Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Oh the frusteration.

Old 10-21-08, 07:12 PM
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Oh the frusteration.

I purchased my first bike 3 or so months ago, an 08 specialized allez 54cm. I was of course working on a budget, didn't want to make a huge investment off the bat. At the time, of course a total noobie, not to say i'm not now but perhaps less of one. It felt like the LBS i went to really didn't want to give me the time of day, they didn't fit me at all they just handed me the bike and told me to test ride it, at first it was a 52cm which didn't feel right to me so they reluctantly built up a 54cm for me which did feel a little better. After that was all said and done I suppose their idea of fitting me to the bike was having me pedal on it backwards and then have them say, "looks good." So I bought the bike with some mountain biking shorts(Had a bit of bikeshortphobia.) So everythings fine and dandy for a bit but then I get serious about riding a month or so later and am finding that after 5 or so miles my butt is starting to hurt, initially I start out by buying a new saddle, a sella italia flite, which sort of helped but not really, i tried adjusting my seat post height ride by ride and my handle bar height but nothing in that department was working. I worked myself up to 20 miles a day but by the last mile im dying on my saddle. I decided to get over my fear and buy some Assos Mille bibs, which feel great, but still, don't help. So now i sit here really frusterated, I ride 6 uncomfortable rides a week with 20 miles being the distance since it hurts too much to keep going.

I test rode a 09 Giant TCR alliance the other day from a nonelitist LBS and it felt amazing, im about ready to craigslist this bike and go pick that up. Does anyone have any suggestions on things I haven't tried? maybe another saddle? I would really like to up the milage.
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Old 10-21-08, 07:45 PM
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umm....depends. How much is it hurting? Are you in such extreme pain that all you can think about is getting off the bike or is it more like a "hey, this hurts, but I can get through it."? Or on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most excruciating pain ever, where is it at? Because your arse will hurt when start putting out the miles. When you start to feel the pain coming on, shift a few gears up and stand and hammer for 30 seconds or so. Although from the sounds of it, you are in some pretty bad pain. Try playing with the forward/backward and tilt adjustment on your sadddle. Try tipping the nose down VERY SLIGHTLY, like <2 degrees. See if that helps.
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Old 10-21-08, 07:46 PM
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I would talk to the manager/owner of the store you bought your bike from and tell them you are not happy. If they don't offer to give you a proper fit with actual measurements using fitment tools like a plumb-bob and or lasers then tell them you are going to dispute the charges on w/ your credit card company (if you used a CC). It's not your fault you didn't know how to fit yourself or insist they fit you prior to purchase. Obviously you figure out that was a huge mistake so no need to harp on that.

If that does not work or you can't dispute the charges then just find an expert fitter somewhere else. You should be willing to pay for a professional fitting which should be way less than the loss you will take on selling and purchasing a new bike somewhere else. As long as the frame is the right size or close to the right size you should be able to dial in the fit without too much trouble. At most you might have to buy a new stem and or a new seatpost to get the fit dialed in. Any reputable shop should stand behind their sale and be willing to swap stems and seatposts as needed. If they won't or they don't know how that is pretty bad. You could try going to another Specialized dealer near by and tell them how lame the other dealer is and they might give you fitting. Just a few ideas of the top of my head....
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Old 10-21-08, 07:49 PM
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i used to get pain at 40-50 miles into a ride, so part of it is just conditioning. how long have you been riding?

also a pic of your bike might help.

and if your seat has lots of padding, try one with less (sounds backwards, but it's true).
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Old 10-21-08, 08:09 PM
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get a "pro fit" done before you buy a new bike. At the very least get the measurements of the giant and try to replicate it on you allez. What size is the giant?
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Old 10-21-08, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
umm....depends. How much is it hurting? Are you in such extreme pain that all you can think about is getting off the bike or is it more like a "hey, this hurts, but I can get through it."? Or on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most excruciating pain ever, where is it at? Because your arse will hurt when start putting out the miles. When you start to feel the pain coming on, shift a few gears up and stand and hammer for 30 seconds or so. Although from the sounds of it, you are in some pretty bad pain. Try playing with the forward/backward and tilt adjustment on your sadddle. Try tipping the nose down VERY SLIGHTLY, like <2 degrees. See if that helps.
It hurts bad enough where I'm just telling myself "cmon, cmon." Because I want to push to get home, like a 7-8 and I figured my butt would start hurting after I increase milage but its been 2 or so weeks i've been doing 20 miles and I gave myself some days off after getting the Assos bibs incase there was any bruising.
Hammering only relieves the pain for a little bit and then it comes right back. I've done a lot of searching on this forum because I didn't want to be lame and post my own thread but yeah i've tried moving my seat both up and down.

Originally Posted by wirelessness View Post
I would talk to the manager/owner of the store you bought your bike from and tell them you are not happy. If they don't offer to give you a proper fit with actual measurements using fitment tools like a plumb-bob and or lasers then tell them you are going to dispute the charges on w/ your credit card company (if you used a CC). It's not your fault you didn't know how to fit yourself or insist they fit you prior to purchase. Obviously you figure out that was a huge mistake so no need to harp on that.

If that does not work or you can't dispute the charges then just find an expert fitter somewhere else. You should be willing to pay for a professional fitting which should be way less than the loss you will take on selling and purchasing a new bike somewhere else. As long as the frame is the right size or close to the right size you should be able to dial in the fit without too much trouble. At most you might have to buy a new stem and or a new seatpost to get the fit dialed in. Any reputable shop should stand behind their sale and be willing to swap stems and seatposts as needed. If they won't or they don't know how that is pretty bad. You could try going to another Specialized dealer near by and tell them how lame the other dealer is and they might give you fitting. Just a few ideas of the top of my head....
I think it's been a little late for a claim to be filed against them, especially after riding the bike so much. I'm kind of over dealing with them completely. What actually happens with an expert fitting? Getting another bike was already in the plans if I really got into riding, so that was going to happen anyway however this is just pushing to make it sooner.

Originally Posted by umd View Post
get a "pro fit" done before you buy a new bike. At the very least get the measurements of the giant and try to replicate it on you allez. What size is the giant?
I will definatly be doing so even if it means going out of town, the problem is the lbs i went to has a massive bike selection while the others, not so much. The Giant was a M/L I believe

I'm inbetween 5'8 and 5'9.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Nappy View Post
I will definatly be doing so even if it means going out of town, the problem is the lbs i went to has a massive bike selection while the others, not so much. The Giant was a M/L I believe

I'm inbetween 5'8 and 5'9.
Was it an M or an L? I'm 5'9" and have an M giant and a 54 Tarmac. The 54 Allez is probably the right size, or at least similar enough to the Specialized that if you measure the bars, saddle, etc. on the Giant you should be able to adjust the Allez close to it.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:49 PM
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Err.. I'm positive the size it said was a ML, which I assume to be inbetween a M and an L. The ride on the Giant was a really short one, I was actually planning to take it out for a lot longer of a ride to see how it will actually fair on my body.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:01 PM
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Assuming your limbs are of "average" dimensions, a 54 should be able to fit you just fine. I stand at about 5' 8.5" or so, have a 30 in. inseam and ride a 54 Trek comfortably. Lots of things can contribute to a painful saddle, probably most of which (if you're even close to the right sized frame) are fixable with the right adjustments. The pro fitter who works out of my preferred LBS offers a basic fit for around 65, and does a fantastic job: considering your flexibility, fitness goals, riding style and applying his experience BEFORE you even get onto your bike for the actual fitting. As much as you can tweak around on your own bike, you do not have as much real experience as someone who's been making people comfortable on bikes for years.

DO NOT run off and buy a new bike just yet. Think of it this way, instead of throwing a new bike at the problem, spend far less $ for a fitting and get this bike set up right. THEN, ride it for a year or so at least to ACTUALLY confirm your discipline in the sport (anyone can maintain enthusiasm for a few months) and by then you'll have more knowledge, and more appreciation for both the equipment and riding itself. Chances are decent that the only differences between your bike and the Giant you test rode were things that could be adjusted to match, or would simply require a different saddle.

I know the BF wannabe in you would love to feel obligated to spend a bunch more money on a whim, but most of us (the best of us included i.e. waterrockets) work on a long bicycle turnover rate. Learn to ride the bike you have well, and the eventual upgrade will mean so much more.

-Jeremy
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Old 10-21-08, 10:02 PM
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Here's a few pictures of the bike I took earlier. Sort of bad angles since I was running out of sunlight.




Originally Posted by Tunnelrat81 View Post
Assuming your limbs are of "average" dimensions, a 54 should be able to fit you just fine. I stand at about 5' 8.5" or so, have a 30 in. inseam and ride a 54 Trek comfortably. Lots of things can contribute to a painful saddle, probably most of which (if you're even close to the right sized frame) are fixable with the right adjustments. The pro fitter who works out of my preferred LBS offers a basic fit for around 65, and does a fantastic job: considering your flexibility, fitness goals, riding style and applying his experience BEFORE you even get onto your bike for the actual fitting. As much as you can tweak around on your own bike, you do not have as much real experience as someone who's been making people comfortable on bikes for years.

DO NOT run off and buy a new bike just yet. Think of it this way, instead of throwing a new bike at the problem, spend far less $ for a fitting and get this bike set up right. THEN, ride it for a year or so at least to ACTUALLY confirm your discipline in the sport (anyone can maintain enthusiasm for a few months) and by then you'll have more knowledge, and more appreciation for both the equipment and riding itself. Chances are decent that the only differences between your bike and the Giant you test rode were things that could be adjusted to match, or would simply require a different saddle.

I know the BF wannabe in you would love to feel obligated to spend a bunch more money on a whim, but most of us (the best of us included i.e. waterrockets) work on a long bicycle turnover rate. Learn to ride the bike you have well, and the eventual upgrade will mean so much more.

-Jeremy
haha yeah spending money on a whim is pretty easy, I'll definatly find a professional fitter somewhere around here. Hopefully that fixes things, but also could it just be that the stock saddle and the selle just both wern't meant to be?

Last edited by Nappy; 10-21-08 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:12 PM
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I know it is a decent drive out of the way, however i am over in Rohnert Park, and the LBS i use is over in Petaluma. Those guys are awesome, and treated me great when i bought the bike from them (specialized Allez Elite), the owner DJ does the Pro Fits personally using the Specialized BG system that he went to school for. Although i know the assistant manager Jeff was going to school not to long ago so it may be him also now.

The name of the shop is Sonoma Bicyclery they have a website, i would check it out if i were you and while your at it take a trip out to the coast, make a day of it.

PM me if you want any more details.

EDIT: As a side note how do you like the speedplays as a new riders, i have the Look Keo Easy's and don't really like the single sided hang they have on them, and was looking at the ones you have.

Last edited by trinity000; 10-21-08 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Extra question
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Old 10-21-08, 10:35 PM
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fyi, umd, M/L is a legit giant size they started a couple of years ago. I think it's like a 56-ish

OP -- you'll figure it out. another saddle may be in the works, does the place you bought from have an exchange policy? one of the lbs in my town lets you try a saddle for 30 days -- you may find you like hte fizik arione or specialized toupe (popular choices) or something completely different.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Nappy View Post
could it just be that the stock saddle and the selle just both wern't meant to be?
It honestly could be, but since you haven't been fitted at all really, I'd avoid swapping saddles until after that. That's the flite gel flow saddle right? That's a good saddle, but there are more individual saddle preferences than there are saddles on the market, and there are LOTS of saddles on the market. Saddles are a tricky thing though, and require some experience on different ones to totally understand. Many new riders appreciate the softness in a stock saddle that comes with a bike (bontrager lux is a great example), but quickly realize that if you're putting anything more than 5-10 miles at a time on it the muscle ache that results from all the spread out pressure is excruciating. This should lead you to try out some harder saddles, ones that will 'perch' you up on your sit bones and keep you from 'sinking into' the saddle and thus hindering the muscles that you're trying to put to use down there. The challenge with a harder saddle is that it puts ALL your pressure on your sit bones, which up until now haven't had to bare much weight. Now you're feeling a different and equally horrible pain. But there's an important difference. The sit bones, unlike the muscles, can adapt to the abuse and given enough time will eventually 'callus' up and keep you painlessly suspended on your saddle, allowing you to ride without circulation or muscle pain problems. This transition can take time, and if it doesn't improve after a 4-6 weeks, it's time to look at a different saddle shape/width or both.

This of course is all AFTER you've been fit. The fitter that I used also offers a more comprehensive fit that involves power output and costs quite a bit more, and there are other semi local fitters who charge in the range of 250 for a proper fit. Realize that there's a difference between a fitter who has simply taken a class and one who has been doing it for 10 years +. Call around to all the shops close by and ask them who they'd go to if they wanted a really pro fit. If the same name comes up more than once, give them a call and find out more. It'll be well worth your time/money.

And of course, keep us posted. Good luck.

-Jeremy

*edit* I just noticed that the M/L Giant size is around about a 56cm frame. That frame size SHOULD be too big for someone your height, and might just mean that with the saddle set properly for you, the handlebars were a bit higher, and the overall geometry effectively more 'upright' in comparison to yours. In the mean time, while you find a fitter you could try flipping your stem up, and perhaps even move that last thin spacer to below your stem. This will raise your handlebars and bring them a tad closer, which might just make a positive difference until you can get professional advice. You'll have plenty of time to develop your flexibility on the bike and slowly (over months and years) find yourself in a more aggressive (and still comfortable) position.

Last edited by Tunnelrat81; 10-21-08 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 10-21-08, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by trinity000 View Post
I know it is a decent drive out of the way, however i am over in Rohnert Park, and the LBS i use is over in Petaluma. Those guys are awesome, and treated me great when i bought the bike from them (specialized Allez Elite), the owner DJ does the Pro Fits personally using the Specialized BG system that he went to school for. Although i know the assistant manager Jeff was going to school not to long ago so it may be him also now.

The name of the shop is Sonoma Bicyclery they have a website, i would check it out if i were you and while your at it take a trip out to the coast, make a day of it.

PM me if you want any more details.

EDIT: As a side note how do you like the speedplays as a new riders, i have the Look Keo Easy's and don't really like the single sided hang they have on them, and was looking at the ones you have.
Sounds like i'll probably be giving them a try ill give them a call tomorrow. The speedplays are great so far I got the light ones so theyre really easy to clip in and out.

Originally Posted by kudude View Post
fyi, umd, M/L is a legit giant size they started a couple of years ago. I think it's like a 56-ish

OP -- you'll figure it out. another saddle may be in the works, does the place you bought from have an exchange policy? one of the lbs in my town lets you try a saddle for 30 days -- you may find you like hte fizik arione or specialized toupe (popular choices) or something completely different.
I just looked on the giant website and it seems for the TCR alliance the ML is a 55.5. Unfortunately I bought the saddle from amazon since I had a gift card, so i'd probably have to sell it on the forums and buy a new.

Originally Posted by Tunnelrat81 View Post
It honestly could be, but since you haven't been fitted at all really, I'd avoid swapping saddles until after that. That's the flite gel flow saddle right? That's a good saddle, but there are more individual saddle preferences than there are saddles on the market, and there are LOTS of saddles on the market. Saddles are a tricky thing though, and require some experience on different ones to totally understand. Many new riders appreciate the softness in a stock saddle that comes with a bike (bontrager lux is a great example), but quickly realize that if you're putting anything more than 5-10 miles at a time on it the muscle ache that results from all the spread out pressure is excruciating. This should lead you to try out some harder saddles, ones that will 'perch' you up on your sit bones and keep you from 'sinking into' the saddle and thus hindering the muscles that you're trying to put to use down there. The challenge with a harder saddle is that it puts ALL your pressure on your sit bones, which up until now haven't had to bare much weight. Now you're feeling a different and equally horrible pain. But there's an important difference. The sit bones, unlike the muscles, can adapt to the abuse and given enough time will eventually 'callus' up and keep you painlessly suspended on your saddle, allowing you to ride without circulation or muscle pain problems. This transition can take time, and if it doesn't improve after a 4-6 weeks, it's time to look at a different saddle shape/width or both.

This of course is all AFTER you've been fit. The fitter that I used also offers a more comprehensive fit that involves power output and costs quite a bit more, and there are other semi local fitters who charge in the range of 250 for a proper fit. Realize that there's a difference between a fitter who has simply taken a class and one who has been doing it for 10 years +. Call around to all the shops close by and ask them who they'd go to if they wanted a really pro fit. If the same name comes up more than once, give them a call and find out more. It'll be well worth your time/money.

And of course, keep us posted. Good luck.

-Jeremy

*edit* I just noticed that the M/L Giant size is around about a 56cm frame. That frame size SHOULD be too big for someone your height, and might just mean that with the saddle set properly for you, the handlebars were a bit higher, and the overall geometry effectively more 'upright' in comparison to yours. In the mean time, while you find a fitter you could try flipping your stem up, and perhaps even move that last thin spacer to below your stem. This will raise your handlebars and bring them a tad closer, which might just make a positive difference until you can get professional advice. You'll have plenty of time to develop your flexibility on the bike and slowly (over months and years) find yourself in a more aggressive (and still comfortable) position.
Yeah now that I think about it my right cheek is fine on the saddle its the left that starts to feel pain, in the beginning when i first started riding both sitbones would get bruised but that has passed, it feels like a muscle pain where my bottom cheek and leg meet. As far as the adjustment with the spacer, I did myself just to try it out, it feels better for my lower back that way. I dont feel like I sink at all with the Flite and seems to be rather firm however the Giant one did seem to sink so to speak and was really comfortable but I didn't ride it long.
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Old 10-21-08, 11:42 PM
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Been there... good news is you will get it right eventually. Bad news, it might take a long time. I used over 10 saddles, including some high end ones (over a hundred bucks). Thanks God my lbs haz the "return policy" that if ur butt don't like it u can return it.

I got some speedplays too, just to find out my knees don't like them and hurt a lot. I've also play with seat positioning (forward, aft, tilt)... Sometimes it takes a long time to find the minor adjustments needed to take away the pain.

I've finally settled for a saddle that feels like a wooden table (better than the cinder block)... not as cushy as I would like, but don't cause as much numbness... and legs feel fine. I've been able to ride 75 miles.

My advice, don't quit... keep making adjustments and changes till you find your own comfort combination.

PS: Nice bike... It looks good to me.
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Old 10-21-08, 11:54 PM
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a saddle is all about preference. just because it is expensive does not mean it will provide comfort. often times the more expensive the less comfortable because of the reduction in padding or the carbon surface. I have a very nice bike but my saddle is a cheap $20-40 saddle because that is what works for me. it has taken me a long time to find one that I find adequate for my arse.
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Old 10-21-08, 11:58 PM
  #17  
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the first step is to stay off the bike for a few days...let your sore tissue recover. the key to the butt and saddle interface is for your sit bones to be correctly supported on a firm part of the saddle. Its hard to tell by the photos, but it does look like the saddle is level. the handlebar position determines the angle your sit bones interface with the saddle. you can try sitting up more, or hunch down more to change the angle. you should be able to feel the difference after you're off the bike for a few days.

if that doesn't work, get a fitting. another good lbs for a fitting is the bicycle odyssey in sausalito. you should make an appointment.
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Old 10-22-08, 12:19 AM
  #18  
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Hey Nappy, I felt your pain. As posted earlier, I bought an Allez Elite back in July. The LBS basically did a stand over test, and while I should have gotten a 56cm I bought a 58cm since it fit decently, was better equipped than the Allez Double/triples and was very good priced. Riding was ok, but not comfortable at any length.

Fast forward about 4 months >>>>>>>> my bike now fits like a glove and I can ride 40+ miles without discomfort. But here's what I had to do (there are no pro fitters in this area - and $250 wasn't what I was willing to spend should I travel to the nearest fitter.):

1. Bought "Zinn and the art of roadbike maintenance" read over the chapter on fitment. Got the bike geometry from Specialized website/catalogue. Took the time to see where it was fitting right, and not where it wasn't.

2. Switched from a 120 stem to a 90 (flopped)

3. have had to adjust the saddle various (read: MANY) times up/down, fore/aft, tilt

4. strengthen my core so I wasn't holding so much weight on my wrists

5. build up the miles gradually.

So I would say either with a pro fit, or self fit (using Zinn) you should be in business soon enough. Good luck!
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Old 10-22-08, 04:56 PM
  #19  
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Yeah I think i'm going to force myself on a stationary recumbant bicycle for the next couple of days and let those muscle's heal fully, then hopefully I can find a good bike fitter by this weekend, I know theres some really really nice ones in like mill valley north of san francisco. I maybe will try a new seat too, i'm sure the resale is pretty good on a selle italia flite.

Thanks for all the help, what do they measure and do with all the tools when you get a professional fitting?
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Old 10-22-08, 07:44 PM
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So a little update, I got on the recumbant work out bike and in about the same amount of time it takes on my road bike I was getting uncomfortable, It feels like whatever muscle is in my arse, once it starts to get going becomes uncomfortable then eventually pain. Perhaps I over did it when first starting and pulled them. So now the recumbant is out but it makes sense to why im having problems. Now what do I do for a work out that would let those muscles heal : /.

Last edited by Nappy; 10-22-08 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nappy View Post
So a little update, I got on the recumbant work out bike and in about the same amount of time it takes on my road bike I was getting uncomfortable, It feels like whatever mussle is in my arse, once it starts to get going becomes uncomfortable then eventually pain. Perhaps I over did it when first starting and pulled them. So now the recumbant is out but it makes sense to why im having problems. Now what do I do for a work out that would let those muscles heal : /.
For what it's worth, I can sit on my saddle all day but I can't stand being on those gym bikes (recumbent or otherwise) for more than 20 minutes. They are just too damn wide and padded. You probably need a narrower and harder saddle.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:53 PM
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Yeah, It is heavily padded, The flite saddle seems hard and stiff to me however i'm getting the exact same feeling of discomfort/pain with the two. I'll try cooling my jets for a couple of days. I've lost about 10 pounds in about 6-7 weeks (193 to 183) when that happens you just want to keep going and seeing results and I feel if I dont ride i'll put some weight back on. Darn bum.
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Old 10-22-08, 08:06 PM
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After a pro fitting, I felt awful on my bike when I got serious for at least a month. Now it fits like a glove though I've adjusted nothing ( fit wise) since I've bought it.
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Old 10-22-08, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Nappy View Post
snip...


haha yeah spending money on a whim is pretty easy, I'll definatly find a professional fitter somewhere around here. Hopefully that fixes things, but also could it just be that the stock saddle and the selle just both wern't meant to be?
I had a similar problem when I started riding. I took the stock Bontrager saddle to be junk and replaced it with a nice new Fizik Arione. Beautiful saddle, however, it could double as a medevil torture device. I toughed it out for 3 years and finally realized it was too narrow for my sit bones. I'm not a big guy, but I have wide site bones. I ended up with a Specialized Alias 155 and it's wonderful. So, try a wider saddle and see what that feels like.

Another tip. Chamois creme. That was a recent revelation to me. Ups the comfort even more.
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Old 10-22-08, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Nappy View Post
I purchased my first bike 3 or so months ago, an 08 specialized allez 54cm. I was of course working on a budget, didn't want to make a huge investment off the bat. At the time, of course a total noobie, not to say i'm not now but perhaps less of one. It felt like the LBS i went to really didn't want to give me the time of day, they didn't fit me at all they just handed me the bike and told me to test ride it, at first it was a 52cm which didn't feel right to me so they reluctantly built up a 54cm for me which did feel a little better. After that was all said and done I suppose their idea of fitting me to the bike was having me pedal on it backwards and then have them say, "looks good." So I bought the bike with some mountain biking shorts(Had a bit of bikeshortphobia.) So everythings fine and dandy for a bit but then I get serious about riding a month or so later and am finding that after 5 or so miles my butt is starting to hurt, initially I start out by buying a new saddle, a sella italia flite, which sort of helped but not really, i tried adjusting my seat post height ride by ride and my handle bar height but nothing in that department was working. I worked myself up to 20 miles a day but by the last mile im dying on my saddle. I decided to get over my fear and buy some Assos Mille bibs, which feel great, but still, don't help. So now i sit here really frusterated, I ride 6 uncomfortable rides a week with 20 miles being the distance since it hurts too much to keep going.

I test rode a 09 Giant TCR alliance the other day from a nonelitist LBS and it felt amazing, im about ready to craigslist this bike and go pick that up. Does anyone have any suggestions on things I haven't tried? maybe another saddle? I would really like to up the milage.
First off, that's a bad bike shop.

Most of the bike shops I frequent will be glad to do a full non-professional fit after you purchase the bike. Fitting is something that requires time and care, since it's your ass that'll be on that saddle, whether its' for five minutes or five hours.

Secondly, if your butt hurts a lot after you ride, you may either:
  • a) Be wearing shorts with bad padding, or
  • b) Have the wrong seatpost height, or
  • c) Have the wrong stem size.

You might be too straight on the bike or not giving your legs enough room to make the full rotation. A picture would greatly help us with this. At any case, go to a good bike shop, have them do a real fit for you, and pay for the best investment you've made for yourself.

Good luck!
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