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Old 02-26-09, 10:52 AM   #1
rt1965
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My Arse is Killing Me! Need some opinions...

First a little history. I haven't been seriously on a bike in about 15 years. Last September, my wife and I embarked on a fitness program and over the course of 90 days, I lost 30 pounds, down from 218 originally. I still need to drop about 25 pounds, but I figure with celan eating and continuing my exercise program, it will come off in the next few months or so. I did a little cycling on the trainer during this 90 days and starting about 3 weeks ago I moved all my cardio outside on the bike. I still do some upper body resistance workouts and I do about 45 minutes of Yoga twice a week.

So, I'm into week 4 on the bike and I am riding 3-4 rides a week. Two rides average 12-15 miles and one is between 20-25 miles. If I do a fourth, it's typically a short casual recovery type ride with my daughter. I gotta say that I am really enjoying being back on a bike after all these years.

The problem is very sore sit bones. I've read all the threads about proper fit, and proper seat angles, etc... My bike has been fit and adjusted for me by an experienced guy at my LBS. My seat is at the right angle, and height. I sat on the little sizing pad and according to that, my saddle is the right width. I know that this will take time to get used to and some soreness is expected, but I think I am experiencing a little too much soreness. My saddle is the stock saddle that came on my Trek Pilot 5.2 which is a Bontrager Race Light. I do wear good quality bib shorts with excellent padding.

Is it normal to experience pain and should I expect it to continue for a while until my body adjusts to it? Or, should I be looking at a new saddle? On another note, I don't have any issues with numbness down there unless I'm on the trainer and I don't stand enough. This is really an issue with very sore sit bones. The saddle is a bit cushy, and I almost feel like a firmer saddle would offer more support. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 02-26-09, 10:58 AM   #2
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Some degree of soreness, right up to "I can't sit down!", is goign to happen until you get conditioned to it. A new guitar player's fingertips are going to hurt, so will a new bicylist's butt.

Oddly enough, one solution is to ride faster. That puts more weight on the pedals, which means less on your butt. Then your quads hurt instead. ;-)
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Old 02-26-09, 11:22 AM   #3
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http://www.mcmwin.com/saddle%20shop%20new.htm

Get the first one on the list, the Second Skin Titanico with the Clydesdale option.
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Old 02-26-09, 11:28 AM   #4
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Too much padding in the saddle or the shorts can also make your butt sore, especially on longer rides. If you notice pressure in your "taint" area during a ride, then you've probably got too mich padding.

I've learned that the saddle shape can also make a big difference. If you look at a saddle from a profile view, many saddles are perfectly flat, while others have a dip in the middle. Personally I prefer saddles with a pronounced dip, but everbody's different.

You may have to play around with different saddles until you find a shape that works for you.
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Old 02-26-09, 03:05 PM   #5
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Consider the Fizik Aliante. I just put one on my '06 Madone 5.2SL. It replaced a Fizik Arione which replaced the taint-scalding stock Bontrager Race Lite. I got 8000 miles out of the Arione, but of late I was getting more numbness, so I'm trying the Aliante.

You are onto something with the softest not nec'ly being comfy. It's a matter of getting your junk in the right hammock. I guess I prefer the waveform shape to the flat, which is why I am liking the Aliante better than the Arione. Others have the exact opposite reaction.

From what I have learned from talking to people and my own experience, if the front of the crotch is feeing more pain, go Aliante. If the pain is further back, try Arione. Take that for what its worth, which is just some guy's opinion.
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Old 02-26-09, 03:45 PM   #6
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I'd reccomend trying a Brooks saddle. They conform to you, once they do, then its the perfect shape.
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Old 02-26-09, 04:08 PM   #7
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Bontrager saddles are famous a** hatchets. They know you'll get rid of it, 'cause every butt is different, so they don't spend any money on it. Terry Fly or Specialized Avatar work well. Brooks and the Brooks-with-slot work perfectly for some, but not for all. You've already been measured, so you know which width of Specialized is right for you.

Yes, a firmer saddle is the answer.
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Old 02-26-09, 06:08 PM   #8
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I know people that like them, but I also hate Bontrager saddles. I prefer the Terry Fly and Liberator, Specialized Alias or better. I also rented a bike with a damn expensive Fizik saddle that was very nice for a 3-day touring trip.

I can also stomach the racing Brooks saddles, but find the ones above more comfortable AND CHEAPER to boot.

I suspect that your saddle is too wide and/or too padded away from where your sit-bones connect (tends to squish butt-thigh tissue to the center, or chafe). Even if they are the correct width, Gel saddles always hurt my back-side. I prefer firmer saddles that are very narrow towards the front. I also prefer my saddle tilted very slightly down to the front. You will have to play with that, to dial it in for you. Small adjustments can make a BIG difference.

See if your LBS will let you try-out some old stock saddles that they have laying around, with the understanding that you are going to buy a new one of that model when you find the right one. Most bike stores have old saddles that people switch-out for a preferred one when they buy a new bike. The bike store may sell you the one that you tested for less money, after you try a few as well. A loyal customer is worth doing little things like that for.


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Old 02-26-09, 07:54 PM   #9
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Thanks for the responses so far. One of the reasons I think the cushy saddle is not working is that with my weight still being a bit high, I am acutally causing the saddle to curve a little downwards on the sides, thereby losing support. Bontrager does make some nicer higher end firmer saddles. They also have a 90 day fit guarantee, so I might try something in their line first. Worst case scenario, I can return it and try something else. The Fizik's sound pretty good as well as the Brooks.
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Old 02-27-09, 12:34 AM   #10
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I had that saddle on my Madone 5.5. It lasted one ride. I have had great success with my Toupe (non-gel) saddle.
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Old 02-27-09, 07:38 AM   #11
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I recently went back to my old Flite seat. Hard as a rock and after a couple of rides, no pain.

What are you wearing when riding? You are not riding enough yet to justify spending tons of $$$ on shorts (can if you want). Non-cycling clothes can create, or worsen, a sore situation. Especially until your backside gets used to things.
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Old 02-27-09, 08:55 AM   #12
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I recently went back to my old Flite seat. Hard as a rock and after a couple of rides, no pain.

What are you wearing when riding? You are not riding enough yet to justify spending tons of $$$ on shorts (can if you want). Non-cycling clothes can create, or worsen, a sore situation. Especially until your backside gets used to things.
Wearing Pearl Izumi Bib Shorts. I'm sure the shorts aren't the problem. I'm heading to the LBS this afternoon to check out some saddles. Hopefully I'll have this problem solved by the weekend.
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Old 02-27-09, 11:22 AM   #13
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Update: I still like the Aliante, but be careful with Fizik's oversized carbon rails on a side-clamping Bontrager seatpost. (I have the Race X Lite on mine.) The rails never look or feel secure, and the seat will tilt a few degrees when you shift from front to rear. I've read to wrench it down mightily, but common sense says that overtorquing is a real bad idea on anything carbon. Especially on something taking as much weight as the seat. I mean, I like carbon and all, I just don't want it ending up my *****.

I'm returning to switch to the cheaper Kium (Ti alloy) rails.
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Old 02-27-09, 03:36 PM   #14
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Look no further than the Selle- Anatomica mentioned in a post above. I just rode in the Sebring 12 hour ride and had absolutely no butt problems. It's a little expensive but worth every penny.
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Old 02-28-09, 01:24 PM   #15
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I had a well-padded Specialized Velo, which was the OE barcalounger w/cutout on one bike. Getting back into riding last summer it only uncomfortable for a few days, commuting in street clothes. After a couple of months though, it was like riding a balloon - too much padding. I switched to a Specialized Tri-comp, which has a little more padding than a race saddle and works well in street clothes for an hour of riding tops. But that's more than I do on that bike anyway.
On my road bike I have a Forte SLK, which so far works great, up to a couple of hours in padded shorts. As the weather gets nicer, I'll have to see if its still good for longer distances, or if it "breaks in" well. There's too many variables to know in advance, but I'd always replace a saddle that was uncomfortable before things got very bad at all.
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Old 02-28-09, 05:46 PM   #16
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some saddles just dont work for some people. Try some others although you will need to get used to any new saddle after not being on the bike for awhile. Some soreness is normal. Pain and numbness is not.
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Old 02-28-09, 06:09 PM   #17
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Consider the Fizik Aliante.
+1 on Fizik Aliante worth the money, at any price.

I have 9000 miles on mine and it looks brand new.

I ride at a weight that fluctates between 185 and 200 lbs. I have done 12 centuries on this saddle and It is super comfortable. Get one and you will not regret it.
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Old 02-28-09, 08:00 PM   #18
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Thanks for the responses so far. One of the reasons I think the cushy saddle is not working is that with my weight still being a bit high, I am acutally causing the saddle to curve a little downwards on the sides, thereby losing support. Bontrager does make some nicer higher end firmer saddles. They also have a 90 day fit guarantee, so I might try something in their line first. Worst case scenario, I can return it and try something else. The Fizik's sound pretty good as well as the Brooks.
No your SMALL compared tomost of us guys on the clyde forum !! You have just not found a saddle YOU like yet . I started out on a really padded saddle and stil like the ones I have and I ride 30 to 50 miles everyday weather here in Michigan permitting . BUT your BUTT is going to experiance pain until you get it broke in and until YOU find a saddle YOU feel comfortable on . I started at 6ft tall and 371 lbs now down a 115 lbs so far since last fathers day !!! The saddles at my gym on there bikes are killing me right now but a man has to do what a man has to do .One more thing if your saddle now is curving under that lite a weight its junk toss it asap.... Good luck and keep peddling it only gets better
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Old 03-01-09, 06:51 PM   #19
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Arse-friendly cycling

G'day! It's a real pain in the arse trying to find a painless solution! Try a gel seat. My local bicycle shop person said it can take a few months for your arse to get used to a new seat, but it can be technique and the way you sit as well. Try to sit slightly further up and shift your bum slightly while cycling - changing your seating position occasionally can help to take pressure off sore bits - also, try to stand up on your pedals from time to time to release pressure. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-09, 12:45 PM   #20
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How does the cutout in the saddle work with pads in the shorts? does not as much pressure get put on the padding in the perioneal area with a cutout?
thanks
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Old 03-19-09, 06:16 PM   #21
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So I went with the new Bontrager Inform RL saddle in Black. Really nice saddle. The jury is still out, but so far I like it a lot better. I've only had it a couple of days and I have a 25 mile ride planned tomorrow. This is a new line for Bontrager and they have a 90 day fit guarantee. I can return it or exchange it for up to 90 days. Kind of a no brainer to at least try one out.
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Old 03-20-09, 10:47 PM   #22
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I switched from an Avatar 143 to an inForm RL 150 and it was awesome -- the squishy pad said a 143 was right for me but my butt disagreed. And the white saddle looks awesome on my white/red bike, too.

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Old 03-21-09, 11:50 PM   #23
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Similar Problem

I put in about 1K on an Arione and ended up with a Toupe 143. It has been on the bike for just over 1K miles. I was right around 220 and now down to just about 200. Put in about 200 miles in Jan w/o pain but due to circumstances, I've not logged this many miles and any ride over 3hrs is just plain killing me.

Has anyone had a similar experience when their bibs are a bit looser and you get more friction down there. The junk is a-ok, it is just the sit bones that are way sore. I am mainly riding with Voler bibs but I've the same experience with a pair of Capoformas as well.
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Old 03-22-09, 09:23 PM   #24
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Quick update, I did 40 miles on the new saddle today. I was sore, but nothing like the saddle before. Keep in mind that I'm only about 5 weeks back on the bike after being off for about 15 years. In other words, I think my level of soreness was normal today considering my time on the bike. I've got a 50 miler next Sunday at the local MS150. Should be fun!
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Old 03-28-09, 07:43 AM   #25
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I wonder if you pain is really in your sit bones? My pain was always in the perineal area which is the space between the junk and the anus.That is where a lot of my weight is placed and the rubbing occurs. I went through five different saddles until I finally bought a Brooks B17 and it was like heaven on the first ride and I continue to use it on my Madone. Buy it from Wallingford bike. They give a six month trial and full refund if dissatisfied - can't loose.

The Brooks works so well because it is like a hammock. Leather is stretched from the nose to the rear so there is some give where the perineal tissue is located. Some people need time for the saddle to adjust to their bod, but I had no breakin problems.

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