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    Suggestions for a "wider" bike seat?

    My apologies if this belongs elsewhere.

    I noticed that from only about an hour or two of learning how to ride my bike, my inner thigh / crotch area felt really sore. And my feet sort of touch the ground when I get on my bike, but I have to really clinch my butt muscles when I actually try to sit or else my life would end haha (I'm a female). I feel like none of that is supposed to happen. I mean, I know riding a bike isn't supposed to feel like sitting on a pillow but when I came home that day, I had a sore on each side of my inner thigh / crotch area from sitting on the seat. Do I need a wider seat? Do I need a lower bike? Or both? Some advice would be incredibly appreciated.

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    It difficult to tell what the source of your problem is. However, if your feet touch the ground when you are seated on the bike, I would guess that your saddle is too low -- assuming you have a road bike. However, since you appear to be a beginner, I suggest you find a bike shop that does fittings. It takes 2 or three hours and can cost $150. or more. However, it's normally a one-time expense and can make the difference between a properly setup bike, that you may still have to get used to, and getting discouraged and not riding anymore. In a fitting they will adjust the saddle height and fore-aft position, adjust your overall reach, which may require replacing the handlebar stem, and ensure you are using the correct saddle.

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    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Your butt will be sore, that normal. I know (I'm female) that I needed to get a saddle with a shorter, thinner, nose and a wider rear. Then, I was much more comfortable. It is not a 'comfort' seat like on a cruiser, though. It was a Bell Gel something with a center cut out.

    You can also check youtube for fitting videos. Basically, you want to be able to straighten your knee almost all of the way. For me, that means barely touching ground if I'm on the saddle.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

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    My LBS has an Assortment in stock , whats at yours ?

    my inner thigh / crotch area felt really sore.
    wider saddle wont make that any better


    Are you sitting bolt upright ? only then will a wider saddle be appropriate.. Beach Cruisers

    here what we suggest , take a saddle off the wall peg, put it on the stairway up to the Office ,
    and sit on it for a while..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-15-14 at 04:08 PM.

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    I remember about 20 years ago I bought a new bike and wasn't thrilled with the seat that it came with. The owner was very easy to work with and advised me to try the seat for a little longer but sit further back on the seat. I think we have a tendency to sit a little more forward than we should. By sitting just a little bit further to the rear of the seat, there's more material under your bones.

    Of course, it could just be a hard seat that's not to your liking. The dealers over here that I've dealt with are very easy in letting you try as many seats as you want (as long as they are in new condition when you return them).

    I'd also have someone take a look at you while you're biking to be sure that everything looks good. This might just be a matter of getting used to biking ... or it might be a matter of having a more accommodating seat.

    On my previous bike I added a thick cover (sheep or wool) to make the generous seat even more comfortable.

    My current bike came with an unforgiving seat that I endured for over a month before taking it back. I'm now sitting on a SQ Lab 602 AirFlow.

    Are you sitting in a race posture or are you more upright?

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachoslayer View Post
    My apologies if this belongs elsewhere.

    I noticed that from only about an hour or two of learning how to ride my bike, my inner thigh / crotch area felt really sore. And my feet sort of touch the ground when I get on my bike, but I have to really clinch my butt muscles when I actually try to sit or else my life would end haha (I'm a female). I feel like none of that is supposed to happen. I mean, I know riding a bike isn't supposed to feel like sitting on a pillow but when I came home that day, I had a sore on each side of my inner thigh / crotch area from sitting on the seat. Do I need a wider seat? Do I need a lower bike? Or both? Some advice would be incredibly appreciated.
    If your inner thighs are sore, I'm thinking a narrower might be better. You need a saddle that is wide enough for your sitbones, but not too wide.

    You might also want to go to a bicycle shop and talk to them about setting the bicycle up correctly. You and the bicycle are a machine and in order for the machine to function properly, everything needs to be set up correctly.

    Another thing to think about is getting some padded cycling shorts. Make sure they are comfortable, and that the padding is wide enough to cover your sitbones, but not too wide to be bulky.

    Two other things ...

    -- fitness. Sometimes it is a matter of getting on the bicycle and riding ... once it is set up correctly and you've got a good saddle.

    -- core strength. It is very helpful to have a strong core when you ride.


    Do you have a photo of your bicycle?

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    you either need a much wider cruiser-style seat, or you need to pedal differently, so that more weight is on your feet.

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    I'm far from expert at bike fitting but I have learned a few things from my own experience on my own bike. First, your position on a bike will change as you get fitter and the amount of force put on the pedals. Much to my surprise, my position on the bike has gotten lower over time. At present the handlebar is slightly lower than the saddle which results in slightly less weight on the saddle.

    I have a Specialized bike so when I looked for a different saddle, the Spesh dealer is the first place I looked. They had a range of similar saddles with the only difference being different widths. The one that works best for me is 153 mm wide but the 143 mm wide saddle, which is almost exactly the same except for the few mm difference in width, is torture. The whole saddle comfort issue is subtle. Don't be surprised if you go through several saddles in the search for bliss.

    The last point is the position of the saddle itself. Often the difference between comfort and agony is a mere mm or so in tilt. I have found I much prefer my saddle to be perfectly level. In the past, it once slipped slightly unnoticed and suddenly I was thinking of searching for a new one. I now place a white dot from a white out pen in various locations on the bike so that if something slips or if I'm trying a new position of, say, the handlebar, If it doesn't work out I can easily get back to the previous position. These days I pretty much know how and where to locate everything after much trial and error. One possible change I'm pondering is a slightly different saddle due to the fact that my position on the bike is, in the last 6 months or so, is now lower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikepro View Post
    It difficult to tell what the source of your problem is. However, if your feet touch the ground when you are seated on the bike, I would guess that your saddle is too low -- assuming you have a road bike. However, since you appear to be a beginner, I suggest you find a bike shop that does fittings. It takes 2 or three hours and can cost $150. or more. However, it's normally a one-time expense and can make the difference between a properly setup bike, that you may still have to get used to, and getting discouraged and not riding anymore. In a fitting they will adjust the saddle height and fore-aft position, adjust your overall reach, which may require replacing the handlebar stem, and ensure you are using the correct saddle.

    I lowered my saddle purposely. It was way too high and I could barely even get on the bike. I'd feel more comfortable if I could stand straight up whilst on top of the saddle. I think that would help me a lot more because lowering it as much as I did in the beginning helped A TON once I did. I've heard that fittings cost around that much but to be honest, I know that I couldn't afford that anytime soon. Sucks because I was so looking forward to riding this summer and now that I have 90% learned how to ride my bike, I wanna get out there. But I know that fittings are important. I'm totally not discouraged to the point where I want to stop trying. I wish I could ride right now. But the butt muscle clenching stuff and sores are too much for now haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    My LBS has an Assortment in stock , whats at yours ?



    wider saddle wont make that any better


    Are you sitting bolt upright ? only then will a wider saddle be appropriate.. Beach Cruiser s

    I was going to stop at at one yesterday but by the time I looked one up, it was already closed. I'm hoping to go sometime soon. Difficult though because I'd like to go in when I have the money to buy a new seat or something. I was hoping to find a good one on Amazon possibly. Maybe I could check ones out at the LBS and then see if the one I like there is on Amazon?

  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachoslayer View Post
    I lowered my saddle purposely. It was way too high and I could barely even get on the bike. I'd feel more comfortable if I could stand straight up whilst on top of the saddle. I think that would help me a lot more because lowering it as much as I did in the beginning helped A TON once I did. I've heard that fittings cost around that much but to be honest, I know that I couldn't afford that anytime soon. Sucks because I was so looking forward to riding this summer and now that I have 90% learned how to ride my bike, I wanna get out there. But I know that fittings are important. I'm totally not discouraged to the point where I want to stop trying. I wish I could ride right now. But the butt muscle clenching stuff and sores are too much for now haha.
    That is way too low. You should be able to stand over the top tube, but not while in the saddle.

    You need to learn how to mount and dismount from the saddle. I suspect once you put your saddle back to the correct height, your saddle problems might take care of themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
    I remember about 20 years ago I bought a new bike and wasn't thrilled with the seat that it came with. The owner was very easy to work with and advised me to try the seat for a little longer but sit further back on the seat. I think we have a tendency to sit a little more forward than we should. By sitting just a little bit further to the rear of the seat, there's more material under your bones.

    Of course, it could just be a hard seat that's not to your liking. The dealers over here that I've dealt with are very easy in letting you try as many seats as you want (as long as they are in new condition when you return them).

    I'd also have someone take a look at you while you're biking to be sure that everything looks good. This might just be a matter of getting used to biking ... or it might be a matter of having a more accommodating seat.

    On my previous bike I added a thick cover (sheep or wool) to make the generous seat even more comfortable.

    My current bike came with an unforgiving seat that I endured for over a month before taking it back. I'm now sitting on a SQ Lab 602 AirFlow.

    Are you sitting in a race posture or are you more upright?
    I already made sure to try sitting more towards the rear. Still hurts. I wouldn't say that the seat is particularly hard, either. I think it's just too small. A friend of mine told me that the seat she has on her bike might work for me. It's wider than mine. And when I'm on it, I'm sitting more upright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    That is way too low. You should be able to stand over the top tube, but not while in the saddle.
    That doesn't work for me. Before I lowered my saddle, it was extremely difficult doing anything on my bike except for just standing next to it. I've read around about this and people say that it's all about comfort. Some people prefer not being able to stand over it because they can comfortably ride off without the need of their feet touching the ground. Some like being able to touch the ground. But standing over the front half of the seat, I have to stand on my tippy toes. And when trying to ride off, I have to lean my bike over which is one reason I couldn't balance very well once I actually tried to start going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone View Post
    you either need a much wider cruiser-style seat, or you need to pedal differently, so that more weight is on your feet.
    Yeah, I wanted to look into some cruiser style seats. A friend of mine recommended that to me. I tried altering the way I did things to better understand what's more comfortable to me. I think my pedalling is fine.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachoslayer View Post
    That doesn't work for me. Before I lowered my saddle, it was extremely difficult doing anything on my bike except for just standing next to it. I've read around about this and people say that it's all about comfort. Some people prefer not being able to stand over it because they can comfortably ride off without the need of their feet touching the ground. Some like being able to touch the ground. But standing over the front half of the seat, I have to stand on my tippy toes. And when trying to ride off, I have to lean my bike over which is one reason I couldn't balance very well once I actually tried to start going.
    I suspect you are confusing comfort with a basic cycling skill of mounting and dismounting, while starting and stopping. I would suggest taking your bike into a LBS and see about getting a professional fitting, or if not that, ask them to watch you ride and ask them their opinion.

    or post a picture of yourself riding here.
    Last edited by MRT2; 07-12-14 at 11:20 AM.

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    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    If your inner thighs are sore, I'm thinking a narrower might be better. You need a saddle that is wide enough for your sitbones, but not too wide.

    You might also want to go to a bicycle shop and talk to them about setting the bicycle up correctly. You and the bicycle are a machine and in order for the machine to function properly, everything needs to be set up correctly.

    Another thing to think about is getting some padded cycling shorts. Make sure they are comfortable, and that the padding is wide enough to cover your sitbones, but not too wide to be bulky.

    Two other things ...

    -- fitness. Sometimes it is a matter of getting on the bicycle and riding ... once it is set up correctly and you've got a good saddle.

    -- core strength. It is very helpful to have a strong core when you ride.


    Do you have a photo of your bicycle?
    I agree.

  17. #17
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    If you want a wider seat that is comfortable for long rides try Selle Anatomica. I've had several saddles (styles and brands) in the past 14 years and this one is the best. It was recommended by a few friends (male and female) who also ride this saddle.
    I have the X series on my bikes -- black on the Cannondale and graphite on the Litespeed.
    --> http://selleanatomica.com
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  18. #18
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    OP, I think that you would benefit more from this discussion if you would post a link/pic of your bike- pics of the bike with you standing next to it and while on the saddle would be even better. If you're concerned about your privacy, have the person taking the pics to not put your face/head in the frame or use a photo editor to obscure it.

    That being said, I get the impression you are one of those who hold fast the belief that one must be flat footed while stopped to ensure your safety. If that is the case, perhaps you may have the wrong bike for you. There are bikes that are designed to allow both proper leg extension while riding and the ability to stand flat footed at a stop- Electra Townie is an example of one such bike Townie | Electra Bikes
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    If you want a wider seat that is comfortable for long rides try Selle Anatomica. I've had several saddles (styles and brands) in the past 14 years and this one is the best. It was recommended by a few friends (male and female) who also ride this saddle.
    I have the X series on my bikes -- black on the Cannondale and graphite on the Litespeed.
    --> Selle Anatomica - We make the world's most comfortable leather bicycle saddle. Period.
    Thank you for the suggestion! I'll check that out. So I can use any brand of bike saddle as long as it's measurements are right for my bike? I found a Schwinn one that I might purchase on Amazon for now but wasn't sure if it's only for Schwinn bikes or what. Sorry, extreme noob questions here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    OP, I think that you would benefit more from this discussion if you would post a link/pic of your bike- pics of the bike with you standing next to it and while on the saddle would be even better. If you're concerned about your privacy, have the person taking the pics to not put your face/head in the frame or use a photo editor to obscure it.

    That being said, I get the impression you are one of those who hold fast the belief that one must be flat footed while stopped to ensure your safety. If that is the case, perhaps you may have the wrong bike for you. There are bikes that are designed to allow both proper leg extension while riding and the ability to stand flat footed at a stop- Electra Townie is an example of one such bike Townie | Electra Bikes
    I totally plan on doing so. Probably wouldn't be able to do it until sometime next week though. And yes I am, those bikes look fabulous. They're a pretty penny with my budget right now but look worth saving up for. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

  21. #21
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    Check out this video on starting and stopping on your bike. I also cannot reach the ground easily on my bike. If I cannot access a curb, I get off the seat.
    sharon

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    OP, I think that you would benefit more from this discussion if you would post a link/pic of your bike- pics of the bike with you standing next to it and while on the saddle would be even better. If you're concerned about your privacy, have the person taking the pics to not put your face/head in the frame or use a photo editor to obscure it.
    +1

    A photo would really help ... one astride the top tube would help too.


    And regarding the saddle height ...

    Sometimes when people learn to ride a bicycle as an adult, they need to be able to put their feet on the ground from the saddle. It gives them a feeling of security. However, it can create other compromises like knee and butt pain. Nevertheless, later, when they feel more comfortable with the bicycle, they can raise their saddles and can learn to lift themselves onto their saddles during their first couple pedal strokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nachoslayer View Post
    I lowered my saddle purposely. It was way too high and I could barely even get on the bike. I'd feel more comfortable if I could stand straight up whilst on top of the saddle. I think that would help me a lot more because lowering it as much as I did in the beginning helped A TON once I did. I've heard that fittings cost around that much but to be honest, I know that I couldn't afford that anytime soon. Sucks because I was so looking forward to riding this summer and now that I have 90% learned how to ride my bike, I wanna get out there. But I know that fittings are important. I'm totally not discouraged to the point where I want to stop trying. I wish I could ride right now. But the butt muscle clenching stuff and sores are too much for now haha.
    There is a ton of information on the web about bike fitting. The is also a Bike Fitting forum here Fitting Your Bike. They might be a better source for free fitting advise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    +1

    A photo would really help ... one astride the top tube would help too.


    And regarding the saddle height ...

    Sometimes when people learn to ride a bicycle as an adult, they need to be able to put their feet on the ground from the saddle. It gives them a feeling of security. However, it can create other compromises like knee and butt pain. Nevertheless, later, when they feel more comfortable with the bicycle, they can raise their saddles and can learn to lift themselves onto their saddles during their first couple pedal strokes.
    Weird because when my saddle was higher, my butt pain was worse. Lowering it helped in more ways than one. And in another reply I mentioned that I do plan on putting some photos on here in a few days!

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    Quote Originally Posted by linnefaulk View Post
    Check out this video on starting and stopping on your bike. I also cannot reach the ground easily on my bike. If I cannot access a curb, I get off the seat.
    I read the whole thing and it is quite nice to know that I was stopping and starting correctly already. I think I'm going to check out some of the other links on that page as well. Anything helpful, thank you.

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