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Thread: Sit bone pain

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    Sit bone pain

    I ride about 20 miles on my route, at the 15 mile mark I always experience sit bone pain/ache. So much so that it is uncomfortable enough to make me get off the bike for 5 minutes. I then get back on and everything is OK and I continue home the last 5 miles.

    Other than that my new bike fits perfectly, I'm 5'8 on a 54cm Jamis Icon Pro. For the two weeks Ive had the bike, I have NO soreness in neck, arms, shoulders, back etc. My hands are relaxed on the hoods and extremely comfortable in the drops. No numbness anywhere, perfect fit you could say. I rode for 4 days straight, 20 miles each day. I did experience a slight ache in my right kneecap on day 2. I did the fully extended leg, heel to pedal measurement and pulled the saddle up 1cm and that problem is gone on the 3rd and 4th day. I am wearing Pearl Izumi liner with chamois under cargo shorts. When I get the sit bone pain, I get up out of the seat and also experience like a 5 second pain down there with the little general. Again no numbness, just very brief and temp pain until I get off the saddle. Could it be I am just riding too much? or ride more and need to get used to new saddle? Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.

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    I spend pretty much even amount of time 1/3 in all postions - 33% top (shoulders?), drops and hoods

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    Senior Member pvillemasher's Avatar
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    Could be you just need to get used to sitting on a saddle, I know I go through that after I don't ride for a while. But in the past, even after I rode a lot I still had similar pain and went through a few saddles.
    This year I looked for a new saddle and the LBS guy suggested I get my sit bones measured. I did, bought an appropriate sized saddle, and I have been much more comfortable. I recommend it to anyone now.


    To get measured you just sit on a foam pad that your butt makes an impression in, get up and the dude measures the space between the 2 sit bone impressions.

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    I think riding more will take care of it but if it doesn't get better small incremental adjustments of the seat angle could help. If that doesn't work perhaps going back to the saddle off of your old bike could be an option.

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    Push harder, suck less AScoda's Avatar
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    First thought would be those cargo shorts. You may be sitting on a seam. If you don't want to wear just bike shorts, at least get some mountain bike baggies. They are designed to not have seams there and minimize chafing. They are also lightweight and well vented.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvillemasher View Post
    Could be you just need to get used to sitting on a saddle, I know I go through that after I don't ride for a while. But in the past, even after I rode a lot I still had similar pain and went through a few saddles.
    This year I looked for a new saddle and the LBS guy suggested I get my sit bones measured. I did, bought an appropriate sized saddle, and I have been much more comfortable. I recommend it to anyone now.


    To get measured you just sit on a foam pad that your butt makes an impression in, get up and the dude measures the space between the 2 sit bone impressions.
    +1, I have had badly fitted saddles that made me sore, even though I ride ~100 miles a week. You can't adjust to a bad fit and it really does make a world of difference.

    That being said, if these are your first two weeks on the bike in a long time, it's probably just the adjustment of being on the saddle for extended periods of time. That will go away in time.

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    Senior Member goenrdoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyco View Post
    When I get the sit bone pain, I get up out of the seat and also experience like a 5 second pain down there with the little general. Again no numbness, just very brief and temp pain until I get off the saddle.
    Get out of the saddle more often. Just for a few seconds now and then. It forces you to change positions, it moves your shorts around, it gets the blood flowing to places it might have been restricted... It's just a good thing to do now and then. It's easy to forget to change the positions of your hands, butt, etc. when riding. Force yourself to do it and you'll minimize a lot of little problems.

    One strategy I use is to stand up when I see someone else on a group ride stand up. I use the same type of strategy to remember to drink (if I see someone drink, I take one too!) If that seems like it might get a little too creepy, figur out another trigger that works for you (see a yellow car? stand up!)

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    Riding more the tissue covering your sitbones will toughen up over time. Saddle adjustment is huge. Even small increments in adjustment make a big difference.

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    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    Start with your saddle level and make that you're not sitting on the narrow part of the saddle. Other thing to check is the width. Could be too narrow.

    How did you set up your saddle?

    If everything is setup properly...your ass bones just needs to get used to it.
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    Are you sure you mean sit bones? Pain at the male member would more commonly be associated with soft tissue pressure at the perineum between the scrotum and rectum. The sit bones are where the weight is supposed to be borne on either side of the buttocks.
    Robert

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    I just returned a taint smasher saddle. Lesson learned...if it ain't broke...
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    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    Are you...um....big boned?

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    If you are really getting sitbone pain, you may end up being happier on a Fizik Aliante or Bontrager saddle. Those tend to distribute weight more evenly.
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    I'm in the same game as the OP, 20-30miles and I have got to step off. I've spent good cash on good bib shorts and have tried to adjust the seat angle, but no more improvement. I'm riding on the saddle that Specialized included with my Allez. I've been looking at the fizik Arione or Aliante, would those help?

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    What?! No one has mentioned the obvious. It's the new saddle! Try your LBS's saddle test program if you can find one and I think you can solve this problem with a saddle that fits your stibones better

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    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDspd View Post
    I'm in the same game as the OP, 20-30miles and I have got to step off. I've spent good cash on good bib shorts and have tried to adjust the seat angle, but no more improvement. I'm riding on the saddle that Specialized included with my Allez. I've been looking at the fizik Arione or Aliante, would those help?
    IMHO, there are people for which Specialized saddles work and there are those for which they don't. If you look at almost all their saddles except Chicane, they have a relatively flat profile in the sit bone area. Now compare that to the Fizik Aliante which is curvy. I have large hamstrings, for me the Specialized saddles do not allow freer movement of the hamstring where it attaches to the bones near the sit bone area so I get not sit bone pain, but pain in the upper hamstring attachment area. Bontrager saddles (Inform and others) almost work but not quite. Fizik Aliante has enough curvature to fit my body type. I suspect Chicane from Specialized also does but did not try it. Another saddle that has a very curvy shape is the Selle SMP series. But there is no LBS with a test saddle program for that brand in my area and I am not willing to spend $250 to find out.

    My recommendation is to go find an LBS that has the Fizik test saddles and try the Aliante, Antares and the Arion. Skip the versus models because IMHO they are an afterthought.
    If you get the Aliante, the setup is VERY important. There is only one sweet spot on that saddle. So you have to experiment with the setback to find it. And I use a large book to put on the aliante and then use a digital level to level the angle right at 0 degrees. Works perfect every time.
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    I think mine would hurt if I didn't come out of the saddle every 15-20 minutes. Usually on a foot stroke forward I go ahead and stand a little, raise up and slide back just enough to stretch while both my feet are even on each side of the bike. I slide back into the saddle and off we go again. It takes about 5 seconds - I ride solo, I guess it would be harder with a group.

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    etw
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    One thing to consider would be your position on the bike. There is a lot of good info at

    Riding Position Discovery

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    Senior Member dvdslw's Avatar
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    You may end up just needing a new saddle but for me, taking out some spacers and lowering my bars helped my saddle discomfort more than anything. Sounds like it would make you more uncomfortable but try sitting on a hard chair like a bar stool or dining chair to where you feel pressure on both sit bones with your back straight and mimicking a riding position, then without moving your legs or butt lean forward, you should feel the pressure decreasing as you go. You said you're top end is comfortable so maybe try small increments to drop your bars one spacer at a time or flip the stem if needed. If you find it to be not to your liking just put it back the way it was, no loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etw View Post
    One thing to consider would be your position on the bike. There is a lot of good info at

    Riding Position Discovery
    One of the best threads on this whole site.

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    Pedal harder, so you sit lighter ..

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    Definitely investigate saddles. You should not be having pain/numbness with only 15 miles of riding. Figure out your sit bone width as others have mentioned, figure out if flat works best for you, if a cutout helps, etc.. It's a process, but if you're methodical you'll get to what works...
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    Quote Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
    Get out of the saddle more often. Just for a few seconds now and then. It forces you to change positions, it moves your shorts around, it gets the blood flowing to places it might have been restricted... It's just a good thing to do now and then. It's easy to forget to change the positions of your hands, butt, etc. when riding. Force yourself to do it and you'll minimize a lot of little problems.

    One strategy I use is to stand up when I see someone else on a group ride stand up. I use the same type of strategy to remember to drink (if I see someone drink, I take one too!) If that seems like it might get a little too creepy, figur out another trigger that works for you (see a yellow car? stand up!)
    I stood up everytime I saw a hot chick in spandex

    Yep, it was everything you guys mentioned. Great advise as usual from BF I just needed to ride more, get used to the saddle and take some rest in between. After riding for a week, I do 60% drops now and I stick my ass up a bit more or get off the saddle completely for about 30 seconds. That combined with my usual 5 min break is already enough, I dont get the pain/aches anymore. Guess I was just too used to the upright hybrid position, getting the hang of the drops/position and loving it. I am amazed how fast (and comfortable) I am going in this aero position! Will def check out the Fizik Aliante too, much appreciated
    Last edited by calyco; 07-11-14 at 05:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvdslw View Post
    You may end up just needing a new saddle but for me, taking out some spacers and lowering my bars helped my saddle discomfort more than anything. Sounds like it would make you more uncomfortable but try sitting on a hard chair like a bar stool or dining chair to where you feel pressure on both sit bones with your back straight and mimicking a riding position, then without moving your legs or butt lean forward, you should feel the pressure decreasing as you go. You said you're top end is comfortable so maybe try small increments to drop your bars one spacer at a time or flip the stem if needed. If you find it to be not to your liking just put it back the way it was, no loss.
    Good tips mate! Last week I raised my saddle by 1cm and realigned the nose to be 2 degrees up from level. From there the level of discomfort dropped dramatically, but still somewhat present. I'll definitely try raising the saddle by 2-3mm and lowering the bars by putting the head stem in the negative position. Doing that I think will help body posture and lower fatigue. For some reason though, I inherently keep arching my lower back/rotating my hips back and it causes loads of pain. The only way to solve it is to calm and straighten my back like a weight lifter. If my butt/back still hurts after that then it's definitely a saddle shape issue. I was looking at the Arione and the Aliante, but I'll have to find a good LBS with a testing program.

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