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Getting into biking and need some advice

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Getting into biking and need some advice

Old 02-28-24, 09:29 AM
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Getting into biking and need some advice

Last year I bought a bike off Craigslist and took it into a bike shop to get fixed up. I think it's a hybrid bike, but there are so many kinds of bikes I'm not sure. It has shocks in the front and I try to sit up while I ride it. I tried to add a picture of my bike but the forum won't let me, so I put the URL in my profile.

My thought was a hybrid would be good for anything I could want to do. I mainly use my bike to get in shape, I'm pretty overweight. I bike on roads and sidewalks and trails. Most of the trails are gravel but a few are dirt.

My first question, should I get a different bike? Is this a good one for what I'm doing? Would a different bike provide any noticable benefits?

Second, my butt really hurts after I bike. Last night I rode for an hour and it hurt to sit in a chair after. I bought the biggest seat at the bike shop but it doesn't seem to help. I want to bike for longer stretches but my butt hurts so much after I can't. How do I fix that?

Last edited by WAlliance; 02-28-24 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 02-28-24, 09:43 AM
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Till you get your ten posts, just let us know the pic is in the gallery and we can find it....



Not my style of bike. And maybe it's the wrong size for you. But without knowing more info it's hard to say. But bars higher than the saddle will make many of us wonder. Saddle might be way too low. But again, more info needed.

Butt pain is sort of normal if you haven't been riding a bike in quite a while. It might even get intense when you sit on the saddle for your next ride, but when you get to pedaling you sort of forget about it when you get distracted with the other things going on during the ride. If you get sores from that saddle, that's another issue of clothing you wear. Sweaty cotton underwear will wear a sore on you pretty quick.

Big saddles like that can be comfortable for a short time. But when you get to the point where you are doing longer rides at a fast pace, you'll find those tiny thin saddles are really better. The bigger saddles will interfere with the backside of your leg where it attaches to your butt. Not a big deal for short trips, but for the repeated up and down you have to do to get 30 miles or more down the road, that might be significant.

Enjoy the bike for now. Make sure your pedaling feels ridiculously easy. Muscling your way down the road in too high a gear will only wear you out and do nothing for your health.


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Old 02-28-24, 09:47 AM
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I have the seat like that so my legs are almost all the way extended at the bottom of the pedals. The handlebars I have higher because otherwise I'm leaning way over and it's not comfortable.

I'm not getting sores on my butt. More like it's bruised.
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Old 02-28-24, 09:52 AM
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Being overweight and first time on a bike is definitely source of your butt pain. Get a day of rest if it gets too bad and get on it again, should be much better within a week or two. This bike should serve you well for a while if it fits you, but the way it looks it's set up for someone 5' tall. If you keep at it, eventually you'd want a nicer/faster bike.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:01 AM
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If it's a bruised feeling, but feels way down in your bones, then I'd say that's probably the normal feeling some of us get when we've been off the saddle too long. It'll take three weeks for you to get over it. But try to keep riding as much as you can.

But remember we can only guess. If you think it's something else, then consider asking a doctor or someone you can explain in person to.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:13 AM
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Welcome to the forum. In my opinion, you are making the right moves and asking the right questions.

The bike should serve you well for many miles. I also approve of the idea of buying used and having a mechanic check over everything.

The front suspension is probably not necessary, but won't hurt anything and may make certain things more comfortable.

Sorry about your butt. As you gain experience, your position will actually change as you get comfortable putting more weight into the pedals and more weight on the handlebars. Right now, I would guess that you are in a fully upright position with nearly all of your weight on your butt.

As others have said, go gradually. A bike seat is not the most comfortable thing to sit on, especially when you are new to it.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:27 AM
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The bike is fine, the seat probably also fine, the rider is most likely the issue. If you haven't ridden much, or haven't ridden in a while, a sore butt is normal. spread your rides out a bit to aloow you to adjust. Also an issue with being overweight, and riding upright, (and not putting a lot of power out), is that it places most if not all of your weight on your butt, making things worse. The good news is that most of this will sort itself out as your fitness and saddle time increases, in addition to not riding every day or so, I would suggest keeping your rides relatively short, and increasing the effort to whatever you can maintain for the duration, say 30-90 minutes depending on where you are in the progression.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:45 AM
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What information do you need to help me figure out if this is the right bike for me?
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Old 02-28-24, 11:03 AM
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As long as you can ride it, it's ok for now. A lot will change as you get lighter and more fit. I started riding a bike when I turned 50. I was about 360 lbs. I bought a $65 bike that was way too small, but I didn't know it. I rode that bike several hundred miles by riding every day. I didn't ride far but I rode a few miles every day until I was doing much longer rides. It took a bunch of riding and weight loss before I knew what I wanted in a bike. Point is, don't buy something else until you have cycled long enough to know how a different bike will benefit you. If you wind up more on gravel and trails you might consider a different bike than if you are mostly on paved roads and city riding.

Get your diet right and ride every day. I got down to 170 lbs. in 2 years doing nothing but dieting and cycling. Lose the weight and ride a bunch and you will know what you need in a new bike and why you need it. Just keep riding until then. Good luck. You got this!
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Old 02-28-24, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by WAlliance
I have the seat like that so my legs are almost all the way extended at the bottom of the pedals. The handlebars I have higher because otherwise I'm leaning way over and it's not comfortable.

I'm not getting sores on my butt. More like it's bruised.
Mu old man used to say "you develop calluses on your arse" - not strictly true, but your butt gets used to it. I wouldn't invest in a new bike until you're happy that you're going to keep cycling. Once cycling is a sustainable and "stable" part of your exercise routine then maybe think about a "better" bike. Especially if one of your goals is to lose weight, I wouldn't think about a new bike until your weight is heading in the right direction - a bike that fits you now may not be the best fit when you're significantly lighter.
Also at this stage, I'd think more about time on the bike, rather than miles. You're not going to be going terribly fast on an upright front-suspended hybrid, so your mileage will likely be modest to start - but if you put in 1-2 hrs regularly, you should see progress.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by WAlliance
What information do you need to help me figure out if this is the right bike for me?
what are your goals?? Ride far, fast, easy rides around the neighborhood, get in shape, lose weight, commute to work? How tall are you, inseam length, current weight, long or short arms, legs, and torso? Like others have said this bike is a great way to begin cycling. If you canít tolerate lower bars at this point you wonít find another bike that will work better.
It kind of sounds like you want us to help you justify buying a different bike.
Many people start off buying the wrong bike then give up cycling because the bike does not work for them. You have made about the best choice available for you. You need to stop second guessing and ride. The answers will come as you get in better cycling shape. Happy cycling!
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Old 02-28-24, 11:59 AM
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Ride that bike to the ground. Once you get fit and lose weight you will be buying a $5k road bike and thinking your Lance ArmstrongÖ..trust me

welcome to cycling
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Old 02-28-24, 12:08 PM
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Nice-looking bike.

Be patient. It takes a while to become accustomed to riding a bike. Even veteran riders can experience butt pain in the spring if they've been off the bike for several months over the winter.

Restrict your rides to no more than 10 to 15 minutes per day for the first dozen rides or so. Then you'll probably find that you can ride for half an hour or more per ride without discomfort.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by WAlliance
What information do you need to help me figure out if this is the right bike for me?
What?! You wish to pour more oil on the fire? You'll probably just get more of us arguing because we all ride different terrain and for different reasons at different paces from leisurely and enjoyable to adrenaline crazed rides that are also enjoyable or addictive to some of us.

Size of the bike might be nice. The actual year and model. Your height and inseam. Inseam is measured from snug in the crotch to the ground. Not your pant length. I don't care if you have shoes on or off. A 1/2 inch isn't going to make much difference. But if you have 6 inch stiletto's on, then you should take those off. <grin>

What your immediate goals are and where you think you want to ride and for how long. Paved roads, gravel, off road and up the side of a mountain? Urban riding with lots of stop and go or open roads or paved trails with infrequent stops. Riding with a group of decent cyclists or solo or maybe with one or two friends that also ride.

Any or none of that. We'll give opinions all day long and into the night! <grin>


But I do agree with just riding the bike until you get decent with it. Then you'll know better yourself what direction you want to go as far as what type of bike to get. If you ride with a group of others, then what the majority of them ride should be a good clue. No bike should be your last bike. I changed four times in the last 12 years.

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Old 02-28-24, 01:27 PM
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Just ride more. If I stop riding it takes me around 1-2 weeks to get my butt used to it. Some tips I have are avoiding potholes/bumps, and standing up a little with the pedals at 9 o clock and 3 o clock for bigger impacts you can't avoid. Also, if the pain is too great just stop for a bit like 5-10 minutes.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:56 PM
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I think you have exactly the right starter bike. Once you develop some stamina, you will find it comfortable to ride on almost any surface, so you can focus on enjoying the ride and not controlling the bike.

Your butt hurts because you don't know how to ride, basically.

We all start sitting On the saddle, like it is a chair, and this is very wrong. Eventually your legs will be strong enough to take most of the weight most of the time. Your buttocks muscles will also get used to being used to hold you up better. Your core (stomach and back) will also strengthen, and as you keep riding you might even find you like going a little faster or pushing a little harder from time to time ....

You will also learn to recover. You need to completely heal between hard efforts or the damage multiplies. However, you will find that after a hard ride, and after the harshest soreness passes, a gentle ride which just gets the blood flowing a little helps you heal up quicker and get stronger more quickly.

Everyone is different but for my cycling is about fun .... fun can be killing yourself to hold max speed for a long ride or riding slowly and looking around, or anywhere in between ... but positive feedback is a huge motivator for most people.
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Old 02-28-24, 02:47 PM
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With such an upright riding position, you have a lot of your weight on the saddle. You say that you find it uncomfortable to lean forward but perhaps a slightly less upright position would shift your centre of gravity so that you would put less weight on the saddle. You don't have to go all at once, rather small incremental changes could help improve your comfort
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Old 02-28-24, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil
With such an upright riding position, you have a lot of your weight on the saddle. You say that you find it uncomfortable to lean forward but perhaps a slightly less upright position would shift your centre of gravity so that you would put less weight on the saddle. You don't have to go all at once, rather small incremental changes could help improve your comfort
He's got an adjustable stem, so that would make it easy to try some small increments.
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Old 02-28-24, 03:08 PM
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I don’t know why people sit so much on bikes like as though they’re bar stools.

Your mass should be mostly on the pedals. Ride it like it’s a surfboard or a horse.

The saddle is there to lean against the inside of your thigh to stabilize the frame / steer with your hips.

when the front hits a bump the saddle goes up & rearward then back and when the rear wheel hits a bump the saddle goes up & forward then back. That action is used by industrial cutting machinery. There’s thousands of bumps every meter. Then you add shifting your bones back & forth while pedalling like you’re actually trying to tenderize meat by kneading it… but it’s the skin between your sit bones and the rapidly oscillating saddle and the sit bones have less than three square inches each they’re transmitting half your torso’s mass into squeezing that skin down thin… it’s just very not good and lots of people do it and build callouses where God intended there to not be callouses.

I might sit for 30-60 seconds for every ten minutes of either hovering over the saddle just barely touching it and leaned down forward in a My Stomach Is In Agony curl to cut under a headwind or I’m upright & stomping / standing knees bent with my hips out in the open area between the handlebar and the saddle. I usually do 4-7 hour fun rides in trails or country roads once every couple weeks and 35-55 minute commutes daily.

Raiiiiide that thang. Throw it around. Practice stopping so hard you can stylishly lift the rear wheel in the air. Master that stop lever and the go-n-flow levers under your feet.

Unless you leave it in the highest gear annd just walk on the pedals then coast when you spool up near a jogging pace, you absolutely should expect to be drenched in sweat by ten minutes in, so dress for it, and pack regular clothes for if you’re riding to someplace.

Last edited by MattoftheRocks; 02-28-24 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 03-01-24, 08:01 AM
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Some padded bike shorts or undershorts might help while you're getting more miles in.
Amazon.com : cycling undershorts men
And the saddle needs to be supportive, too soft and you'll just sink into it, could go so far as you're basically sitting on the base. Wider isn't necessarily the best. A good shop could help with recommendations. Most of us have tried several brands/style of saddles to find the one which works best for us. Asking which one is best comes up once in a while, usually generates a multitude of different responses. And the more you ride, the saddle which works best may change also. For now, maybe get some padded shorts/undershorts to see if it helps.
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Old 03-01-24, 08:11 AM
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I agree with most of what's been said by others above.

- Butt pain is normal for a beginner (and even for experienced riders after a period off the bike). Sores/abrasions/etc. (any break in the skin) is not normal and needs to be treated and the cause(s) identified (poor position on bike? saddle too wide? other?) and addressed. The butt pain can be quite severe, especially when you start a ride. It can quiet down in the course of a ride, so you may want to grit your teeth and try to ride through it at the beginning. You'll have to see what you can do. Obviously you don't want your rides to be miserable, but you also want to improve. So, the length of the rides that you can do and the length of the breaks between rides to rest your butt are parameters you'll need to determine empirically.

- Your butt pain will get better over time as: your butt gets used to riding; your weight goes down; your strength increases (less weight on butt, more on legs); your position changes (more upright = more weight on butt; more forward = more weight on legs and supported by core).

- Your bike looks fine. I agree with others above who said to ride it a while (i.e. at least a year, probably 2-3, depending on how much you end up riding) until you have more experience and know what type of riding you like and what type of bike you might like.

- You can go to a bike shop near you to have them check your saddle height. When you pedal, at the bottom of the pedal stroke your knee should have about a 30į bend (this is a starting point, people are different, you can experiment to see what's best for you). You don't want your leg absolutely straight at the bottom of the stroke, as that will cause your hips to rock in the saddle and that will likely lead to saddle sores. Also, you might experience knee pain if your saddle is too high. However, it's good that you're not putting the saddle too low, often beginners set the saddle low enough that they can put their feet flat on the ground while in the saddle. That's too low, it leads to inefficient pedaling and could also cause knee problems.

- Your saddle is probably OK for now, but if your position changes you might want to get a narrower saddle with less padding. Leaning forward is more efficient (you go faster for less effort), and it can be more comfortable (less weight on your butt, more on your legs and supported by your core). In a "racing" position, many of us find that saddles with no padding at all are the most comfortable. However, there's nothing wrong with riding upright either. There are plenty of people who ride in an upright position, though usually they are not riding for long distances. There are exceptions to everything, of course, I've see people ride centuries (100 mile rides) with upright bikes, but this is pretty unusual.

- Cycling can help with weight loss, but it is only part of the picture. You also need to regulate your caloric intake and make healthy meal choices (most of the time - few of us are cut out to be monks).

Hopefully you'll stick with it. Obviously the people on this board are biased towards cycling (as opposed to running, or tennis, or whatever). Riding is great in and of itself, but it can also be great for other sports (skiing, skating, hiking, etc.) so even if you decide you don't want to ride a hundred miles a week, you might ride periodically to keep in shape while you're doing other activities a well.
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Old 03-01-24, 08:21 AM
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It seems like the OP is on the right track for getting started (bicycle-wise), and there are some good recommendations here. Keep at it OP. I hope this is the beginning of a long great relationship with cycling.
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Old 03-01-24, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MattoftheRocks
I might sit for 30-60 seconds for every ten minutes of either hovering over the saddle just barely touching it and leaned down forward in a My Stomach Is In Agony curl to cut under a headwind or Iím upright & stomping / standing knees bent with my hips out in the open area between the handlebar and the saddle. I usually do 4-7 hour fun rides in trails or country roads once every couple weeks and 35-55 minute commutes daily.
So on these 4-7 hour rides, you're only sitting the saddle for 11-38 minutes.... Yeah, I'm having a hard time believing that is anything close to true........ but based on other posts, it fits your profile.
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Old 03-01-24, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by NumbersGuy
So on these 4-7 hour rides, you're only sitting the saddle for 11-38 minutes.... Yeah, I'm having a hard time believing that is anything close to true........ but based on other posts, it fits your profile.
yeah. Walking, jogging, running, and standing for a whole 7 hours is impossible for anyone who isn’t a genetic freak.

If you’re a secretary or a programmer and have never gone hiking, I suppose I understand your disbelief.

It’s like a day at work for me, but easier and more fun.
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Old 03-01-24, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MattoftheRocks
yeah. Walking, jogging, running, and standing for a whole 7 hours is impossible for anyone who isnít a genetic freak.

If youíre a secretary or a programmer and have never gone hiking, I suppose I understand your disbelief.

Itís like a day at work for me, but easier and more fun.
None of those things are riding a bike, which is the activity in question here..... So do you actually ride your bike for 7 hours and spent less than 40 minutes in the saddle as you stated or are you confused about the difference between riding a bike and hiking?
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