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Saddles and sore butts(8 posts)

Saddles and sore buttsnuthernewbie
Aug 4, 2001 8:48 PM
I know this is a problem only for beginners and probably has been discussed here many times before but I would sure appreciate some input. I'm 47 but in pretty good shape and I've been doing 10 miles every day or every other day and I push myself to get in shape(avg.16 mph on a very hilly 10miles) I'd like to go farther and harder but my butt gets VERY sore and is my limiting factor. I have a new bike--GT ZR 3.0 and it has a fairly good saddle--Selle Italia SPX. Would a gel seat cover help? What about adjustments? Thank you very much.
re: Saddles and sore buttsAkirasho
Aug 4, 2001 9:06 PM
... not only a problem for beginners, but most likely a problem with fit and saddle adjustment.

Assuming that your new ride was correctly sized, give the above link a try for a few simple adjustments (one at a time... in small increments, giving your body time to adapt before you say yea or nay). Remember, that the brunt of your body weight should be borne on your sit bones... generally, extra padding isn't needed... course, there are exceptions.

Good luck and...

Be the bike.

P.S. another option is a recumbent... I love my uprights, but take regular rides on my 'bents... gives the rest of the ole bod a rest while offering a bit of cross training (different muscle groups and/or the same groups used in a different way).
Just say no to gel seat coversjtolleson
Aug 4, 2001 9:20 PM
If you really look around, you'll see those silly things only on the seats of beginners or those who have been led to believe that in the event of sore sit bones (or pubic bones, the most two likely areas for saddle soreness) that they need more padding.

More padding is not the solution to saddle pain. With gel in particular, it can create pressure points and tenderness that a sleeker saddle set up would relieve.

Check two things:

1. Do you wear decent bike shorts with a chamois liner (not terry cloth or fabric)?

2. Do you have a good aftermarket saddle? The seats sold stock on most bikes are simply not appropriate for long term use. Saddle preference is personal and a long topic (you can search for other posts on that) but in general I'm a fan of something with either a "cutout" or a "V" pattern than relieves pressure on the crotch and--for guys--on the prostate. Those seats also take some pressure off the sit bones.

3. Finally, bike fit. Is the saddle the right height, fore-and-aft position, etc. Have you bike shop slap it on the trainer and eyeball you.

You should not be experience saddle discomfort on rides of that length after your first week or two out on the bike.

Good luck.
^^Very intelligent statement above^^spookyload
Aug 5, 2001 12:42 AM
That is the most intelligent, knowlegeable thing I have read for advice for beginners. Saddles are the "most" personal fitting piece of equipment on a bike. Width, length, cutout, padding, gel insert, ect.... make the right saddle for one guy, the absolute wrong saddle for another. Personally I can't ride the most popular saddle in the world, the Sella Italia Flite. It is too narrow for my sit bones, and it tears my A$$ off. I need a wider seat like the SDG Bel Aire or the Koobi Xenon, but that is my butt, not yours. My advice is to go to a big bike shop that has demo seats, and find the one that fits your butt. You will know it when you find it. It will feel right as soon as you sit on it. Try wider, shorter, less padding, gel insert, blah blah blah. A poor fitting seat is just as bad as poor fitting shoes, but people know when shoes don't fit and get a different size. The seat is the same way.
once again, BUY A BROOKS!Rusty McNasty
Aug 5, 2001 6:35 AM
Unless you actually LIKE the pain, bite the bullet, add the extra 150 grams, and get yourself a saddle which will not only be comfortable, but will outlast the frame. The Professional models (with the big rivets) are the ones to look at.
padded shortskenyee
Aug 5, 2001 10:01 AM
Check out shorts w/ something called a Chamois. I've found it helps. My butt was sore for two days the first time I road in 20 yrs :-P
The 2nd time, I bought some shorts from Bellwether (didn't want to go all out and get tights yet) w/ the chamois pad. It helps a lot. Hurt slightly on the drive home, but not the day after. I'm sure a better seat would help, but it was a rental bike.
On longer rides . . .DCW
Aug 5, 2001 11:04 AM
even after your sit bones and surrounding tissues acclimate to your saddle and chamois, you may find that chafing becomes a problem, even if only occasionally. Many use Chamois Butt'r or similar products, even Desitin powder, for lubrication to prevent the chafing.

As others have advised, stay away from gel seats and gel pads. Some think a smooth, hard saddle works best (I have been riding Flite Ti's for many years), but your butt may vary. In any event, with proper adjustment of a good saddle and a well-designed chamois (I like the newer artificial ones), your butt will handle it just fine. Good luck with the riding.
re: Saddles and sore buttsMerost
Aug 5, 2001 5:50 PM
How long have you been riding. Depending on the type of soreness you are talking about, a lot of times with newer riders it takes a few months to finally toughen up your butt enough to be comfortable. I would stay away from gel. I know it feels really soft in the store and when you first sit on it, but it has been my experience that in the long run it will just make your butt more sore. I bought a pair of the Performance Century shorts with the thick gel insert thinking that my days of a sore butt were over. I quickly found out that they were much more uncomfortable (after about 60 minutes) than my regular shorts.

Merost in AZ