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Thoughts on my fitters opinions, chafing and saddle to bar drop.

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Thoughts on my fitters opinions, chafing and saddle to bar drop.

Old 06-29-15, 11:29 AM
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latexyankee
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Thoughts on my fitters opinions, chafing and saddle to bar drop.

Went for a fit on saturday due to chafing and saddles sores on the left side only. I knew my saddle would be raised because the only way to eliminate the friction was to run my saddle too low so that's what I've been doing for the past month and dealing with the knee pain that it creates. Tried many different saddles this season all with the same result.

Long story short fitter is sort of at a loss. Legs are the same size, tried a shim on the opposite side but that caused pretty strong hamstring and knee discomfort. the one thing she couldnt understand is my left thigh/quad is 1.5 inches larger than the right in diameter. This could be due to an old injury but who knows. That is the side I'm getting chafing on.

So I did experience some chafing with my final position on the "fitting" bike (sici serotta bike thing) but its the best we could come up with.

The only suggestion was to get a 110mm stem with a 25 degree angle to mimic the same position as when my saddle is lower. I know this would put more presser on my rear instead of the hands, which sounds counter intuitive. I've ordered the part but I am not too optimistic. I really don't get much chafing in the drops, when leaning forward and more aero so putting myself more upright seems like it would exaggerate the problem. I figured my knees are tracking outwards when the saddle is too low, therefore the back of the leg does not make contact.

I'll give it a shot later this week but I'm almost finished and ready to give in if there is no improvement. Between the money spent on gear and fittings and the bike last year it has sucked my wallet dry and I'm starting to not enjoy riding. Not to mention I commute or was trying to so now I'm spending much more in fuel.

Any thoughts on saddle to bar drop and chafing?
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Old 06-29-15, 11:40 AM
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I am wondering if the size difference in your legs is not the real issue... and if a custom made saddle will not be required.
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Old 06-29-15, 11:58 AM
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Have you tried angling the seatpost a degree or two to the (I'm thinking) right? That could lessen chafing. I used to have my seat angled so the nose was almost over the left edge of my (steel) top tube. Then a PT recommended a shim for my shorter leg and now I ride with the nose about 3mm to the left.

Sound like some time of the bike is good. Maybe come back and try the new height, marking the seattube location with a piece of tape and playing with the seatpost angle when you get back on the bike. Very few of us are actually symmetrical. I am far from it!

Ben
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Old 06-29-15, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Have you tried angling the seatpost a degree or two to the (I'm thinking) right? That could lessen chafing. I used to have my seat angled so the nose was almost over the left edge of my (steel) top tube. Then a PT recommended a shim for my shorter leg and now I ride with the nose about 3mm to the left.

Sound like some time of the bike is good. Maybe come back and try the new height, marking the seattube location with a piece of tape and playing with the seatpost angle when you get back on the bike. Very few of us are actually symmetrical. I am far from it!

Ben
I've tried that before but not with the new height. I will attempt that again if I get chafing in the next ride. I don't know whether to follow the advice of the fitter and install the stem or keep my 100mm with the current drop. I've had 10 days off today, cannot take anymore time, the more time goes by without riding the more i feel like quitting.
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Old 06-29-15, 01:24 PM
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How experieneced and knowledgable is the fitter? If she used Retul, the videos likely will show unusual movement with one side over the other. You are getting sore on one side from some imbalance and you need to find the cause in order to fix it. One quad being that much larger than the other shows you are compensating for something.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:22 PM
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I'm guessing that you meant that one thigh is 1.5" larger in circumference than the other.

If one of my thighs was 1.5" larger in diameter than the other, it would have more than 50% larger area.

That could certainly cause some chafing, and also some stares.
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Old 06-29-15, 04:59 PM
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Yea sorry I meant circumference lol. But I just went out and I think I may have figured out another issue.

Bibs....now I've tried 3 different brands this year but all the same size. I've always been told get them tiiiight as you can without being really uncomfortable. I had some xl's and exchanged them for large because I felt the chamois move just a hair. But with the larges in garneau PI and performance the chamois is real tight between my legs. Like i have to try to close my legs together or they will want to spring apart a bit. So I pulled the legs down a bit to create a little breathing room between my junk chamois and rear thigh. When I was out everything felt smoother and not so bunched up on the sides of the chamois underneath. Not the butt part, but the undercarriage area where leg meets butt check. That is always very very tight and seems to kind of bunch up and where I get my left side sores. I still felt a little contact or friction but it was smooth not a rough feeling. I'm wondering if my left thigh being significantly bigger on that side, if my bibs are just too tight. This is my first season with bibs. I was told make them tight, put them on and do a squat make sure there is constant contact and no room for movement so I use the tightest pair I can, about a 36 waist.

I do have a loose pair of mountain shorts, maybe I should try those. I did get chafing with those on a few rides months ago but also before my fit.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-29-15, 05:18 PM
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Another thought, the "sores" i get are not open wounds/broken skin. They're more of an ingrown hair type which is tender to the touch. I know they are still caused by heat and friction, I used to get them when I worked outdoors in the summer and had to wear jeans. But this could explain why I only get them on the left side, since that leg is bigger, the area around the pad is much tighter and causes more friction? Perhaps I just need to go up a size? Has anyone ever gotten sores or boils from shorts too tight?
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Old 06-29-15, 05:21 PM
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I also tend to get saddle sores only on my larger leg. I've found that some pads have edges which wrinkle and are probably most of the problem. I have a couple pair which so far have never given me a problem. One is no longer made and the other is the current Voler Black Label pad.

The other problem is of course saddle shape. I need a saddle which necks down quickly from the sit bone area and which also has a very smooth rollover from top to skirt. I've had good experiences with the WTB line, some of which are now on clearance at Performance. I've also liked some of the Performance Forte saddles. I have not liked any Specialized and I've pretty much tried them all.

I enjoy long rides and have done up to 15 hours in the saddle so everything has to be just right.

Another suggestion is to always wash your shorts in cold water using Atsko Sport Wash and hang dry immediately after riding. This supposedly makes the stretch in the pad last longer.

I agree with you that, other than raising your saddle to the proper height, changing fit is unlikely to produce any positive results
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Old 06-29-15, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I also tend to get saddle sores only on my larger leg. I've found that some pads have edges which wrinkle and are probably most of the problem. I have a couple pair which so far have never given me a problem. One is no longer made and the other is the current Voler Black Label pad.

The other problem is of course saddle shape. I need a saddle which necks down quickly from the sit bone area and which also has a very smooth rollover from top to skirt. I've had good experiences with the WTB line, some of which are now on clearance at Performance. I've also liked some of the Performance Forte saddles. I have not liked any Specialized and I've pretty much tried them all.

I enjoy long rides and have done up to 15 hours in the saddle so everything has to be just right.

Another suggestion is to always wash your shorts in cold water using Atsko Sport Wash and hang dry immediately after riding. This supposedly makes the stretch in the pad last longer.

I agree with you that, other than raising your saddle to the proper height, changing fit is unlikely to produce any positive results
Spot with the wrinkle, that's exactly how it feels on my larger leg like its folding over. The only common denominator this season are the bibs, but I was ruling them out because I've tried 3 different brands with 3 different chamois types. I believe that all of them are a little too tight though. I did use the PI elites in XL for 2 weeks but returned them for larges and then returned those for larges in Garneau. I dont think REI is going to put up with me returning these for a 4th time though, they were beginning to look a little pissed.

But yea they seem to fold over/wrinkle in the crotch on both sides but more on the left side. Is this just the types of chamois I'm finding in these bibs or an indication of them being too tight?
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Old 06-29-15, 06:42 PM
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is there any way for you to address the strength/size discrepancy in your legs in the weight room? that might be an avenue worth exploring to regain some symmetry in your body. secondly, chamois cream is your friend. I don't always use it, but I prefer sudocrem (in the baby aisle) there are many other more cycling specific choices. in the meantime, you might want to size up your bib shorts to accommodate the bigger leg and then get the smaller shorts leg tailored.
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Old 06-29-15, 06:46 PM
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Veering away from the fitting issue... have you seen a chiropractor? Is it possible that one of your iliums is rotated/tilted causing the pelvis to be off balance? I ask because mine is - due to a slip/fall & broken femur last year.

If your problem on the bike IS due to incorrect bone alignment, it's probably going to cause you more issues in the future than just saddle soreness.
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Old 06-29-15, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
is there any way for you to address the strength/size discrepancy in your legs in the weight room? that might be an avenue worth exploring to regain some symmetry in your body. secondly, chamois cream is your friend. I don't always use it, but I prefer sudocrem (in the baby aisle) there are many other more cycling specific choices. in the meantime, you might want to size up your bib shorts to accommodate the bigger leg and then get the smaller shorts leg tailored.
Yea I can and I lift on semi regular basis but 1.5 inches in muscle mass isn't going to be quick process. Aside from ordering a larger size, I need to find a better maybe thiner chamois. I have had multiple people comment on the voler black label in the past few weeks. Does anyone know if performance ultras have a big bulky chamois?
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Old 06-29-15, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by New_IA_Rider View Post
Veering away from the fitting issue... have you seen a chiropractor? Is it possible that one of your iliums is rotated/tilted causing the pelvis to be off balance? I ask because mine is - due to a slip/fall & broken femur last year.

If your problem on the bike IS due to incorrect bone alignment, it's probably going to cause you more issues in the future than just saddle soreness.
My pelvis is most likely tilted, I've always thought that due to one sided cycling issues. I m just beginning to do some pelvic stretches before riding everyday to help correct the issue. Chiro aint happening, too expensive cant afford it.
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Old 06-29-15, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by latexyankee View Post
Spot with the wrinkle, that's exactly how it feels on my larger leg like its folding over. The only common denominator this season are the bibs, but I was ruling them out because I've tried 3 different brands with 3 different chamois types. I believe that all of them are a little too tight though. I did use the PI elites in XL for 2 weeks but returned them for larges and then returned those for larges in Garneau. I dont think REI is going to put up with me returning these for a 4th time though, they were beginning to look a little pissed.

But yea they seem to fold over/wrinkle in the crotch on both sides but more on the left side. Is this just the types of chamois I'm finding in these bibs or an indication of them being too tight?
I couldn't really tell you. But IME it's the chamois/fit combo. I don't think changing the size will change anything. It's just about the way the pad fits around your leg and against the saddle. My best pads never wrinkle at all, anywhere. BikeTiresDirect is having a sale on PI. I bought a pair of P.R.O. shorts, which look good. Haven't ridden in them yet. The pad is all one piece. Might be worth it if they still have your size. They run small. I'm 147, 5'6", and I could barely get my butt into a pair of mediums which usually fit me easily.

My ancient pair of Performance Ultras aren't great for LD, but they don't chafe.
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Old 06-29-15, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by latexyankee View Post
Yea I can and I lift on semi regular basis but 1.5 inches in muscle mass isn't going to be quick process. Aside from ordering a larger size, I need to find a better maybe thiner chamois. I have had multiple people comment on the voler black label in the past few weeks. Does anyone know if performance ultras have a big bulky chamois?
No, lifting won't fix it. I lift and do single leg presses, same max weight and reps for each leg. Also one-legged pedaling. I think one leg is slightly longer than the other, but not enough to affect my cycling. Still, might be enough to affect the size of my hams.
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Old 06-29-15, 08:10 PM
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Hmmm so should I just starve the big leg? I'm afraid isolated and compound exercises are about the only thing I could do, and one legged pedaling. However this will be a long process. At that rate I should sell the bike while its still worth something.

Edit- sorry thought it was pdedes that posted that after he told me to lift. I agree that lifting will not help too much.

Last edited by latexyankee; 06-30-15 at 06:03 AM.
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