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Bike sit. Saddle is tearing the $%^ out of me. /Sol Rosenburg

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Bike sit. Saddle is tearing the $%^ out of me. /Sol Rosenburg

Old 01-29-14, 02:50 PM
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Bike sit. Saddle is tearing the $%^ out of me. /Sol Rosenburg

I'm trying to determine if, perhaps, my seat is too narrow. I mean, it looks narrow just looking at it.

I've followed the instructions to get my sit measurement and have come up with about 143mm. From what I understand, I'm to add 25-30mms to this amount if I were to shop for a new seat.

First question. Is this right? Measure middle sit bone indention to middle sit bone indention + 25-30?

Second question. And I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this but I haven't been able to find a guide as to how to measure the proper sit of the saddle I'm already using. In other words, if so, how (too) small is the one I've currently been riding? If I measure the thickest part, side-to-side, I get about 140mm. Thing is, that's taking a measurement at the extreme width - an area that my buttocks don't even touch. If I measure, what I believe to be, the widest part that my body actually touches, it appears to be about 115mm.

Logically, I have to assume that I (143 + 25-30) am way too wide for a saddle that has a seat width (that actually touches) of about 115mm, yes? I don't normally have issues because I'm normally an out-of-saddle rider on the road. However, this week of trainer rides is killing me. My schlong fell asleep yesterday on a 45 minute ride.
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Old 01-29-14, 03:00 PM
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Everyone is different. It's better to be wider in the seat than too narrow. As long as the seat doesn't chafe, then you're probably ok.

Most bike shops will let you demo a seat and see if it works. That's really the only way to go about about it.

If you are getting numbness then it's likely because you are smashing the nerves and blood vessels that run between your legs. That's not meant to be the load bearing area of your body. This suggests that you could use a seat with a cut out in it that would provide relief to that area. A seat that I have found works well for me, and they have a generous demo program, are koobi seats. https://www.koobi.com. It's worth a call to them as a minimum, ask to talk to Phil who is really quite an authority on seats, sizing and the symptoms you describe.

J.
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Old 01-29-14, 03:05 PM
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Is the saddle set too far back? Your sit bones should be on the wings of the saddle, not the narrower part. You should feel the wings under your bones and very little pressure anywhere else.
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Old 01-29-14, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by knoxtnhorn View Post
First question. Is this right? Measure middle sit bone indention to middle sit bone indention + 25-30?

Second question. And I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this but I haven't been able to find a guide as to how to measure the proper sit of the saddle I'm already using. In other words, if so, how (too) small is the one I've currently been riding? If I measure the thickest part, side-to-side, I get about 140mm. Thing is, that's taking a measurement at the extreme width - an area that my buttocks don't even touch. If I measure, what I believe to be, the widest part that my body actually touches, it appears to be about 115mm.

Logically, I have to assume that I (143 + 25-30) am way too wide for a saddle that has a seat width (that actually touches) of about 115mm, yes? I don't normally have issues because I'm normally an out-of-saddle rider on the road. However, this week of trainer rides is killing me. My schlong fell asleep yesterday on a 45 minute ride.
This article which I like says more like 1 cm on either side, so add about 20 mm to your actual sit bone measurements.

https://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...-saddles-.html

Saddles are usually measured outside to outside at their widest point. Your 140 mm measurement sounds a lot more plausible than 115 mm (I am not aware of any saddle that narrow).

There could be many reasons why your current saddle is giving you discomfort (saddle too narrow/too wide, fit issues, etc.). I should also mention that in my experience trainers tend to exacerbate any problems. For example, I am comfortable on my saddle for 4+ hours on the road, but I start getting significant discomfort around an hour on the trainer.
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Old 01-29-14, 03:54 PM
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143 mm is a wide man's saddle. 170 is unheard of. Start with a 143 and go wider if necessary. I don't think a person can truly measure their own sit bone width. Trial and error is the method of choice here.
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Old 01-29-14, 03:57 PM
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No help here. But your post title
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Old 01-29-14, 04:04 PM
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When I first began cycling saddles caused much despair. I thought I'd have to give up the bike. Over time I found one that sort of worked and later another that was better. I've learned that tiny differences can have a big effect. The saddle I use now just about disappears even on long rides. I have another one that looks exactly the same but it's not. If I trace the shape of one saddle over the shape of the other onto paper, the slight differences are evident. I have learned what to look for now but don't actually have to look any longer. Stay with it.
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Old 01-29-14, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I don't think a person can truly measure their own sit bone width. Trial and error is the method of choice here.
I disagree. I measured mine with silly putty and plastic wrap and came up with 119mm. I then went to a Specialize BG bike fitter to use their ass-o-meter technology and it give him a measurement of 119mm.
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Old 01-29-14, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
I disagree. I measured mine with silly putty and plastic wrap
They still have Silly Putty? That is one old toy.

Sorry, I realize that this doesn't advance the thread at all.
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Old 01-29-14, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
I disagree. I measured mine with silly putty and plastic wrap and came up with 119mm. I then went to a Specialize BG bike fitter to use their ass-o-meter technology and it give him a measurement of 119mm.

Pictures? This I gotta see.

J.
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Old 01-29-14, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Pictures? This I gotta see.
Well I didn't take pictures of me actually measuring, but I did grab a shot of the end result for reference. Enjoy my ass print!



And to clarify, I used play-doh, not silly putty. My mistake.

If you're interested in doing this it's pretty simple.

1. Flatten out play-doh to about 1cm thick (I used a rolling pin)
2. Put it on a hard and flat surface like a wooden chair
3. Put the plastic wrap over it
4. Sit down for 30 seconds (thinner pants the better as it won't mess up the imprint as much)
5. Stand up and measure from the center of the each sit bone imprint.

Boom, now you know the width of your sit bones.
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Old 01-29-14, 06:08 PM
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That. Be. Awesome.

Maybe even better to do it bare-assed, no?

Either way, it's the hardest part of riding, figuring this out. I ride with a dermatologist who told me that it's a genetic response in how individuals deal with impacted hair follicles. There is a common human genetic disorder called keratosis pilaris, and a huge number of people have it to some degree. If you have the red dots on your upper arms, you have it. Anyway, he says folks with higher degrees of KP (which results in high keratin protein production) tend to be the most susceptible to saddle sores and infected follicles.

I'm only writing this because his colleague has surgically treated Vincenzo Nibali multiple times over the past few years for saddle sore and follicular removal. Nibali also has KP. And anyone reading this does not have anywhere near the professional competence of bike fit that Nibali has access to.

So maybe it's bike fit, maybe it's genetics.

Either way, I love Buzzatronic's dedication!!
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Old 01-29-14, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
If you're interested in doing this it's pretty simple.

1. Flatten out play-doh to about 1cm thick (I used a rolling pin)
2. Put it on a hard and flat surface like a wooden chair
3. Put the plastic wrap over it
4. Sit down for 30 seconds (thinner pants the better as it won't mess up the imprint as much)
5. Stand up and measure from the center of the each sit bone imprint.

Boom, now you know the width of your sit bones.
To be more accurate, you need to measure the distance between the imprints while leaning forward at the same angle you would when riding. That usually gives a narrower measurement.
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Old 01-29-14, 06:24 PM
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I was hurting after about 40mins every ride so I bought a Fizik Aliante off ebay to try. It showed up and felt the same. Old saddle was a troupe from my roubaix. So I took some time and moved the saddle around. Ended up raising it like 4mm and forward. Made a huge difference, now it doesn't hurt at all. Also I didnt notice if you mentioned or anyone asked, are you wearing a good pair of bike shorts with padding?
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Old 01-29-14, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
Well I didn't take pictures of me actually measuring, but I did grab a shot of the end result for reference. Enjoy my ass print!



And to clarify, I used play-doh, not silly putty. My mistake.

If you're interested in doing this it's pretty simple.

1. Flatten out play-doh to about 1cm thick (I used a rolling pin)
2. Put it on a hard and flat surface like a wooden chair
3. Put the plastic wrap over it
4. Sit down for 30 seconds (thinner pants the better as it won't mess up the imprint as much)
5. Stand up and measure from the center of the each sit bone imprint.

Boom, now you know the width of your sit bones.
I stand corrected. Where there is a will, there is a way. But now how do you convert that number to a saddle width?
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Old 01-29-14, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I stand corrected. Where there is a will, there is a way. But now how do you convert that number to a saddle width?
I think the rule of thumb is you want about 10mm of room on each side of your sit bones on the seat, so most people will add 20mm to their measurement to get their seat size. For me that was 139mm and it's better to go slightly wider than slightly more narrow, so I settled on the 143mm size from Specialized and it's worked out well.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
I think the rule of thumb is you want about 10mm of room on each side of your sit bones on the seat, so most people will add 20mm to their measurement to get their seat size. For me that was 139mm and it's better to go slightly wider than slightly more narrow, so I settled on the 143mm size from Specialized and it's worked out well.
That's good to know. Thanks.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:36 PM
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If you are getting numbness it is probably more to do with your set up than the saddle. You maybe stretched out too much and putting pressure in the wrong spot.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:36 PM
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Hmm. my sit bones are wide at about 140ish and I use a 143 Romin. I have a 155 Romin Evo but didn't find that one as comfortable..
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Old 01-29-14, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Hmm. my sit bones are wide at about 140ish and I use a 143 Romin. I have a 155 Romin Evo but didn't find that one as comfortable..
Mine measured out at 135 and I have a 155 Romin. The dude said I could have gone with either depending on how I liked to ride... since I"m looking for a new saddle it's possible I chose poorly. It's great most of the time though.
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Old 01-29-14, 10:42 PM
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Try a Fizik Aliante

Most Fizik dealers carry the test saddles you can check out and ride for a week or so. Note that the Fizik saddle does not have a traditional cut out, it flexes instead much like an older leather saddle.
The fit is angle sensitive so you may also want to invest in a decent seatpost with a two bolt angle adjustment (e.g. Thomson).
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Old 01-29-14, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
Well I didn't take pictures of me actually measuring, but I did grab a shot of the end result for reference. Enjoy my ass print!



And to clarify, I used play-doh, not silly putty. My mistake.

If you're interested in doing this it's pretty simple.

1. Flatten out play-doh to about 1cm thick (I used a rolling pin)
2. Put it on a hard and flat surface like a wooden chair
3. Put the plastic wrap over it
4. Sit down for 30 seconds (thinner pants the better as it won't mess up the imprint as much)
5. Stand up and measure from the center of the each sit bone imprint.

Boom, now you know the width of your sit bones.
That is absolutely great, this should be a sticky (no pun intended) given how saddle issues are a recurrent topic...

I've been wanting to get a proper measurement for a long time, but here is France even the local specialized dealer has never heard of the ass-o-meter (but most people here still think power meters are a gimmick so I was not surprised)...

Anyway, this is especially great since (combined with a trainer) it allows to measure the width in the exact same position you're using on your bike (effective sitbones width tends to get narrower as you get lower)..
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Old 01-29-14, 10:58 PM
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can you get a friend to measure your butt for you? fellow cyclist would be more understanding.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:34 AM
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It's not like there are marks on your sit bones to tell you where to measure to nor are they little. They are sort of a generalized area thing. The main thing, I think is to err on the side of too wide rather than too narrow. Too narrow and you are putting all the weight on your perineum and the blood vessels and nerver there. Too wide is going to be much more better tolerated as long as it isn't too wide for chafing - but there is a LOT more room for error there. I think most people would not have trouble with a wider saddle and the ones that would need a very narrow saddle in general.

Then, any numbness is going to be related to just the top profile of the saddle. Any saddle that is relatively flat and has a full length relief or channel in the saddle should get rid of that that numbness. A lot of saddles have a little cut out but if you sit on them you often find that the cut out is too far back and really doesn't do anything. Look for a cut out/relief that runs down the whole length of the nose of the saddle.

So, to start, I'd look for saddles that are generally wider (140mm or so, at least 135mm. 120mm is really narrow) and with a full length channel and a flat top profile. I've had good luck with the Fizik Versus series and Koobi (my favorite by far).

But, (no pun intended) because every one's hinder is different, the really only way to do this is to (a) take an educated guess and (b) start trying saddles. Fit has a big piece in this too, so it's probably good to get a professional bike fit before you start and make sure you are working with an LBS or saddle company that has a good return policy. Otherwise, you are going to spend (like some of us who have had issues) a LOT of money. I bet I've bought and returned $1500 worth of saddles before I settled on the Koobi. It's a huge hassle, but once you get it right you can just stick with that saddle forever.



J.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:17 AM
  #25  
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Thanks for the responses. I'm going to a bike shop today and taking my current saddle. I'll let you know how far off my measurements were. FWIW, I kept the saddle the bike came with. I'm assuming it's the factory model that came with the original bike - Motobecane Le Champion SL. I can't find a brand on the saddle.
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