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Bike Seat for my Wife’s Bum?

Old 05-23-22, 05:47 PM
  #1  
Entropy_S
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Bike Seat for my Wife’s Bum?

I realize that this is going to be slightly objective, but is there an aftermarket manufacturer known for making seats for women who have er, plump bottoms?

My wife is taking an interest in biking, but her bike excursions last for perhaps 60-minutes or less, as her bottom becomes sore. She wants to ride longer, but comfort is a number one priority for her, not so much performance. Any recommendations on a bike seat given the above?
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Old 05-23-22, 09:21 PM
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The question is, why is it sore? Almost every new rider needs to break in their butt. It's normal. The best solution I've seen is to ride for 30', no more, every day or almost every day. A couple of weeks of that usually makes it better.

The other reason it might be sore is that her current saddle doesn't fit her. Or the saddle may be too padded or not padded enough. Finding just the right saddle can be difficult for some riders. A bike shop might be able to help with that.

So if plan A doesn't work, try plan B.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:58 PM
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Riffing off of post #2. If you think about it .. a plump bottom has all the padding it needs built right in. So if there is soreness, a lack of padding usually isn't the issue. But skin is sensitive, and a beginning cyclist needs to get that sensitive skin (gradually) used to the very different environment of a bicycle saddle. The padding in cycling shorts is NOT there to cushion shock. Its way too thin and compressible for that. It is there to reduce chafing, rubbing, friction. Back in the day, padded shorts were never used without 'chamois butter'. They still make it and sell it. It's gloopy and messy but it just might do the trick. Why not throw up a picture of the saddle here? If you don't have enough posts to do that just give us the make and model of the saddle, or of the bike. In another thread today I recommended the o.p. look for a "Serfas Citybike Saddle" I have no doubt in the world that that saddle would work for the subject bottom in this thread as well!
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Old 05-24-22, 12:46 PM
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I too agree with #2 and #3.

If it is muscle pain or abrasion, then that's another solution.

But it's common for persons that are new to riding or start back after 3 or so months off the saddle to have some pain that feels like it's down in the bones that we sit on. I've had it be almost excruciating sometimes. Three rides a week and it'll ease up and go away within two weeks.

If one doesn't ride until the pain goes away and then it's a toss up whether or not it'll be experienced again after the next ride. I feel it's better to endure it some and do the frequent rides. If.... it is just pain from the butt not being use to the new demands put on it.

There is also swapping saddles, and many do. However with some I wonder if it wasn't the magical saddle they found, but just that the pain happened to go away naturally at the time they picked the next saddle to try. I know that long ago when I played the saddle swap game after starting back riding, the saddle I ended with wasn't much different than the one that I started with. I'd gone from narrow to wide, then wider and padded and then back to narrow and minimally padded.

But you also have to do your own diligence. There are physical issues that might need a Dr's attention. Those issues might be the cause of the pain. But weight probably isn't one of them.
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Old 05-24-22, 03:19 PM
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Well. . . technically . . .the usual issue with cycling butt pain is loss of oxygen in the tissues compressed between the saddle and the pelvic bones. They don't like that and they tell you about it. The heavier the rider, the greater the compressive forces, which doesn't help. Lucky for us cyclists, our bodies have a mechanism built in to deal with this: our tissues learn to become less oxygen dependent and gradually this pain goes away. The idea of riding a short period every day is to cause this adaptation. One should also stand and pedal or otherwise get off the saddle every 10-15 minutes to allow re-oxygenation of our tissues, even after our butts are "broken in."

This has a couple implications: a person with a bigger butt sometimes feels like they need a bigger saddle to match. Women usually have wider pelvises than men and often do need wider saddles. A bike shop can measure sit bone width and suggest an appropriate saddle. Sometimes riders think they need a much softer saddle. While some padding is good, too much soft padding cuts off the circulation in a larger area and this is not helpful.
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Old 05-24-22, 03:50 PM
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Your wife needs t take her bum to a bike shop and put it on a few saddles. Like trying on shoes, there is no substitute for sitting on a saddle to determine whether it fits your personal anatomy.
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Old 05-24-22, 09:09 PM
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Very subjective. Everybody's "butt meter" is different, as is everybody's shape and strength of the muscles back there.

In my own experience, what might turn out to be amazingly comfortable can be quite a surprise. It's not a "wider must be better" thing. It's a "shape better matches my own butt" thing.

Best option, IMO: head to a number of nearby shops that have a good inventory of different saddles, at shops that are okay with trying out the saddles for a couple of minutes. That can help narrow down the options. Else, selection will be DIY and hit-and-miss, quite likely resulting in a good number of saddles being tried then discarded.

In my own case, I've found two different Brooks saddles to be fairly comfortable. Their shape differs from many "typical" saddles one generally finds in bike shops.

Brooks B67 sprung leather saddle
Brooks C19 Cambium saddle

Might be a place to start, if you can't find many locally that seem to suit. The nice thing is, they have good resale value, if you decide they're not "right."
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Old 05-24-22, 11:36 PM
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I don't know ... it has long been the feeling in the cycling community, ironically mainly the informed cycling community, that the search for the perfect saddle is a long process of trial and error. I've never subscribed to that wisdom. The average bike shop customer doesn't either. They work with whatever comes on the bike they've bought. If they take to cycling and progress, it likely won't be because of the saddle the bike came with, likewise, if they do not, and the bike ends up being abandoned, it won't be the fault of its saddle. I will go as far as to say that if the o.p. buys his wife the Serfas saddle I linked earlier, that she WILL be satisfied with it! There may be other intrinsics of riding a bike around that affect a decision to stay with the activity, but that saddle is pretty neutral. It's wide, its flat, its just the right density. It's perfect. In fact, I will go so far as to say that ANY saddle that is over 140mm wide has the potential to be satisfactory for ANY human behind that sits on it. The 'Holy Grail' cohort do have some valid points to make when the search is for a saddle for performance riding. Saddles less than 138mm can be too narrow. Saddles wider than 145mm can be too wide to adopt a racing tuck with. But when the angle of the riders back is 50 degrees or more upright, and the saddle is wider than the widest of sit bones of any human ... there isn't much that can go wrong.

There still needs to be adaptation, I had forgotten completely about the need for the flesh of the ... derriere, to adapt to the lower oxygen due to the decreased blood flow from being mounted on a saddle. It isn't a natural state for most of us, and comfort won't be instantaneous. If it ever is. 'Comfortable' isn't exactly the word I would use for how I feel on a bike saddle and I am on one pretty much every single day. It should certainly not be painful! The saddles of most city bikes and hybrids are designed to be comfortable. As long as you have spent at least $500 on the bike, the saddle that comes with it should be satisfactory. If it is not, I wouldn't immediately seek to replace it. I would be looking at: fitting of the bike, adaptation to the saddle, and 'seat time' which is really adaptation over time and distance. Most of us that are not commuters simply aren't on the bike enough times in a week to really build seat time.

IMO the local bike shop is the last place you want to buy a saddle. They don't have enough of a selection, and most will only exchange a saddle you are not happy with. Exchange for a more expensive model or get the difference in store credit. Some allow you to pay a fee so they will allow exchanging up or down. Isn't that generous of them? No, these days the best way of buying a saddle (IMO) is to do it on Amazon. Their return policy is way more generous than any LBS's and also because you are not limited to the small number of brands and models sold at any particular local bike shop. I see even niche brands like SMP and ISM on Amazon. In order to really benefit from the selection afforded by Amazon's immense depth of product, the buyer has to establish and stick to a budget. You also have to be willing to give the saddle you buy a chance. Good saddles can be found in all price categories. WTB, Charge and Serfas have excellent saddles under $50. The best saddle cannot compensate for poor positioning. An adult returning to cycling after a long hiatus can benefit from the tuition offered by an LBS or bike co-op.

TL;DR: try not to fall in the trap of thinking a bike saddle that works is a painful and arduous trial and error process. I don't see any real harm in pretending you are 'stuck' with a particular saddle, even if you are not. Somewhere in between the the hardcore Brooks B17 saddle owner who has used the same saddle on five successive bikes, and the rider who has had five different saddle in five years on the same bike is around where a person might want to be.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:05 AM
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Just to complicate things some more, there's also the issue of a center cutout. Some woman absolutely have to have a cutout, others don't notice a difference one way or the other.
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Old 05-25-22, 01:25 PM
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I sincerely appreciate everyone's input, thank you! The common denominator I am seeing among the posts in this thread is to go to a reputable bike store and have my wife measured for an appropriate bike saddle. I've went ahead and scheduled an appointment to have this done later this week.

In a lot of ways, this bike seat shopping strongly reminds me of shopping for mattresses, which can be a frustrating and hair pulling experience in and of itself, lol.
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Old 06-12-22, 09:39 PM
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caring husband of the year award.
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Old 06-12-22, 09:58 PM
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Well there is no perfect seat but the search goes on. A wide seat is most important. You can go for these seats with springs and other do dads built into them but its really not worth it. Even the famed B-17 can be most uncomfortable till its broken in. For an economical option I would suggest the "CHARGE LADLE 160" about 35 USD and a cheap not so thick "GEL SEAT COVER" 7 USD.

I am still not sure what breaks in faster... The seat or your butt...
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Old 06-19-22, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Well there is no perfect seat but the search goes on. A wide seat is most important. You can go for these seats with springs and other do dads built into them but its really not worth it. Even the famed B-17 can be most uncomfortable till its broken in. For an economical option I would suggest the "CHARGE LADLE 160" about 35 USD and a cheap not so thick "GEL SEAT COVER" 7 USD.

I am still not sure what breaks in faster... The seat or your butt...
I have yet to see the seat cover that wasn't too thick. So if you have a line on one that is thin and cheap then please, link it here. Personally, the chamois built into decent bike shorts is about the perfect thinness. Pro tip: if you are unimpressed by the thinness of your bike shorts, wear two pairs! You should have two pairs anyway. If you need to go for a 35 miler before your cans are ready for that much adventure, two pairs of inexpensive shorts and/or padded liners might make the difference.
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Old 06-19-22, 05:16 PM
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I personally used a

SUNLITE Cloud-9 Double Gel Bike Seat Cover ...


but that was just to break in an Origin8 Brooks knockoff. After I broke the seat in I didn't need it any more. Here are a couple I found on amazon...

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Old 06-25-22, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Just to complicate things some more, there's also the issue of a center cutout. Some woman absolutely have to have a cutout, others don't notice a difference one way or the other.
This was actually the point I was going to make. Is her pain in the boney prominences of the pelvis? Or is it (ahem) in the more sensitive area? I have to have either padded shorts or a cut out when I ride. I do prefer a gel seat but I cannot have prolonged pressure on that one region for too long or else I will feel it for some time after my ride is done.

It may help to determine which (or both?) is the focus of her pain.
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Old 06-27-22, 08:39 AM
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So glad I found this thread. Ladies, can you recommend a decent road bike saddle?

I currently have a Brooks Cambium C17 Carved (the one with a cutout). A big store recommended it to me after measuring the distance between my butt bones.

The issues I have:
The dimples right between my inner thighs and my crotch get rubbed sore as hell, no matter how much chamois creme I apply and despite padded undies.
It also somehow puts pressure on my door knob despite the cutout.

I'm a female, not skinny, not overweight, and I ride a roadbike-esque geometry with drop bars.

Can you recommend any saddles? What are your experiences?
Thank you so much for your help!
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Old 06-28-22, 03:19 PM
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Several women in my riding group, including my wife, ride a Selle Italia Diva.
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Old 06-28-22, 09:46 PM
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Thank you for the recommendation. I'll be sure to try it out.
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Old 06-29-22, 07:37 AM
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Bike Seat for my Wife’s Bum?

I had to ask myself, what other part of her anatomy would possibly be on the seat?

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