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saddle sores/bike seat

Old 10-27-05, 12:06 PM
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redbikecyclist
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saddle sores/bike seat

any advice???? I'm missing my bike but too sore to ride! I am pretty low on my bike, I rest forearms on handle bars, so there are no sit bones to be sitting on! My old bike seat actually broke in two and I recently purchased a new bike seat...what is the best bike seat for a GIRL that hunches over??? I hate to sound vulgar but all my weight is in the crotch area. What is the best bike seat? I was very happy with a seat i had called tailbones, it was a gel seat and I ride 35/40 miles a day? should i be getting use to a harder seat? remember my weight is resting in a delicate area!
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Old 10-27-05, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by redbikecyclist
any advice???? I'm missing my bike but too sore to ride! I am pretty low on my bike, I rest forearms on handle bars, so there are no sit bones to be sitting on!
This is probably your main problem right here...Sitting on a bike saddle (or a horse saddle, for that matter) really can only be done safely if your weight is being carried by those sit bones, and not by your soft tissue in the perineum.


Originally Posted by redbikecyclist
My old bike seat actually broke in two and I recently purchased a new bike seat...what is the best bike seat for a GIRL that hunches over??? I hate to sound vulgar but all my weight is in the crotch area. What is the best bike seat? I was very happy with a seat i had called tailbones, it was a gel seat and I ride 35/40 miles a day? should i be getting use to a harder seat? remember my weight is resting in a delicate area!


A really soft seat will be much worse for you over long distances, because your weight will not be carried by your sit bones. After a while, the pressure will get applied directly to the soft tissue, and you'll cut off circulation downstairs. You could be severely bruising yourself.

Think of it like riding a horse. After a day or two of extended rides, the soreness will go away. I just started riding a firmer, leather saddle, and the soreness feels a lot more natural than the numbness I used to feel on my other seats.

The soreness will tell you that you're riding properly and not doing harm to your body, only toughening up.

Good luck

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Old 10-27-05, 10:22 PM
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Use the "Search the Forums" function and search for: Terry Specialized Body Geometry Saddles


That will take you to several helpful discussions of this topic. The ONE thing that will make the biggest difference in rear end comfort is to raise your bars so that your hands are postioned higher than your saddle. That brings your pelvis up into an upright position so that your weight is on your sitbones, and not the soft tissues.

The second most important thing is to find a saddle that is firm, so that your sitbones can not sink into the cushion. That saddle needs to be wider than your rear. The narrowest saddle that will fully support the pelvis of a typical adult female requires a flat support area that is six inches wide, or wider.

There is no "perfect" saddle that works for everyone. However, the Specialized Body Geometry saddles designed for women are consistently better than MOST women's saddles. Try the firmest SBG model that is wider than your sitbones (six inches or more). Position your bars with your hands higher than the saddle. Put the saddle dead level. Then take twenty or thirty rides for your rear to get adjusted to the feel of the saddle.
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Old 10-27-05, 11:23 PM
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You should not be getting a saddle sore, or having trouble with saddle friction on rides under a century. If you are, there is something wrong, or you've been unlucky with the weather.

These are the causes of problems on shorter rides:

1. Your bicycle is incorrectly set up (saddle too high, saddle too low, saddle tilted wrong, fore-aft adjustment off). If it is too low, you'll rub more and have more friction. If it is too high, you'll rock. You say you sit fairly low on your saddle ... that might be the problem right there. When you are sitting on your saddle, can you rest your heel on the pedal, with the pedal in the 6:00 position, and have only a slight bend in your knee? If so, then you've probably got the saddle about right, but if you've got a lot of bend in your knee, it is probably too low. Also, if you suffer from some front of the knee pain, you've probably got your saddle too low.

2. You've got the wrong saddle - those gel things or any kind of saddle where you sink into soft cushioning cause more friction. I went to a Brooks saddle with great results.

3. Your shorts are too loose. If they are loose they travel and that causes friction. I have trouble when my shorts have reached their 2-year mark, and what a HUGE difference a new, snug, pair of shorts makes. I do not wear a pair of shorts that is more than 2 years old on long rides.

4. You've got the wrong shorts. After my previous shorts started giving me trouble I went shorts hunting and was appalled by the number of shorts that had their chamois seams right across my sitbones (and I don't have wide hips!). Like I want to be sitting on seams for 24+ hours!! I bought the one and only pair with a chamois that covered my sitbones. Another thing you might keep an eye out for is shorts that have a seam right up the middle ... you don't want those, you want something nice and smooth through there. Oh and while I'm talking about shorts ... you don't wear underwear under your cycling shorts, right? Underwear will cause all sorts of friction and discomfort too.

5. You ride in wet weather - if you ride any sort of distance in rain, you want some sort cream (I'll get to that in a minute) on your friction points. Your skin is more sensitive and fragile in wet weather.

6. You ride in hot weather - same sort of thing as riding in wet weather except the moisture is not created by rain, but rather by sweat.

7. You forget to use your cream on a ride of 100 miles or more (unless it's hot and wet, you shouldn't need it for rides less than 100 miles).

8. You don't shower and clean yourself well right after the ride, or depending on the length of the ride, a few times in the middle of the ride.

9. You're posture needs work. If you slump in the saddle at all, that area will come in contact with the saddle and will be uncomfortable. But if you sit up, and more or less perch on the saddle, on your sitbones because that's what they are there for, you will be much more comfortable. Something that might help you with perching is abdominal exercises. A strong abdomen and back will help you hold good posture on the bicycle for a long time.
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There are various products you can use if you are caught in the rain, or if it is very hot such as Bag Balm, Chamois Buttr, and my favorite Johnson's and Johnson's Daily Protection cream. I've also started using Vaseline's new "Creamy" product, and Ozonol sometimes. You might opt to use Ozonol, or something similar for a little while, on your next few rides. It has a topical anesthetic in it, as well as anti-bacterial stuff, which will help dull the pain and also aid in healing.

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And as for what to do if you get a saddle sore ... apply zinc. Get ahold of Johnson's and Johnson's Diaper Rash Ointment (with zinc) or something similar with a high zinc content and apply liberally before going to bed at night. In the morning everything will be OK.

If for some reason it is not gone by morning. Have it seen to by a Dr. It is either something else or is much worse and much more serious than I've ever encountered in all my miles of cycling.

All the best!
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Old 10-28-05, 10:23 AM
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Machka is talking about saddle sores, which you named in the title of the thread, but the other posters are talking about some other kind of seat pain. I'm not sure that you're really experiencing a genuine saddle sore -- a saddle sore is a noun, a lesion, a visibly red, inflamed, infected painful spot. Does that describe your problem?
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