Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

More saddle time needed?

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Old 07-09-18, 04:51 PM
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guidosan
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More saddle time needed?

Okay, until recently I have been doing rides of about 30 miles, but almost never two days in a row. I have been commuting about 15 miles each way, and again not on consecutive days.
But this year I developed an interest in doing longer rides and I want to try some randonneuring next year. So I am slowly trying to go longer and I can do a 50 60 mile ride with no real issues with saddle pain/soreness. But as soon as I get on the bike the next day, I am really sore immediately and struggle by mile 15. It feels like the pain is on the sit bones and I need to stand more often just to relieve the discomfort. So I am wondering if I just need more time in the saddle to get my backside used to riding on multiple days. Or should I be concerned that my bike fit or saddle is the culprit.

Any ideas and suggestions on where to start on correcting this is welcome
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Old 07-09-18, 05:23 PM
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It's possible your saddle doesn't fit your sit bones. My rule of thumb for saddles is that anything will work up to about 50 miles. If a saddle is still okay at 80 miles, it's a candidate for long distance use.

I had similar trouble to what you are describing earlier this year with the bike I keep on my trainer. The saddle wasn't the one I always use, but I have ridden it successfully on rides of more than 200 miles. Switching to another one of my regular saddles fixed the problem
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Old 07-10-18, 11:41 AM
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I take it no abrasion sores or soreness, just pressure soreness? What saddle? How much padding, i.e. how far can your thumb sink into it?

Another thing you could try is to ride every day, even for only 1/2 hour. When you sit on a saddle, the tissues below the pelvic bones are compressed. This cuts off some of their oxygen supply. That makes them hurt. Over time, repetitive oxygen reduction causes changes in these tissues which enable them to carry on even with the reduced blood supply. This is the mechanism of getting a tough saddle butt.

OTOH, an ill fitting saddle can cause bone bruising, which only gets worse, never better. On a day after a ride when your butt hurt, reach back and press on the bones which were bothering you. Do they hurt when you press on them? That would be a bad sign.

Another thing you can try is to stand for 1 minutes every 10 minutes, by the clock. Everyone should do that anyway. That allows blood to return to the compressed tissues and helps them adapt.
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Old 07-10-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Another thing you can try is to stand for 1 minutes every 10 minutes, by the clock. Everyone should do that anyway. That allows blood to return to the compressed tissues and helps them adapt.
I've made a concerted effort to do that this year and it's helped a lot!
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Old 07-10-18, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by guidosan View Post
Any ideas and suggestions on where to start on correcting this is welcome
Although a proper fit of the machine and making sure that all of the contact points of bars/saddle/pedals and gloves/shorts/shoes are well fitted are very important there is no substitute for seat time.
When putting in the base miles necessary for adaption to the machine and building endurance there is no better time to work on the basics of operational control and developing a good position on the bike. Ride a straight predictable line, look where you want the bike to go, keep your elbows bent, turn a respectable cadence and have at it.

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Old 07-10-18, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Another thing you can try is to stand for 1 minutes every 10 minutes, by the clock. Everyone should do that anyway. That allows blood to return to the compressed tissues and helps them adapt.
I hurt my knee and whenever I stand up, it starts hurting again and I need to get off the bike and walk a few steps. Just did a 200k, and doing it almost all in the saddle was interesting. Fortunately I have really seasoned my butt this year and had no ill effects on that front
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Old 07-10-18, 10:00 PM
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Another thing to consider is that riding style may be a factor. On my present saddle, I have absolutely no problems and no discomforts whatsoever even on century rides (160km / 100miles)... but that is with fast group rides where we tend to put down power on the pedals so our legs form a sort of suspension that help reduce pressure on the saddle.

But on brevets I notice I tend to feel more saddle discomfort, especially past 200km (124miles) where I tend to be in a more relaxed type of pedaling style, i.e. lower average power and more weight on the saddle. By the end of a 300km (186miles) brevet I get soreness at the sit bones... something I didn't really bother to think about until now, since the soreness is mostly superficial and goes away in 1-2 days. But after my most recent 600km (372miles) brevet, the following day the skin at my sit bones were really painful even to touch -- pretty obvious signs of abrasion. Took nearly a week for that to heal, and I am considering an alternative saddle that is designed more for sitting and less for racing.

But anyways the takeaway from that is, what's comfortable for hard and fast training rides may not feel the same for a more relaxed, ultra long distance ride.
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Old 07-11-18, 09:22 AM
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Hey thanks for all of the input.
My current saddle is a Selle Italia Flite and is fairly firm but I can push about 3 mm into the padding. When I did 75 miles (120 km) I felt nothing out of the ordinary as far as being uncomfortable and I have not experienced any abrasions, just soreness.
For now I am going to give it more time. Good advice to stand for a minute for every 10 minutes riding. I also like the idea of riding even for half an hour on consecutive days.

Wow, in trying to get ready for brevets can sure highlight deficiencies and accentuate areas that need attention.

Thanks everybody!
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Old 07-11-18, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by guidosan View Post
Wow, in trying to get ready for brevets can sure highlight deficiencies and accentuate areas that need attention.
Besides the saddle issue, I discovered that I absolutely hated my cycling gloves after the 100 mile mark. I've since found ones that work fine for me. As for saddles, I think after trying 4 different ones, I've finally settled on a saddle that is reasonably comfortable up to 200K and that I can ride again the next day for a 100K. Still not convinced that I can do a continuous 300K. Part of that is a lack of desire to ride in the dark as I'm a slower rider.
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Old 07-12-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GadgetGirlIL View Post
Besides the saddle issue, I discovered that I absolutely hated my cycling gloves after the 100 mile mark. I've since found ones that work fine for me. As for saddles, I think after trying 4 different ones, I've finally settled on a saddle that is reasonably comfortable up to 200K and that I can ride again the next day for a 100K. Still not convinced that I can do a continuous 300K. Part of that is a lack of desire to ride in the dark as I'm a slower rider.
Just curious, but what kind of issue did the gloves cause? I find I have to wash mine after about 4-5 rides (or about once a week). I ride about 60-80 miles a week total right now, so not a ton of miles.
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Old 07-12-18, 09:29 AM
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My hands were getting so sore from my gloves. They didn't have the right kind of padding. Some of the gel gloves feel like they have rocks in them, at least to my hands. I did find a couple of pairs that gave me more padding without the "rock" feel. I wash my gloves after every ride, but I only do 1-2 rides a week and they are long (60-100+ miles). If I don't wash my gloves, my hands get itchy.
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Old 07-12-18, 08:12 PM
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I'd try a different saddle.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:05 AM
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My guess is you may need a better fitting saddle? Just an impression based on your description.
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Old 08-12-18, 10:04 AM
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Re:Cycling gloves.
I use gloves with thin padding and bring at least 2 pairs with me on brevets.
I swap them out every 100k or so and ride gloveless for a couple dozen kms between changes.
Each pair is a different brand so the padding is placed in slightly different places.
I find this really helped my sore hands
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