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Saddle pains and bike shorts

Old 08-24-15, 09:01 AM
  #1  
bliksem
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Saddle pains and bike shorts

I don't know if this is a 50s thing, but I'm battling with saddle sores and generally a pain in the ass on longer rides (50 miles+).
I'm aiming for a century at the end of November but this is tripping me up. I think the hot Florida summer weather is a factor too.
Shorter rides are fine. I've bought new shorts and tried different brands and models, I've settled on the Specialized RBX Pro short which seems to give me comfort without feeling like a wet diaper. I'm working my way through the Specialized saddles but I just haven't found the right one yet. I'm starting to look at the Selle saddles, just suffering from sticker shock.
25 years ago I was an active triathlete, I wore basic tri shorts or just swim shorts and a stock saddle and it never bothered me. I could tap out 100 miles and repeat it the next day. Now on Sundays I lay up on the softest couch after a long ride on Saturday.
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Old 08-24-15, 09:19 AM
  #2  
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None of us are getting any younger and we don't bounce back like we did when we were 18.... Consider it a tradeoff for all the knowledge and perspective you've gained!
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Old 08-24-15, 09:30 AM
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Saddles are a very personal thing and one man's pleasure may be another's pain. I struggled with saddles too and found that a little knowledge went a long way. Simply reading saddle reviews on websites wasn't very enlightening since every saddle out there seems to have a fan club. Even if you don't like the Selle SMP range of saddles, the information presented by Steve Hogg on your anatomy and skeletal system as it relates to saddles is invaluable. Try this site: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ll-about-smps/

Now that I've settled on a particular saddle, my butt has not felt so good since I was a baby and it would get cleaned, powdered and hand spanked by a bevy of beautiful baby sitters.
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Old 08-24-15, 09:35 AM
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Saddle pains???? What are saddle pains asked the recumbent rider?
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Old 08-24-15, 09:48 AM
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Sella AnAtomica - a hunnert bucks in a month or two..... even in colors.
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Old 08-24-15, 10:00 AM
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The Sella Anatomica might work for you as long as you don't ride in an aggressive position. The nose of the saddle has to be titled up which is not comfortable for sliding forward and hammering in the drops. But for a more relaxed position it could be very comfortable. I assume you are using some cream in your shorts and on you. I like Utter Balm. It is cheap and a bit thick and tacky. I buy it at Tractor Supply. Seems to be working fine. BTW a true saddle sore is a bacteria infection and you will heal much faster if you get meds from a doctor. If the sore is swollen the doc may lance it. And I agree with the advice above, if you keep getting them-get a recumbent!
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Old 08-24-15, 10:40 AM
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Are you using any cream?
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Old 08-24-15, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Saddle pains???? What are saddle pains asked the recumbent rider?
Yep, I like reading threads about saddle problems. Saddles are inherently comfortable -- as long as the fit and adjustment are perfect and you've had several professional fittings. Otherwise, pain represents a personal failing (HTFU.)
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Old 08-24-15, 11:41 AM
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I resolved saddle sores by keeping the skin down there as clean as possible ..

its the surface bacteria infecting the follicle-pores that causes the inflammation ..


BTW Selle saddles is redundant.. they both mean 'saddle' in Italian and English
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Old 08-24-15, 11:55 AM
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I hear ya about a recumbent, I rode them way back in the mid 80s when I was an engineering student. We did a 2700km road tour in 9 days on a recumbant. I may have some photos somewhere that I can post. These were 4 wheeled recumbents, more like a pedal car, but high tech for their time, cromoly steel etc. An engineering doctorate designed the vehicle to achieve maximum efficiency in terms of wind resistance and pedal power. Those were the care free days,
nowadays I'm more concerned about becoming road kill.
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Old 08-24-15, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the Steve Hogg link, I'll digest that over a glass of wine.
I've learned more about my anatomy in the past few weeks than I care to know. I'm trying A&D cream in the problem areas. The better fit shorts seem to help, my biggest problem was chafing, and heat+sweat+chafing = infection.
Now I'm seeking comfort, trying to overcome that ungodly pain in strange places. I'm more of an aggressive/competitive rider and that determines what saddles I need to look at.
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Old 08-24-15, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bliksem View Post
. I'm working my way through the Specialized saddles but I just haven't found the right one yet.
Not much point in giving people advice about saddles, it's a trial and error thing. But fwiw, I can't use Specialized saddles, I've tried three different models and none worked - the toupe cut me to ribbons. But Fizik saddles work fine for me, the Aliante being exceptionally comfortable. So it seems that there may be Specialized backsides and Fizik backsides, and mine is the latter. You may be similar, who knows? Just a thought.
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Old 08-24-15, 12:34 PM
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For another view on saddles, see http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...-saddles-.html.
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Old 08-24-15, 12:36 PM
  #14  
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Check your local shops for loaner saddles. Try them til you find one that works. It's not always about money but, fit. Fizik also has a new series of saddle "Kurve" with different shape/sizes. Haven't tried them yet but, look interesting
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Old 08-24-15, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bliksem View Post
Thanks for the Steve Hogg link, I'll digest that over a glass of wine.
I've learned more about my anatomy in the past few weeks than I care to know. I'm trying A&D cream in the problem areas. The better fit shorts seem to help, my biggest problem was chafing, and heat+sweat+chafing = infection.
Now I'm seeking comfort, trying to overcome that ungodly pain in strange places. I'm more of an aggressive/competitive rider and that determines what saddles I need to look at.
Once you find a saddle that fits a little better, in all seriousness, use chamois cream.... Assos, etc... It helps a lot. Can't imagine riding without it.

8 Great Chamois Creams | Bicycling
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Old 08-24-15, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
Once you find a saddle that fits a little better, in all seriousness, use chamois cream.... Assos, etc... It helps a lot. Can't imagine riding without it.

8 Great Chamois Creams | Bicycling
Well, tastes differ, but I don't use it. I've tried it, but didn't find it made any difference. Of course, apart from my unfortunate flirtation with Specialized saddles, I've never had problems; even when I was averaging 20 hours a week on the bike. So while I'm sure it is helpful for some people, it certainly isn't necessary for everyone.
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Old 08-24-15, 05:04 PM
  #17  
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I am battling it as well. New Jamis touring bike with stock Jamis saddle. 20 mile round trip and the only pain was in the rear. The information on the Selle line was well worth the read. It's been a little over three years since I was last riding so I am going to give the stock Jamis saddle some more time. How much? Depends on the pain.

After reading the "All About SMP's" I wonder if a more nose down position instead of flat might help. Any thoughts on proper saddle angle for a more upright riding position?
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Old 08-24-15, 05:27 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by bliksem View Post
I don't know if this is a 50s thing, but I'm battling with saddle sores and generally a pain in the ass on longer rides (50 miles+).
I'm aiming for a century at the end of November but this is tripping me up. I think the hot Florida summer weather is a factor too.
Shorter rides are fine. I've bought new shorts and tried different brands and models, I've settled on the Specialized RBX Pro short which seems to give me comfort without feeling like a wet diaper. I'm working my way through the Specialized saddles but I just haven't found the right one yet. I'm starting to look at the Selle saddles, just suffering from sticker shock.
25 years ago I was an active triathlete, I wore basic tri shorts or just swim shorts and a stock saddle and it never bothered me. I could tap out 100 miles and repeat it the next day. Now on Sundays I lay up on the softest couch after a long ride on Saturday.
I'm 70 in west central Florida. My favorites are DeMarchi and Endure bibs. They also make shorts. Both of my bikes have Selle Anatomica saddles. Very comfy in the Florida heat.
I have the bib version of these shorts.
The Selle Anatomica saddle is awesome.
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Old 08-25-15, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fthomas View Post
I am battling it as well. New Jamis touring bike with stock Jamis saddle. 20 mile round trip and the only pain was in the rear. The information on the Selle line was well worth the read. It's been a little over three years since I was last riding so I am going to give the stock Jamis saddle some more time. How much? Depends on the pain.

After reading the "All About SMP's" I wonder if a more nose down position instead of flat might help. Any thoughts on proper saddle angle for a more upright riding position?
Personally I would not recommend a nose down saddle position. The tendency is for the rider to slide forward, which means the weight gets placed on the nose of the saddle instead of the wide part at the rear. As a result the soft tissue gets compressed instead of the sitbones taking the strain.

Counterintuitively, I have found that placing my saddles fractionally - only a millimetere or two - nose up is a more comfortable solution, because it counters this tendency to slide forward. And if your riding position is fairly upright, as you say, this might work well for you.

Having said all that, don't give a saddle that hurts you too much time. A few weeks of regular riding should sort out the "sitbone ache" that is typical for new riders. If the pain persists, or if it's hurting you somewhere other than over your sitbones, then either the saddle is wrong for you or you need to adjust how you are fitted to the bike.
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Old 08-25-15, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fthomas View Post
I am battling it as well. New Jamis touring bike with stock Jamis saddle. 20 mile round trip and the only pain was in the rear. The information on the Selle line was well worth the read. It's been a little over three years since I was last riding so I am going to give the stock Jamis saddle some more time. How much? Depends on the pain.

After reading the "All About SMP's" I wonder if a more nose down position instead of flat might help. Any thoughts on proper saddle angle for a more upright riding position?
Just went through this with a new bike. Stock saddle just didn't work. Too wide, too short. Fortunately I know which saddles do, so it was switched out after one ride. And nose down, IMHO, no. Transfers too much weight to the hands/arms/shoulders... Bad for comfort, bad for bike handling.
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Old 08-25-15, 11:45 AM
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I don't generally suffer with saddle sores but in the last week or so a sore spot has appeared. This was due to poorly assembled new liner shorts that did not fit well. They felt odd when first trying them on but I did use them for several rides around town. After several days I noticed the pad was very poorly placed. I got rid of them in the trash and am now on the mend. Sometimes the problem is the shorts that are supposed to help.
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Old 08-25-15, 05:20 PM
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Like one or two others, I just recently bought a new bike, and decided after around 100 miles or so the stock Fizik saddle had to go. Fortunately Performance Bike sells a house brand saddle that works really well for me, and despite my bike deserving a much more expensive saddle, my butt deserves comfort more.

As far as chamois cream, anti chafe cream, etc., if I'm going over 25 or 30 miles, I always use the stuff.
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Old 08-25-15, 08:36 PM
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Saddles, as noted prior, are a personal choice because everyone's junk is different. My personal experience reflects Chasm's. Chamois are in the same boat, there can be some trial and error in there.

And the best saddle can be horrible if it's not adjusted right. Tilt, fore/aft, height, all factor in.

But the one universal truth is:



Contains most of the same ingredients as the Asso cream at a fraction of the cost (Wal Mart carries it BTW). I'm the poster child for allergic reactions, had a lot of issues with different creams then found the Asso stuff. But when I realized I was trying to apply as little as possible because of the cost I started to search around and (sounds of angels singing) found this stuff.

Plus it smells like Spring Break.
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Old 09-19-15, 09:17 PM
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No pun intended, but my saddle has been a sore spot with me also. I fit nicely into some Canari gel shorts that have helped ease the pain, and are supportive to where the gel padding does not rub at all. (No chafing!) They did help, but they only put off the agony for 5-10 miles.


I had my stock seat on for a couple of weeks (Specialized Targa), then decided to give the Specialized Milano seat a try. It helped a little, but not $50 worth. I regret not taking it back. The dealer has said I need to get toughened up for it--I've had two months on it now, and I still feel like raw meat after a lengthy ride. (It's the only thing spoiling the rides.) They also said it's all in positioning, and I agree--I have tweaked it and given it the most minor of adjustments once I got it near level, and it makes no difference.


The pain is mostly the fatigue on the sit bones and such. I considered a seat with more padding, but realize that's not always a solution. That lengthy page on the SMP seats makes me want to try one of those out. I still have a bit of "heft" to my frame, so I need a seat that fits accordingly.


The Selle SMP Glider seems to be a good candidate--it's made for someone who's a bit larger, sitting in an upright position (which is my Crosstrail Disc).


The Selle Anatomica also looks promising, but I really don't like leather anything.
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Old 09-20-15, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Yep, I like reading threads about saddle problems. Saddles are inherently comfortable -- as long as the fit and adjustment are perfect and you've had several professional fittings. Otherwise, pain represents a personal failing (HTFU.)
"Saddles are inherently comfortable"----------yeah sure, and I believe in the easter bunny too! No matter the brand and how many "fittings" you have, when you concentrate the major amount of a persons weight on such a small area, comfort is not an operative word.
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