Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Saddle/seat problems - female, new to riding

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Saddle/seat problems - female, new to riding

Old 08-09-20, 10:45 AM
  #1  
Migil
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Saddle/seat problems - female, new to riding

Hello,

I am very new to cycling as an adult. My husband got a new hybrid bike (because he regularly cycles) and I am using his ďoldĒ bike which was given to him by his mother a few years back. Itís a hybrid Cannondale - I donít know many more details.

He never changed the saddle on it. But Iím not sure if there is something wrong with me... but i cannot go more than 30 minutes with out a lot of pain. He told me I was sitting on the seat incorrectly so I was googling more information how how to sit correctly and I am feeling very defeated. I want to enjoy this hobby with my husband, but I do not want to drop hundreds on the recommended saddles I am seeing online and have it not help me.

Is this a saddle problem or an anatomy problem? Iím having a lot of trouble finding outwardly open womenís resources about this issue. Any advice or links to more information would be very helpful!

PS: I did go to a local bike shop but the 2 men working did not seem comfortable with my questions or were not able to answer me... so that has also been very defeating. I also did purchase padded cycling leggings and they only added about 10 minutes to my ride time without pain
Migil is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 11:04 AM
  #2  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,277 Times in 798 Posts
@ My Local Bike shop they have a selection of saddles, both New with hang tags,

and 'Take Offs" that were on new bikes , but bike buyer wanted something else, so virtually new.

& a wooden chair ... laying the saddle on it, and sitting on the saddle is a simple preview..

Saddle Companies have Unisex offerings , meaning women , Or Men that may prefer a little wider saddle

One company recommends wider saddles for rider with a posture more upright..

NB; This Forum has Thousand's of 'Which Saddle' Threads in which people respond 'I have an XX (brand/model) and I like it' ..

you can read through them if you wish..


People who ride more favor the harder less padded models..
softer is OK for local casual rides
Gel saddle covers can adapt a harder type..








She May no longer be 'new to cycling' by the time guys here are done offering various opinions

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-11-20 at 09:43 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 11:13 AM
  #3  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,835

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 459 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12707 Post(s)
Liked 1,716 Times in 913 Posts
You likely need a slightly wider saddle. It’s worth trying out before you buy, as above.

Also, it takes time to “break in” your butt and get used to riding, even if you have a saddle that fits. Start out with 40-45 minute rides. Add 15 minutes every 1-2 weeks.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Likes For datlas:
Old 08-09-20, 11:30 AM
  #4  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 2,210

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Liked 217 Times in 161 Posts
Check out Serfas RX. That is the saddle my wife uses without any issues. She has used other saddles that didn’t work as well.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 11:33 AM
  #5  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,200

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 730 Post(s)
Liked 678 Times in 303 Posts
You can buy good, like-new saddles on eBay for very little money. Buy a few to determine the general shape and width you prefer. Once you know that, you can buy similar saddles until you find one that works best for you. Re-sell the saddles you don't like.
tomato coupe is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 11:34 AM
  #6  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,854
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 904 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 145 Posts
My wife has been using the Terry (non-gel) Liberator saddles for 13 years. She rode across the U.S. averaging over 50 miles a day for 74 consecutive days, and never had a saddle problem. She was in her mid-fifties at the time. In those 13 years she has about 38,000 miles on her 3 bikes, each equipped with a Terry saddle. Soft, wide saddles are usually not very comfortable after a short time. She finally wore out the one on her touring bike at 24,000 miles; it had a hard life.
Doug64 is online now  
Old 08-09-20, 11:45 AM
  #7  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,535

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1004 Post(s)
Liked 310 Times in 230 Posts
Saddles are like shoes. Comfortable for 1 person, horrible for another.
Perhaps a local shop will let you try a few, and then buy the "winner" ?

Also, slight adjustments by angling it up or down a little bit can make a huge difference.

I take the appropriate tool with me when first setting up a new saddle, so I can stop and make minor adjustments.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Likes For Homebrew01:
Old 08-09-20, 12:53 PM
  #8  
Rhondito
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 22

Bikes: 2020 Giant Advanced Revolt 2 (carbon); 2019 Cannondale Carbon Synapse; 2010 Blue RD1 (carbon)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Go to another local bike shop and see if they have loaner saddles for you to try; most shops do. Try one out for a couple of days, if you don't like it, try another.
As someone else mentioned though, there is a breaking in period where you need to get used to a saddle so keep that in mind.

The most popular saddle among me and my friends is the Selle Italia Gel Flow Diva.
Rhondito is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 12:57 PM
  #9  
wipekitty
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: nowhere, USA
Posts: 2,473

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Liked 204 Times in 157 Posts
I would stick with the saddle - for now - and try making adjustments. A number of women that I ride with actually prefer the nose of the saddle somewhat angled downward; you can also move it forward and backward a bit to see if you get the right balance that way. I also see a number of newer riders with the saddle far too low.

It's perfectly normal to have a bit of soreness when first starting out on longer rides. If you can, try to move around a bit while riding and stand up from time to time to give it a break.

If you've been doing longer rides for a bit and nothing improves, then you can think about a new saddle - with a better idea of what will and will not work.
wipekitty is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 01:07 PM
  #10  
shelbyfv
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,172
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1810 Post(s)
Liked 1,180 Times in 670 Posts
I think the forum may have a women specific section. Ask a mod. Otherwise, avoid more detail about your issues or you will encourage the creeps. Sad but true.... Nevertheless, many of the women I ride with like Terry saddles.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 01:33 PM
  #11  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,277 Times in 798 Posts
In the aforementioned Unisex Fizik Vitesse in 2 versions: HP, & CP3 were good deals..
bikes with straight bars same or a bit higher than the saddle .. a medium width..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 01:50 PM
  #12  
Oldbill
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Okanagan Valley BC
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Women generally have wider set pelvic bones so the wider rear portion of the saddle keeps the bones from pushing out over the edge of the saddle.
Men have 3 point support where women really only have 2 point support which means the width and angle of the seat is critical.
Many women's saddles are wide at the back, quickly narrowing with a built in rise on the front (horn) to keep from sliding forward.
Gel or flexible base saddles seem to work the best for comfort and stability, but as the other people have said, no one saddle is good for everyone.
Another consideration is length of the bike from seat to handlebars. Being too stretched out will also cause the seating angle to be wrong which is more critical for women. A shorter handlebar stem may help.
Oldbill is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 03:38 PM
  #13  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,460
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1475 Post(s)
Liked 668 Times in 408 Posts
Saddle soreness is one thing, but if you are getting pain repeatedly after 30 minutes, get a different saddle.

Almost all of the women I ride with have womenís specific saddles, or at least saddles geared towards wide sit bones. Men and women are shaped very differently. I can hardly stay on top of my wifeís favorite saddle.
Kapusta is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 04:05 PM
  #14  
philbob57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chicago North Shore
Posts: 1,459

Bikes: frankenbike based on MKM frame

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 397 Post(s)
Liked 158 Times in 98 Posts
It might help if your were more specific about the pain and how often you ride. If you've done only a few rides and your butt under your sit bones (ischial tuberosities) hurt, riding more on the seat youhave is likely to be the cure - but my guess is that's not the problem.

If it's soft tissue that hurts, a cut-out may be in order - but there are different cutouts, so finding one that works is trial and error. If it's chafing, that will probably call for a different seat, but you're back to trial and error and a wider choice.of seats, cutouts and non-cutouts - and the fix may actually be different cycling shorts. Etc., etc. etc.

If you tilt the nose down, make sure you don't tilt it so much that you have to ride with too much force on your hands/elbows/arms or that you keep sliding forward.
philbob57 is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 04:38 PM
  #15  
shelbyfv
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,172
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1810 Post(s)
Liked 1,180 Times in 670 Posts
Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
It might help if your were more specific about the pain.....
NO NO NO OP, please don't take the bait.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 04:55 PM
  #16  
freeranger
Senior Member
 
freeranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,716

Bikes: 06 Lemond Reno, 98 GT Timberline mtn.bike

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 211 Times in 147 Posts
Does your husband's old bike fit you? If not, no seat is going to alleviate the pain. Saddles can be adjusted forward or back on the seatpost. Tilted up or down. And the seatpost may be raised or lowered in the frame, raising or lowering the height of the seat. When pedaling, with the pedal at it's lowest point, do you have just a little bend at the knee, or lots of bend. The first thing to do is confirm the bike fits you well. Then start on trying to get the seat in adjustment. It all makes a difference. Once you are confident the bike fits, and you've done all you can to make the seat adjustments fit you, if still have pain, then start looking at diff seats. I recently came close to getting rid of a saddle, but decided to change the upward tilt, and that's all it took. But I did go thru a couple of seats on the same bike previously. Most experience some pain when first starting to ride, it's not unusual.

Last edited by freeranger; 08-09-20 at 05:27 PM.
freeranger is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 05:05 PM
  #17  
Mulberry20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 290 Post(s)
Liked 107 Times in 79 Posts
If you are new to cycling, I think any saddle is going to give you trouble until muscles get in shape.

Thing is, a bike saddle is not for sitting actually. You should be peddling with enough resistance to lift your tush of the saddle a bit.

If you just sit upright its going to be uncomfortable at some point.

Terry saddles have lots of lady fans.
Mulberry20 is online now  
Old 08-09-20, 06:06 PM
  #18  
Tony Marley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston area
Posts: 439

Bikes: Bike Friday Llama single; Bike Friday Tandem Tuesday; Easy Racers Ti-Rush recumbent; Catrike Expedition; Rans Seavo recumbent tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
My daughters through the years have appreciated the women;s Terry Liberator saddles. Good luck.
Tony Marley is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 07:16 PM
  #19  
Kat12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 17 Posts
Could be many issues. Is the seat at the right height? What about the pitch? How about the handlebars? How much taller than you is your husband-- is the reach to the handlebars perhaps too much? Where does it hurt? Have you tried a cutout seat? Is the seat wide enough for your sit bones?


Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think the forum may have a women specific section. Ask a mod. Otherwise, avoid more detail about your issues or you will encourage the creeps. Sad but true.... Nevertheless, many of the women I ride with like Terry saddles.
I could have sworn it used to, but I haven't found it.


Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
NO NO NO OP, please don't take the bait.
Feel free to take the bait. It's a part of your body and counterproductive to act like there's something shameful about that. Women have to spend their lives pretending they don't have genitals because it makes men "uncomfortable." Which is why there are so many women with bike saddle issues, because there's no one they can ask about it. If anyone's sensitivities are going to be hurt by OP trying to solve a bike saddle problem, which may include details about what the problem is, this probably isn't the thread for that person.
Kat12 is offline  
Likes For Kat12:
Old 08-09-20, 07:19 PM
  #20  
fishboat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 791

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(purchased new), '06 Bianchi Volpe, '88 GT Tequesta(purchased new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly, 1993 Trek 970 drop bar conversion

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 290 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 144 Times in 86 Posts
Camping at the moment and have limited access. Terry saddles are very popular with women.

Do a search here on bikeforums for "measuring sit bone width". Also Google it. It's easy..once you have your sit bone width, add 20mm and search for saddles in that width, as a start. Example.. your sit bone width comes out at 120mm. Add 20mm..look for saddles around 140mm wide. This is only a starting point.

As others have mentioned.. you also need to break in your back end to condition it to riding on a saddle.

Lastly.. I have a couple Terry saddles(Butterfly and Falcon) for sale in the For Sale forum here on BF. Scroll down the main forum..you'll see it. About half the price of new..in like new condition. My girlfriend did quite a bit of searching for saddles...
fishboat is online now  
Old 08-09-20, 07:52 PM
  #21  
mcmoose
Senior Member
 
mcmoose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Transplanted to PDX area
Posts: 461

Bikes: Trek FX 7.3 WSD, Trek Lexa SLX, Trek Silque S

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Lots of good advice here... I especially second the advice to measure the width of your sit bones and find a saddle appropriately sized. Bike shops used to have devices to do this measurement, but you can DIY at home pretty easily. And if there are Terry saddles available at half price, that's a very good deal. I (and most of my women friends) love our Terry saddles, but they're not cheap.

Good luck!
mcmoose is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 08:08 PM
  #22  
shelbyfv
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,172
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1810 Post(s)
Liked 1,180 Times in 670 Posts
Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post
If anyone's sensitivities are going to be hurt by OP trying to solve a bike saddle problem, which may include details about what the problem is, this probably isn't the thread for that person.
Sorry, I think you've misunderstood my concern. Guess we'll see how it goes.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 08:42 PM
  #23  
Troul
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 2,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 194 Times in 142 Posts
Where..... nvm.

Get a new wider seat.
Troul is offline  
Old 08-09-20, 08:47 PM
  #24  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,925

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1444 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 216 Posts
So you're riding a hand-me-down bike from your husband. You may have noticed that men's and women's bodies aren't the same. Do you have to adjust the seat or rear vies mirror of the car after he's driven it? Why would you think you could just hop onto his old bike and ride it comfortably without making any adjustments.

Saddles adjust up-down, front-to-back, and tilt. Lots of people adjust the up-down but front-to-back and tilt are every bit as important for proper bike fit. At the very least, you need to get that bike adjusted to fit YOU.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Likes For Retro Grouch:
Old 08-09-20, 09:03 PM
  #25  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 3,936
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 968 Post(s)
Liked 318 Times in 211 Posts
Originally Posted by Migil View Post
It’s a hybrid Cannondale - I don’t know many more details.

He told me I was sitting on the seat incorrectly so I was googling more information how how to sit correctly and I am feeling very defeated.

Is this a saddle problem or an anatomy problem?

PS: I did go to a local bike shop but the 2 men working did not seem comfortable with my questions or were not able to answer me... so that has also been very defeating.
These statements are telling. First, find out what exact bike and what size you are dealing with. It is possibly the wrong size for you
Your husband says you are not sitting properly? What does that mean?
If you go to a shop and the employees are not comfortable with your questions, find ones that are able to answer them or look elsewhere. Do not allow yourself to be easily dismissed. If you were able to provide better information about your bike with a picture as well as your height and overall proportions it would be possible to help you better
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.