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Old 07-29-06, 10:57 PM   #1
oscarzeta
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The pain, etc.

I've been lurking here for quite a while and have soaked in a lot of the knowledge here. Thanks!

I'm 5'9" and about 265lbs and 33yrs old. Very overweight. I did play NCAA Div.I college soccer, so I know what it's like to be in top physical condition. But, ever since I quit soccer, I've been stagnant, sedentary. Hence, the weight.

I decided enough is enough and I bought a mountain bike, in the hope that I can find a sport that I enjoy and can help me get into shape. I've also begun a weight-lifting program.

I recently purchased a Cannondale F300 and have put Specialized Nimbus tires on it so that I can ride ok on flat surfaces and possibly commute to work.

My specific question is regarding the pain. I rode for about 20 minutes today on the pavement and my ass is killing me. I understand it's gonna hurt at first, but what can I do to ease the pain? I have to balance on my legs and put less weight on my ass, which makes pedaling harder, or so it seems. I have no problem just toughing it out, but I would like to know what is normal and what kind of options I have. Do the padded shorts really help? A suspension post? A different saddle?

I'm riding pretty slow and would like to ride as long as possible, but the pain keeps me from doing this. On the positive side, it's been too long since I've been active. Getting out in the hot sun brings back memories of that soccer field. Any suggestions would be greatly appreicated!
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Old 07-29-06, 11:42 PM   #2
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Yea, it's gonna hurt at first. Here are a few thoughts

1. A good fitting saddle is a very personal choice. Some people go through several before they find one to match their "seat"

2. It will take your body some time to adjust to a saddle. Give it some time.

3. Padded shorts do help.

4. Amazingly, those thin pad-less saddles are often more comfortable(I didn't believe it either)

I finally have found the proper combination of saddle/shorts. I did a metric century (65 miles) last month with no major discomfort. I would be lying if my ass felt 'great' but it was the kind of discomfort that went away immediately. Not the kind that lingers on for days.

-D
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Old 07-30-06, 12:23 AM   #3
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5. Bike position may influence saddle pain. If you sit too upright, you end up putting most of your weight on your saddle. Getting a professional bike fit may help.

6. Get off the saddle every few minutes. Stand and pedal for 30 revolutions, then sit back down.

The initial soreness goes away after several rides.
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Old 07-30-06, 09:56 AM   #4
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If it still hurts after two weeks of continual riding, you probably need a different saddle. And, as far as saddles go, stay far away from the cushy, gel, fluffy nonsense. Your sit bones press into the soft gel, and end up squishing some important parts that you don't want squished. What saddle do you have now?

And yes, the padded shorts do help, but again, the really thick gel ones are bad for the same reason as the gel saddles are bad.
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Old 07-30-06, 10:30 AM   #5
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The advice you have received so far is great.

The only thing I may do to help is give you an order that I would recommend to do things.

1) Get yourself professional fitted to the bike.
2) Get a great pair of shorts. Again I made the newbie mistake of getting gel shorts. A great pair of shorts does help. It may be expensive, but they last years and are worth ever penny.
3) Get a Chamois cream for you shorts. I use Assos Chamois Cream Creme, but there are may others. Do a search and you should find plenty of info.
4) After about 5 rides, Change the saddle. Again, so you do not think you’re alone, I did not find the saddle that came with my bike comfortable. I bought a second. It was worse. I purchased a third, the worst of all. I then purchase Bontrager Saddle off a New Trek Madone that cost $3000+. It cut off the blood to my hamstrings. Then I purchased a Forté Pro SLX Saddle. I actually like the Forté Pro SLX Saddle but the embroidery is abrasive to my shorts. I purchased a Serfas Stinger on eBay. I am finally happy. Finding a saddle that is good for you may take some time.
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Old 07-30-06, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowandsteady
If it still hurts after two weeks of continual riding, you probably need a different saddle. And, as far as saddles go, stay far away from the cushy, gel, fluffy nonsense. Your sit bones press into the soft gel, and end up squishing some important parts that you don't want squished. What saddle do you have now?

And yes, the padded shorts do help, but again, the really thick gel ones are bad for the same reason as the gel saddles are bad.
Perfect! Thick gel quite often gives more pain (just more stuff shoved in your crotch!) than releives it. What feels best for most people, and this is really generalizing, is a saddle thats round on top rather than flat. I think its the amount of surface area that is supported.
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Old 07-30-06, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarzeta
I've been lurking here for quite a while and have soaked in a lot of the knowledge here. Thanks!

I'm 5'9" and about 265lbs and 33yrs old. Very overweight. I did play NCAA Div.I college soccer, so I know what it's like to be in top physical condition. But, ever since I quit soccer, I've been stagnant, sedentary. Hence, the weight.

I decided enough is enough and I bought a mountain bike, in the hope that I can find a sport that I enjoy and can help me get into shape. I've also begun a weight-lifting program.

I recently purchased a Cannondale F300 and have put Specialized Nimbus tires on it so that I can ride ok on flat surfaces and possibly commute to work.

My specific question is regarding the pain. I rode for about 20 minutes today on the pavement and my ass is killing me. I understand it's gonna hurt at first, but what can I do to ease the pain? I have to balance on my legs and put less weight on my ass, which makes pedaling harder, or so it seems. I have no problem just toughing it out, but I would like to know what is normal and what kind of options I have. Do the padded shorts really help? A suspension post? A different saddle?

I'm riding pretty slow and would like to ride as long as possible, but the pain keeps me from doing this. On the positive side, it's been too long since I've been active. Getting out in the hot sun brings back memories of that soccer field. Any suggestions would be greatly appreicated!
Lots of pain after 20 minutes means something is wrong.

Things to check, in order:

1) Check the angle of your saddle. Generally, most people do well with a saddle that's roughly level. If it feels like you're sliding off the front, raise the front. If you have numbness issues, lower the front.

2) I don't think shorts are your main problem, but riding in anything other than real shorts is a recipe for being miserable. You'll get more chafing, and more pain. If chafing is a problem with shorts, a chamois creme like chamois butt'r is helpful, but you probably won't need it for rides less than an hour.

Thickness of pad is personal thing. Some people like thicker pads, some people like thinner ones. I'd recommend getting something in the middle to start.

3) Bike fit can contribute to this. If your reach is far enough that you have to be tense, this can aggravate your pain.

4) Which brings us to saddles. The kind of saddle that works is a personal thing. There are some thin (ie narrow width) saddles that absolutely kill me in 15 minutes, though generally it takes an hour or so for me to really notice a difference.

I'd check the saddle angle, but my best guess is that a pair of good shorts and a different saddle will fix you up. I'd get some shorts and then go back to the bike store and ask to sit on a bunch of different bikes to see if you can find one that you like better. Many stores will let you buy and then return a saddle if it doesn't work well for you.
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Old 07-30-06, 08:11 PM   #8
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Thanks

Thanks for all the great advice. Currently, I have the original Cannondale saddle that came with my F300. I suppose that could be the problem. I hadn't planned on spending so much money on saddles, but if I have to then I will.

This week, I'll go buy a pair of cycling shorts. I have no idea where to start. I'm not exactly fit, (yet) so I suppose I'll go with the baggy style. Is that ok?

I'll try the shorts out and then see if that helps. I'll also try adjusting the saddle height. Then, I'll go for the new saddle after that. Hopefully my lbs will let me try some out.

Strangely - I'm still sore after my first ride. My legs, etc. But, for some reason I can't wait to get out there again.

Thanks again - I've enjoyed reading all the weight loss threads. I do want to lose weight, but I don't really look at it like that. I want to build muscle and get faster - get in shape.
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Old 08-02-06, 01:59 AM   #9
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One other thing that may help. Certain local bike shops will allow you to ride a saddle and return it, if you do not like it. Performance bike (http://www.performancebike.com/) will also allow you to return a saddle after you ride it. I think others will also (Nasbar??). It is a way of not getting stuck with an expensive saddle.
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