PSA: Cyclists with Sore Butts

imwjl

Doctor of Teleocity
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Mar 21, 2007
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My mom's basement.
I come from a blood line of persons who are totally devoid of posterior padding. I was fine until I became an adult and then, lo and behold, my backside disappeared. I had comfortably ridden bikes for years, including English bikes and 10 speed bikes, but when I hit my thirties, suddenly every bike seat I tried felt like sitting on a knife - it was literally excruciating after a couple of blocks on level ground. After trying various saddles I eventually gave up. I have no idea what saddle shape shape and padding is needed to counter this.

Bob
This modern world of richness - product choices, specialty, price points - is made for your problem. It's just like all the guitar choices now vs my days in college. I hope these other tips will help because cycling can be so fun and a good all ages activity.

There are many choices for shape, width and length. Some are better for an upright or very aerodynamic position on the bike. Shops have setups to measure the width of your sit bones but you can do it sitting on a few layers of corrugated cardboard too. A good bike shop will work with you like a good music shop and let you try stuff.

On shape, the Brooks @Stanford Guitar loves have a more rounded profile if the most popular WTB models are more flat. More and more the makers try to have both shapes.

Something else in this is like getting the fingers used to fretting the guitar. If you haven't been on a bike in a while something soft makes sense regardless of its physical design. When you have your base fitness a more padded seat will cause more trouble.

In some posts long ago I thought you mentioned diabetes or cardio matters. If you get your base comfort and fitness you'll have a fun way to help manage that. I just enjoy riding and the gear similar to music stuff but the keeping at the exercise has managed medical conditions better than drugs. Side effects are fun and sleeping sound thus my promoting it and being glad to help you get back riding.

:)

P.S. On padding, liner shorts if not bike shorts make a difference. It's counterintuitive like the saddle padding where for really long rides or some scenarios the thicker pads are not the answer.
P.S.S. Trek's Bontrager brand is their saddles but anything Trek has a 30 day satisfaction guaranty and their shops whether company owned or independent are generally pretty good or downright great about that and warranty stuff.
 

Flaneur

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1658090068421.png

When I bought a pre-production Rockhopper, in 1985, straight out of the window, of my friend's shop, I immediately installed an old Brooks Pro, that I'd been using, on my Tourer. It's still on the bike, today. Many of my club mates and riding partners thought this an old fashioned approach- but some of them have tried a dozen or more alternatives, in the intervening decades.

The Gold Standard of saddles- for 130 years. :cool:
 

Stanford Guitar

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View attachment 1005900
When I bought a pre-production Rockhopper, in 1985, straight out of the window, of my friend's shop, I immediately installed an old Brooks Pro, that I'd been using, on my Tourer. It's still on the bike, today. Many of my club mates and riding partners thought this an old fashioned approach- but some of them have tried a dozen or more alternatives, in the intervening decades.

The Gold Standard of saddles- for 130 years. :cool:
A lot of the thinking around race bikes influenced, and still influences, terrible designs for touring and everyday bikes.
 

Bob Womack

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May 28, 2016
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Between Clever and Stupid
This modern world of richness - product choices, specialty, price points - is made for your problem. It's just like all the guitar choices now vs my days in college. I hope these other tips will help because cycling can be so fun and a good all ages activity.

There are many choices for shape, width and length. Some are better for an upright or very aerodynamic position on the bike. Shops have setups to measure the width of your sit bones but you can do it sitting on a few layers of corrugated cardboard too. A good bike shop will work with you like a good music shop and let you try stuff.

On shape, the Brooks @Stanford Guitar loves have a more rounded profile if the most popular WTB models are more flat. More and more the makers try to have both shapes.

Something else in this is like getting the fingers used to fretting the guitar. If you haven't been on a bike in a while something soft makes sense regardless of its physical design. When you have your base fitness a more padded seat will cause more trouble.

In some posts long ago I thought you mentioned diabetes or cardio matters. If you get your base comfort and fitness you'll have a fun way to help manage that. I just enjoy riding and the gear similar to music stuff but the keeping at the exercise has managed medical conditions better than drugs. Side effects are fun and sleeping sound thus my promoting it and being glad to help you get back riding.

:)

P.S. On padding, liner shorts if not bike shorts make a difference. It's counterintuitive like the saddle padding where for really long rides or some scenarios the thicker pads are not the answer.
P.S.S. Trek's Bontrager brand is their saddles but anything Trek has a 30 day satisfaction guaranty and their shops whether company owned or independent are generally pretty good or downright great about that and warranty stuff.
Thanks a boonch!!!

Bob
 

jhundt

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 23, 2003
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68
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Netherlands
Your saddle tilt is wrong (likely tilted up a bit), and likely your saddle is too high. The pelvis naturally tilts forward on the saddle when pedaling and back to neutral when coasting, if the saddle is tilted slightly up it will prevent the tilt and cause pain in the groin. Also, this will cause lower back pain. When a saddle is tilted correctly, but the feeling of sliding forward occurs, the saddle height is usually too high (also crank arm lengths, reach, and handlebar width/sweep can be wrong).

The reason for the modern seat shape is your sit bones find the most comfortable spot near the middle back of the saddle when riding a flat grade. As grade increases the pelvis tilts forward, to recruit more climbing power, and finds a more comfortable position nearer the front-middle of the saddle, as the shape of the contact patch with the seat changes, and requires a more narrow contact patch to remain comfortable. This is why those hornless saddles don't work.
interesting - thank you for the reply. Do you think it would be wise to invest in a better saddle for my stationary bike? That thing is doing me a world of good, and I enjoy my 20-minute sessions - except that I can't seem to find the right saddle position. I will try altering the tilt and height as you suggested first.
 

jhundt

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Don’t bother. In German it’s called a Rocksattel (skirt saddle), I have to test ride bikes that have them, it’s not nice. Think of a bike as riding a horse, you want a leg on either side. If you have trouble with your junk going numb, look into a Terry saddle or something similar. They also work on stationary bikes. Rule of thumb is the more upright you sit, the wider your saddle should be.
thanks! My stuff ain't going numb yet, just my butt gets sore and I can't seem to find the right position. But I am getting a lot of good information from my TDPRI friends.
 

Stanford Guitar

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interesting - thank you for the reply. Do you think it would be wise to invest in a better saddle for my stationary bike? That thing is doing me a world of good, and I enjoy my 20-minute sessions - except that I can't seem to find the right saddle position. I will try altering the tilt and height as you suggested first.
I’d spend the money and go to a good bike fitter. It will make a massive difference in your comfort and also power on the bike. And once you have your measurements you can apply to any future bikes. It’s money very well spent, rather than buying another uncomfortable seat.
 

Mjea80

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Posts
415
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North
that's interesting, thank you. I wonder if the same would happen on a stationary exercise bike? Maybe I will try some experiments.
Yes most seats have adjustablity up and down, front to back and angled up or down.

If you raise your stem up a bit you would be putting less pressure on the front of the seat.

Some experimenting will have your riding more comfortably. :)
 

jumpnblues

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Mar 16, 2003
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72
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Midwest
Not sure about the thread, but what a great name for a band?!! OK, back to the thread...I've never sat on a bicycle seat I could tolerate more than about 15 minutes. Not a single one.
 

Rick Lanahan

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 6, 2022
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62
Location
North Carolina
Ride a Metric or a regular Century. You'll find no saddle is as comfy as you may have thought. Around town is one thing. Long distance is another.
 

NoTeleBob

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Feb 12, 2020
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Location
Southwestern, USA
Brooks Pro or B17 N or Competition, well broken in and well oiled, and adjusted with a little slack in the leather.

Oh, and like others have said, get the tilt correct.
 




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