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  1. #1
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    distance on a hybrid

    Amy I crazy for trying to go farther and farther on my Trek 7000? My distance record for one day is 88 miles, but that was a 100k charity ride that was about 11 miles from my house, so I had about an hour break on either end of the 100k.

    I'm planning to ride to Niagara falls at the end of the summer, which will be about 120 miles each way with a day in between for site seeing.

    My biggest struggle if finding a saddle that's up to the task.. and I'm starting to wonder if I won't just because of the bike geometry.

    I've tried a Brooks B17, B67, B67 Pre-Aged (to get the laces and still be able to return), a Zefal something or other, Terry Fly (I think), "The Seat" Endurance, WTB Comfort V, and my stock Bontrager Boulevard (the most comfortable one I've found if it weren't for that pesky numbness issue).

    I think I have relatively wide sit bones, but most of the wider saddles end up with padding. The B67 could have been a winner, but I couldn't get past the squeaking and the maintenance involved. And after 500 miles, I started having pressure in the wrong areas again even though the saddle was still tight in the middle. The sides sagged enough that I have perineum pressure again.

    Is this a lost cause? Do I really just need to bite the bullet and get a different style bike? I had a Windsor Tourist, but it was slightly too big so I had a lot of problems with hand numbness due to the stretch I think.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  2. #2
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    Pay for a bike fitting.
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  3. #3
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    No, you're crazy for riding a bike, not for riding a hybrid.



    I wonder if it's appropriate for the longer rides for you, given the saddle problems you're having. A relaxed road bike might be better (touring or sport). Richard's bike fit suggestion would be cheaper, though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tcmers's Avatar
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    Saddles are very much individual fit and preference, so I won't offer any advice on those. I agree with the above posters that a professional fitting may help. I would also say that it may not. You won't know until you try. One thing to keep in mind is that there are basically three points of contact on a bike. The seat, the pedals and the handlebars. Comfort over long distance is partially related to balancing wieght and pressure on these points. A hybrid, with it's upright position focusus more of a riders weight and pressure on the saddle. For some, this is an acceptable tradeoff because it can reduce hand and wrist pressure. This can eliminate some pain and numbness in the hands, arms and wrists. Personally, I need a more forward position with more of my upper body being supported more by my arms than a hybrid offers when riding lond distance. Again, this is different for everyone and what works for me might not work for you.

    I would suggest borrowing a road bike, setting it up properly for you, riding some distance and then see what you think. I have many friends that tour on hybrid style bikes and many of them put in very long days in the saddle. There is no easy answer. Experiment to find what works for your riding style and personal preference.

  5. #5
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGlover View Post
    Pay for a bike fitting.
    I've thought about that. But every time I think of it, someone makes a snide remark in the mechanics forum about people with hybrids coming in for fittings. My LBS is more oriented toward road bikes, and I have some doubts about their ability / desire to fit anyone on a hybrid. I'm not sure they'd even want to fit me until I went clipless. They've tried to sell me on clipless multiple times, and I just have no desire.

    Although I do know a physical therapist that specializes in sports injuries. I'm wondering if he might have some insight.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcmers View Post
    I would suggest borrowing a road bike, setting it up properly for you, riding some distance and then see what you think. I have many friends that tour on hybrid style bikes and many of them put in very long days in the saddle. There is no easy answer. Experiment to find what works for your riding style and personal preference.
    I like that idea.. too bad I don't know anyone my size with a road bike they'll let me borrow.

    I'd really like to try out a tadpole recumbent.. that seems like a good answer to me. I think I picked too expensive of a hobby.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tcmers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    I like that idea.. too bad I don't know anyone my size with a road bike they'll let me borrow.

    I'd really like to try out a tadpole recumbent.. that seems like a good answer to me. I think I picked too expensive of a hobby.
    I had a Terratrike Tour model for a while. While it turned out to not be my cup of tea, it was definitely comfortable for distance. I did several centuries on mine, and only really felt any disadvantage going uphill. Trikes can definitely be good long distance/touring bikes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcmers View Post
    I had a Terratrike Tour model for a while. While it turned out to not be my cup of tea, it was definitely comfortable for distance. I did several centuries on mine, and only really felt any disadvantage going uphill. Trikes can definitely be good long distance/touring bikes.
    I need to drive 150 miles to test drive one. Then figure out where to get the $2000 from if I like it (plus racks, fenders, etc)
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  9. #9
    Senior Guest Andrey's Avatar
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    To avoid seat issues on longer rides one need to remember to get off the saddle and pedal standing up. I try to do it every 10 min or so of flat rides. It is easier on hilly rides. If your hybrid is set up with the handlebar much higher than the seat, you support most of the weight on the seat and if you do not get up often, you will end up with sore rear end.
    Also it is is important to get your butt conditioned for longer rides, meaning more time in the saddle.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    I like that idea.. too bad I don't know anyone my size with a road bike they'll let me borrow.

    I'd really like to try out a tadpole recumbent.. that seems like a good answer to me. I think I picked too expensive of a hobby.
    I think the biggest thing if you go this route is to spend some time building up your legs on the trike. When I first got my bent in hilly KY, it took me at least 500 or so miles doing hills 2 to 3 times a week to build up to feeling really comfortable on them. I have a trike now and go back and forth, definitely slower on my trike then my road bike but i had a KONA smoke hybrid and I feel like i do about the same (mainly do to bike weight). so in time you may feel very comfortable on a trike. I had a TerraTrike Path (nexus8 on it) and a Catrike Speed and the Terratrike is definitley more comfortable for the long haul.

  11. #11
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    Hybrids can be used for distance rides. I may not be the fastest on the road with my hybrid but I can complete a century and seventy plus rides without any trouble.

  12. #12
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
    Also it is is important to get your butt conditioned for longer rides, meaning more time in the saddle.
    I haven't found one that doesn't cause numbness or chaffing (or both). I can deal with the sore butt.. although after 3000 miles 2 summers ago, I would have thought I would have had enough conditioning to keep my butt from getting sore.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  13. #13
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyhoundsrock View Post
    Hybrids can be used for distance rides. I may not be the fastest on the road with my hybrid but I can complete a century and seventy plus rides without any trouble.
    So what saddle did you end up finding to be comfortable, out of curiosity? The next one I'm looking at is the Rido R2
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  14. #14
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    Check out the Bontrager nebula plus. It comes in different sizes and is made specifically for the more upright position on a hybrid. I was leery of Bontrager saddles but my lbs told me if I didn't like it I could return it within 90 days so I gave it a try and loved it from the first ride.

  15. #15
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwithtwins View Post
    Check out the Bontrager nebula plus.
    thanks, I'll have to call my LBS next week and see if they carry it. And if they honor the unconditional comfort guarantee.. they don't seem to keen on saddle returns.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  16. #16
    Dead Men Assume...
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    I've ridden a Trek 790 hybrid with B17 saddle for distances of 250+ km a day - with a pannier or two of stuff for the day. I've ridden over 200 kms a day on the same bike but with a regular gel saddle, fully loaded touring.

    I don't think any bike shop is keen on taking back saddles.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I would think that the real issue lay with the person riding the bike - not necessarily the saddle they use. Of course understanding how to "fit oneself" for a bike is important as well. And equally important is the use of correct gearing and clothing.

    If all these things have been examined the only alternative is to select a specialty bicycle that is known for use by people with back or other problems. I believe there are semi-recumbent and other style bicycles that you may find comfortable.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwithtwins View Post
    Check out the Bontrager nebula plus.
    Well, I got it last week. They'll honor the 90 day satisfaction guarantee, no questions asked, as long as I have my receipt and packaging.

    It feels like I think it should. I had it adjusted to where it felt good, but then I had groin pain (especially when using the bathroom) for a day after riding ~20 miles. No numbness while riding.. just a slow pain developing. I've tried tipping the seat forward, and that seemed to help a little, but not all the way. I made it about 35 miles that way before the pain developed. I've tried tipping it back, but I haven't gotten out again.

    I do have an un-diagnosed hip condition that cycling helps, but this doesn't occur with other saddles, so I'm not sure if it's related or not.

    I don't know what would cause the pain without numbness or anything.. any suggestions?
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  19. #19
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    My butt seems to be sensitive to the amount of padding. Too firm causes immediate discomfort. Too soft feels fine early on in a ride and then gets awful later on. I've had good luck modifying saddles that are a bit too soft by drilling holes from the back and removing some padding in certain areas. It may be that if I were to spend thousands on different saddles, an ideal saddle might be found. I've already tried 6 different ones and have found one that works fairly well with some modification.

  20. #20
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    Of the people with saddle problems, and its a pretty large number, only a blessed and select few seem to find complete and immediate relief with the purchase of "the perfect saddle" . If you are one of these, I despise you. Others, like myself, just have to keep chipping away at the problem with endless and increasingly desperate experimentation. Ya Ive drilled holes underneath mine too. Also reformed the plastic platform by holding it over a boiling teakettle to soften. You'll figure it out. You're determined.

  21. #21
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    I'm semi-seriously looking at "The Seat" at this point. I haven't gotten out again since re-adjusting the nebula, but it doesn't feel like the answer anymore.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  22. #22
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    Pain w/o numbness, difficulty urinating in these circumstances indicates an enlarged prostate; common enough. The upright position of a hybrid more likely to aggravate those particular symptoms than a more forward leaning bike. A really soft saddle more likely to aggravate it as well, as has been stated.

    What helps relieve pressure on the prostate is a seat that has a divot that goes all the way to the rear of the saddle. A divot or opening in the middle of the saddle will often relieve your junk getting numb, but it doesn't take pressure off the prostate.

    Anyway, the most important thing is that you are psyched about covering some major miles on a hybrid. Everything else is the kind of small stuff we all deal with. And regardless what the problem is, there will always be some LBS moron to tell you its because you have the wrong bike.

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