Old 01-25-14, 04:58 AM
Lover of Old Chrome Moly
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Location: NW Minnesota
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My wife prefers the Terry bike shorts, but you'll find that personal preferences in saddles and shorts vary widely among individuals. I'm with your LBS in that you should stick with the stock saddle for a while. Too many people get sore in the early days and immediately buy a big cushy saddle thinking that will solve the problem. It doesn't and can actually make things worse. The same goes for the excessively padded shorts. Your chamois (natural or synthetic pad) should be fairly thin >8mm at the sit bones with 4 to 6mm being just fine. Remember the purpose of bike shorts is to wick moisture and prevent friction, not provide padding. If it feels like you are wearing a diaper, you have too much padding. Adding padding either on the saddle or in the shorts just decreases the amount of space available and moves the pressure off of your sit bones onto the soft tissues of your perineum and inner thighs.

Like any other new exercise, cycling will cause some aches and pains for a while. Take notes of where any pains are when you ride (or after) and take them to the bike fitting. Get your bike well fit to you with good positioning and proper weight distribution and then ride for a few weeks. If the pain persists or you start developing any saddle sores or sharp joint pain, get refit. You might need to change stem length/angle/height or make other tweeks. Realize that as you get more fit and flexible, you may have to make more tweeks to positioning.

A common early mistake is to have the saddle too low and the bars too high. This mimics the position of a beach cruiser but is inappropriate on a road bike and can cause pain to your backside and personals as well as your knees.

I suggest not changing the saddle until you are sure you have the bike well fitted and have ridden for a while to toughen the backside a bit. I think that a lot of people who have trouble finding the "right" saddle when they first start mistake a lack of conditioning for having the "wrong" saddle. My Plan B bike has a Bontrager SSR (the least expensive entry level saddle that comes on many Trek bikes) that I bought for $9 out of a bargain bin. It is not as comfortable as my Specialized Avatar or Toupe on my other two bikes, but it isn't like riding a barbed wire covered 2x4 either. I had that same saddle on my first road bike and rode it many recreational miles, 20-30 miles on many group rides and on my first century without too much discomfort and no saddle sores. Honestly, most of the stock saddles on LBS bikes are not half bad these days. You will likely upgrade at some point, but don't be in a rush.

When I first got back into cycling in the early spring four years ago (the first serious cycling of my life and the first time on a bike in more than 20 years) I started with an 1990s mountain bike and rode about five miles through flat, quiet, residential streets. I got home and could barely get off the bike, walked into the house with shaking legs and flopped on the couch where I moaned until I fell asleep. The next day I walked like an extra from Planet of the Apes. Don't get discouraged by your first few outings, things will get better soon if you stick with it. My second year I rode a flatbar touring bike and the third, a well used 1990s Trek 1400. Last year I got my first modern road bike and am loving it. I'm still not a fast rider but I can hang with the pack on most B-rides and have ridden quite a few organized and charity rides from 45-100 miles in length. I still get sore sometimes, but a good sore that goes away with a shower and a night's sleep.

Congratulations on your new bike and welcome to the forum.

Last edited by Myosmith; 01-25-14 at 06:08 AM.
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