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The two hour barrier

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The two hour barrier

Old 05-03-19, 11:14 AM
  #1  
zarbog
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The two hour barrier

The mileage varies from 30 to 40 km for me, depending on terrain, but man, things start to get pretty uncomfortable at that two hour mark. I would love to do 4 and 5 hour rides. Changed the hybrid a few weeks ago for a relaxed geometry gravel bike. That has helped quite a bit. The discomfort is always in front of the sit bones. Two bikes and numerous seats and the problem persists. Just shy of 69 years old and have crept back up to 200 pounds. I use two different padded liners. The very cheap 3D type seem more comfortable at first but by the two hour mark things are still getting sore. The other pair were 60 dollar Louis Garneau (I think thats the brand). They seem to get soaked in sweat and are very hot, even though they have less padding. Maybe I should try no padding but that sounds brutal at this stage.

How do you all do it and whats the secret ?
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Old 05-03-19, 11:32 AM
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For me, it was a case of putting on a Brooks B-17 and riding it for six months. After the six months, I'd increased my daily ride from about 10 miles up to a metric (62 miles).

YBMV.
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Old 05-03-19, 11:44 AM
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Your saddle could be too big or it could be too small. It also could be that it is not adjusted properly (tilted vs level, or fore/aft adjustment, etc)...or you may have a saddle that has too much padding thereby irritating your soft tissue on those longer rides vs. only supporting your sit bones.
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Old 05-03-19, 12:05 PM
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Those Brooks run 200 dollars after tax in my neck of the woods. I have slid the saddle forward a bit, I think I was riding closer to where the saddle starts to narrow, rather than back on the wider part. But maybe it is tilted a bit too far up in the front. The saddle does have a lot of flex in it and is soft, but not deep like a comfort bike by any means. Costly trying to get the right one eh.

Edit:
So this will more than likely be a problem with bike fit, especially saddle you think? There are a lot of saddle threads out there already,I will try messing around with mine a bit more. Just compared it to the original saddle that came with the bike. The original is much firmer with less padding. I only tried it for the first ride, having read that Giant puts racy looking skinny saddles on their bikes, that are not appropriate, but maybe I'll stick it on the bike and give it a fair shake.

Last edited by zarbog; 05-03-19 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-03-19, 12:28 PM
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what I don't get, are the guys who can do double centuries. talk about hours in the saddle ...!

for me two hours in the saddle is pretty satisfactory, but I did do one all~day ride last fall. finding the right saddle for your butt is certainly a consideration. my road bike has a classic Brooks & my mountain bike has an inexpensive spongy "ergonomic" saddle. I don't use "padded" shorts, I prefer thin lined, tri-shorts

good luck with your personal quest!
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Old 05-03-19, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by zarbog View Post
Those Brooks run 200 dollars after tax in my neck of the woods.
They're on ebay for less than $100.
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Old 05-03-19, 12:54 PM
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Get a proper bike fit.
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Old 05-03-19, 01:15 PM
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A Brooks is not the answer for everyone, I hate them as do others I know. I use a Selle Italia saddle and can ride for hours. I'm 65 and 210 pounds.

Nothing on a bike is more personal than the saddle. I have tried different sizes, materials, padding, etc. I know if my saddle position is off, even a little bit, it causes trouble. A professional fit may be in order if you can't solve it yourself.
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Old 05-03-19, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Get a proper bike fit.
This. I spent 6 hours riding my CAAD12 last Saturday, then another 4 hours on Sunday. The flesh over my sit bones was a little tender after I finished, but not uncomfortable. My bib shorts have a thin chamois. My saddle has minimal padding. I have a good bike fit and my ass is used to it. All of my weight is evenly distributed on my feet, hands and sit bones.
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Old 05-03-19, 01:30 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by zarbog View Post
and have crept back up to 200 pounds.
Being overweight can certainly contribute.
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Old 05-03-19, 01:39 PM
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And that is exactly it. Evenly distributed between hands, feet, sit-bones.

On newer bikes from the shop, the tendency is to have the bars too high. There's a dozen reasons, but none of those are relavent. The point is that if your sit bones hurt, they are taking too much of the weight.

The solution is either to move some of that weight to your hands and getting proper core engagement by lowering the bar (assuming it is a reasonably proper distance.) Too high bars also often cause hand/wrist issues because the core is not properly engaged to support the body.

The other option is getting the feet to support some of that weight by adjusting the seat height or pressing harder on the pedals. Usually (counter-intuitively) that often means raising the seat to properly engage the leg muscles for good stroke. The result is less pressure at the sit-bones.

Good luck.
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Old 05-03-19, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for all your comments, Chain reaction has a B17 on sale, going to spring for it. Last saddle was 80 plus tax, a Serfas RX.RR, this Brooks will be 132 delivered all in. I will revive the thread later this summer after I get some miles on the Brooks.
The bike was set up for me at the shop, it felt like it fit like a glove, no discomfort anywhere other than after a few hours of riding. But it was a free fit, nothing swapped out, went with stock stem etc.
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Old 05-03-19, 06:33 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by zarbog View Post
Thanks for all your comments, Chain reaction has a B17 on sale, going to spring for it. Last saddle was 80 plus tax, a Serfas RX.RR, this Brooks will be 132 delivered all in. I will revive the thread later this summer after I get some miles on the Brooks.
The bike was set up for me at the shop, it felt like it fit like a glove, no discomfort anywhere other than after a few hours of riding. But it was a free fit, nothing swapped out, went with stock stem etc.
Good luck and make sure to up-date. I used to weigh 40lbs. more than current weight and can attest to the "lighter is better" for bike and body.

Will be 69 in July and living with the realization that older = slower and slower = more saddle time for the same distance

Stats on today's ride of 128 miles......

8:17:59 Time
8:03:58 Moving Time
13:07:42 Elapsed Time
15.5 mph Avg Speed
15.9 mph Avg Moving Speed
22.7 mph Max Speed
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Old 05-03-19, 06:50 PM
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more time in the saddle

slowly increase, maybe 10-15 extra minutes at a time..gradually increase, be in it for the long haul
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Old 05-03-19, 06:51 PM
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and don't try to compare yourself to Old Try Guy's mileage..I think he rides more miles than anyone else on the board
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Old 05-05-19, 04:30 AM
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I can ride two hours on just about any saddle. But for me it takes around 60 miles to know if a saddle will work for those 6-12 hour days of riding. I’ve found one saddle that works perfectly for me but unfortunately Selle Italia has changed the model??? Darn.
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Old 05-05-19, 07:21 AM
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There could be many reasons why a saddle is uncomfortable that have little to do with the saddle itself including how one sits on that saddle due to a poor fit. For myself, after many painful miles where, at one point, I thought about giving up on cycling I discovered the saddle shape that works for me. Unfortunately no one makes that saddle so I've taken to modifying saddles with a heat gun. Most saddles have a triangular shape as viewed from above with the result that they are way too wide just forward of the widest point under the sit bones. That is the area I remold with heat making it narrower. I also like a cutout. The result of this customizing is a saddle I am comfortable on all day.
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Old 05-05-19, 11:06 AM
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Weight can be an issue - I'm pushing 180 now and feeling it in the saddle.
A long time ago I found a stiff saddle to be more comfortable - on longer rides a softer saddle tends to cause more friction and discomfort.
I also buy the best bibs/chamois available at the time, often a pro-level the racers use. When necessary, I use a chamois cream to reduce friction and chaffing, but mostly I try to do without.
I also got a proper bike fitting, which can help eliminate friction caused by rocking on the saddle (set too high) or strain from being set too low.
Finally, I shopped around to find the right saddle that works for me. My LBS had a selection of demo saddles to give a try.
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Old 05-05-19, 05:39 PM
  #19  
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^^All of the above.^^

But if you don't mind risking another $20 or so, try Przewalski shorts or bibs. Their 3D padding is by far the best I've tried. It's thick, dense, breathes yet doesn't turn into a sweat sponge.

It's difficult to describe the differences from other pads, but the thick pad is very resilient and dense, yet gives like a good memory foam mattress and rebounds without developing a permanent compression or loss of loft. The surface feels smooth, not plasticky, but not that felt-like surface typical of many pads. And the surface is dimpled like a golf ball. I'm assuming they buy pads from another source, but I haven't found another maker of shorts/bibs using the same pads.

The shorts themselves are remarkably good for around $20, but not perfect. I have longer than usual thighs and most shorts ride up and risk becoming short-shorts on my skinny thighs, but that's true of every bike short/bib I've tried. I'd need to either find a custom maker or just keep trying to find shorts/bibs that don't ride up so easily.

The hem has a wider than usual gripper band of lots of tiny rubber/silicone dots that don't irritate my skin. The hem doesn't fit my skinny legs too snugly, but that's more of an anatomical issue than a manufacturing flaw.

There's good supportive compression overall and the fabric wicks well and wears well. I've used the shorts at least once a week since last summer and with hand washing and air drying there's no discernible sign of wear.

The only drawback is that the thick, dense pad is comfortable only on my bikes with firm, narrow Selle Italia road saddles. My butt bones are very narrow and my roadie saddles are around 130mm wide, and I don't even sit on the widest part of the saddle where it flares out in the back. I park my sit bones in the curved section between the nose and flared rear. I prefer the saddle as close to level as possible. The Przewalski 3D padding is outstanding on those bikes/saddles.

But it's not comfortable on my other road bike with aero bars and a more heavily padded Selle Italia with perineum relief cutout. That saddle has a more flexible shell too. It works best for me tipped nose-down a bit. Rather than forcing my body weight forward onto my hands, the flexible shell gives enough that the saddle is nearly level where I sit.

But it's most comfortable with the very thin pad in the Aero Tech Pro shorts. That pad is unique. It's a microfiber two-part pad of black and tan fabrics, with very little density or loft. It's about as thick as a couple of terrycloth washcloths, and the closest thing I've found to old style soft leather chamois. It wicks sweat perfectly, and provides some abrasion resistance. But it's not a "pad" like other shorts. It works really well on padded saddles, where excessively padded shorts can actually create more pressure points and pain.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:32 AM
  #20  
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I replaced the very comfy for short rides Serfas saddle with the stock one yesterday, it is narrow and has very little padding and I was better off after the ride, 2 hours and 15 minutes at a leisurely pace. Looking forward to trying out the B17 when it gets here.

Berner had the same sort of issue that I am experiencing I think.

I am mostly a skinny guy with a big gut. Have always worn low rise pants, have a skinny butt and my belly will hang over my belt. I weighed 130 pounds when I was in my early 20's, ate like a horse and never really gained any weight until I was pushing 40. I would like to get down to 180 this year. Those shorts that canklecat mentioned look intersting but the waist might be too high on them for me. I will think about it a bit before I order them.

I've read many claims of leather saddle owners that they no longer need to wear padded shorts, that would be incredibly nice if it prooved true for me one day.
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Old 05-08-19, 09:27 AM
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Lots of good advice already. I have found that padding can hurt more than it helps. Along with more time in the saddle, fit and other saddles, try a pair of riding shorts with very thin pad if you haven't already.
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Old 05-08-19, 12:28 PM
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Wow, the B17 arrived yesterday, was not home so they delivered it again today. That is crazy fast shipping UK to Can.
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Old 05-08-19, 12:35 PM
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Check your pedaling. Do you mash more than spin? I grew up riding the heavy single speed balloon tire bikes and probably you did too. We always mashed with those bikes so it's easy to pedal in a gear too hard now because it feels natural. Try shifting down and pedaling in an easier gear while spinning a little faster. This will take a lot of pressure off your butt. Give it a try.
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Old 05-08-19, 12:40 PM
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Different profiles, Brooks, Serfas, Giant


Brooks, Serfas, Giant

Break in will start tomorrow after the thunderstorms, or the weekend. Should have enough mileage on it by end of June to see if it was the worth the investment.
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Old 05-08-19, 12:43 PM
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The saddle thing, I hope and pray that I can ride my perch as long as possible since it's no longer made (Original Aliante Carbon) and besides that if I want to do a LSD ride it has to have 50+% of flats. I live in a very hilly area (Northern Utah) and sometimes that's tough to map out without riding in awful spots or high traffic areas. But my bike fit is spot on and I have experience with doing 100 mile + rides on a regular basis when younger so I know how to pace myself, eat, drink and keep positioned.
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