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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-14-07, 11:35 AM   #1
Smorgasbord42
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Saddle Adjustment Symptoms?

I just put a Terry Fly Ti on my bike and took a couple of rides. After the first 10 miles or so, I started getting numb in my privates. I tilted the front of the seat down a smidgen and continued riding. After another 10 miles, my right arm started hurting. By the time I finished the ride (about 40 miles total), my sit bones hurt a bit. I had ended up riding with one arm for spells to ease the pain in my right arm. None of the pains were too bad in that there were no lasting effects.

A friend told me that one of the symptoms of having a saddle pointed too far down is that you end up putting more weight on your arms, and that's why my right arm started hurting. But, the tilt is very slight and if I don't do that I get numbness where it's really bad to get numbness. Is there some listing of saddle adjustment symptoms and causes?

Now, I'm currently riding a 1998 Trek 9000 mountain bike, aluminum frame, no suspension, outfitted with road slicks and clipless pedals. I'm in the process of deciding on a real road bike, but in the mean time am experimenting with things like pedals and seats. Since my posture on the mountain bike won't be the same as that on a proper road bike, am I just wasting time trying to find a saddle since it won't behave the same way on a different bike?

The Terry Fly Ti has come highly recommended from a number of sources (both live and internet). Was this a bad choice for me? How does one tell? Do I just have to simply buy and try a number of saddles for the next few months? Is it really that much of a black art?
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Old 08-29-07, 04:27 PM   #2
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I was told that the Fly was absolutely, positively the best most comfortable saddle out there. Well not for me. Damn thing is really uncomfortable after just a few miles. I gave up and went back to Brooks.

Asbestos suit on
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Old 08-30-07, 08:37 AM   #3
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I would recommend calling the folks at Terry Bicycles.
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Old 08-30-07, 04:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smorgasbord42 View Post
I just put a Terry Fly Ti on my bike and took a couple of rides. After the first 10 miles or so, I started getting numb in my privates. I tilted the front of the seat down a smidgen and continued riding. After another 10 miles, my right arm started hurting. By the time I finished the ride (about 40 miles total), my sit bones hurt a bit. I had ended up riding with one arm for spells to ease the pain in my right arm. None of the pains were too bad in that there were no lasting effects.

A friend told me that one of the symptoms of having a saddle pointed too far down is that you end up putting more weight on your arms, and that's why my right arm started hurting. But, the tilt is very slight and if I don't do that I get numbness where it's really bad to get numbness. Is there some listing of saddle adjustment symptoms and causes?

Now, I'm currently riding a 1998 Trek 9000 mountain bike, aluminum frame, no suspension, outfitted with road slicks and clipless pedals. I'm in the process of deciding on a real road bike, but in the mean time am experimenting with things like pedals and seats. Since my posture on the mountain bike won't be the same as that on a proper road bike, am I just wasting time trying to find a saddle since it won't behave the same way on a different bike?

The Terry Fly Ti has come highly recommended from a number of sources (both live and internet). Was this a bad choice for me? How does one tell? Do I just have to simply buy and try a number of saddles for the next few months? Is it really that much of a black art?
It could be your saddle is too far back. Your butt wants to be at a certain position unique to you, based on you most efficient pedalling. Your need your seat to place nice proper comfy supports under your sit bones at that location. If those supports are too far back, you're going to push back with your arms to force your butt back to this point. The solution if this is the problem is to move teh saddle forward in increments, say 2 mm at a time until you feel supported well. Then work with angle to further optimize. In this position, level might be optimal. With each change, double-check your saddle height and re-adjust if necessary. A millimeter can be significant.

Next the handlebars - reach and height!
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Old 08-31-07, 03:37 PM   #5
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Generally speaking, a saddle must be level or slightly nose-up to prevent the rider sliding forward. This is indeed a common cause of arm soreness, as even a slight tendency to slide forward will result in a constant need to exert force with the arms. Ouch.

At the same time, very much nose-up will usually result in genital numbness. The key is to find exactly the right balance between nose-up and nose-not-so-up. And the kicker is that certain saddles, for certain people, cannot be adjusted to achieve comfort. Try RoadFan's excellent advice before giving up, but I think the Fly is one of those saddles for you. Bummer.

And that's the "bottom" (sorry) line: a saddle can be described as the most comfortable instrument in the universe by every cyclist who has ever lived, and it still might be a torture device for you. Brooks is that way for me. Many people have found paradise with one, but my butt says "no thanks".

And that's why most experienced long-distance cyclists have a box of discarded saddles in the garage.
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