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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-23-14, 01:25 PM   #1
Lorig20
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Best way to break in the beehind

I've gotten wonderful advice from this group from trying to decide to revive my 1977 Schwinn Traveler ( which I did) or get a new (which I also did) I also got great direction on hybrid vs road (went with a Giant Avail 2)

So now I have the inevitable beginner question....My butt hurts!

I chose the Avail because after test riding a Cannondale Synapse and Quick and not feeling comfortable, I test rode the Avail and found it much better suited for me. Got to ride it last Thurs for a little 12 mile jaunt with the family on a nearby trail, very easy, no hills. Just a little soreness nothing to bad. On Friday, I took another 12 mile ride, not realizing how bad the headwind was going to be coming back. (about 20mph gusts) I made it back, but it was a struggle. I found that since my bottom hurt enough from the day before, it was tough for me to move around the bike and find a better position.

I want to get over the sore rear problem as quickly as possible. What is the best way to do that? Ride a little bit as much as possible? Leave enough time between rides for my muscles to recover?

I just want to get over that stage as quickly as possible and I hope to be able to keep the seat I have now, and not rely on tons and tons of padding.

And yeah, a couple of times in that headwind, when I swear I was peddling and the bike wasn't moving...I thought why did I throw away so much money for this? But I made it (only walked the bike twice for a very short amount of time) and the feeling of accomplishment was worth the effort. Want to do it again. I'm just glad it was flat! Can't imagine doing that with hills!

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Old 03-23-14, 01:42 PM   #2
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You are absolutely correct that padding is not the answer. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut. Only time in the saddle will toughen up your backside. Increase your distances incrementally and give yourself a day or two off the bike once in a while. Assuming you have a properly fit bike and a saddle that works for you, the pain will abate in short order. Another problem solver is to practice riding out of the saddle for a bit every few minutes. Even 30-60 seconds out of the saddle can make a big difference. Short breaks off the bike when you start feeling sore will also allow you to continue on longer rides, just watch out for saddle sores which could be a setback.
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Old 03-23-14, 02:36 PM   #3
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A couple of questions: First, do you have a woman-specific saddle on your bike? And second, is it level, nose up, or nose down? There are a couple of threads on the latter, and it can make a significant difference - my advice is to have yours level to start, then ride as described below.

And to add to Myo, right now you don't have enough miles in the saddle to choose another saddle, because right now pretty much anything will be uncomfortable. My recommendation would be to break yourself in slowly, (perhaps no more than every other day), and after about a month you should be used to your current saddle. After that, if you're still in considerable discomfort, it might make sense to talk to your LBS about a different saddle.

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Old 03-23-14, 02:39 PM   #4
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Best way to break in the beehind?

i like to have mine spanked by a good looking young blonde female, but everybody's different.
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Old 03-23-14, 04:01 PM   #5
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It's a WSD Liv/Giant Avail bike, with a Liv/Giant seat, so I assume it's somewhat a WSD seat.

My plan is to allow my body to adjust to riding and then work on tweaking anything after I've given it a fair amount of time. It's hard for me to tell if the fit is absolutely perfect, because the tenderness makes me want to not move around the bike. But I am going to try to make myself stand up, as I tend not to want to do that anyway, and I need to learn to. If I still have issues, I then plan to go in for a fitting, either a full blown fitting (the one that costs extra) or, see if they can tweak the fit. One thing I noticed is I have trouble reaching all the way to the hoods comfortably. But I'm not sure if the reach is too far, or I'm just not comfortable reaching my arms and body out for fear of feeling the butt muscles.

I like the idea of being fitted exactly to the bike and won't hesitate to do that if needed. My heart wanted the hybrid, but my mind knew that in the long run, I should be happier with a road bike. I like to change positions often in everything I do. The thought of basically one position on a flat bar handlebar really bothered me. And even with end bars, the positions don't seem to be that much different to me (and going farther apart is not exactly what my short little arms want to do anyway!) In the end, I hope my bike can be as comfortable as the hybrid.

Thanks for the responses. We have a chilly week coming up again, but I hope to get out for some short rides this week to keep up with the breaking in process
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Old 03-23-14, 04:12 PM   #6
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Wear cycling shorts?
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Old 03-23-14, 04:16 PM   #7
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i have an old pair of cycling shorts I ordered years ago, but never wore. They're not as hi tech as the ones we have today, but I've been wearing those under my underarmour running tights. They have slight padding, not a whole lot.

I've only ridden twice, so I'm not calling it a problem yet, I think it's to be expected. I just want to make sure I break my rear in the most efficient way possible. My husband hurts too, and he's refusing to get back on his bike until the pain is completely gone and his new padded shorts he ordered arrived. I want to be aggressive with the break in period.

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Old 03-23-14, 06:00 PM   #8
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Sore butt from poor muscle tone should only last a couple of rides. If it gets worse instead of better, it is likely a saddle fit problem. If the saddle is right, the pain with go away very quickly.
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Old 03-23-14, 06:35 PM   #9
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i have an old pair of cycling shorts I ordered years ago, but never wore. They're not as hi tech as the ones we have today, but I've been wearing those under my underarmour running tights. They have slight padding, not a whole lot.

I've only ridden twice, so I'm not calling it a problem yet, I think it's to be expected. I just want to make sure I break my rear in the most efficient way possible. My husband hurts too, and he's refusing to get back on his bike until the pain is completely gone and his new padded shorts he ordered arrived. I want to be aggressive with the break in period.
It actually helps to wait until the pain is gone and things have healed a bit.
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Old 03-23-14, 06:44 PM   #10
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It actually helps to wait until the pain is gone and things have healed a bit.

Ok, then I won't try to make him ride before he's ready and I won't worry too much that it's really going to be to cold to ride a lot of this week here!
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Old 03-23-14, 07:00 PM   #11
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Sore bums come in two types:

Classic saddle sores. Nasty wounds that have become infected. These likely start from a combination of hygiene deficiencies and friction.

Circulation/compression issues. Especially for new riders, these result from compressing the soft tissue between the saddle and the bones underneath. This sounds like the OP's problem. It's a bit like a bruise, but can get much, much worse. The remedy is to compress the tissue less. Do this by:

1. Riding less (lousy solution, but sometimes necessary).
2. Standing more, as mentioned.
3. Changing positions often. These don't have to be major, just move to the drops, back to the hoods, onto the tops. Change the angle of your back. The lower you get, the more you "sit" on the narrower portion of your sits bones; the more upright you are, the more you sit on the wider portion of those same bones. Moving around lets you bruise all the tissue instead of just doing one small part (just kidding). Change your back angle every few minutes if you are sore.
4. Increase your output. Face it, you're resting your weight on five spots (two hands, two feet and one derrière). If you pedal harder, then you will transfer more of your weight to your feet from your bum. Obviously, this isn't going to happen overnight, but as you get stronger and improve your pedalling technique, you will be able to save your rear end.
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Old 03-23-14, 07:18 PM   #12
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Ride easy for 10 minutes, then stop and do a hamstring stretch.
If you're out of condition or just getting used to the cycling position, your hamstrings can tighten and cause pain in your butt.
I would recommend a stretching regime.
Never stretch cold, always after a warm-up.
I ride a lot and still have occasional saddle issues, but find that stretching helps a lot.
Beyond the hamstring situation, there is going to be a period that your butt needs to adjust to. It's just part of the deal.
Saddle height can factor into this, so don't be afraid to experiment with it.
Good luck and happy riding.
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Old 03-23-14, 08:10 PM   #13
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A little soreness is normal as you begin to condition the butt to riding longer distances. I'd suggest to give it a day or two for the soreness to subside, then do shorter rides, about 30 mins or so, to increase your tolerance to sitting in the saddle. Better bike shorts with a good quality chamois might help if the ones you're using aren't good quality. You'll need a few pair anyway, so buy a pair of decent quality. This soreness should slowly disappear over time if you continue to get out and ride. Have fun.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:40 AM   #14
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Speaking as a female cyclist ...

-- make sure the saddle is wide enough for your sitbones. You need to sit on your sitbones, not on any other parts down there.

-- don't use soft gel saddles. A harder saddle is better because you can support yourself on your sitbones rather than sinking into the gel and creating all sorts of friction.

-- make sure the bicycle fit is correct.

-- develop a strong core so that you can sit properly on a saddle. You should not be putting your full weight on the saddle ... your feet can take a little bit of the weight.

-- get a good pair of cycling shorts.

-- keep riding. You've only ridden twice ... yes, it is going to hurt at first. You might want to do shortish ride every other day for a while, but go out for a walk, climb some stairs, work on your core, etc. on the day off the bicycle.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:18 AM   #15
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A little soreness is normal as you begin to condition the butt to riding longer distances. I'd suggest to give it a day or two for the soreness to subside, then do shorter rides, about 30 mins or so, to increase your tolerance to sitting in the saddle. Better bike shorts with a good quality chamois might help if the ones you're using aren't good quality. You'll need a few pair anyway, so buy a pair of decent quality. This soreness should slowly disappear over time if you continue to get out and ride. Have fun.
Not "might" but "definitely" will help. My sit bones are pretty broken in and I can tell a big difference between my high end bibs and my low end bibs.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:20 AM   #16
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In addition to the things already mentioned, both my wife and I have found that when we first started riding or haven't ridden in a while or when we're fatigued, we tend to ride more upright which tends to place the sit bones in the wrong position. Our rears are much happier when we stay forward/down.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:30 AM   #17
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1) Wear bike shorts, with nothing between the chamois and your skin.

2) Pre-medicate with acetominophen or ibuprofen until your butt is "broken in."

3) Change your riding position (e.g. drops vs hoods) throughout the ride to change the pressure points on your butt, and stand or otherwise come off the saddle at times.

4) Keep riding! It will get better.
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