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i know this will be viewed as unsavory and perverted(33 posts)

i know this will be viewed as unsavory and pervertednaff geezer
Jan 10, 2002 11:47 AM
and i know that this is a male dominated site but i wanna know why no female members start long and flaming discussions on saddle fit and problems arising from them.

i am sure that there are some on this site who will contribute their views and opinions with sweaty enthusiasm and find the topic of general interest as its cold outside and the nights are long.

perhaps i should keep my musings to myself.
re: i know this will be viewed as unsavory and pervertedmorey
Jan 10, 2002 11:55 AM
I can't wait for all the responses!
because they're tougher than us men. :) nmraboboy
Jan 10, 2002 12:00 PM
Jan 10, 2002 12:04 PM
It is an interesting question...Len J
Jan 10, 2002 12:09 PM
and if you would allow me to rephrase it slightly;

How much of saddle discomfort is caused by The obvious physical differences between men and women & how much is caused by inappropriate fit between the saddle & the sit bones?

Is that what your asking?

If so, I'd be interested in the answers.

sort of.....naff geezer
Jan 10, 2002 12:20 PM
what i really want is to balance the equation.

as a sport/recreation it is a bit of a titillating feast for the ears and eyes of women (who are interested in men).

i just want to hear the locker room converstaions from the better side of the fence.

only because a) i wannna laugh and b) i didn't want to change my handle to an obviously feminine one and post a really "steaming " point of discussion and c) i like humor in many different forms but tawdry and bad taste is much to my liking.
LOL...Len J
Jan 10, 2002 12:31 PM
sorry I thought this was serious :).

I don't think you'll get meny takers though.

i know... its the thought that counts ;-) nmnaff geezer
Jan 10, 2002 12:37 PM
This sounds a bit like a dare...Spinchick
Jan 10, 2002 1:51 PM
I just love a good dare. Too much time off the bike and I'm going a bit stir crazy.

Let's see, first issue: I think women in general just don't bitch about discomfort as much as men do. How's that for a spark?? ;-)
You don't know my wife............salmonwheel
Jan 11, 2002 10:45 AM
Although superior to me in many ways, toughing it out is not one of them.
A hear-say answerMisJG
Jan 10, 2002 1:50 PM
I can't speak from personal experience (I'm a man), but I can tell you what my wife and sister have told me. A regular saddle was very uncomfortable to them as it kind of ground into the area and caused a burning feeling (probably due to friction). They both switched to Terry saddles (with the center cut-outs) and they are very pleased. The saddles solved their problems. If this answer helps with your long, cold nights. . .
correction - "hearsay"(nm)MisJG
Jan 10, 2002 1:52 PM
or maybe-"heresy"(nm)STEELYeyed
Jan 10, 2002 2:01 PM
Close Yours Eyes!!!!! (long, sweaty, barebones (!) discussion)rollo tommassi
Jan 10, 2002 2:35 PM
(yes, Rollo is a girl.....)

I have not had any really serious saddle problems in all my years riding; I've had the great fortune of having suberbe shop support in getting fitted on the bike. There is the usual pain in the ass in the early part of the season, but that goes away with mileage.Suffice to say that women's saddle problems stem from the fact that they have a larger surface area of soft tissue.

However, I can bullet point some anecdotal experience shared to me by other women:

Never ride wearing a sanitary napkin. This goes in hand with the no underwear with chamois rule, but the additional bulk of the napkin, plus the high-wicking factor of the material causes egregious chafing, to the point of blisters, to the clitoris. Pain like you won't believe.

Some chafing occurs in the soft tissue area due to the very shape of the labia. The lobes themselves tend to "splay" open, if you will. Some lobes are larger than others, some women experience enlargement during menstruation.

Heat, sweat, water/rain and debris that gets into the chamois is also a real killer for women, and can cause discomfort in the saddle not related to fit. Again, this is soft tissue more like the inside of your mouth - not dermis (skin). It is imperative for women to clean the labia and clitoris well after road rides in rain, and cyclocross or mtn bike rides in the mud.

Center seams in chamois can be deadly, though it's never bothered me. On the other hand, extra heavy padding or gel padded shorts can be deadly too. Again, it's just a surface area issue - gel won't help you unless you correct your position.

Primarily, saddle discomfort for women is related to the tilt of the pelvis and the pressure placed upon the clitoris. I've always felt that pelvic attitude is related to top tube length - typically for women, with shorter arms/torso, and typical "male" bike design with longer top tubes, the saddle fore/aft position tries to accomodate reach to handlebar but compromises with too much forward pelvic tilt. The reason I say that is oftentimes I see lower back pain with saddle pain in women. It can be very hard to find the balance point between correct saddle position and soft tissue pressure points.

I have to say that to me, saddles with cutouts in them say one thing to me: PINCH POINT. Owww! Some people swear by them, so if that enables them to enjoy riding, that's fine. However, the bandwagon that people have jumped on, including the guys, of the Minkow saddle makes me wonder if they've really solved their problem.

How ya like them apples, geezer? ;)
Jan 10, 2002 2:40 PM
One serious message from a serious rider obviously. LOL!
Why, thank you!rollo tommassi
Jan 10, 2002 3:56 PM
It's the hard lessons that are hard to share sometimes? So often a person suffers for years, thinking it's "just me", and then when they feel comfortable discussing it, a big bright light goes off in their head when someone gives them advice. This has been my experience many times. But, I'm not going to say which anecdotes may have been of my own experience! :)

I'm glad naff geezer posted his thoughts/question/challenge. Perhaps something I wrote there will be informative to both sexes. Any OB/GYNs' on this board???
thank you!harlett
Jan 10, 2002 5:36 PM
rollo.your post was candid, factual and well written--'s interesting to go back into history and see the problems discussing these things in a rational way--
in the 1890's there were constant medical and social objections to women riding bicycles-- there were medical articles that attacked cycling as a likely way to make women more masculine and a threat to their sexual purity-- one of the main medical and social objections was the contact made by the clitoris and labia with the saddle-- there were medical articles that went into great detail about how women would use the saddle position and it's hammock-like concavity to create constant friction and arousal-- manufacturers were forced to address this "problem" because of what the opposition to women's cycling was having on sales.they addressed it by producing seats that eliminated contact with genitals-- they ran ads that stated the seats were hygienic and free of the harmful pressure against sensitive parts.euphemisms drawn from medical writings about sexual purity-- for all the wrong reasons they actually did us a favor-- it's a bit ironic that now cut outs are principally targeted at men having urinary, numbness and erection problems-

but there was still another problem.the riding position itself-- women were pressured to position their handlebars 5 to 6 inches above the seat for an upright riding position-- medical articles were written about how a stooping forward posture was only used by those who needed to go fast and was harmful for women.not the graceful and feminine thing to do-- speed also meant that women could roam farther so speed was specifically linked to saddle masturbation-- physicians complained that the body in a low forward position would cause clothing to press against the clitoris and elicit arousal feelings-- sheessh

thankfully we have left those days behind..more importantly we should be thankful there were women back then that fought hard to end such senseless ideas--
LMAO - sorta...Spinchick
Jan 10, 2002 2:49 PM
And riding with a yeast infection - FAAHGET ABOUT IT!
hey all you chicks.... read thisnaff geezer
Jan 11, 2002 2:27 AM
as a gesture of goodwill i have a pair of road shoes that i would like to give away as for some reason i dont think ill ever sell them.

ex-girlfriends who never took to the sport after only 4 rides :-( . they are great shoes and if they were bigger i would definately wear them.

email with the words "tin of spaghetti" and and ill send them to you or if you know anyone that needs a pair. i know nobody i ride with that has feet small enough to fit and i hate seeing them just sitting there.

womens size 9 or size 40 2/3

the link in the marketplace is as follows
What about guys and yeast infections...I know, non-cycling forumHuevos Rancheros
Jan 10, 2002 3:02 PM
That reminds me of a guy I used to know (not me...really!). My friend Angela's boyfriend, who wore bike shorts all around town. He wasn't a cyclist, just looser in the early 90's still caught up in an 80's fashion faux pas. Anyway, he wore the same shorts over and over and his personal hygene wasn't that great. He ended up getting this massive yeast infection and thought it was a venereal disease! Poor Angela had to sit in a doctor's waiting room, holding his hand while he cried his woes away!

So, lessons to be learned

Yes, women are stronger than men...better endorphins...probably related to some evolutionary advantage during labor. I've verified this through a brief stint as a freelance tattooist


Sorry he asked!TypeOne
Jan 10, 2002 7:57 PM
Those were questions and problems I hadn't even considered.
respect you rollo...naff geezer
Jan 11, 2002 1:15 AM
my sense of humour can be a bit dry sometimes but i like a bit of chaos. what i posted mostly for a laugh and a dig at us men has now brought to light a lot of facts and info in a far more open and frank way. would scroll for days to find a post like yours telling it how it is.

i like to ask what i think rather than censoring or appropriating my questions. i recently had a long discussion with my better half of her point of the latent homoerotic nature of sport. and generally i had to agree as i didnt often stand back to think about it conceptually.

yet i did think with irony what it must be like for a woman to privvy to such a mens domain as this forum. im sure all the woman posters have had moments of giggles as well as moments of eye rolling at our posts.

good to see women stand up to be counted.

sobering thoughts:
who are the real cyclists?
my routes have 80% men and 20% women.
most men have to be kidding themselves, most women churn, have proper positions and mean business.
i get passed by more women than men. im an average cyclist but i ask myself who are the real roadies?

i could name hundreds of male pro's , what they rode, teams, different era's etc but i could name 2 women pro's. im sure im not alone. that cant be good for the sport. us guys need to be brought down a bit.

apples are sweeter than onions, roll-on rollo ;-)
domains, domain names, dominoes.....rollo tommassi
Jan 11, 2002 7:44 AM
I'm not so sure this board is such a "man's" domain? Consider the topics we discuss: heart rate, weight control, training intervals, riding technique, race tactics, bike size, frame geometry, favorite roads, etc. I don't believe any of the above are gender specific?

All the more reason I got a kick out of your post; you know, the "what's it really like" kind of story, though most of the time what we get in the media is drugs and money laundering (Mr. Chenowth, et. al.). Now you know, and you may now know too much!!!!!

Rarely have I felt the posters on this Grand Board to be "members only", and truly in my own experience, riding with the men in my local little peloton has been very inclusive and equal. I've met and ridden with many pros, some women, and I'm no better than most when it comes to listing names/teams/stats when it comes to women. But, if you check out the latest issue of Cycling Weekly, you'll see that of the 50 All Time Greatest British Cyclists, Beryl Burton is ranked fifth.

To me, the essence of sport is the breaking of barriers. For me, Title IX is the process of saying that sport is not gender specific. In high school, I never understood why us girls couldn't be in the weight room the same time as the guys. I always wanted to learn from someone who was better or better informed, so segregation was a barrier to excellence.

I don't agree that "us guys need to be brought down a bit", although I understand what you mean. I would rather say that we all need to hold each other up!

You answered your own question.grzy
Jan 10, 2002 5:52 PM
Do you really think that a woman is going to start that kind of discussion on this male dominated site and expect to get anywhere? There are all sorts of threads that don't get started here for obvious reasons. Hey how about a thread on riding tips during your menstral cycle? Well _guys_, what do you think and why? I can tell you that women (my wife and her friends) do discuss the issue of saddle comfort - mostly with other women.
re: i know this will be viewed as unsavory and pervertedcp123
Jan 10, 2002 7:44 PM
I agree with rollo on this one - and with grzy. Yes, us girls (well, at least my mates do) discuss this sort of issue. But usually with other girls. I don't have a cutaway seat - but have spent many long hours on many loooong days on a bicycle seat. Its not a pleasant feeling when it hurts to wee for hours or days afterwards and sorry if this next quote is a bit off - the best one I ever heard was

"my "bits" feel like a tin of spaghetti!".... I think that's just toooo much information.

re: i know this will be viewed as unsavory and pervertedWoof the dog
Jan 11, 2002 12:33 AM
I am wondering how many other women are behind these no-name screennames that consist of random letters (initials?) and numbers? Whats up with that?

AND NO, THIS IS NOT A PERSONAL SLAM!!!!!!! The choice is yours, but it'd be nice to know more women cyclists other than Kristin, rollo and harlett...and you.


Woof the mail dog.
Hey Woof-Man...dsc
Jan 11, 2002 11:12 AM
the initial thing (dsc) is just a carry over from my (work)professional life - I always sign my posts w/ my first name.

BTW, TOTALLY agree w/ rollo about those cut-out saddles - those damn hard edges are HELL on the soft parts!


is a tin of baked beans any different? :-) nmnaff geezer
Jan 11, 2002 1:18 AM
New vagi-breeze saddle makes this post obsolete.Crankist
Jan 11, 2002 6:37 AM
"Segregation is a barrier to excellence."Jon
Jan 11, 2002 11:44 AM
Well said, RT. And I would add, most gender-politics is a barrier to understanding. The
joy of sport addresses our common humanity...and community.
"Segregation is a barrier to excellence."harlett
Jan 11, 2002 12:42 PM
..i agree but also think there are some cultural differences though-- women tend to take sports less seriously than men and hence participate in fewer numbers-- one of the reasons i go out of my way to encourage young girls to run and/or cycle is that i think getting the right kind of support and feedback and training is important to females-- my fave college coach would caution me about doing my training runs with only men-- too many women, i think, get burned out working at a higher level to keep up with a male working at a lower level-- there are also emotional differences that need to be understood--
we should all respect each others effort and enjoy the sport together-- support one another in reaching goals-- share with each other in the work and the rejoicing-- most importantly understand the differences between us and don't let those differences confuse us into thinking that our dedication or effort or will arer different..
Gender PoliticsLTride
Jan 11, 2002 6:14 PM
Gender politics is always there. In racing in the U.S. it is a major problem. It is a barrier. One that needs to be broken. Right now you need to understand it and see it to deal with it.
Mens saddles eats girls shorts (story inside)Kristin
Jan 11, 2002 2:02 PM
Moral: Never borrow a bike from a man. Took only 20 minutes to naw through a new pair of Volers and take some flesh with it too! Typical! Alternative moral: Skinny saddles and big thighs do not mix. :-) only complaint about womens saddles is that you can't stretch off the back of the thing. Unless terribly bow legged, you get stuck! I've though about forcing my way around the saddle, but am unsure I could get back. That would make for an interesting crash.

With this saddle, I have no chaffing issues whatsoever!