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  1. #1
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    How do you deal with butt pain on long rides?

    Sorry if my newbie questions seem inane, but I am curious about these things and want to learn.

    Was wondering how you cope with this problem.

    When Jure Robic was asked about his derrier during RAAM he stuck his fingers in his mouth and "pulled the trigger".
    So I was wondering if pain like this is par for the course on long rides, and something needed to be overcome mentally, or is there a saddle fit that could keep one comfy.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've ridden 1200Ks with minimal butt pain.

    Bicycle fit
    Fitness
    The right saddle ...

    All these play an important part in comfort on a bicycle.

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Gradually increase your weekly volume. Gradually increase the length of your longest rides. After several months of this, if you are still getting butt pain in the 4th hour you need a better position, better fit, better shorts, or a more suitable saddle. Sometimes a rider will still experience abrasion problems in a several hundred mile ride, even using cream. In these cases, it's almost always the saddle. It doesn't have to hurt.

  4. #4
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    In order:

    - Bike Fit
    - Training
    - Saddle That Works for You (not always expensive or the most popular model)
    - Good Quality (not overly padded) Bike Shorts
    - Pedal Standing Up for 30-60 seconds every 30 minutes or so (whenever your butt needs some fresh bloood)
    - Get Off Your Bike from time to time on long rides (two minutes of walking and stretching makes a world of difference)
    - Chamois Creams (some people use them, some don't, personal preference)
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  5. #5
    TortoiseNotHare BridgeNotTunnel's Avatar
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    I started riding at 300+ pounds.

    Currently riding at 257 pounds.

    For me saddle pain has been mostly unavoidable on longer rides. (Longest to date, 109.36)

    Switching to the Serfas RX saddle has relieved much of the bruised tailbone feeling.

    Regarding saddle sores, if you get them, the only thing that helps is to do an alcohol followed by neosporin routine before and after rides. It's the only way I've been able to get them to go down and heal better.

    I feel that some of my cycling woes will go away when I strip off the rest of this 50+ pound sand vest it feels like I'm hauling around.

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    I have had quite a bit of trouble with butt pain over the years. Usually it works itself out by the end of the season. Most of it has been cured by getting better fitting shorts and finding a saddle that agrees with me. I managed to make it through PBP without much trouble. I actually have more persistent trouble with chafing on my inner thighs when it is really hot.

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeNotTunnel View Post
    I feel that some of my cycling woes will go away when I strip off the rest of this 50+ pound sand vest it feels like I'm hauling around.
    I suspect you are right about this to a great degree, although you will almost surely will have to adjust some things to accommodate your lower weight.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    My experience is that saddle issues only present themselves if a rider needs to stay seated - otherwise you "stand and climb" often enough to prevent saddle issues.

    Typically - accomplished riders know these things and will stand at every opportunity. Slight down hills will have rider shift up and stand - and of course - tail winds produce the same opportunity.

    However, in high speed pace lines and flat courses - you are simply fff-ed - and that's why you ride a trainer for hours and hours in the winter......
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    RC, you bring up a good point with the pace lines. I have had more hand problems on certain rides because I needed to ride on the hoods all the time, whereas on my longer rides otherwise, I could shift hands around more.

    BridgeNotTunnel, one thing that helped me was as I lost some weight, it made it way easier for me to stand.

    I'm still having some issues with a new saddle.

    And, keep in mind that some people get comfortable and some don't, and that's one reason they sell recumbents.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone!

  10. #10
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Lantiseptic for me. Buy online or at a pharmacy (over the counter).
    And keep the bottom clean. Wipes is a staple in my kit for anything over 40 miles.

    And fit. And the right saddle.

  11. #11
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    Ambesol mixed with butt butter !

  12. #12
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyou View Post
    Ambesol mixed with butt butter !
    Hey! Where are you?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Lantiseptic for me. ...
    That stuff is the best, once you have a problem. I've used that to get me through RAAM before. It's got a pain killer in it. It's best to prevent the problem in the first place. Being clean and having good quality saddle/shorts is essential. I don't use any "cream" unless I'm doing something over 250miles. When I do use cream I use Udder Butter. It's made for dairies and you can get it at your local fam supply. It's has antibiotics in it and works awesome.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Butt pain!? I don't have any!

    I found a saddle that agrees with me - a Gilles Berthoud - and sorted my fit. A bit of chamois cream to keep the chafing at bay and my bum is a complete non-issue.

  15. #15
    Senior Member slowride454's Avatar
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    for me it was a change of bikes. My hands, feet, and butt/back would be beat after as little as 10 miles, 100+ miles and I was junk. Even with a good saddle and a sorted out fit. I switched from an aluminum nashbar bike to a specialized roubaix with a romin evo comp gel saddle. I've only put a couple of training rides of 52 and 65 on the new bike, but it is awesome. no butt/back pain. Feet feel great. minimal hand numbness/weakness. The extra deep gearing also helps me to stay fresh and keep my cadence higher which in my experience helps my butt.

  16. #16
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    I'll chip in and go with saddle choice and bike fit like a lot of other people already did. I found that once I got my Brooks Imperial and broke it in, I can last just about forever in that saddle. On my old saddle or other bikes without that Brooks, I get saddle pain a lot earlier.

    I also try to vary my riding on longer rides. I find that standing up to pedal now and then really helps relieve the pressure and refreshes me to sit back down again for awhile. You can also change gears to take up an easier cadence. I personally think that the harder gearing you are pushing, the harder it can be on the butt. Spinning, for me at least, is another method I use when I my butt is getting unhappy with a ride.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    A good fit, good saddle, and padded cycling shorts work for me.

  18. #18
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Even with the right saddle, you still need to get the right tilt. You'll feel it when you've got it. I use a San Marco Regal. It has a slight dip in the middle. It can either be set up with the nose and tail at about the same level, so that gravity will send you into the dip, or you can set it so that nose and dip are about the same level, so that tail is a bit higher than nose. The latter works best for me, but may not for you. So even if you think you need a different saddle, make sure you've explored the levelling options.

    Also, you can harden your contact area with rubbing alcohol before you get any painful condition.

    I find too that much of the problem is sweat and bacteria. The modern synthetic chamois used in today's shorts become very irritating when moist, like when you've been sweating into the chamois for 200 km. So for long rides, try applying Chamois Butt'r or similar product before the ride.

    Luis

  19. #19
    Senior Member devianb's Avatar
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    I get off the bike and stretch for a minute, or stand up while pedaling or coasting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    I gave up trying to find an upright bike that was comfortable for long distances and got a recumbent. I don't regret it for a minute.

    I couldn't find a balance between butt pain and hand numbness on an upright bike. Maybe my core is too weak, I don't know.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  21. #21
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Those of you who have trouble with butt pain, I'm curious what kind of saddles you ride.

    As for myself, I always ride leather saddles without padding, often just in regular clothes. In the last year I've suffered the dreaded PITA on only two rides.

    On one the saddle was getting too soft, and it started chafing my thighs. At lunch I reluctantly punched the sides and laced it with zip ties, which I had to replace two or three times during the afternoon, but I got through the ride.

    On the second, it was a new (never before ridden) leather saddle, pretty much hard as rock, and I was doing my first ever fixed gear century. Bad combination! Fortunately this was with a Sturmey Archer fixed gear three speed hub (S3X) and I figured out that I could unburden the saddle by putting the hub in the high gear and standing up. I should mention it was a very hot day, and the saddle softened up quite a bit as it got wet from perspiration. That helped.

  22. #22
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Those of you who have trouble with butt pain, I'm curious what kind of saddles you ride.
    I personally tried everything from Brooks to a Schwinn noseless seat. Probably 20 or so variations. Some were better than others, but none were good.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  23. #23
    Senior Member c.miller64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    Sorry if my newbie questions seem inane, but I am curious about these things and want to learn.

    Was wondering how you cope with this problem.
    I ride nothing but Selle Anatomica saddles, and I use Assos Chamois Cream. Haven't had any issues up to 24hrs.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    There's a big difference between superficial butt pain (typical saddle sores) and sore sit-bones.

    I only get saddle sores on rides over 200km - and then, only sometimes. I just use standard cycling pants and the saddle my bike came with, and forced myself to HTFU. Seemed to work - or maybe I was just lucky.

    But for all the miles I've done, I still get sore sit-bones at the end of long rides. Not sure what can be done about that...
    Regards,
    Duncan

  25. #25
    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    I've had no problems since switching to a Brooks B17. It was comfortable from day 1. Getting padded cycling shorts later did not make it any more comfortable. I was fine on a recent 177 km ride in corduroy trousers on the Brooks. I do stand up every now and vary the gear and cadence because variety makes it easier on the legs.

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