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long distance riding for women

Old 06-16-09, 10:37 AM
  #1  
Leila
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long distance riding for women

Hi everyone,

can some experienced female cyclists give me advice on what to do to get more comfortable on the saddle.
I seem to have the leg power and fitness to go around 100 miles a day however I start getting really sore towards the end. I do wear the bike shorts.
thanks
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Old 06-16-09, 10:47 AM
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valygrl
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Try some other saddles. Terry has a thirty day try & return policy, REI has a great return/exchange policy. Specialized has a "ass-o-meter" that measures the distance between your sit bones and recommends a saddle based on that. I personally like the Sella Italia Lady Gel Flow, which is nearly the same as the Terry Butterfly, and has a cutout.

Also, just in case, bike shorts are supposed to be worn with no underwear.

good luck - it's trial and error, be patient, and keep trying!
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Old 06-16-09, 12:48 PM
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Before you run out and buy a new seat, try lowering the seat post, just a tiny amount. Lowering mine about 3-5mm really made all the difference in the world. The distance was so tiny that my legs didn't notice but the saddle did. Depending on your seat post, you may also be able to try adjusting the angle of your seat slightly.
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Old 06-16-09, 01:01 PM
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This seems like it might be a general comfort issue rather than female-specific, so I'll chime in.

How long have you been riding? You sound like you're getting around on the bike pretty well, but is that because you're generally fit or is it because you regularly ride a bike?

If you're just starting out biking, you may just need some time for your rear to get used to sitting on a saddle.

Another suggestion: try gearing up a bit. I find that being in too low of a gear keeps me from supporting any appreciable amount of body weight with my legs, so it all goes onto the seat. When I start to get sore, I'll gear up a bit to transfer some of my weight onto my legs.


Totally OT: I knew a girl named Leila back in high-school. I've always liked that spelling, I think it's so much prettier than the "Layla" you usually see.
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Old 06-16-09, 01:30 PM
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In addition to getting info here, try searching forums.teamestrogen.com. The most hated/loved saddles as well as the plethora of threads on measuring sit bones might be of value.

Finding the right saddle that supports you at the sit bones and gets you off the soft tissue is definitely not a science. It is trial and error. But, depending upon where you're having problems, the answer will differ.
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Old 06-17-09, 03:22 AM
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Also work on developing your core so that you can perch on your sitbones all the way through and so that you don't slouch in the saddle.
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Old 06-17-09, 03:58 PM
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FWIW, the Specialized Jett has more room in the middle than any other saddle my wife has used. Actually, the only one she can ride LD. Worth a look. Since you said female specifically, I'm responding to that. Quite hard, but that's good in the long ride. Most saddles with cutouts intended for females tend to be a bit squishy and the cutout gets squished smaller when weight is applied. YMMV.
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Old 06-20-09, 02:37 PM
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Sometimes it's the shorts and not the saddle. Have you tried different brands???
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Old 06-20-09, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Leila View Post
Hi everyone,

can some experienced female cyclists give me advice on what to do to get more comfortable on the saddle.
I seem to have the leg power and fitness to go around 100 miles a day however I start getting really sore towards the end. I do wear the bike shorts.
thanks
If you can go 100 miles and you don't start getting sore until the end, I suspect the problem isn't your saddle -- a saddle that's going to make you sore is likely going to be noticeably uncomfortable way before 100 miles is out. (I can usually tell within 5 minutes that I'm going to hate a saddle. Unfortunately, the converse is not true; it can sometimes take a bit longer to tell if a saddle is going to work for me.) If you're new to cycling, or to cycling long distances (I can't really tell from your post), you may just need time in the saddle to build up your tolerance.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by maxine View Post
If you can go 100 miles and you don't start getting sore until the end, I suspect the problem isn't your saddle -- a saddle that's going to make you sore is likely going to be noticeably uncomfortable way before 100 miles is out. (I can usually tell within 5 minutes that I'm going to hate a saddle. Unfortunately, the converse is not true; it can sometimes take a bit longer to tell if a saddle is going to work for me.) If you're new to cycling, or to cycling long distances (I can't really tell from your post), you may just need time in the saddle to build up your tolerance.
Sometimes. I have saddles that work perfectly on 100-120 mile rides, but on longer brevets or 24-hour races, I get numb and chaffing, so there is a difference that kicks in, probably as form and core go to he11
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Old 06-22-09, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
Sometimes. I have saddles that work perfectly on 100-120 mile rides, but on longer brevets or 24-hour races, I get numb and chaffing, so there is a difference that kicks in, probably as form and core go to he11

+1

When I was going through a saddle testing phase a number of years ago, I took the saddle being tested out on rides of at least 300 km because I can be comfortable on a century riding just about anything that's the right shape and width, but where the pain will kick in for me, indicating a bad saddle, is usually around the 250 km point.
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Old 06-22-09, 06:16 PM
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Just to make sure, you aren't wearing anything under the bike shorts, are you? Also, a lot of people like a chamois creme for that sort of distance (I use Chamois butt'r..)
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Old 07-07-09, 11:48 AM
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Hi everyone
thanks very much for all the advice,
I have tried a few different things but the most effective for me is getting off the saddle for a few minutes every 2-3 hours. perhaps I just need more time on the saddle. I do alot of running and spinning but none of those help this issue.

thanks again for the underwear hint, I finally convinced myself to go just with shorts.

Leila
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Old 07-07-09, 09:14 PM
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And try getting up and standing for about 1 minute out of every 10, by the clock. I try to get into a rhythm where I'll stand every 10, eat every 15, something like that. Gives me something to keep the mind occupied and something to look forward to. Just that little bit out of the saddle makes quite a difference.
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Old 07-07-09, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
And try getting up and standing for about 1 minute out of every 10, by the clock. I try to get into a rhythm where I'll stand every 10, eat every 15, something like that. Gives me something to keep the mind occupied and something to look forward to. Just that little bit out of the saddle makes quite a difference.
+5.5

I also try to stand up for 30 seconds or so every 15 minutes or so. That makes a big difference in how my butt feels over the long term.
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