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Trying to get new bike adjusted

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Trying to get new bike adjusted

Old 07-03-19, 10:04 PM
  #1  
wttrjenkins
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Trying to get new bike adjusted

I bought a used trek domane al2 (only had 5 miles of use on it) and instantly the bontrager saddle that came with it hurt but I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt and try to get used to it. I put over 100 miles on it and was so incredibly sore that I gave up and put a cheap used seat on just a touch wider that I had. It was marginally better but I'd really like to figure out a decent saddle. I've been riding a lot this year and my other bike I had bought walmarts cheap "commuter" saddle and I was actually fairly comfortable on it compared to these more narrow saddles.

I might try throwing that wider saddle on for now and see how I fare. I tried to measure the other day on a piece of cardboard using chalk and could see a clear impression of my sitbones. I measured 120 mm to the center. I was wearing jean shorts though and I wonder if that threw off the measurement any. I might try again but does anyone know how to pick a saddle based on these measurements? I think I saw something like outside to outside and add 10 mm on each side? I think I will try to remeasure again soon also. I'm winging it on fitment but was hoping to check with some of you and see if you had some pointers. I know a proper fitment would make sense and I will when I can afford it. I'm 6' 2" and the bike is 60 cm Here's what I've done so far:

I have the seat height adjusted as high as possible before my leg is straight, with some bend left. Might need to go a little either way but its close.
I used a level to adjust the angle and its level.
I used a plumb bob off of my knee cap and have the seat slid back to get my knee cap even with the center of the pedal.

I haven't done anything with the stem, I do have some numbing in my hands but my elbows have room to have a little bend in them, not locked straight. I have been just constantly moving my hands around and stopping because of numbness and soreness from the seat. I don't know if my hand numbness is from the seat or if the reach is too far. I barely use the drops unless its really windy or I'm trying to climb a hill faster, etc. My hands go numb faster in the drops. Sorry for such a long post, hoping to go for a ride tomorrow.
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Old 07-04-19, 08:04 AM
  #2  
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It sounds like you've already done the generally accepted steps to get your saddle in the correct position. It's a good starting point, now you just need to start tweaking it. As long as your knees and legs aren't hurting from that position I would concentrate on finding a comfortable saddle. That is the nemesis of bicycling. With a 120mm sitbone width I would try something in the 140 range (give or take). But again, a saddle is a personal thing and finding the right one can take some time.
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Old 07-04-19, 10:05 AM
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If you haven't been riding bikes quite a bit for the past few months, it could be just newbie soreness. Remedy is to ride 30' every day for many days. The butt gradually adapts.

If that's not the case then it's that these saddles don't work for you. A good starting point is to go to your LBS and get your butt measured, then see if they'll let you trial saddles. Usually they want to to buy a saddle, but you can return it for another until you find one that works. If none of them work, you wind up with a saddle that's not quite right, but you're probably better off than you are now. At least you'll know the general appearance and feel of something that might work better.
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Old 07-04-19, 10:29 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the replies. I did end up switching to the wider saddle today, also lowered the seat slightly. I think I had it a bit too high. Went 26 miles and its much better. Not perfect but the original bontrager saddle was definitely way too narrow. I think I might need to raise the handlebar but going to try it for awhile. It already has a few small spacers under it and not sure if there is room to raise it more? I've been trying to keep weight off my hands but I think that will come with time, possibly because I'm a bit overweight. I used a backpack today as I was picking up some grocery stuff and was quite loaded down on the return trip. I noticed the offset weight made my hands a little better. Your right that I'm a bit of a newbie, a lot of the stuff I'm dealing with probably relates to that and I will just deal with it. I'm just tweaking this to make sure its as good as I can make it for now. If I am more comfortable I'd likely go for longer rides.

I roughly remeasured my sitbones today and came up with 120 mm again center to center and I think it was approx 160 mm outside to outside but can't remember completely off hand. I'm thinking of getting a brooks b-17 saddle or similar when I can afford just because I've read so much about them.
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Old 07-06-19, 05:43 PM
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I don't think there is much penalty for a saddle that is too wide by 10 or 15 mm. I like a wide saddle generally but it has to be narrow just ahead of the sitbones. Knee over the pedal spindale is a starting point. From there I would try sliding the saddle front and back 4-5 mm or so for a few rides at each setting. Mark the saddle rails with a felt tip marker to keep track of settings.
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Old 07-08-19, 03:12 PM
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I have always liked brooks saddles and the brooks pro is my favorite. they may be heavy and old school but when they break in they match your pelvis and fit great.

the very old school trick I would do in my teens (1970s) was to warm them in the oven at 175'F then put pure mink oil with no additives on all the surfaces, top and underside of the saddle. Wrap it with cheese cloth or cotton gauze bandage to make sure it would not loss it's shape let it cool and ride it for an hour or so. The mink oil helped waterproof the saddle as well as make the leather stretch easier in the areas needed. when the saddle feels like it more comfortable you can remove the cheese cloth and rub it down with a clean cloth. FYI wear crappy pants the first few rides because of the oil will stain.

Brooks used to make a women saddle that was wider but shorter in length. it too may be an option...

Last edited by michaeldb; 07-08-19 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:32 PM
  #7  
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I've been getting along a lot better here lately. Looking forward to a saddle upgrade down the road but it might be quite awhile as I've spent too much in the last month on cycling. Thanks for the tips on the brooks and the mink oil. I think I have a good idea of my saddle size now. Also I think some of my current discomfort might be from my clothing. I don't have any special cycling shorts, etc just athletic shorts which are kind thin / loose. I don't know anything about cycling specific shorts but I've heard they help. Not too excited to wear super tight clothing!
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Old 07-09-19, 11:00 AM
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A Trek Domane is a high performance bike. About as kindly as I can put it is that the o.p. uses an awful lot of "I thinks" and "might be's" and other imprecision to be the kind of cyclist that usually purchases a bike like this. There is tons of material online about bike fit. Is the "Competitive Cyclist" website and fit calculator still active anyone know? Bike fit isn't rocket science but a person can really do themselves lasting harm if they don't know what they are doing with fit. Make a minimum of three measurements of each parameter and average the results. If you are really green, have someone else make critical measurements while you sit or stand naturally. I would not be looking to 'upgrade' the stock saddle of a Domane! Change it maybe (or not) but 'upgrade' implies that the OEM is somehow ... inferior. Seriously?

FWIW the Bontrager Affinity is a nice saddle, if a cyclist cannot get on with it ... with all due respect, the problem isn't the saddle. If you get from that that I do NOT subscribe to the common wisdom that we are all unique and individual snowflakes and have to come to the perfect saddle by long (and possibly expensive) experimentation .... no. Just no. I have never used one but I have read enough reviews both professional and user side to be able to recommend WTB saddles to users on a budget looking for a solid performer. I'm planning on on for a project bike. I own a lot of bikes and a few of them are tandems so I own a LOT of saddles. With only a few exceptions the saddle that came on the bike is the saddle I use with the bike! Successfully. Only the tandems ever came with saddles so absolutely low end or comfort plush that they couldn't be used for normal riding. FWIW.
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Old 07-09-19, 11:40 AM
  #9  
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Bad idea about warming the saddle and soaking in mink oil.
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Old 07-09-19, 12:49 PM
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The hundreds of 'which saddle'? threads already, testify to the saddle choice being quite individual ..




I warmed my Brooks team pro just enough to melt the wax parts of the company's Proofide , upside down.
Back in the mid 70's, and that seemed to be OK saddle still fine 40 years later..








....
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Old 07-09-19, 02:02 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The hundreds of 'which saddle'? threads already, testify to the saddle choice being quite individual ......
That doesn't mean it has to be that way. It's just the end result of years of acculturation. The people that make and sell saddles aren't going to complain.
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Old 07-09-19, 03:32 PM
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I suppose my "I thinks" etc. were my way of not trying to come across like a know it all and asking for advice. I'm new yes but taking many 30+ mile rides since switching saddles. It was pure misery before and I did give it 100 miles or more to see if I could tough it out. I didn't throw it away, just switched so I could keep riding. I already said I'd like to get a proper fit, just can't afford it and wanted to get it as close as I can for now.

Either way its all good, I'm enjoying my rides and really proud of my progress this year.
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Old 07-09-19, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wttrjenkins View Post
I already said I'd like to get a proper fit, just can't afford it and wanted to get it as close as I can for now.
You don't need to spend a single dollar to get a proper fit. Hop on over to this website and follow their instructions for measuring your body. Put the information into the calculator and see how it squares with what you have already got dialed in on the bike. I daresay the majority of non-competitive cyclists have never had a professional fitting. You might find you need a new stem. Under $20. One thing you should do immediately is forget that you ever heard of knee over pedal spindle and center your saddle (front and back) over the seatpost. When people tell me a saddle is hurting them I find that often they have the saddle too far backwards and are sitting on the narrowest part of the saddle. A wider saddle only helps a little when that is the case. Moving the saddle forward allows the rider to sit on the wide part of the saddle as was intended. And absolutely if you are doing ~30 miles you should be wearing cycling shorts. Pearl Izumi Quest saddle on sale is worth whatever they charge. You will also need, if you don't already have them, clipless pedals. That means shoes that can take the matching cleats. You need either those or PowerGrips but you cannot do this right with the stock pedals the bike came with. I invite you to share more details about the bike: size, dimensions of stuff that matters, and of course your own dimensions. Good luck.

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Old 07-10-19, 08:18 PM
  #14  
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I'll show my dinosaurism here and say that the fit website covers most of what we used in the old school Italian system of fitting. All of that data gives a good look at the real size of the rider, and allows for computation of thins like stem saddle height and position and all of the other variables. looks like they have shortened some of the measurement points and made it simpler to do. Smiles, MH
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Old 07-17-19, 02:34 PM
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Regarding the bike fit calculator, which of the three fit types would a 69 year old recreational rider choose as the basis for their setup? Eddy, Competitive or French?
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Old 07-17-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wttrjenkins View Post
I've been getting along a lot better here lately. Looking forward to a saddle upgrade down the road but it might be quite awhile as I've spent too much in the last month on cycling. Thanks for the tips on the brooks and the mink oil. I think I have a good idea of my saddle size now. Also I think some of my current discomfort might be from my clothing. I don't have any special cycling shorts, etc just athletic shorts which are kind thin / loose. I don't know anything about cycling specific shorts but I've heard they help. Not too excited to wear super tight clothing!

Check siarra trading Post u can get a cheap pair of mountain bike shorts with a liner that might help out alot for rides over 20 miles and look like regular shorts not to tight and when on clearance should cost about 25 bucks or so
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Old 07-17-19, 03:55 PM
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Regarding the bike fit calculator, which of the three fit types would a 69 year old recreational rider choose as the basis for their setup? Eddy, Competitive or French?
I don't think its possible to predict to the cm what will work best for a given person. With given body dimensions, there's a range of sizes that can work, and the person has to set the bike up, try it out, and monitor his/her response. I'd start with asking, 'How close is your bike to the recommended measurements? Where's your discomfort?'

Millimeters may make big differences in your comfort, but I haven't come across any system that will predict what you will want down to the mm. You'll haveto experiment to find out which millimeters work best for you. Besides, I think fit changes through each season as our bodies acclimate to the riding we do. For example, I know I like my butt-handlebar distance now, but it sure felt like a stretch in April.

Once those questions are answered, you can make appropriate adjustments. When I was 69, my seat tube was plumb in the middle of one of the recos and everything else except seat-handlebars was French fit. Since different saddles have noses of different lengths, I can't see a point to seat-handlebar measurements.

I'd question any dogmatism I read. Bike fit is an experimental question. Almost any prescription you read on the 'net has to be taken with a grain of salt, except one which says something like 'almost any prescription you read has to be taken with a grain of salt - it may not work for you.'

For example, I'm a lot happier - I ride a lot farther and more safely - with pinned flat pedals than I was with 'clipless' pedals or with toe clips and straps.
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