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Old 05-22-11, 08:01 AM   #1
Chop61
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Brooks saddle and SI joint pain

ok, this is purely anecdotal, but this has given me fits for about a year and I thought it might help someone else.

Last year I felt a really bad twinge in my lower back while riding to work. It got steadily worse, then throw in some severe-make-you-cry-like-a-baby sciatica leg pain. My doctor was sure I had a herniated disk, so off to the MRI machine I went. Nope, nothing there, seems I have the spine of a 30 year old (I'm pushing 50) So, off for a CAT scan, where they found an inflamed SI joint. The neurosurgeon put me on Celebrex, and mercifully, the pain was under control.

But it's been bugging me about a year now. All my bikes have Brooks Saddles, and it occurs to me that while I love them, the lack of padding does not dampen road vibration, so I swallowed my saddle snobbery and bought a specialized sport touring saddle, a Dolce. Not a lot of padding, but some, and put it on my LHT, which I'm using for commuting right now. The difference has been amazing. I am off the Celebrex, and I'm riding pain free. I'm making the switch on my other bikes as well.

Now it's entirely possible that I have just healed. The doctor said this would take 6-9 months, but I could have trouble with it for the rest of my life. The thing is, when I ride on a brooks, there's some irritation afterwards, and not with the Specialized. BTW, I did try a brooks with springs, didn't help. I did a search for this topic, Didn't find anything saddle related, so I thought I'd just pass this on. Still getting used to the padding. Thanks for reading.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:12 AM   #2
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What bike do you ride, and how old are you.
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Old 05-22-11, 03:13 PM   #3
Chop61
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49 and a Surly LHT is my main ride right now. I am not overweight, I usually ride about 3k a year.
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Old 05-22-11, 03:39 PM   #4
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that the Spec. seat works well for you, thats great. Oddly enough, what I like about my B17 is how I feel it does take the edge off sharp bumps with the "shock absorption" aspect of the hung leather, which is the opposite of your experience.
For you, the important thing is that you can ride comfortably, it will be interesting to see in a while how you feel when you go back on one of your Brooks.
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Old 05-22-11, 03:39 PM   #5
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Interesting.

Exactly the opposite situation happened to me.

I was using a softer saddle and had developed agonising sciatic pain down my left leg. I had been able to ride with that saddle the year before (2003), even did a 1200K with it, but I switched to a different bicycle for the winter, and when I returned to that saddle, I couldn't ride it without agony. I tried for a few months, but was in pain every ride.

So I decided to get a Brooks, and .... problem solved. No more sciatic pain. I've been using a Brooks for 7 years now ... pain free.
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