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Need advice on a Saddle

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Old 07-02-13, 08:45 AM
  #26  
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Yeah, that bike is way too small. Chasm54 is 100% on the mark with his analysis. I can see you aren't positioned on the saddle right even in the pic.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:54 AM
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my 2 cents: Brooks

I bounced from saddle to saddle but I believe I am here to stay. my butt is 54 if that matters
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Old 07-02-13, 09:56 AM
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This is the bike I purchased: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_3.htm I am 5'10" and got the 53.5cm seat tube which they recommend for people 5'10" to 6'. Hermes, you said my "stem looks too short" How do I extend it. You also said my "effective top tube is too short" I am not going to buy another bike so is there someway I can change the effective top tube, maybe by moving my seat back?
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Old 07-02-13, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by johnr9q View Post
This is the bike I purchased: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_3.htm I am 5'10" and got the 53.5cm seat tube which they recommend for people 5'10" to 6'. Hermes, you said my "stem looks too short" How do I extend it. You also said my "effective top tube is too short" I am not going to buy another bike so is there someway I can change the effective top tube, maybe by moving my seat back?
One of the problems with the "reading the size chart" approaches to purchasing a bike is that we're not all proportioned the same way. Some of us have longer of shorter legs, torso, or arms than the average person. As an example, my torso is relatively long for someone my size (this of course means my legs are a bit shorter than most people my height). That means that if I want my shirt tails to stay tucked in, I often have to buy a tall size in shirts. I'm 5'10" and comfortably ride bikes with between 55cm and a 57cm top tubes. I start to look like you do in your photos when I'm on a 54cm...too upright and too much of my weight on the saddle.

In any event, it looks like you have room to move your seat about a few mms or so. In terms of a longer stem, you should be able to simply purchase one at a bike shop. Show them what's on the bike now and get one 10mm longer. All of this will, however, have an impact on how the bike handles. You may find that it handles better, or maybe not. It shouldn't be such a difference that it causes safety issues.
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Old 07-02-13, 10:17 AM
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That is far too small ... besides it's the length of the top tube which is really critical in sizing a bike. Modern compact frame design means the old seat tube measurement is very unreliable.

Okay, lengthening your stem is going to affect steering/stability. Moving your seat back is going to affect your stance on the pedals and weight distribution on the bike. It's all connected.

Please, get advised, sized and fitted at your favorite lbs, not on the interwebs.
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Old 07-02-13, 10:34 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by johnr9q View Post
This is the bike I purchased: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_3.htm I am 5'10" and got the 53.5cm seat tube which they recommend for people 5'10" to 6'. Hermes, you said my "stem looks too short" How do I extend it. You also said my "effective top tube is too short" I am not going to buy another bike so is there someway I can change the effective top tube, maybe by moving my seat back?
John, You cannot change the effective top tube on a bike other than buying a different size frame. However, it is easy to change the stem. A longer stem will lower your position and stretch you out more on the bike. It will also facilitate climbing out of the saddle as you will be able to get your weight more forward and generate more power.

My goal is not to criticize your bike, position or choice of manufacture but help you achieve the goal of doing the Death Ride and enjoying the experience. With the time remaining, there is not much that can be done in a couple of weeks to fix your sore ass or bike fit issues. I would be concerned about making dramatic changes right before a 125 mile ride with gonzo climbing and descending. Remember, on a 125 mile ride you will make thousands of revelations with your legs and stress your back and knees. Too much change, if any, could hurt you. I recommend small incremental changes over weeks and months to allow the body to adapt. This is when we play the age card. It is harder for older riders to adapt but we can do it.

Your new saddle may help or not but I think the best approach for the DR is to try the new saddle and make very minor adjustments to see if you can reduce the sit bone pain. Also work on your standing so that you can stand on the climbs more. Finally, all five passes may not be in the cards this year. Do as many as you can and declare success. Even a couple of passes at the DR for a rookie is a fabulous result.
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Old 07-02-13, 10:39 AM
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I'm 63 and just finishing my first year of road cycling with about 3200m in so far between 3 different bikes. It's just now getting to the point where my sitbones are feeling broken in. My main ride now has a Selle Anatomica which has more than a 1000m. I do ride in a seat/bar level upright position and am just now considering lowering or flipping my stem to see if it makes a difference. I thought it wouldn't take this many miles to get my butt broken in. Sometimes I notice the discomfort I feel at times is in the muscles surrounding my sit bones and not the bones themselves, especially when climbing. I'm 5'11" , 142lb and have very little body padding down there. A metric century is my best so far and I could have done more and although my butt was uncomfortable so was the rest of my body. Four months seems to short to me to have a "final answer"
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Old 07-02-13, 10:51 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Well, in my opinion, that bike is too small for you, you are sitting in too upright a position and as a result you are very likely putting too much weight on the saddle, as opposed to the pedals. A bigger frame would allow you to stretch out more and redistribute your weight on the bike, allowing you to rotate your hips forward and take some of the weight off your sitbones.
Got to Agree with Too Small.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:36 AM
  #34  
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The death ride is in 11 days.

We already know John is very tough, based on his progress so far (e.g. centuries and 75 mile rides with 4K of climbing after only four months of biking). He wants to go for it, so he needs solutions that don't involve buying a new bike or making other drastic changes.

Some say that my bike is too small for me, yet I was comfortable on a recent century.

So maybe some experimentation with stem length and seat position could get him death-ready, and then he can figure out what to do after that.

A few years ago I spent some time making small changes in positioning and it paid off. One thing to consider is an adjustable stem, which makes it easy to experiment.



And I'll repeat that very small changes in saddle tilt made a big difference for me. When I tilted it back a little bit, the pressure on the sit bones was decreased and the soft tissues took up the slack. That caused other issues, but the sit bones stopped complaining.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:43 AM
  #35  
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TromboneAl. The adjustable stem is a good idea but what is the starting length? I suggest 1 cm increments to adjust stem length. And that is because of the volume of his riding. If one scales back volume and intensity, then one could get a longer stem and slowly increase mileage. It is a bad idea to make a big change and keep volume and intensity the same. YMMV.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:03 PM
  #36  
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Its hard to give advice on saddles as what is comfortable for one is awful for another. Generally speaking if you develop pain on your sit bones after extended riding, your saddle is not providing enough support in that area. Padding does not help much here and sometimes makes things worse. The traditional adjustment of the indentions your sit bones makes is only a marginal indicator at best. Trial and error is the only way to get done right. I have been through this for over 30 years now and at age 53, I finally got it right but technology has helped me figure it out. I had to try countless saddles until I found what was comfortable for me. I found one that was very firm but had more support for the sit bones (wider) than the spacing of my sit bones. A short nose on the saddle also helped in the soft tissue areas. This saddle was the Carbon Comfort Storm Quest Tactical saddle that police patrol use. It is made by RideOut Technologies and was the answer for me. Not saying it will be right for everyone but take a look here:http://rideouttech.com/
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Old 07-02-13, 12:46 PM
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OP lists ownership of a Sette mountain bike and sez he's got into road biking four months ago. Many responses comment about him just having cycled for four months, but fearlessly go on to offer advice. Just sayin'.

Saddles have been the #1 swapped out component since the 1890s. It's a personal, individual thing.

Here's the late cycling legend Dan Henry and his sling seat.

36 posts and nobody has recommended this?
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Old 07-02-13, 12:51 PM
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No Sit Bone pain with this one.



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Old 07-02-13, 06:08 PM
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I'm glad others posted that they thought it was too small. I thought I might be imagining it being too small.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:04 PM
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Thanks again everyone. As I said in my previous post, I will go out tomorrow and ride a bunch of miles to see how the new seat works before I make any adjustments to the seat or handle bars. Someone suggested standing part of the time when I am going up hill. I do try this but it doesn't feel very comfortable after a short distance. Maybe I should do it more and just get used to that discomfort cause the butt discomfort is much worse than the standing discomfort. I'll let you know how the ride works out tomorrow.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:42 PM
  #41  
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A lot of good advice in this thread. I'm with the "too small" camp also. I think your butt is supporting too great of a percentage of your weight. Switching out a stem is very easy, might give you the reach you need. Standing on climbs is a good thing. Building the strength to climb out of the saddle takes time.

Good luck to you and congrats on your progress. Seems you should have your equipment adjusted optimally for that particular ride. No need to be a hero at this time. Of course, and as always, see my sig below..
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Old 07-03-13, 03:07 AM
  #42  
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You can stand on flats as well to give the butt some relief. You may find this easier than standing on a hill.
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Old 07-03-13, 02:39 PM
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I just completed riding 100.08 miles on flat ground and the saddle worked well. Not perfect but better than the two previous ones. I will check out getting a longer stem. Could I get the same effect by moving the seat back? As far as standing, what is the proper technique? Do you go into a higher gear cause that's what I need to do. It was hot out there and I'm pooped.
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Old 07-03-13, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by johnr9q View Post
I just completed riding 100.08 miles on flat ground and the saddle worked well. Not perfect but better than the two previous ones. I will check out getting a longer stem. Could I get the same effect by moving the seat back? As far as standing, what is the proper technique? Do you go into a higher gear cause that's what I need to do. It was hot out there and I'm pooped.
I pedal in a higher gear when standing. Gives my legs a good stretch as well as my back.

Standing allows the blood to flow and some air cooling to your rear-end.
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Old 07-03-13, 02:56 PM
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Remember to lube your backside and groin area! The bike looks small, but I think it is fine for the fit he has, which is an upright position. The rider may find that more agreeable to his neck and back.
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Old 07-04-13, 07:47 AM
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Is there something special I should use to "lube your backside and groin area!" or is Vaseline fine?
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Old 07-04-13, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by johnr9q View Post
Is there something special I should use to "lube your backside and groin area!" or is Vaseline fine?
I use this...$1.00 a tube.

http://www.dollartree.com/Creamy-Pet...6281/index.pro
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Old 07-04-13, 04:38 PM
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I use Bag Balm.
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Old 07-04-13, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by johnr9q View Post
Johnr9q here again. Thanks all for your good advice. I went to REI yesterday and asked the salesperson to recommend a saddle cause mine wasn't working. After he gave me all the standard advice I said, "what I want in a saddle is just the opposite of the advice you just gave" So we selected the Serfas, EG-800 Cruiser E-Gel 216mm width. Tomorrow I will go out on the American River Bike trail and go 80 miles or so and see how it feels and let you know. The salesperson at REI said some people (like himself) just can't go over 70 miles or so because their backsides get so sore. If this is the case for me, I guess I will just have to give up the idea of finishing the Death Ride. You all have given me much advice on seat adjustment but the problem is, my saddle is fine for the first 50 miles and once it gets sore, I doubt that any amount of adjustment would help. So, my point is, only 12 days left till the Death Ride, it is going to be difficult to use all the ranges of possible adjustments to find a solution, I would need to adjust before each practice ride and I only have about 4 rides left before the Death Ride. I will, however, do all the adjusting possible if this new Serfas Saddle doesn't work tomorrow, I'll try one of the ones recommended by you people. As someone suggested, I uploaded a couple of pictures of my normal riding position. Thanks again for all your help. John R



I think it's very important to make adjustments before major discomfort sets in. The inevitable result of small discomfort is more discomfort due to bruising, abrasion, chafing or worse. Any of these skin injuries takes significant time to heal. You don't know if an adjustment you make after injury occurs still hurts because it was a poor adjustment or because it is injured. It takes a few days to heal any small injury, so if you make an adjustment that reduces pain before injury occurs, you save that time.
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Old 07-05-13, 08:08 AM
  #50  
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John,

My first comment - are you nuts! That is one hell of a ride profile!!
I have done some climb races and the hardest one I have done is about equivalent to 1 of the big climbs in this ride and you have 4 1/2 of them to do. Have you done a 3500' 8+% continuous grade climb at 8000' elevation before (let alone 4)?

From the pick, your bike is too small and is pushing you into the seat.
If you move the seat back your bike will get jumpy on the 10% grades and may be a bit unstable on a fast descent. If you increase the stem the steering may get a little wobbly on a slow hard climb. It is getting late to make any serious changes, you will really need to know how the bike handles on those descents.

Good luck on this ride, my hat (and heart) go out to you, it will be a hell of an effort. Although the picture is blurry it looks like you have a standard triple crank and maybe a 28 granny in the back. You will likely use all of it. My one recommendation would be: if you have been using an HRM for training, use it for this ride, your biggest danger will be not pacing yourself on the climbs early because on climbs like these, once your heart rate gets away from you it is almost impossible to bring it back because there is no ability to rest on a relentless grade (unless you get off the bike). I have seen many a rider cook themselves early on this kind of climb. These climbs will likely be a 1 to 2 hour continuous effort each.
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