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Seat Suspension for Clydes

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Seat Suspension for Clydes

Old 06-05-19, 10:57 AM
  #1  
OmniZealous
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Seat Suspension for Clydes

Hey everyone!

New here, but figured I would ask some experienced clydes before making my final decision. I am currently 6ft5 and weigh 350lbs.

I am going to do RAGBRAI again this year, (about 55 miles a day and 2000ft of climb for a week) and like in the past, I am worried about my butt making it all the way. It's rare that I am tired or my legs hurt, but mostly my butt hurts with every little jab so I sag out. Here is what I am looking at for this year. I found out that suspension for your seat is available and the videos look decent, but it's always some skinny person on the bike, and rarely a clyde.

Here are just some of the suspension rigs I have found, but some come with warnings of being too heavy for the product.
amazon.com/Rinsten-Spring-Bicycle-Shock-Absorber/dp/B07MFMHJSY
amazon.com/Cane-Creek-Thudbuster-Travel-Seatpost/dp/B003NE5IRK

I am wondering if anyone has one of these, has advice on getting one or the other, or should I just not even bother with it?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by OmniZealous; 06-05-19 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 06-05-19, 11:23 AM
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What kind of bike do you plan to put it on?

IMO butt satisfaction comes from an appropriate saddle, appropriate shorts and plenty of time IN the saddle.

Most butts hurt from saddle sores or skin tenderness, not shocks from road debris. My guess is your saddle is wrong for how and what you're riding
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Old 06-05-19, 11:35 AM
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@350# you are past the max on cane creek Thudbusters ... but you might go with a sprung Brooks

Again, But .. don't expect it to be perfect right away, you need to get used to each other


Otherwise maybe a 29er + bike with wide low PSI set of comfortable tires ..


Rinsten is a U shaped spring tempered steel wire .. maybe a local artisan blacksmith can make something heavier capacity.. perhaps incorporate some auto engine valve springs in it..

Spring tempering is a heat treatment procedure..

You already have a reasonably comfortable fitting bike , as it is, now?






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-05-19 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:51 PM
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Wilfred Laurier
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The Brooks suggestion is a good one.

As for the seatpost suspensions, I would expect them to be designed for people of lesser weight, and therefore you may find they are almost bottomed out before you hit a bump.

Another thought, since you say your legs generally aren't tired - try getting more function out of them by standing up to let the bike float over bumps more often, and at the same time you will be giving your arse a rest.

Thought #4 : I have completely abandoned tires narrower than 32mm - my current faves are 700X35mm and I will likely go wider as my expectation of speed goes down and expectation of comfort goes up - which makes a big difference to my posterior compared to the 25mm tires I used to use.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:05 PM
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OmniZealous
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Woah. Much faster replies than I thought I would get.

Current bike is a Trek Emonda SL 5
Current seat is a Bontrager AJNA Elite
Tires are 700x25 with an average psi of 100

Standing up is what I do currently, but it ends up forcing me to stand most of the time during the ride. The roads have a crack in them every 5 ft.

I am not sure that my bike would support 35mm at a lower psi. Wouldnt that decrease speed an performance?
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Old 06-05-19, 04:31 PM
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Do you use chamois cream? I have plenty of time in the saddle, but there's no way now that I would even contemplate a ride of that distance without it. Now that I do use it, I even use it on my shorter 20-25mi rides. It is a world of difference to comfort without.

Having ridden a suspension seatpost that was useless for myself at ~310lb, I'd be guessing that any such system would be near on useless at 350
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Old 06-05-19, 04:44 PM
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2-3 really good endurance bibs and some type of cream. I like body glide for cycling. Last a long time and comes in deodorant stick size, to stow away.
https://www.rei.com/product/799292/b...is-glide-15-oz

be aware if you get a Brooks saddle, it takes a couple hundred miles to break in the leather they use. By than your butt should be used to it anyways
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Old 06-05-19, 05:49 PM
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I'm putting my money on "you need a new saddle"... Those stock saddles... ugh. And yours was probably designed for some skinny mountain climber. See if you can get your shop to let you demo some. There is a dizzying variety of different shapes but also different widths.
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Old 06-05-19, 06:05 PM
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Being of extra size myself I seem to have the best luck with a Terry Liberator saddle, a maker that mostly appears to be directed at women. I'm not sure there is a completely comfortable saddle in bicycling, especially with heavy people, but the Liberator is about the most comfortable that I have found and I have tried different models.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by OmniZealous View Post
I am not sure that my bike would support 35mm at a lower psi. Wouldnt that decrease speed an performance?
It is quite likely that your bike will not fit tires wider than 25 or 28mm. This is true of many road bikes. I made the wide tire suggestion not knowing what type of bike you have.

As for performance drop with wider tires, actually no. That was what we used to think, but the current prevailing theory on tire performance states otherwise. Wider tires will lose a bit of energy to increased aerodynamic resistance, esp. at higher speeds, and the weight of wider tires is usually a bit more, so a little more to carry up climbs. But if you get a set of wider tires with a more supple casing (as compare to super-rigid flat resistant tires) then you will generally roll slightly easier on flat ground. In the end, because of the weight and aerodynamic trade-offs, there isn't a big difference in effort, but wider tires will give you more suspension and traction, so many non-competitive riders are going wider these days.

Now on to your current setup-
Here is an article I found with a chart with recommendations for pressures at different tire widths and wheel loads. You wheels will be a the far right side of the chart (wheel load would be around ~55-60% of your total weight on the rear and 40-45% on the front). This would put the pressure recommended (by this chart) to be around 130 - 150psi. That will likely be less comfortable than what you have now, but probably roll much faster and prevent flats better.

Take this all with a grain of salt. If what you have now is working for you then that's great, but I can't help but think your tires are underinflated for your weight.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:01 AM
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Whoops... left out the link to the article...

https://road.cc/content/feature/1808...mfort-and-grip
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Old 06-06-19, 08:54 AM
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This is all awesome information.

I use Okole Stuff as my cream. LOVE IT. Wouldnt attempt doing a long ride without it.
amazon.com/Okole-Stuff-chamois-cream-6oz/dp/B005HSVB2G/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Okole+Stuff&qid=1559832548&s=gateway&sr=8-1
Same goes for the bibs. Wouldn't attempt doing a long ride without them.

Last night I started looking at the different types of saddles and found that for people who ride upright most of the time, it was suggested using a "Fabric Scoop"?

I plan on going on a 20miler today again and have adjusted my saddle to see if it has simply come out of alignment and that replacing is not required. I will also try airing the tires to 130psi Wilfred!
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Old 06-06-19, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by OmniZealous View Post
I will also try airing the tires to 130psi Wilfred!
It probably won't increase your comfort, but I will sleep better not worrying about you getting pinch flats
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Old 06-06-19, 07:35 PM
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OmniZealous
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Another 20 miler today.

The seat is still at no change for comfort. Aired up to about 135 rear and then 110 front.

Have a call in tomorrow to talk with my local shop to test out some new saddles.

Thanks for all of your help everyone!
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Old 06-07-19, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by OmniZealous View Post
Another 20 miler today.

The seat is still at no change for comfort. Aired up to about 135 rear and then 110 front.

Have a call in tomorrow to talk with my local shop to test out some new saddles.

Thanks for all of your help everyone!
let us know what you come up with. the issue of a lot of weight on a small area has always seemed to me to be a difficult problem
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