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Just getting into biking, need a different saddle/seat?

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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

Just getting into biking, need a different saddle/seat?

Old 06-15-13, 09:13 AM
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Much of the conversation here has been about the difference between men's and women's pelvis and fitting a seat, when the OP was very specific that her problem was her coccyx, her tailbone. I am not sure there is much gender difference with tailbones, but there can be some pretty extreme variations between individuals.

Think of your lower spine and coccyx like the palm of your hand. The heel of your hand is at your lower back and your fingers project forward between your legs. The more your hand is cupped, the more the coccyx is curled upward in the body. The straighter your fingers and palm are, the more nearly flat, the more the coccyx swings down out of the body, and the more it is exposed to the surface you are sitting. This is all within the normal range of variation. If the OP has her coccyx more downward pointing the more I would expect it to impinge on the back of the seat and cause pain.

She might try some of the saddles that consist of two pads that are pivoted and have no forward horn; they support the tuberosities and nothing else. I have a saddle with a short downward horn and the rear is split into two pie wedges which can be swung apart to leave a gap between (don't know the name.)

In any case, if the OP has reason to feel that her coccyx varies downward/outward it will give her a mental image to use to evaluate where to go looking for a saddle.
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Old 06-15-13, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Clawed
Much of the conversation here has been about the difference between men's and women's pelvis and fitting a seat, when the OP was very specific that her problem was her coccyx, her tailbone. I am not sure there is much gender difference with tailbones, but there can be some pretty extreme variations between individuals.

Think of your lower spine and coccyx like the palm of your hand. The heel of your hand is at your lower back and your fingers project forward between your legs. The more your hand is cupped, the more the coccyx is curled upward in the body. The straighter your fingers and palm are, the more nearly flat, the more the coccyx swings down out of the body, and the more it is exposed to the surface you are sitting. This is all within the normal range of variation. If the OP has her coccyx more downward pointing the more I would expect it to impinge on the back of the seat and cause pain.

She might try some of the saddles that consist of two pads that are pivoted and have no forward horn; they support the tuberosities and nothing else. I have a saddle with a short downward horn and the rear is split into two pie wedges which can be swung apart to leave a gap between (don't know the name.)

In any case, if the OP has reason to feel that her coccyx varies downward/outward it will give her a mental image to use to evaluate where to go looking for a saddle.
Most people default to sit-bone discussions for saddles because: a.)it's Saddle Fit 101; and b.)some may think the OP has adjusted hers poorly, or has a poor saddle to start with, and want to steer her in the right direction. Good intentions. As well, these ARE issues that, taken to excess (which some people do) can result in tailbone issues. I have a niece (26 now), who broke her tailbone in middle school gym class; her frame is such that the tailbone was vulnerable to the type of fall she took. The last few times she rode a bike, she also complained about that type of discomfort; she used it as an excuse to stop riding.

Since I didn't have time when i posted previously, I'll expand on what I WANTED to say. From looking at the bike she linked, I'm wondering also about a too-upright position, which will a.)put most of her weight on the saddle, rather than spreading it out between saddle, pedals, and bar; and b.)make her more susceptible to small angle issues with the saddle re: tailbone. A more upright position needs a degree or few more "back-tilt" to avoid focusing weight on the back 1/3 of the saddle.
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Old 06-16-13, 12:47 AM
  #28  
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See if the saddle can be moved back a little. Also if the bars can be rotated forward a little. Ask them if they can make an adjustment to allow you to tilt a little more forward from the hip.
Saddle choice may also be an issue. A shop that has a SwitchIt can allow you to try many different saddles in a very short period of time. Almost everyone is able to self-select a saddle with the SwitchIt by simple going with what feels best. Here is a link to see how the SwitchIt works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w0OU36RfWY
Remember riding in a little bigger gear helps reduce a little weight off your sits bones and distributes it to the feet.
Lastly consider cycling shorts. Cycling shorts are designed to be worn without underwear which can bunch or a seam can cause a discomfort. The design of the padding is made to help aid in comfort.
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Old 06-16-13, 08:04 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by NOS88
Part of good saddle fit has to do with your typical riding position. The more upright your torso is the more weight your "tailbone" must bear. As your torso leans forward it tilts your pelvis moving some of the weight off the tailbone. Looking at the link you provided it appears there's no easy way to move your handlebars forward. Is there any room to slide you seat back? If so, I might try doing that to see if it makes a difference.
I think this is a very important point. The OP's pelvis probably needs to rotate forward, off the tailbone, and the existing saddle may be fine if she does.

First, make sure there's proper leg extension, then drop the stem (i.e. lower the handlebars) as much as possible. If there's difference to be gained, it could help rotate the pelvis enough to alleviate the pain described.

As earlier suggested, moving the saddle back on the rails could help, especially if the bars are relatively lower to the saddle.

Like others, I'm of the basic opinion that going bolt upright in posture is not the way to gain comfort for riding. It may feel fine and 'natural' at first, but after just short rides, that comfort can go right out the window. While there are saddles and other means of achieving more upright comfort, if cycling for fitness is the goal, the OP would be better served to move towards a more tipped pelvis/angled back position.

Some pictures of the bike and/or pics of the OP on the bike would be much more helpful in troubleshooting the problem no matter what.
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Old 06-20-13, 08:58 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff
Saddles are a very personal choice. One person's easy chair is the next person's ass-hatchet.

The stock saddle on that bike looks like a heavily padded and fairly wide affair. As you are finding, padding is not what makes a saddle comfortable. It is how well it fits your tush. I prefer to ride on a leather Brooks myself, but there are many good artificial saddles. I put one of these Serfas RX saddles
on my wife's new bike and I haven't heard any complaints after a couple of rides. If there were comfort problems, she would certainly be saying something. I have a Brooks B67 on the tandem as well, but those are relatively pricey. One thing she has found after trying a few different models is that the women's designs with a short nose seem to suit her better.

Agree with your first statement! We have these seats on our tandem-Have never liked the Serfas. Picking up Brooks for both of us this week. Too much positive feedback on those seats to ignore anymore.
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