles as they actuallyl are worse for the flesh (blood flow and nerves) around that area.

You might have to try three or four or more saddles by riding around the block with each one. But often people come away with a good, cheap deal on a saddle that they absolutely love forever afterwards.

If you don't find one at that bike shop or they won't let you test ride, move on to the next one.

Personally, I am a confirmed Brooks saddle fan, but at this stage in your riding, you need to explore other avenues such as the one I suggested... Brooks aren't the cheapest in the world, they do take time to break in and some sensitive little butts can't handle that, and they do need a level of care and protection from excessively wet weather.
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Old 10-01-11, 03:26 PM   #7
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Hi there Bianchi Ben!

Your body feeling pain is telling you to stop what you're doing that's causing the pain!

Therefore, take a week or two off and sit only upon those soft things which give you pleasure. I other words, pamper your buttox. During the interim, look for an alternative seat. An aficionado of cycling and noted BF member, Ahsposo, has given you a great lead on a fairly decent saddle. There are many others from which to choose. You sound like the kind of guy that could appreciate a really nice Brooks saddle. They have much class too!

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Old 10-01-11, 04:05 PM   #8
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Well thanks everyone! I suppose it will come down to trial-and-error, huh... Giving up for a few weeks though?! I don't know about all that. A friend of mine who is even newer to cycling has a super comfortable saddle on his Specialized. I should probably find out what it is.
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Old 10-01-11, 04:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bianchi Ben View Post
Well thanks everyone! I suppose it will come down to trial-and-error, huh... Giving up for a few weeks though?! I don't know about all that. A friend of mine who is even newer to cycling has a super comfortable saddle on his Specialized. I should probably find out what it is.
Alright Ben,

However, it's your buttox that's hurting, not your friend's...

Whenever, the body talks to you, you should always listen. At the very least, take some time off. You'll feel much better for it. Meanwhile, learn more about your bike and its mechanics.

Before riding anytime soon, you should ask a nurse or a doctor about your next move with respect to cycling, given the current pain that you're experiencing...

- Slim
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Old 10-01-11, 05:13 PM   #10
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I do know that I won't be riding until at least next Wednesday. That's a bit of a break from my normal routine. We'll see how my body feels and take it from there!
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Old 10-01-11, 05:25 PM   #11
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I do know that I won't be riding until at least next Wednesday. That's a bit of a break from my normal routine. We'll see how my body feels and take it from there!
10-4

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Old 10-01-11, 06:22 PM   #12
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Slim, I noticed the Calfee link in your signature. Rode with a guy today who was on one. Looked really *****in'!
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Old 10-01-11, 07:54 PM   #13
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My fitter rents seats for $10 a week, and applies it to the purchase of a new seat. I love my ISM Adamo Century.
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Old 10-01-11, 09:11 PM   #14
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Ben, the answer to your question is a good fitting saddle. In exact terms that means a saddle that is wide enough that your sit bones are well supported. If you are not used to measuring and are unsure what saddle shape or size fits you then the easiest way to figure it out is to use Specialized's BG fit system. Go into a shop that sells Specialized product and has the saddle/butt measuring tool (basically a measuring board with some gel/memory foam padding on it to measure indentations). Have them help you measure your sit bones with it (for free) and write down that measurement. Then you can either buy the corresponding sized Specialized saddle from them (nice to do for the "help" but not a must) or shop around with a tape measure to ensure any prospect saddle fits your sit bones/butt. Truly with this measurement correct most people find padding (either in shorts or on saddle) are not as important. A non-padded saddle that fits properly can be wonderfully comfortable.

On a further note, your "pain" description is not to clear. Are you getting pain in your perineum or is it your gluts where the sit bones roll over the saddle? It is important to note the difference. Both can often occur with an already properly fitted saddle (nose up saddle position, too far a reach pulling you into the nose, etc causing perineum pain) and can perhaps be fixed with a slight adjustment. However, if it is just glut/sit bone pain you may find the saddle already fits properly but that your butt is still a tad "saddle sensitive." Guess what I'm getting at is that you need to address what "pain" is occurring before you can address how to fix that problem with adjustment or purchases....

On a last note, if it is perineum pain (and numbness?) then continued riding isn't such a good idea. Fix it first. If it is just sore gluts/sit bones then you can ride without fear of damaging your "vital parts." Then its just a matter of comfort but why not address that PDQ and enjoy the rides MUCH more...
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Old 10-01-11, 09:44 PM   #15
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Thanks, that's super helpful. At the risk of sounding to lewd earlier I didn't go into detail on the pain, you are right. Now that I know the PC term, yes, perineum pain is what I'm talking about. Time to get fit.

You did mention a simple adjustment to the saddle may help. I did actually feel like I had to reach too far and on the front of the saddle too often. Before my ride today I did an adjustment moving the saddle as far forward as possible. I felt like I was in there much better today. But the damage had already been done from previous rides.

Like Slimrider suggests I'm gonna take a little break to heal, give it another try, and also get myself fit to the bike, which I haven't actually done since buying my bike. Call it beginners ignorance.

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Ben, the answer to your question is a good fitting saddle. In exact terms that means a saddle that is wide enough that your sit bones are well supported. If you are not used to measuring and are unsure what saddle shape or size fits you then the easiest way to figure it out is to use Specialized's BG fit system. Go into a shop that sells Specialized product and has the saddle/butt measuring tool (basically a measuring board with some gel/memory foam padding on it to measure indentations). Have them help you measure your sit bones with it (for free) and write down that measurement. Then you can either buy the corresponding sized Specialized saddle from them (nice to do for the "help" but not a must) or shop around with a tape measure to ensure any prospect saddle fits your sit bones/butt. Truly with this measurement correct most people find padding (either in shorts or on saddle) are not as important. A non-padded saddle that fits properly can be wonderfully comfortable.

On a further note, your "pain" description is not to clear. Are you getting pain in your perineum or is it your gluts where the sit bones roll over the saddle? It is important to note the difference. Both can often occur with an already properly fitted saddle (nose up saddle position, too far a reach pulling you into the nose, etc causing perineum pain) and can perhaps be fixed with a slight adjustment. However, if it is just glut/sit bone pain you may find the saddle already fits properly but that your butt is still a tad "saddle sensitive." Guess what I'm getting at is that you need to address what "pain" is occurring before you can address how to fix that problem with adjustment or purchases....

On a last note, if it is perineum pain (and numbness?) then continued riding isn't such a good idea. Fix it first. If it is just sore gluts/sit bones then you can ride without fear of damaging your "vital parts." Then its just a matter of comfort but why not address that PDQ and enjoy the rides MUCH more...
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Old 10-01-11, 09:54 PM   #16
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I have about 10 different saddles on my different bikes. no problems.
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Old 10-01-11, 10:06 PM   #17
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I suspected as much. Word of caution though; saddle fore/aft position is not an OK fix for your situation. The fore/aft should be used only to adjust your leg positioning on the bike and should be set without taking into account your upper body positioning really. Basically, you set that for efficiency and proper positioning to ensure you can ride for miles on end without leg/hip pain (particularly the knees). Pushing the saddle forward to fix the perineum pain will likely just cause other problems be it efficiency (at best) or damage to the knees (at worst). The simple saddle adjustment I meant was really adjusting the level of the saddle (nose up slightly can be enough to cause pain) not the fore/aft. If you are indeed too stretched out then the fit fix is to get a shorter and/or higher rise (ie the angle or rise) stem.

Good idea to get some fit help. Have them measure you for an appropriate width saddle (maybe already yours). Then have them help you set your saddle height and fore/aft. After that see if you need a stem adjustment to allow your hips to rotate back to allow your sitbones to carry your weight on the saddle rather than your tender perineum. On the saddle front, some people also find more comfort (me included) with saddles that have a cutout space in the middle to take pressure off the perineum. Specialized BG fits are all that way but many others make similar designs as well....

Oh, and not to get too gross but if your "pain" includes a little chaffed, broken skin a little antibiotic ointment will speed the process....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianchi Ben View Post
Thanks, that's super helpful. At the risk of sounding to lewd earlier I didn't go into detail on the pain, you are right. Now that I know the PC term, yes, perineum pain is what I'm talking about. Time to get fit.

You did mention a simple adjustment to the saddle may help. I did actually feel like I had to reach too far and on the front of the saddle too often. Before my ride today I did an adjustment moving the saddle as far forward as possible. I felt like I was in there much better today. But the damage had already been done from previous rides.

Like Slimrider suggests I'm gonna take a little break to heal, give it another try, and also get myself fit to the bike, which I haven't actually done since buying my bike. Call it beginners ignorance.
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Old 10-01-11, 11:45 PM   #18
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Its pretty much between your body and the saddle.. talk from us has no significance.

Racers use skinny saddles , because they are putting their weight and muscle into pedaling , hard.
going fast as a result,
Touring is about pedaling lightly and looking at the scenery, as you go,
so the saddle choice is all together different.
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Old 10-01-11, 11:59 PM   #19
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There are lots of possibilities, but I'll just mention this. I went through a dozen saddles, spending ridiculous amounts of money in the process. Ultimately, the problem was that none of them except a Brooks B17 were wide enough (and I thought the B17 worked because of the leather suspension design, not the width). A $40 women's saddle finally told me that 175mm is wide enough, and let me do a half-century a couple of weeks ago without noticeable pain. Now I'm working backwards; it's clear that the typical 145mm men's saddles aren't wide enough, I have a 160mm and 155mm lined up to try.

None of the sitbone measurements implied that I needed anything wider than a 145.

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Old 10-02-11, 08:15 AM   #20
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Selle Anatomica or Brooks
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Old 10-02-11, 10:55 AM   #21
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Don't sell yourself short fietsbob, the talk in this thread has given me an idea of what I need to be looking for and protecting.

hokuloa, it does seem to be more of a soreness issue than anything. I think one of them Selle SMP saddles are in my future.
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Old 10-02-11, 11:00 AM   #22
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What did you think was going to happen when you ride on a saddle that was designed by the Inquisition as a foolproof device to make people talk? Go 'bent. bk
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Old 10-02-11, 11:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gforeman View Post
My fitter rents seats for $10 a week, and applies it to the purchase of a new seat. I love my ISM Adamo Century.
This.

Bianchi Ben, check with your LBSs for one that allows you to try before buying. It's a win-win for the customer and shop. The customer is less likely to spend a lot of time and money on saddles before finding the right one, and the shop increases sales by dedicating a dozen or so popular saddles (marked with their name somehow, in case the 'renter' decides to disappear with the rental). Many of today's popular saddles are $100+ so it's worth looking into.
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Old 10-02-11, 03:36 PM   #24
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Bike seats are like buttocks- everyone has a different setup. After having given up upright bikes for recumbents, I found that WTB saddles are all-day comfortable... for me. YBMV: your buttocks may vary!
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