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Has my butt reached its limit?(7 posts)

Has my butt reached its limit?dbrogan
Jul 22, 2001 7:18 PM
I've been riding seriously for about a year, usually getting in about 100 miles each week. Lately, I've been upping the mileage as I prepare for my first century in September.

I've never had saddle problems -- until yesterday. I rode 70 miles, 10 farther than I had ever done before. By 40 miles, my butt was aching. So much that I had to take quick breaks every 10 miles for the remainder of the ride.

Is this something that will toughen up over time, or should I be looking at a different saddle? I'm currently using the stock Selle Italia XO Gel that came with my LeMond Tourmalet. If I should be looking at saddles, any suggestions?

If this matters, I'm 6-foot-1 and weigh 191 (down from 204 this spring).



Also, how does one test a saddle? Since it takes several hours before I'm feeling any pain, I can't just sit on the saddle in the shop. Can you test drive a saddle?
re: Has my butt reached its limit?LC
Jul 22, 2001 8:20 PM
It does take a long time to get used to sitting on a saddle, and even after many years of year-around riding I still can not take long flat courses on the saddle. I still have to occasionally stand up to get the blood flowing again. Best advise is to stand up before you feel the pain.

It could be the saddle, your rear end, or a simple adjustment of your saddle. Try to start with a level saddle, or very slightly nose down, using a carpenter bubble level to check it. There are some places that you can test drive a saddle. You will have to check around, but around here REI is a good place for such a thing.
Testing saddles.Rich Clark
Jul 22, 2001 8:30 PM
I bought and returned several saddles before I found the one I ultimately chose. Whether you use a bike shop or a mail order vendor, I think you need to pick one that allows no-questions-asked returns.

To me, the two most important things are that the width of the saddle match the distance between your "sit bones," and that the top of the saddle not press into any part of your anatomy that would get chafed or numb.

Try sitting on something soft that takes an impression, like dirt or sand. You should be able to see and measure how wide a saddle you need. That should help you eliminate lots of potential candidates that are too wide or too narrow.

If you get numbness or chafing right "up the middle," then perhaps a saddle with a center cutout would help.

Frequently, though, depending on where the pain is and what kind of pain it is, all that's required is a small change in saddle position. Sometimes chafing occurs because the saddle is too far back or tilted slightly down, so we end up positioned out on the nose of the saddle. A very tiny change can make a big difference.

This can happen if your riding position is too stretched out, also. On a long ride, as you tire, you tend to want to sit up to take some of the stress off your arms. This can pull you forward onto the nose of the saddle.

Just some points to ponder...

Get a Brooks!!Rusty McNasty
Jul 23, 2001 4:32 AM
Eventually, every serious cyclist will have to make a decision: either live with the pain, or bite the bullet, add 200 grams, and install a Brooks saddle. All my bikes (except my winter/rain beater) have Brooks saddles, and I never get a sore butt, or even a saddle sore! If you really want to keep it light, you can get one with Ti rails, but they cost about $150 each. Check out
Get a Brooks!!kyvdh
Jul 23, 2001 6:43 AM
Just one other comment on the Brooks and particularly the Wallingford Bike shop listed here. I believe they have a 3 or 6 month money back gaurantee if you are not satisfied. That should give you plenty of time to try it out and see. I bought a Brooks B-17 and love it.
try using voler shorts...keith m.
Jul 23, 2001 5:48 AM
along with a good saddle. shorts do make a difference. get the team short with the cantera pad at
Just triedSteveS
Jul 23, 2001 9:51 AM
Just tried my new pair of Voler shorts yesterday and they are pretty good. Still got chaffed even with chamois butter so I would not say the shorts are magic. It seems they used a good weight of lycra, but so far, I have not found a better short for general use than my old Performance Century shorts. Can't speak for the quality of new century shorts.