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A very personal question

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

A very personal question

Old 10-12-05, 07:23 AM
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Private Lady
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A very personal question

My husband recently bought me a road bike. Until then I had ridden a Comfort Bike. I am 44 and a bit overweight. I could ride up to 16 miles per ride on the Comfort Bike but after about 6 miles on the Road Bike, my (can I say cl!toris?) hurts and even has a burning sensation. He took me for a $75.00 professional fit but that did not help alot. Is there something I can do? I really want to ride with him but I hold him back too bad when I'm on my Comfort Bike. He has tried tilting the seat down for me but it helped little.Is there a different saddle?
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Old 10-12-05, 07:31 AM
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Assuming this is not a troll , you are most likely going to be taken seriously and have a more appropriate audience if you post at: Team Estrogen Discussion Forum
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Old 10-12-05, 07:31 AM
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if you click the 'search the forums' link at the top of any page and search on keywords like 'saddle women' you likely will find a lot of good info...

you might need to use a different saddle. or, if it's a fit issue, i'd go back to the place that did the $75 fit and have them keep trying?

good luck!
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Old 10-12-05, 07:39 AM
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try a saddle where the center section is open. Try tilting the saddle nose up just a little. This will help tilt your pelvis so you are sitting on your seat bones. That will take the pressure off the other more tender areas.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:39 AM
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My wife will only use women's saddles.... she likes Terry and Specialized. I tried to build her a cheapo beater commuter to go with her road bike, but she still insisted on a proper woman's saddle (rather than any of a number I had lying around).
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Old 10-12-05, 07:44 AM
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Common complaint. Don't tilt the nose of the saddle down, tip it up slightly. You want to sit on the back of the saddle (wide part).

Finding the 'right' saddle may mean trying about 10 saddles! Plus, there is a break-in period for you sitting area. It takes some time!

Try to get on the bike at least 3 times a week, even if you only ride around the block for 30 minutes or use a trainer.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:44 AM
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If you have already played with the seat position/height, type of seat and the reach to the bars I would say take a look at the shorts you are wearing. If there is a seam down the middle then that can very well be the culprit. Even some women specific shorts have a seam there just not on the chamois. Also, are you wearing your shorts commando style (no panties)? If not you should give that a try.

Also check out the Team Estrogen site as woodcycl suggested.

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Old 10-12-05, 07:47 AM
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Wonder where you can get a job fitting for Ladies Saddles? How could you tell? That seems like a very personal area and the fitting should be guided by the "fittee" and not the "fitter"
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Old 10-12-05, 07:47 AM
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you could pm koffee brown (a moderator on here) and talk to her about it. She can point you in the direction you need to go (ie...womens only forum).

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Old 10-12-05, 08:31 AM
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Wow, did you ever see so many embarassed men?

Here's the story: EVERYONE has trouble finding the correct saddle for their particular build. Some have a little trouble and some like myself have a great deal of trouble at first.

You need to try various saddles until you find one that works for you. This might turn out to be a long search expensive or it might work on the first try. But there IS a saddle that can work for you so don't dismay.

The suggestions for the various women's sites aren't bad but you're hardly likely to find any better advice in practical terms.

Here's some saddles I'd recommend for a beginner woman:

Terry Butterfly (around $110)
Specialized Dolce (~$90)
Specialized Body Geometry Sport (~$60)
Selle San Marco Atola (~$80)

There are other saddles. Be aware that only 20% of women need "women's specific" saddles. Also understand that often the problem with a saddle is that it is too soft and squishes up and puts pressure in undesired locations. So a harder saddle actually works better though you might be sore until you harden up around your sit bones.

But a saddle is supposed to support your sit bones and not put pressure anywhere else. Having a sore butt around your sit bones will likely go away with practice but pain in your private areas most certainly will not and should NOT be tolerated since it can lead to all sorts of other problems.
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Old 10-12-05, 09:52 AM
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along with finding the right saddle and saddle position, my other half uses some cycling specific undies that she claims makes her a lot more comfortable.
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Old 10-12-05, 10:00 AM
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You may want to try a Terry Butterfly saddle, or how about taking the saddle off your comfort bike and giving that a try?

Also, have you tried wearing a pair of padded biking shorts?

Sometimes, there's also just a break in period. You may want to try short rides, of say, 5 miles a day for a while until your body adjusts.

The saddle on my bike is one of the cheapest you can buy on the market. I have to wonder whether the reason I never had any problem with soreness, or adjustment period is because I cross-train -- lots of yoga, light weight training, step aerobics, etc. Maybe some good yoga stretches before riding might be helpful.
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Old 10-12-05, 10:08 AM
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My girlfriend is riding the Specialized Jett saddle now and loves it. She had a Dolce before and it was too padded. The Jett is basically a Women's version of the Alias.
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Old 10-12-05, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kayakado
try a saddle where the center section is open. Try tilting the saddle nose up just a little. This will help tilt your pelvis so you are sitting on your seat bones. That will take the pressure off the other more tender areas.
Exactly what I was going to suggest (from experience, not personal, of course, as I am a guy but you get the idea!).
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Old 10-12-05, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
Common complaint. Don't tilt the nose of the saddle down, tip it up slightly. You want to sit on the back of the saddle (wide part).

Finding the 'right' saddle may mean trying about 10 saddles! Plus, there is a break-in period for you sitting area. It takes some time!

Try to get on the bike at least 3 times a week, even if you only ride around the block for 30 minutes or use a trainer.

Yeah what he said. After 7 different saddles my wife has finally found a saddle/position that she is comfortable with. Even still she doesn't get on the bike (our tandem) enough to really get used to, like Galen said it takes time.
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Old 10-12-05, 10:58 AM
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This was me a year ago! It HURT...and I changed saddles around, and didn't help much. What changed eventually, was my body - down there. Seriously. It 'tightened' up (I'm middle aged and bore two kids) so it wasn't so, um, low, and I got more comfortable on a saddle. No, sensations are the same , but it's like internal organs and such tightened up with all the exercise and 'jarring around' on a bike, as well as eventually losing 20# from all the road time.

Try other saddles too, that put your weight on your sit bones, but that's just been my experience. (okay guys, you can come back now )
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Old 10-12-05, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by overthere
(okay guys, you can come back now )

Ummm.... we never left.....
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Old 10-12-05, 11:57 AM
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try strengthen you core up abit. i mean te deaper adominal muscles. try something like pilate's, helps maintain and improve you posture on the bike.

Plus try out a few saddle types.
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Old 10-12-05, 12:14 PM
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Ditto on trying different seats such as terry. Have you tried putting the seat from your "comfort" bike on the new bike?
Also, try standing up from time to time.
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Old 10-12-05, 12:22 PM
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Wife went through a few saddles a while back, even a Terry, before she settled on a WTB. She was ready to switch out the Specialized Alias seat on her new Tarmac for the old WTB since the Alias seat looks pretty minimal, but after a 20-mile first ride with the Tarmac and the Alias seat, she says the cutout works for her. Try some different saddles, work on your position, and hopefully, you should find something that will work for you.
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Old 10-12-05, 12:51 PM
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I think, as for us men, you have to look for a saddle that is wide enough for your seatbones and not too soft. Women saddles should take care of the width because that's their primary difference with regular saddles. Some men saddles might work too as long as they are wide enough and relatively flat when watched from behind.
The Gel thing sounds very nice on paper but experience on long rides will prove the contrary. After a while the seatbones go through the gel that pushes upward and starts pressing on the soft tissues resulting in pain, numbness, and more annoying consequences.
The cutouts work well on hard saddles. If the saddle has gel the cutout will be clogged by the gel after a while.
Check the other links regarding saddle comfort, they have a lot of info and you help you. Make also sure that you have a good pair of shorts, a quality chamois makes a big difference.
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Old 10-12-05, 12:52 PM
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My wife rolled her bars up just a bit to bring the brake hoods up and solved her problem
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Old 10-12-05, 12:54 PM
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My wife also had this issue until we got her a womens specific design saddle. After a butt fitting at our local SPecialized dealer we got her a Specialized Dolce and she said this is MUCH more comfortable...no pain anymore.
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Old 10-12-05, 02:00 PM
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two words
Brooks
Keegles (sp?)

seriously.
What Galen said was spot on, that and
the above seemed to help my wife who can now
do a metric century without discomfort.

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Old 10-13-05, 03:33 PM
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Please didcuss your dificulties/ desires with Andy Muzi at https://www.yellowjersy.org or 608 257-4737. They will let you try/exchange saddles until you are satisfied. My wife and I ended up with a book box of saddles until we found the "right" saddles. My 56 year old wife experienced similar symptoms with about 7 diferent saddles and now has a Brooks Finesse on all 3 (2 road & 1 Hybrid) bicycles. Brooks Saddles are a bit expensive, but less expensive than a new bicycle not ridden/enjoyed due to severe discomfort.
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