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-   -   Do I need a bike fit or a new saddle? Discomfort between glutes and hamstrings. (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1187691-do-i-need-bike-fit-new-saddle-discomfort-between-glutes-hamstrings.html)

RMoudatir 11-09-19 11:20 PM

Do I need a bike fit or a new saddle? Discomfort between glutes and hamstrings.
 
I recently built an Otso Warakin gravel bike with a WTB volt saddle since 2 months ago. I don't know much about all my measurements but I am 5'8 and I got a 54 cm frame set, I had my sit bones measured as 142mm so I got the saddle that size. The bike feels great but when riding on the hoods or drops, it feels a bit off like maybe I need to increase the bike's reach and I feel discomfort a few inches outside my sitbones between my glutes and hamstrings when in an aggressive position. It's when on the down stroke, it feels like my upper hamstring/glute hits the back part of the saddle that tapers wider. The tendons inside feel bruised and painful to the touch. I'm from Los Angeles and every bike shop I have asked would tell me that bike fits are not necessary.

horatio 11-10-19 04:06 AM

Do you have it set up similar to your Allez? Similar issues when riding the Allez? If not, is the saddle the only thing different? Try swapping saddles between the bikes, or adjusting fore/aft saddle placement. Check the saddle height as well.

RMoudatir 11-10-19 05:35 AM


Originally Posted by horatio (Post 21202395)
Do you have it set up similar to your Allez? Similar issues when riding the Allez? If not, is the saddle the only thing different? Try swapping saddles between the bikes, or adjusting fore/aft saddle placement. Check the saddle height as well.

Sadly I had my Specialized Allez stolen in June 2018. It was a 56 cm frame which seemed too big for my size but I never really felt comfortable on the stock saddle till I put a WTB volt which felt much better. After I had my Allez stolen, I bought a used 2014 Fuji Sportif 1.4 disc, I believe it was a size 56 as well it was big but I never felt the same discomfort with the same saddle WTB volt but it does have a 135mm saddle instead of the 142mm saddle my gravel bike has. Not sure if that could make the difference in it hitting my legs on the down stroke. The feeling I could describe is more like imagining your groin area/thighs squeezing the saddle's outer edge causing discomfort. I was thinking maybe my saddle is too forward but I had it back all the way to the limit, not sure if a setback seat post would help.

horatio 11-10-19 06:03 AM

Sounds to me like it’s a bit too wide. I’d try swapping the saddles. I have several 142mm saddles. One of them is definitely uncomfortable after an hourlong ride, the others are not. I thnk that’s related to the difference in contours. Perhaps there’s enough difference in your saddle contours to be noticeable.

Road Fan 11-12-19 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by RMoudatir (Post 21202287)
I recently built an Otso Warakin gravel bike with a WTB volt saddle since 2 months ago. I don't know much about all my measurements but I am 5'8 and I got a 54 cm frame set, I had my sit bones measured as 142mm so I got the saddle that size. The bike feels great but when riding on the hoods or drops, it feels a bit off like maybe I need to increase the bike's reach and I feel discomfort a few inches outside my sitbones between my glutes and hamstrings when in an aggressive position. It's when on the down stroke, it feels like my upper hamstring/glute hits the back part of the saddle that tapers wider. The tendons inside feel bruised and painful to the touch. I'm from Los Angeles and every bike shop I have asked would tell me that bike fits are not necessary.

I'm not sure if a bike fit will help, that depends on the fitter.

I have had this pain in the past, and traced it to the seat being a little too far forward. As your leg drives down the back of your thigh up high is driven into the edge of the saddle where it is getting wider. You want to move saddle a little farther back, maybe 5 mm, but not so far back that when you are riding more gently you are not sliding off forward. A saddle that is a different shape, that has a faster transition between narrow horn in the front and the wide platform in the back, might also be better overall.

RMoudatir 11-12-19 08:05 PM


Originally Posted by Road Fan (Post 21206314)
I'm not sure if a bike fit will help, that depends on the fitter.

I have had this pain in the past, and traced it to the seat being a little too far forward. As your leg drives down the back of your thigh up high is driven into the edge of the saddle where it is getting wider. You want to move saddle a little farther back, maybe 5 mm, but not so far back that when you are riding more gently you are not sliding off forward. A saddle that is a different shape, that has a faster transition between narrow horn in the front and the wide platform in the back, might also be better overall.

When I installed the saddle, I had already put it where the "Max" indicator was, though there seems to be more space to slide back I don't know if it is a safety issue, the saddle rails are made of titanium.

Road Fan 11-13-19 09:27 AM


Originally Posted by RMoudatir (Post 21206350)
When I installed the saddle, I had already put it where the "Max" indicator was, though there seems to be more space to slide back I don't know if it is a safety issue, the saddle rails are made of titanium.

My statement should have emphasized the contact point geometry. If you level the frame (tires inflated, wheels on a level floor), drop a plumb line exactly through the BB axis with the frame level, the contact points on the saddle are farther back. In my experience a shift of about 5 mm (less than ¼ inch) will reduce the back of thigh pressure significantly.

If you can't accomplish that based on sliding the saddle back on the seatpost rail clamps, you have several options, on the mechanical side.

1. If you can make a small adjustment backwards on a temporary basis, do that and take a short ride. If this project is your correct solution, you should feel an improvement right away. You may also initiate new discomforts, because the rest of your saddle position details are still critical, such as height, tilt (aka pitch), and rotation around seat tube (aka yaw).

2. Get a different saddle that allows more motion fore and aft due to its rail design or which narrows from . I found the best ones in this respect are the Selle AnAtomica family, the Specialized Toupe series, and the Rivet saddles. In particular I have Rivet Pearl Pass, which is really quite nice. Be sure to talk to Specialized and Rivet to select the best width and shape for you. On the Specialized, a Specialized dealer/fitter can help here, they have a very good way to measure you for saddle width. It works for me.

3. If you really can't move the saddle back on the seatpost or are not confident of the strength of the rail, you can get a different seatpost that has more setback. Today most seatposts are zero setback, or about 15 mm setback, or between 25 mm and 35 mm. I like to set back Brooks saddles on my bikes, so I seek out seatposts with deep setback. The best one I've seen lately is the Nitto S-84 (not the S-83!). It is not the lightest and certainly not the cheapest, but it has precise angle adjustment and it does the job. If you only need to add 5 mm setback to the saddle position, the Thomson Elite Setback or the Thomson Masterpiece Setback are among my faves. In carbon I like the Campagnolo carbon model.

Look up the instructions on your saddle with Ti rails - it might be ok to move it back the full length of the rail. Also they should tell you how it may depend on body weight.

ThermionicScott 11-13-19 10:38 AM

Agree that the saddle is probably too wide. I have a regular-width B17 on one bike that I always had to run all the way back to avoid putting pressure on my inner thighs. Took years before I realized it's just too wide, and that a narrower saddle would not require so much setback to do the job correctly. (B17 Narrow is perfect for me.)

smashndash 11-13-19 07:27 PM

Do you, by any chance, have a Specialized power saddle? If so, that hamstring clearance is an extremely common complaint with it. Look for another saddle that doesn’t have as forward or as square of a “wing”.

I disagree with anyone who thinks the solution to this problem is to move your saddle around. That is simply a workaround. Clearance for your leg muscles should not be a parameter when determining saddle fore-aft.

RMoudatir 11-13-19 11:51 PM


Originally Posted by smashndash (Post 21207834)
Do you, by any chance, have a Specialized power saddle? If so, that hamstring clearance is an extremely common complaint with it. Look for another saddle that doesn’t have as forward or as square of a “wing”.

I disagree with anyone who thinks the solution to this problem is to move your saddle around. That is simply a workaround. Clearance for your leg muscles should not be a parameter when determining saddle fore-aft.

WTB Volt Comp

smashndash 11-14-19 03:12 AM


Originally Posted by RMoudatir (Post 21208083)
WTB Volt Comp

Hm. I looked it up and it seems like it has a fair amount of clearance. I’d still try out a narrower saddle as others suggest.

Road Fan 11-14-19 04:18 PM


Originally Posted by ThermionicScott (Post 21207034)
Agree that the saddle is probably too wide. I have a regular-width B17 on one bike that I always had to run all the way back to avoid putting pressure on my inner thighs. Took years before I realized it's just too wide, and that a narrower saddle would not require so much setback to do the job correctly. (B17 Narrow is perfect for me.)


Not to argue too much with the "too wide" hypothesis, but it could also be te shape, as I said. And the test for that is really simple - slide it back temporarily.

stormpeakco 11-14-19 05:07 PM

LBS shop filled with saddles
 

Originally Posted by horatio (Post 21202450)
Sounds to me like it’s a bit too wide. I’d try swapping the saddles. I have several 142mm saddles. One of them is definitely uncomfortable after an hourlong ride, the others are not. I thnk that’s related to the difference in contours. Perhaps there’s enough difference in your saddle contours to be noticeable.

_________________________________________________
Agree, seems like you'll have to just try some different saddles.

My LBS had over 30 saddles for me to choose from their demo rental fleet.
I selected a Selle saddle only because it felt better than several others (tried 5-6) but was always looking for something more comfortable....then (years later) I read a blog on mtb-bikepacking saddles TDR (Tour Divide Race) riders vouched for and ended up buying a used Terry Fly from Ebay for my year round riding on the rigid fatbike.
During the first ride I thought Neo/Matrix-this's the one and felt like I won the "exacta @ Saratoga!".
A week later I then purchased an identical one for my roadbike and I've been a happy rider for the past 4 years...(IMO) with the right shorts (w/straps) and saddle, Okale stuff/chamois-type cream is never necessary any more after early in the season.

Addendum: (since you mentioned 54 vs. 56 cm frame) Perhaps your LBS may lend you a layback/setback seat post to do some more trial and error w/ further sliding of the saddle on the rails to help optimize a more comfortable saddle position (before investing more $)??

MikeyMK 11-14-19 05:34 PM

Tilt the saddle forward a touch, and push it back if you can, so you sit a bit further to the nose - if there's some relief from the usual issue you may need a narrower seat.

I've had a lot of problems with modern MTB/touring seats as the cut-out makes them wider than the old-skool stuff. I thought I was getting old, turns out it's not just that - seats got wider in the mid section, I'm a narrow fit, and relief was found in an early 90s seat without a centre void.

Road Fan 11-15-19 06:30 AM


Originally Posted by MikeyMK (Post 21209333)
Tilt the saddle forward a touch, and push it back if you can, so you sit a bit further to the nose - if there's some relief from the usual issue you may need a narrower seat.

I've had a lot of problems with modern MTB/touring seats as the cut-out makes them wider than the old-skool stuff. I thought I was getting old, turns out it's not just that - seats got wider in the mid section, I'm a narrow fit, and relief was found in an early 90s seat without a centre void.

Again, width and the steepness of the transition from wide to narrow may not be the same solution. Changing width is worth a try, but so is moving it back.

RMoudatir 11-16-19 12:09 AM


Originally Posted by smashndash (Post 21208142)
Hm. I looked it up and it seems like it has a fair amount of clearance. I’d still try out a narrower saddle as others suggest.

Oops I meant the WTB Volt Team saddle in 142 mm not sure if there is any difference between them, they look so similar though. I have a 135 mm WTB Volt Race on my commuter but I noticed pressure building up after 50 miles on the saddle with so I went to a bike shop and asked about saddles and they measured my sit bones with this thing I sat on and it recommended 142 mm so that's why I decided to get the WTB Volt Team saddle in 142 mm for my gravel bike, it seems a bit more comfortable but not perfect though.


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