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So, I just started riding a road bike this year, last year I rode a hybrid.  Clearly the road bike has a much harder saddle.

 

I am having more pain in my butt than I think I should be.  The pain is mostly a tissue / skin problem.  It hurts to touch the skin, and it can hurt to sit.

 

I have done three centuries this year and travelled just over 2500 miles.

 

I have high quality bibs, so I don't think that is the issue.

 

I had a saddle fitting at the beginning of the summer and we went through a few different saddles before we found what seemed like the best one for me.

 

I was told at the fitting that this is a hard sport and some pain is to be expected.  Two suggestions were to use Udder Cream on my butt after rides, and also as a chamois cream if needed, and to sit on a donut at work (desk jockey) when I ride a lot.

 

There have been a few times that the discomfort seems higher than it should be.  First, I tried to commute to work 5 days in a row this summer, I had to bail out after 3 days due to butt pain.  Next, I had been off the bike for 2 weeks and did a 60 mile (bumpy) ride this Saturday.  My butt still hurts.

 

 

 

Questions

 

Is it my saddle?

 

Do I just need to spend more time riding?

 

Would a new Pinarello help?

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a saddle will have an area where your sit bones go. If you were fitted for a saddle at a shop, then you probably have the right size saddle

 

but there's more to it than that

 

first, pay attention to where on the saddle you are actually sitting. I tend to slide out on the nose of the saddle if i don't pay attention, so make sure you are sitting with both sit bones supported by the saddle

 

second, make sure your saddle is level if you spend most of your time riding on the hoods. If you are set up with your saddle slightly dipped forward to accomadate you when riding in the drops, then when you are riding sitting up on teh hoods, you are going to slide forward. This will definitely hurt your butt

 

third, make sure your weight is distributed between your saddle, your feet, and your hands

 

then when you are riding, remember to stand up and get out of the saddle for a short time every 20 minutes or so, especially if you are riding for longer than 2 hours (like a century of other long ride preparing for a century)

 

the trick is to not get your butt worn out, because once you get your butt tenderized, the only thing that will fix it is time off

 

so while your gear (saddle, bike fit, riding kit, etc) is important, HOW you ride is actually more important to maintaining all of your contact points. The key is to keep the blood moving thorugh all of those areas (butt, feet, hands) and not let any of them get so far gone that they are tingling or hurting.

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Thanks Nate, very helpful.  I think I am doing most of that already though.

 

The saddle is level and I tend to spend about 50% of the time on the hoods (much higher in the city) 40 in the drops and 10 on the top.

 

I too tend to slide forward and am constantly scooting back.

 

I stand or otherwise get out of the saddle regularly, even on short rides to make sure to keep it a habit.

 

Your choice of the word tenderized is perfect, that's they way it feels, like the fleshy / meaty part has been smashed with a meat tenderizer.  I have not been using any kind of chamois cream and this is mostly why.  While the skin will often be sensitive, I can live with that, it's the bruised feeling that is getting to me.

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 I have not been using any kind of chamois cream

 

 

do use some of that. It really does make a difference

 

if you feel like there is a bruising, this actually can happen from being in the wrong part of the saddle. If it is on the inside of your sit bones, chances are you got out on the nose of the saddle for too long. If it is one side and not the other, this can happen when you ride favoring one leg over the other. We can do this unconsciously, too. I've had times when one of my legs is not 100% and I subconsciously try and protect that leg by doing most of the work with the other leg. Since every action has an equal and opposite reaction, this can pound one of your sit bones.

 

so for a bruise, analyse the injury and start looking for the cause in your pedalling form, because it sounds like you have your equipment pretty well worked out

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I think between what you already tried and what Nate said, most was covered.

 

The only other thing(s) that come to mind are angle of the saddle can make a difference. Some people prefer different angles, but see what works for you. I like my saddle pretty much perfectly level (like most people), but I've seen some people that angel there saddle up or down a little.

 

Also, Nate mentioned where you are sitting on the saddle. If your seat post has too much set back (how far it angles back from where it comes out of the frame), you could be too far back, or the opposite problem if the set back is too small. That may be something to consider.

 

I had real problems with my commuter bike after changing my handlebars out because it changed my riding geometry enough that the set back became an issue. I had to look far and hard to find a seat post with more set back.

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Also, Nate mentioned where you are sitting on the saddle. If your seat post has too much set back (how far it angles back from where it comes out of the frame), you could be too far back, or the opposite problem if the set back is too small. That may be something to consider.

 

 

this right here is something you should check. I have had the saddle too far back on my bike before and it will have you always edging out on the nose so your pedal stroke feels right.

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So many things can make your butt hurt, many listed here.  If you're sliding forward, need to figure out why.. too long of stem, saddle to far back, wrong tilt of saddle?

 

I used to have butt pain all the time.  Tried a lot of saddles, thought they'd work, then they wouldn't.  One saddle I had like 600 miles on, then did a 50 mile race and for some reason it bruised my right side butt cheek deep within, and that part of my ass hurt for an entire summer and into winter no matter what I rode and often while on a chair as well.

 

I knew I wanted a saddle that was kind of wide in the back, and flat both front/back and side to side.  One day walking around walmart I saw a zefal "racing" style seat and it looked just like that.  Bought one for $30 bux, tried it for awhile, then bought five more! lol, Butt no longer hurts.

 

Make sure your shorts aren't to big.  I find if my shorts are a bit loose it can lead to a sore bum after longer rides.

 

Also found the best way to fit myself on my bikes was on a trainer.  That way you can concentrate on how everything feels without any other thoughts crossing your mind.  Could never fine-tune my fit until I got a trainer.

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<edit>

posted at the same time as jbrow1.  Thanks for the advice.

</edit>

 

Thanks creep, I'll look into it.

 

So, I think there is a weird issue here, and it's likely related to not enough time riding.

 

About a month ago I did a century, and I had been riding maybe every other day until then.  The century seemed fine.

Then I took two weeks off.

 

I rode 64 slightly bumpy miles.  That really hurt my butt.

I took another week off.

 

I rode to work this Monday.  I've done this a bunch of times and the only time it really bothered me was when I did it three days in a row.  Today is Wednesday and my butt is still tender. Just a mild skin sensitivity, but it feels like the tissue underneath has been beat up.

 

I am not very knowledgeable about bike / saddle fittings.  That's why I paid a professional to help me.  I went back three times and tried three different saddles.

 

Not sure if this is related to me not riding enough, or I need a new fitting.

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I think professional fittings are fine and all that, great place to start, but I really believe that one will still need to fine tune from there for the type of riding one does.  

 

I would also think your butt is likely telling you it doesn't like your saddle.  I made alot of saddles "work" by fine tuning their and my placement, but none were the answer until this last one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmm, saddles should start to feel better every day if you ride a lot (unless you are going for progressively longer rides each day), you should begin to forget about them, theoretically.  Chamois cream is oogey, and really only useful for hot rides more than about 40 miles for me.

 

Sounds like you should try a different saddle, if your setback is correct and your reach is in check.  So much variability in those, hard to say what is gonna work for your butt.  I have tried maybe 25 different saddles in all, but that was when I had access to new bikes and wholesale gear back in the day.  

 

These days I am riding a Specialized Romin (if I were to be riding, that is), that is a pretty nice saddle.

 

Anybody up for a saddle exchange?

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it's not the saddle thats the problem... you need to eat more to make your butt fatter.. it would like coushion the ride:) 

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Everyone is different, every body is different. I have watched friends/customers struggle with their seat. For some it can be a lengthy fight but to be honest, for most people the stock seat on their bike should work just fine with the one caveat that it is positioned correctly.

 

It's great that you got fit to the saddle, but really, getting professionally fit is probably worth the investment, especially when doing multiple centuries every year. Rear end comfort can be as much about your position on the bike as it is the size of the saddle. Case in point, I rode my Roubaix for 4 months before being professionally fit. In the beginning I could not go 10 miles without numbness and the shop 30 mile Saturday rides were painful at best. Over the span it got a little better but not much. I had never been fit on my previous bike either so I thought it had to be the saddle. Butt pain aside I was pretty comfortable on the bike.

 

So I got professionally fit and what a difference. I thought for sure that I was going to end up with a different seat but after the fitting the numbness went way down and butt pain was reduced to "normal."

 

If you have ridden THAT much, and you are in pain, then I have got to think it's a matter of positioning and silly as it sound, moving the seat 1/2 inch forward or backwards may make a huge difference. If you find yourself sliding forward then start there and slide your saddle forward a little bit and see if it improves.

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Thanks torch.

I plan to get a full professional fitting, but I think I will wait until the spring.  I won't be riding much until next year.  I'd hate to get fit now and a week later they ask how I'm feeling and I say I haven't been on the bike.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello Square Wheels and hello my fellow forumites!

 

Long time no post! I know, I had a hip replacement on my left hip on Sep 18th. Finally able to get around without the walker or the cane (the walker was left behind back in late October). Been riding on the trainer 5 to 10 miles on an easy gear. So far so good, in fact today I will try my first ride outdoors. The forecast calls for a high of 80 degrees and right now it's around 73F here in Houston.

 

Square, it sounds like your issue is not the saddle nor the fit but the chafing! I know about chafing! I too have the Specialized Romin on my Pinarello and it's the cat's meow. But like my fellow forumites here have said everyone's derriere is different so ergo what works for John does not work for Larry. My solution to the chafing issue came from Gold Bond. Yes the very same folks who make the foot powder! They make this stuff called "Friction Defense" which is a lot less expensive than "Body Glide" and does the exact same thing! I apply it in my nether regions like applying deodorant and I can go for an all day ride in absolute comfort!!

 

 

It's about $8.00 at Walgreens. Hope it works out for you!

 

Louie :)

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have some pretty nice bibs. It seems that the place the put the cushion is not quite where I need it. Often the only thing between me and the saddle (the new womens saddle) is Lycra. I can't get this right. I tried one week last year to ride to and from work 5 days in a row. 30 miles each way. I made it to Wednesday and while my legs were getting tired, my butt was on fire. I must be doing something wrong. I've been to the saddle dud too many time now. Is it supposed to hurt this much?

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Is it supposed to hurt this much?

 

No, not in my experience.  I usually have some discomfort when I get back on the bike in the spring, but it is just for the first few rides when I have to get myself reacclimated to the road saddle.  Once I have ridden a lot, pain is not normally an issue with me.  I have even ridden without padded shorts and do surprisingly well.  Of course, my rides are usually 30 miles or less.  As someone already said, everybody is different.

 

I guess it goes without saying that shifting your position on the saddle and standing once in a while is also helpful to keep the blood flowing and relieving pinched areas.

 

I would keep making minor adjustments to the saddle position until you find the best position for your own specific bottom geometry.  You don't don't need a bike fitter or mechanic for this.  You can and should, in my opinion, do this yourself.  Don't be afraid to set the position (the angle, for instance) a little outside of the "norm" that the bike manuals recommend.  What works for everybody else may not work for you.

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I use chamois creme for rides over 25 mph, depending on how hard the ride will be.  I use more for 75-100, or 100 mile + rides. 

 

A saddle position or placement can be fine for a 50 or 60 mile ride, but at 70 or 80 you might start to notice issues..... which reminds me I need to check my saddle placement tonight before tomorrow's club ride.  I may ride a 300k next Saturday

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I use chamois creme for rides over 25 mph, 

 

 

Dude, you're fast! :lol:

 

I tried chamois creme and was very disappointed. I alos used Utter Creme and it seems they have been cutting back on the good stuff cause the stuff breaks down easily. Unlike a couple years back.

 

Now using Queen Helen, $5 at WallyWorld and lasts a good long time. Thicker and greasier but feels better IMO....and my jewels smell like coconut! :lol:

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Dude, you're fast! :lol:

 

I tried chamois creme and was very disappointed. I alos used Utter Creme and it seems they have been cutting back on the good stuff cause the stuff breaks down easily. Unlike a couple years back.

 

Now using Queen Helen, $5 at WallyWorld and lasts a good long time. Thicker and greasier but feels better IMO....and my jewels smell like coconut! :lol:

 

25 mph...... boy did I screw up that post!

 

I meant rides over 25 miles long!  LOL 

 

For double centuries there is a product that seems to work a bit better than the chamios cremes.  One of the mentors brought some individual packs and I carried a couple with me on the Grand Tour last June.  I will get the name of them.  I didnt need them until after about 150 miles.

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  • 4 years later...

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