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How much should a bike seat hurt?

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How much should a bike seat hurt?

Old 05-24-19, 01:03 PM
  #26  
philbob57
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I think the general consensus is it's not normal to feel your pelvic bones shift with each pedal.
That makes your sitch sound like the seat is be too high.

How many miles/hours have you spent in the saddle? How often have you ridden? How long have you been riding? Before I started using a trainer in the winter, every Spring I had to treat my butt very gingerly - a couple of miles one day, a day or 2 of rest, then 4 miles, and a day or 2 of rest, and so on. So if you're talking about just starting out, and perhaps forcing yourself to ride consecutive days, what you describe may be normal, if it's not the seat being to high.

Also, leather saddles conform to the rider. If you see indentations where the previous owner's sitbones might have been, you might be riding a saddle that just won't fit.
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Old 05-24-19, 02:19 PM
  #27  
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"Saddles" is not synonymous with "seats." I don't say that to be difficult. Upright bikes have saddles, recumbents have seats. Personally, I never found a comfortable saddle in all my years of riding uprights. At best they were 'tolerable' for a few hours. So while everyone here may be posting the truth that their favorite saddle is comfy, the sad truth is that what works for them may or may not work for you and that you may never find a saddle that does work.
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Old 05-24-19, 02:52 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Amazing this thread has gone this far and no mention (or did I miss it?) of saddle angle. Most women will prefer a saddle tilted slightly down. Slightly means one or two degrees, more than that and a whole series of new problems results. If saddle is currently angled up, try dead level before trying angled down.

Best advice so far is from mtb addict. Weight off saddle and on pedals. It can be hard work to keep weight on pedals and off saddle. Fine. Just take short rides until more used to the game. Standing on pedals is also a lot of work. If standing the saddle can't possibly hurt.
Actually I did mention it. But my plan is to get some real information from her before talking to her about how to set angle. First question in my mind is, is her saddle trashed, or should we try to help her fit it? The only data we have is, Borzoid has pain.
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Old 05-24-19, 02:55 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by borzoid View Post
Thank you so, so much everybody! I think the general consensus is it's not normal to feel your pelvic bones shift with each pedal.

I will build my posts up so I can post photos... I must admit, I imagine it's a pretty average bike!! I brought something cheap and secondhand to start with, in case I don't fall in love with the hobby. Though maybe I'm paying for that...

Thanks again It looks like a trip to the bike shop is in order
In addition to height there is tilt.. both the saddle and your posture.. sitting with hips rotated back,
taking pressure off the soft tissues... bending not too far forward, but keeping from rotating your hips ..

handlebar height and reach become a factor .. so you don't have to reach too low or far...





maybe a bike shop that can see you, in person can offer more suggestions..

Maybe your bargain bike is just not worth putting money into and you should start over..







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-24-19 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 05-24-19, 03:50 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Amazing this thread has gone this far and no mention (or did I miss it?) of saddle angle. Most women will prefer a saddle tilted slightly down. Slightly means one or two degrees, more than that and a whole series of new problems results. If saddle is currently angled up, try dead level before trying angled down.

Best advice so far is from mtb addict. Weight off saddle and on pedals. It can be hard work to keep weight on pedals and off saddle. Fine. Just take short rides until more used to the game. Standing on pedals is also a lot of work. If standing the saddle can't possibly hurt.
Another +1. Something to consider - getting a 2-bolt seatpost. These have 2 bolts clamping the seat rails in place, one in front and one in back. You can make very small adjustments of tilt very easily and if you don't like it, go exactly back to the tilt yo had before. You can make the adjustment on a ride.

For example. let's say the front of the seat feels to high. Pull out the wrench (usually a 5mm Allen key), back off the rear bolt, tighten the front (say) exactly 1/4 turn. Tighten the rear bolt. Ride. Too much? Repeat, only this time back off the front bolt 1/8th of a turn.

Using a two bolt post makes dialing in the perfect tilt child's play and you can do it without ever accidentally changing the fore-and-aft position of the seat. 2-bolt seatposts cost more (in general), are harder to get the seat onto but can be a blessing for years to come.

When you get a new seat you are going to have to adjust the seat height. When you do, first pull the seatpost out and note what diameter it is. It will be stamped on somewhere below the minimum insertion line and will be a number like 26.8 or 27.2. Put that post back in. When you find "the seat", then keep your eye out for a 2-bolt post of the same diameter and that has its clamp roughly the same position above or behind the line of the seatpost. (Called "setback".) Swap posts, ride and dial in the tilt and soon you'll be saying "ahhh yes!!" (if it really is "the seat").

Ben
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Old 05-24-19, 05:41 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Spring I had to treat my butt very gingerly - a couple of miles one day, a day or 2 of rest, then 4 miles, and a day or 2 of rest, and so on.
You little P***ycat you .. go find my post above about 20+ mile rides at the start of the season ... on a "Mans' Saddle" ... meow

EDIT: WHY ON EARTH CAN'T YOU TYPE THE NAME OF A HOUSEHOLD PET THAT 94.2 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE US HAVE???

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Old 05-24-19, 05:58 PM
  #32  
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"Saddles" is not synonymous with "seats."
Oops. I forgot that it's a 'saddle' that's installed on a 'saddle post' that's inserted into a 'saddle tube.'

Witterings, I ride for fun. Always have. Always will.
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Old 05-24-19, 07:20 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post

EDIT: WHY ON EARTH CAN'T YOU TYPE THE NAME OF A HOUSEHOLD PET THAT 94.2 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE US HAVE???
You mean a puddy tat?
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Old 05-24-19, 10:30 PM
  #34  
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How much should a bike seat hurt?
Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I like to think of getting on a bike as a balancing act; the goal is to have weight distributed around the upper body, core, and seat, rather than placing all my weight on the seat. In the beginning, one tends to have a weak core, which can put additional pressure on the seat and cause some pain.

That said, a bike seat should not cause immediate pain. A bit of pain on longer than usual rides is normal. It may be worth checking with local shops or clubs to see if they have any to test - I know I have a pile of discarded saddles in my basement...
I recalled this seemingly similar apt description by @Machka
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I think most cyclists agree that gel is NOT the way to go. Not a bad idea for a beginner who doesn't ride much, but not a good idea for someone who wants to ride lots day after day. Go ask about gel in the Road forum or Long Distance forum and see what the opinions are.

Here's one thread as an example:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=538143
I would not recommend bringing gel shorts on a tour for the reasons mentioned in that thread.

When you sink down into something like gel, you put more pressure and friction on your skin. Ideally you want to perch on your sitbones on your saddle with only minimal contact between your soft areas and the saddle.[and in agreement with my earlier post to the current thread:]
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
...Toughen up.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I calI it...ahem...uh...pounding the perineum [or pudendum].”
------------------------------
Now, another point that Rowan reminded me of last night is that gradually building up to riding lots helps. We both have developed callouses at the end of a season of Randonneuring, as do many other long distance cyclists.

If you ride lots, you toughen up the whole sitting area too. Yet another reason to be in shape before a tour!!

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-25-19 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 05-25-19, 01:20 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
You little P***ycat you .. go find my post above about 20+ mile rides at the start of the season ... on a "Mans' Saddle" ... meow

EDIT: WHY ON EARTH CAN'T YOU TYPE THE NAME OF A HOUSEHOLD PET THAT 94.2 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE US HAVE???
Go figure. 😕

Good news: some sites are so restrictive if you don't end every sentence with pretty please with ice cream and cake your post will be deleted. So be thankful.
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Old 05-25-19, 08:46 AM
  #36  
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I have a Specialized Myth that I'm probably gonna replace. Leaves my left butt cheek sore. lol
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Old 05-25-19, 10:43 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by borzoid View Post
I think the general consensus is it's not normal to feel your pelvic bones shift with each pedal.
This is a sign of the seat being too high. Also, a lot of bikes are sold with saddles that are more oriented towards aesthetics than comfort and function. Comfort bikes have comfortable looking saddles that turn out to be painful. Sport bikes have sporty looking saddles.
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Old 05-25-19, 11:08 AM
  #38  
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Anorexic sort , an acquaintance. put a gel cover over a gel padded saddle to ride at all , because the gutes
minimized not max, had little flesh.or muscle in them and the coccyx was a lot more in contact..
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Old 05-27-19, 11:23 AM
  #39  
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I too had this problem when I first started riding bikes. It was so bad I stopped riding for a few years.
I suggest going to a bike shop, try different seats. Buy the one that is comfy. Its not supposed to hurt, if it does then its a crappy seat. It sounds like the seat is too narrow, that hurts like hell. Its supposed to be fun. If it hurts its not fun. If its not fun you won't do it. Simple as that.

I do have to say, The seat is the big reason I ride a day 6. I wish my bed was made of the same material as that seat.
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Old 05-27-19, 12:08 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Anorexic sort , an acquaintance. put a gel cover over a gel padded saddle to ride at all , because the gutes
minimized not max, had little flesh.or muscle in them and the coccyx was a lot more in contact..
Didn't work for me. It was way too spongy, and I just ended up sliding off the saddle.
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Old 05-27-19, 12:52 PM
  #41  
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My Wife uses a `seat' from Camping World called a Wide Comfort Cruiser Bike Seat and put a gel cover over it and has no problem riding for three hours with a lunch break in between. I ride a more conventional Serfas RX seat which looks like model CR-RXL RX Cruiser Comfort. We are both 80 years old and are not into the sleek rock hard seats that typically come with the new racer bikes.
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Old 05-27-19, 03:51 PM
  #42  
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El cheapo seats don't do it for me, I have boxes of seats of various types..& i found this Selie Tioga Geltech seat extremely comfortable

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Old 05-27-19, 06:19 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
...is a badge of honor among cyclists. You must make your abode deep within the pain cave. Your residence is your pedigree. Toughen up.
Yup.
When you begin riding your butt hurts, even after a short ride. So you toughen up your sit bones by alternating short ride days and days of rest. And buying padded cycling shorts. And trying different saddles. And eating Advil like M&M.
As your tolerance for Butt pain increases, so does the length of your rides - and pretty soon you don’t notice the butt pain because your quad muscles are so sore. Then you learn how to select the proper gears & cadence and the length of your rides lengthens.
Then you find that the butt pain and burning quads are eclipsed by knee pain, and you learn that you need to adjust the saddle’s height and fore/aft position.
Somewhere in this comedy you notice that your wrists ache and your hands are numb. And so you begin fiddling with your handlebar height and reach.only to be interrupted by pain in your neck.

After a certain interval you realize that, despite all the pain and trauma, you have managed to continue riding. Your health is generally improved, you’ve lost weight, your mental health is improved and you can barely recall the days of having only butt pain. You have embraced the “no pain, no gain” mantra and inflict upon yourself frequent cycling sessions that result in exhaustion and euphoria. You look forward to each week’s planned rides and the agony they bring.

Then a dog runs out in front of you and you go over the handlebars, or you hit a patch of sand in a turn and slide down the asphalt, or you stop at a signal and the motorist behind you decides to turn right - and you find yourself looking up at the oil pan of a Chevrolet pickup.
The truck stops, a teenager jumps out of the passenger door and sees your legs, yelling “Mom! Back up! There’s someone under the truck!”
Mom backs up, gets out and exclaims (predictably) “Oh, I didn’t see you! I’m so sorry” and you mumble “Yeah, me too”.
And from your bed on the hot roadway, as you wait for the ambulance, your first thought is “Is my bike okay?”

Your second thought, as the pain of a broken tailbone captures your consciousness, is “I think that new rider saddle sore was really kinda fun.”

Enjoy!
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Old 05-27-19, 06:37 PM
  #44  
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It looks like you have many more replies than you expected. I would offer you 3 thoughts:

1) Get padded bike shorts. They help.
2) Go to a local shop or look online at a good bike parts supplier. In the USA, Jenson-USA shows lots of pictures of bike saddles. See if yours looks anything like what they are selling for women. I recently bought an ERGON saddle, and on their website, they show you how to measure your "width" by sitting on a piece of cardboard, and measuring the width of your sit bones (which will leave a dent in the cardboard). Then you can begin looking/deciding on what you need.
3) Since you bought used, check to see if there is a 'bicycle collective', a shop that fixes up used bikes to resell, and helps owners learn to fix their bikes. They will most likely have a selection of used saddles that could be purchased for a reasonable cost, and perhaps traded until you find what you like. You might even be able to trade the whole bike, if you find out it is the wrong size for you. Here is an example of this type of shop: [color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]bicyclecollective.org. (it is in Utah, USA, but you should be able to find something similar around you.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]Good luck!![/color]
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Old 05-27-19, 06:42 PM
  #45  
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There are only two questions here: 1) what defines pain. And 2) how long is the break-in period?

People always generalize pain, but fail to define the many types. There's the pain where your bum is simply not used to sitting on the saddle. And then there's pain associated with myriad physical ailments and/or limitations. If you weight 350 lbs. sitting on a standard racing bike saddle for more than a short time, its unlike you're ever going to get used to that feeling.
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Old 05-27-19, 07:08 PM
  #46  
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As a trike rider butt pain is something I no longer have. I have been on recumbents since 2005. But before that I put tens of thousands of miles on DF saddles. Being in the snow belt I was off the bike for at least 4 months depending on the weather.. That meant that after the first 20 mile ride in the spring my butt hurt pretty bad. Slowly it toughen up, so riding was tolerable. No matter what "real cyclist" tell you about the "right saddle for you" and getting a bike "fit", there will always be some pain. That is especially true the further you ride. Been there done that!!!!!! Pretending that saddles will be perfectly comfortable is just plain dumb in my book. However since there are so many cyclist on DF bikes, after a while saddles become some what tolerable.
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Old 05-27-19, 09:10 PM
  #47  
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Dear Borzoid

My crotch hurt until I got hollow saddles. The problem was supporting myself using the place where I have no bones. I now use unpadded hollow saddles but I recommend a bit of padding at first. These look okay.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3291...8-9667727cbc95

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3292...8-9667727cbc95

For me the difference was night and day.
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Old 05-28-19, 12:37 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by borzoid View Post
Thank you so, so much everybody! I think the general consensus is it's not normal to feel your pelvic bones shift with each pedal.

I will build my posts up so I can post photos... I must admit, I imagine it's a pretty average bike!! I brought something cheap and secondhand to start with, in case I don't fall in love with the hobby. Though maybe I'm paying for that...

Thanks again It looks like a trip to the bike shop is in order
In order to participate one must be committed. Your dedication is measured in pain. As such, comparatively speaking, childbirth comes to mind. Or kidney stones. Big, jagged kidney stones.

Seriously, get yourself into a local bike shop (LBS) and get some help. Even better would be an LBS with female staff. There’s a lot of adjustments that can be made before you start throwing money into it. And if/when you decide to spend your money, seek out the advice of other women — they’ll be speaking your language.


-Kedosto
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Old 05-28-19, 02:55 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by bgross View Post
Yup.
When you begin riding your butt hurts, even after a short ride. So you toughen up your sit bones by alternating short ride days and days of rest. And buying padded cycling shorts. And trying different saddles. And eating Advil like M&M.
As your tolerance for Butt pain increases, so does the length of your rides - and pretty soon you don’t notice the butt pain because your quad muscles are so sore. Then you learn how to select the proper gears & cadence and the length of your rides lengthens.
Then you find that the butt pain and burning quads are eclipsed by knee pain, and you learn that you need to adjust the saddle’s height and fore/aft position.
Somewhere in this comedy you notice that your wrists ache and your hands are numb. And so you begin fiddling with your handlebar height and reach.only to be interrupted by pain in your neck.

After a certain interval you realize that, despite all the pain and trauma, you have managed to continue riding. Your health is generally improved, you’ve lost weight, your mental health is improved and you can barely recall the days of having only butt pain. You have embraced the “no pain, no gain” mantra and inflict upon yourself frequent cycling sessions that result in exhaustion and euphoria. You look forward to each week’s planned rides and the agony they bring.

Enjoy!
This was funny ... problem is I can relate to virtually every bit of it ... am on the wrist and elbow pain stage at the moment having had all sort of problems with a replacement hip which fingers crossed has now settled down ... I think largely due to correct saddle position / height.

Never knew self inflicted torture could be so much fun until I took up cycling
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Old 05-28-19, 07:46 AM
  #50  
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My wife has several vintage bicycles that she loves. When we first started riding she complained constantly of being sore (neck, shoulders, butt, arms) I chalked it up to just not being conditioned. By all accounts all of her bicycles should "fit" based on the measurements. Fast forward a year and we happened to be in a local bicycle shop just chatting and this very thing came up. Long story short he (the owner) did an actual fitting for her and she could instantly tell the difference. We made several adjustment to her bicycles and bought a her a new fitted bicycle (nothing super expensive). She now says all the pain is gone, even in her butt.

I would suggest you not assume its just the saddle, as other have mentioned several things could have an impact. Take your bicycle and go visit a bicycle shop that does fitting.

As a side note I ride a Brooks saddle and after the break in I wouldn't ride anything else.
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