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Minimizing Saddle Pains?

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Minimizing Saddle Pains?

Old 02-26-19, 09:11 AM
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Bikesplendor
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Minimizing Saddle Pains?

Especially when spending a lot of time in the saddle day after day. What is your experience?

They can be a real issue on tours — what can be done to minimize these problems?
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Old 02-26-19, 10:44 AM
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pdlamb
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1. Ride lots before you start your tour.

2. If you're not comfortable during your pre-tour training, change either the saddle or the saddle position.

3. Ride lots more.

Sorry, there's not a silver bullet (although a Brooks B-17 is close for my butt).
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Old 02-26-19, 10:54 AM
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After many miles in a day I often get what I refer to as Brooks Butt. Standing on both pedals to coast occasionally allows circulation to be restored briefly often helps. And now and then a 3 minute stop to get off of the bike and have some water and a few calories helps too.

Several years ago instead of standing on the pedals to coast, I would upshift many gears and then stand on the pedals to pedal but at a very low cadence. But I no longer pedal when standing on the pedals due to knee problems.
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Old 02-26-19, 11:35 AM
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I had been riding my Brooks Team Pro saddle for 10 years , before I took My first longer tours ...

We were used to each other.. by then .....

3 pairs of bike shorts to have a clean one every morning,, keeping skin 'down there' clean..





...

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Old 02-26-19, 11:56 AM
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Great question, one that concerns most riders. Here are my thoughts:
1. Ride a lot before the tour. Every Spring, my first long rides are painful as my butt gets back in shape. The only cure is riding until my butt-toughness returns.
2. Get a good saddle. Brooks saddles have been mentioned here, my wife and I find Terry saddles specific to our genders work for us. They are expensive and worth every penny. Everyone's butt is different, and you may find other saddles that work better for you, keep looking.
3. Anti-chafing products make a big difference. I use Chamois Glide; other products include Chamois Butt'r, DZ Nutz, etc. On my first tour I skipped this preparation and had chafing so bad by the end of the second day that I didn't think I would be able to ride in the morning. Applying Chamois Glide was like a trip to Lourdes for me; I could miraculously ride the next day.
4. Clean, dry, good quality padded bike shorts help a lot. I take three pair so I have a pair to wear, a pair that is drying from hand-washing, plus a spare pair just in case. I don't need the $150 per pair styles, those are for young competitive riders, but I don't buy the bargain style either; I usually spend ~$80 per pair.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-26-19, 12:21 PM
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Four main components to worry about:
  1. Saddle
  2. Seatpost
  3. Shorts
  4. Your own butt
A couple of these should be obvious: get a comfortable saddle, padded chamois make a difference. A good vibration-damping seatpost is an often-overlooked part.

Your own butt can be conditioned to get more comfortable on the saddle, and the only good way to do that is ride a lot. There are going to be growing pains, but it'll get better. Also, move around a little during a long ride: change hand positions, sit up or lean forward, etc.

The geometry of your frame also plays a role, since it affects the position in which you sit. But it's hard to dramatically change that without getting a whole new bike. The only "easy" fixes here would be to use different handlebars or stem, and the fit of your bike might not be the problem in the first place. You probably don't want to screw around with the fit of an otherwise well-fitting bike only because your butt's sore. Try the other solutions first (unless you already thought the fit was off).
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Old 02-26-19, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
Especially when spending a lot of time in the saddle day after day. What is your experience?
What's yours?
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Old 02-26-19, 01:19 PM
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Plan to make many small adjustments as you ride, for example the saddle angle (nose further up or down), etc. I put a piece of electrical tape on the seatpost about 5mm above the frame so that I can see a small gap there. If the gap disappears, I know it slipped. Many minor tweaks can be an important part of the fitting process until you get it the best you can.
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Old 02-26-19, 01:33 PM
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Keeping clean so no bacterial issues- 1) clean shorts, 2) baby wipes, 3) chamois cream, 4) frequent washing
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Old 02-26-19, 02:16 PM
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I have yet to find the perfect saddle. I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer looking for stock solutions. The best way forward (for me) is custom experimentation.

There is a noseless saddle I would like to try. Iron Vegan has it on one of his bikes. I'm planning something similar as a mod to an existing saddle.

I have tried something that was extremely helpful. I had a short (approx. 6") length of cylindrical memory foam material that I could place behind my sit bones, between me and the saddle. And I could vary the position. So it gave me new, fresh contact points, that I could adjust and move easily, and a soft surface. It really helped bail me out of a painful situation.
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Old 02-26-19, 06:31 PM
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SHHHH! Don't tell my secrets......

Take a break every hour?.....I have 16 hours a day to get to where I'm going....

Your suppose to be having fun!

Last edited by Booger1; 02-26-19 at 06:37 PM.
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