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Saddle Sore

Old 09-11-19, 08:19 PM
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jrhoneOC
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Saddle Sore

OK...new bike. First bike in 25 years. 5 rides in 7 days. Saddle sore. Today was pretty bad. Any ides on what to do about it? Padded shorts? Padded base? Padded seat?
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Old 09-12-19, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
OK...new bike. First bike in 25 years. 5 rides in 7 days. Saddle sore. Today was pretty bad. Any ides on what to do about it? Padded shorts? Padded base? Padded seat?
How many miles are you riding per ride and what type of terrain are you riding on??
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Old 09-12-19, 07:17 AM
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Saddles are a personal thing. The bicycle rider's dilemma, finding a comfortable saddle. Before you write off your current saddle I would spend a little more time with it. We could go into all the variables, but, your complaint is one that most new riders voice. If after a handful of 25 miles rides and it has been correctly adjusted... then you should start looking for a new saddle and our suggestions can address your specific complaint. But remember, what's good for me, is not necessarily going to be good for you or anyone else.

Take a couple of days off the bike and let your butt heal a little.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:07 AM
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Not clear if you mean you're just tender, which would be normal for someone who starts riding frequently after a long lay-off, or whether you actually have saddle sores.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:27 AM
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Riding about 10 miles per ride. Started at 5 now up to 10. Is just soreness not actual sores. Seems to be more on paved roads than trails. My guess is trails i am up and down more where pavement is constant sit and pedal. Going on another ride today. Lets see how things are.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:47 PM
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Rode again today. MUCH better result. It was over 10 miles again on mixed terrain, 65% paved and 35% trail. I got a little soreness at mile 9. I think I was sitting too far forward on the seat and putting pressure on the wrong areas. Sitting back a little farther helped. I also was wearing different clothes. Up to now I have been riding in fairly thick cargo shorts, EXCEPT the day I got really sore and had pain to the extent I thought I was going to have to call th wife to come get me about half way through the 10 mile ride. That day I had on thin sweats and the terrain was ALL paved. I think the thin sweats didnt agree with my body and when I went back to the thicker shorts I did much better. I will look into padded shorts or those padded underwear. In the meantime it could also be my body getting used to it. Thats like ride 7 in 10 days.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:10 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
In the meantime it could also be my body getting used to it. Thats like ride 7 in 10 days.
That's my guess right there. More saddle time is key to getting used to being in the saddle!
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Old 09-13-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
OK...new bike. First bike in 25 years. 5 rides in 7 days. Saddle sore. Today was pretty bad. Any ides on what to do about it? Padded shorts? Padded base? Padded seat?
1. Get some cycling shorts that are padded. I like the gel based pads as they offer "me" a bit more cushion.

2. Saddles that come with a new bike are a bit like wheel sets. Manufacturer's tend to skimp on the quality of the wheel set and the saddle in my opinion. Look into a new saddle. Again, mine has some padding in it which helps a great deal. The one word of caution here is that saddles are very personal items and usually what works for 1 rider does not work for another. Also, you don't have to spend gobs of money on a saddle either. My cost a whopping 40 dollars and I've put about 10k miles on it with no real issues. My riding friend spent over 200 on his saddle and it works for him so there is a great deal of leeway in saddle selection.

3. Bike fit. Cannot stress this enough. You need a decent bike fit. It is well worth the money. At this point you do not know if it is your saddle, you lack of riding over the years or incorrect positioning on the bike. So, you have 3 variables. You have to work thru all 3 to probably get comfortable.

As some others have stated, it takes several weeks of riding to get comfortable on a saddle even if you have ridden a bunch. So, after a couple of weeks, if you are still hurting, you need to change the stock saddle and or get a bike fit. A millimeter or two here and there can mean pain or pleasure.

Don't feel bad. We've all had to deal with these issues at some point. Main thing is to keep going. You are going to have some aches and pains there and there but you should not be in a world of hurt when riding. If that were the norm, I doubt many of us would continue to ride. Just remember, it does get better.

john
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Old 09-13-19, 04:16 PM
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Thanks!!


1. Ordered some padded shorts...check

2. I stressed fit on the bike and they set it up...I will take it back for another fitting just to make sure.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:06 PM
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Might need a different saddle. oz cycle on Youtube has a excellent video on saddle fit, 'Find your ideal bicycle saddle - Part 2' is about measuring your sit bones.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:07 PM
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The sit bone width is important and needs to be matched to the seat. This measurement must be based on actual bone width from side to side, not the exterior measurements of your posterior.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:40 PM
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1) Bike fit = make sure bike is the right size and adjusted correctly for you. A good LBS should offer a basic fitting as part of their sales package.
2) Quality bike shorts = good quality that fit correctly. The chamois (padding) should be minimal. It shouldn't feel like you are wearing a diaper. More padding is not better, quality design and materials are. Good shorts also control moisture that can contribute to chaffing.
3) Padded saddle or saddle pad = No. Cushy saddles, just like cushy chamois, are not the answer. Either or both can actually make the situation worse by shifting pressure from the sit bones (ischial tuberosities) to the surrounding soft tissue.
4) Chamois creme = Maybe, in moderation. A thin application to friction areas should be all that is needed. If you have to slather it on, you are trying to mask another problem.
5) Time in the saddle = Yes. If the bike fits and you have quality shorts, liners or bibs, you need to give yourself a chance to toughen up a bit. Watch for actual skin breakdown and give yourself some time to recover between rides.
6) Cleanliness = Keeping yourself clean and dry and washing your riding shorts regularly can help prevent chaffing or skin infections.

Don't start swapping saddles until you have put in a few weeks of regular riding. I've been riding for years and three years ago spent three months off the bikes due to a foot injury. When I returned to riding, I found myself mildly sore after only 20-30 miles when I had been doing 50-100 miles comfortably the previous season.
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Old 09-14-19, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
3) Padded saddle or saddle pad = No. Cushy saddles, just like cushy chamois, are not the answer. Either or both can actually make the situation worse by shifting pressure from the sit bones (ischial tuberosities) to the surrounding soft tissue.
That.
I never realized the science behind it until I started watching videos, reading articles. Ended up going back to a narrower saddle I had ridden for years and changed just for looks and something new.
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Old 09-15-19, 02:57 PM
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Update...ordered some padded underwear from Amazon...did a 10 mile ride this morning and this was much better...still had a touch of soreness after mile 8, but nowhere near the discomfort I had before. These are the ones I ordered.

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Old 09-15-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
Update...ordered some padded underwear from Amazon...did a 10 mile ride this morning and this was much better...still had a touch of soreness after mile 8, but nowhere near the discomfort I had before. These are the ones I ordered.

I've been thinking about getting a pair or two of something like those to wear under normal clothing.

Cheers
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Old 09-15-19, 04:11 PM
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jrhoneOC
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These so far seem pretty good. I usually wear cargo shorts to hold keys and phone pretty securely.
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Old 09-15-19, 08:14 PM
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In the past, I've had saddle issues that were caused in part by having the seat a bit too high which causes the hips to dip while pedaling and extra motion where the saddle meets the bum. It doesn't take much.
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Old 09-18-19, 09:47 AM
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This type of soreness is because your butt tissues are compressed and thus oxygen deprived. They'll get used to it. The usual prescription is to ride only 1/2 hour and try to do that every day. If soreness becomes a problem, give it a rest day or two, but keep at it. It'll probably take a month before you can ride much distance without soreness afterwards. I'm not sure how much padded shorts help with this as they increase the area affected. Same with padded saddles - they make it worse if one sinks in at all. Stiff padding that doesn't feel like it compresses is good. I've been off the bike for 2 months, doing other things, and I'm going through that now. I'm going to run today, ride again tomorrow.
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Old 09-19-19, 05:44 PM
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So many things contribute to "saddle soreness". I think many of these issues have been discussed but the nice thing about these forums is that they can be discussed ad nauseum ��. I firmly believe that cycling shorts are key! While some have mentioned cycling "underwear" it's important to realize that when worn under "regular" clothing e.g. cargo shorts, there are seams that can accentuate "saddle soreness". Attire made specifically for cycling are made to have the seams in locations that minimize discomfort. A proper saddle is also important. Soft, cushy and wide saddles aren't always as comfy as many would like to think. Many saddles require a "break in period" to conform to the shape of the rider. I definitely agree with the statement that a saddle is a very personal part of your bike. My most comfortable saddles are made of leather and took a while to be broken in. I do have saddles made of synthetic materials and the reason that they are tolerable to ride on is the fact that I've developed a callus of sorts where my bottom meets the saddle. To be sure, some of my bikes are more comfortable to ride than others. Proper fit of the bicycle is also important. Proper fit allows for proper position which among other things, makes for a greater degree of comfort.
I will say though, even with a great pair of cycling shorts, a leather saddle and a properly sized and fit bike, the first month or so is not going to be without some level of tenderness ��. My cycling activity levels have waxed and waned over the years and I got back into it this past Spring. I will say that the first few weeks left my bottom more than a little bit tender��. Long rides still make for some discomfort but it's getting better��.
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Old 09-19-19, 05:50 PM
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Thanks guys for all the comments. I am definitely on the way to cycling bliss lol. 10 mile ride and no soreness. Just a touch uncomfortable after 10 miles. Nothing major at all and nothing that would keep me from going more if i wasnt finished with the ride. My conditioning and stamina are improving as well so im going to start to move to 15 miles or 10 miles and more climbs.
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Old 09-19-19, 06:54 PM
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jrhoneOC, another resource - Bag Balm, a petroleum based salve that's been around over a century and that cyclists have been using a long time. Yes, in general, if we need to use a chamois cream, that suggests something else isn't right, but if we have to ride and all isn't right, Bag Balm will both make that ride a lot more bearable and minimize further issues. The stuff works; really well. Plus it is cheap and readily available in any old-school pharmacy. ($8-10 for a can that will last you many rides.)

Bag Balm was formulated soon after the first mechanical dairy milkers. Those early milkers were very hard on the cows' teats. Bag Balm soothed them enough that the cows were willing to be milked. Didn't take long for the next generation, kinder milkers. Now farmers had all this stuff on hand. Their wives quickly discovered all kinds of uses for it. I learned about it 30 years GO from a tandem stoker.

Ben
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Old 09-26-19, 08:49 PM
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Just an update...Things are working well. Did a 2 hour ride today and NO soreness. I guess it was just a matter of toughening that area up, maybe some seat break in, and maybe some technique.
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Old 09-26-19, 09:34 PM
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Glad you’re getting comfortable! As your mileage and frequency progress, the opportunity to get “real” saddle sores may actually increase. I’ve ridden fairly consistently since 2001 with a few long periods off the bike. When I start up again, I often forget a few of my basic rules - one of which often brings up an infection based saddle sore. As long as I never wear a pair of cycling shorts more than once before washing I don’t get saddle sores. I’ve often worn a pair twice without a sore, so the relationship is not fixed, but every sore I’ve developed has come after wearing shorts twice. So my advice is get several pair of real thinly padded shorts and wash them after every ride! YMMV.

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