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Back On The Bike After 30 Years

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Back On The Bike After 30 Years

Old 06-01-19, 04:28 PM
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CricketUSA
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Back On The Bike After 30 Years

Hi All!

So I fixed up my old 1987 Cannondale ST500 and it's now ready to ride.

Anyway I'm 53 and haven't been on a bike in 30 years... but I tried today and ouch does my derriere ever hurt!

How long does it take to get your butt used to riding again? It seems like my pelvic bones are feeling really bruised.

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Old 06-01-19, 04:52 PM
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I suspect that happens to pretty much everyone that hasn't been on a bike for decades.

When I got back into cycling when I was 59, it took about a month of cycling daily (not long rides) for my butt to stop hurting.

Lot's of factors involved (saddle, bike fit, etc.) but I'll guess that after gradually increasing the amount you're riding, the sore butt symptoms will subside.

I live in a northern climate (Canada) and every spring, the 1st few rides result in some discomfort but it always gets better.

Just keep at it...
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Old 06-01-19, 05:21 PM
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Are you you using bike shorts with padding? Shorts have changed over the last 30 years. A lot more saddle choices, too.
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Old 06-01-19, 05:23 PM
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You might have to get a wider and more padded saddle as a "break you back in" saddle. Then move on to something different as you get used to the riding, or not.
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Old 06-01-19, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CricketUSA View Post
Hi All!

So I fixed up my old 1987 Cannondale ST500 and it's now ready to ride.

Anyway I'm 53 and haven't been on a bike in 30 years... but I tried today and ouch does my derriere ever hurt!

How long does it take to get your butt used to riding again? It seems like my pelvic bones are feeling really bruised.

Cricket
Wow, similar story. About a year ago, after thirty years of not riding I resurrected my old 1987 Cannondale SR500 Road bike, and started riding again at 59. I basically pumped up the tires, did some minor rear derailleur adjustments. lubed the chain and road!

Originally when I bought it new in 1987, I road the bike for a few years, then set it aside for thirty, so it was essentially a like new 31 year old bike. I've been riding it for a full year now, and replaced the tires, tubes, and put on a new chain, but that's it.

Yes, your butt will hurt at first, but that goes away. Just keep riding. I think it only took about two weeks for my butt to stop hurting, but I was riding almost every day.

Last edited by Pilot321; 06-01-19 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 06-01-19, 06:48 PM
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Hi Guys!

Thanks for the replies! I think I am going to set my bike up on my trainer and ride on that for a while until my butt feels better.

Also when you all started back in riding, did any of you lower your saddle height a lot? And did you switch out the pedals temporarily?

I tried riding today with my cleated shoes as my bike has Look pedals, but I found it really awkward to get both feet locked in. So today I mostly just pedaled with one foot locked in and one foot dangling as it felt really awkward (and painful) to get up fully on the saddle (I haven't lowered my saddle yet) and get the other foot clipped in.

So I "pedal coasted" a whopping 0.8 miles today, lol.

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Old 06-01-19, 07:37 PM
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When I got back into cycling, I switched to a hybrid bike. I ride a Trek FX 2 now and find the geometry on the hybrid very comfortable. In the old days I had a 10 speed Raleigh with drop bars.

You can always go to LBS and test ride a couple of different style of bikes to see which seem to fit you best now. A lot depends on the type biking you plan to get back into. There's no "right" answer, lol.

Bottom line, it will take a bit of time to get your biking legs (butt) back. It will be a struggle but you'll get there if you keep at it.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CricketUSA View Post
Hi Guys!

Thanks for the replies! I think I am going to set my bike up on my trainer and ride on that for a while until my butt feels better.

Also when you all started back in riding, did any of you lower your saddle height a lot? And did you switch out the pedals temporarily?

I tried riding today with my cleated shoes as my bike has Look pedals, but I found it really awkward to get both feet locked in. So today I mostly just pedaled with one foot locked in and one foot dangling as it felt really awkward (and painful) to get up fully on the saddle (I haven't lowered my saddle yet) and get the other foot clipped in.

So I "pedal coasted" a whopping 0.8 miles today, lol.

Cricket
I did the opposite. I raised my seat quite a bit. Either I have become taller (lol), or I had it a bit lower than I should have way back when. Maybe switch your pedals with toe clips, cages, and straps instead of clipping in. If you hang in there and just keep riding, your butt pain will go away. I don't know if a trainer will do it, but maybe.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:50 PM
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You’re behind will break in after awhile. I had a 5 month layoff from the bike and it took a few rides to break the butt back in.
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Old 06-02-19, 06:20 AM
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It all sounds familiar. I rode for 25 yrs. then was off the bike for 8 years. Got back on at 58. Everything hurt. It will take months to feel "right." I would suggest short rides frequently until your body starts to "break in." Eventually you may decide a new saddle is in order but you won't know for sure initially. The word I use as a mantra is "patience."
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Old 06-02-19, 08:30 AM
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Adjust whatever you need to as you develop the specific muscles you use cycling.

Because your legs aren't used to the load, you are sitting on the saddle more ... and most road bike saddles aren't meant to be seats, more like perches. Also, your lower back and stomach have to do a lot of work which leaves you either leaning on the bars (hurting hands, wrists, elbows) or sitting on the saddle more (which you already fully understand.)

Flat pedals are good for confidence as you get used to riding again. Lowering the seat a little will get you using the portions of your thighs that you normally use .... you will lose a little power but your legs will probably have very little power at more extension anyway, until you ride some more.
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Old 06-02-19, 03:40 PM
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I'm 52, and have been on and off (mostly off) riding for 22 years but I'm trying to really get back into it. I've always found that any layoff of longer than a few weeks required a seat break-in period. I've also found that as I get back into it I've been raising my seat a bit - probably a flexibility thing.

I will caution you to ease back in. I've been pushing a bit and have been finding that I'm more injury prone and recovery is much harder. Currently on cortico-steroids and muscle relaxers for a back/leg injury on the bike last Monday - purely an overuse sort of thing - back was hurting a little before I hit the road, my quad cramped with 4 miles to go on the ride, woke up the next day with my quad screaming and intermittent pain from mid-butt to below my knee - doc diagnosed sciatica. When I was thirty I wouldnt even have noticed. Now, I've been limping for a week.
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Old 06-02-19, 03:47 PM
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Check the seat is it the same one as when the bike was new. If so look into a more confotable saddle I have a 1989 st600 and original saddle was not to good bought a selle Italia now after a few century rides nothing really hurts back there musles another story .but time on any decent fitting saddle should make things more confotable as u get the miles in lots of luck with the riding
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Old 06-02-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CricketUSA View Post
Hi Guys!

Thanks for the replies! I think I am going to set my bike up on my trainer and ride on that for a while until my butt feels better.

Also when you all started back in riding, did any of you lower your saddle height a lot? And did you switch out the pedals temporarily?

I tried riding today with my cleated shoes as my bike has Look pedals, but I found it really awkward to get both feet locked in. So today I mostly just pedaled with one foot locked in and one foot dangling as it felt really awkward (and painful) to get up fully on the saddle (I haven't lowered my saddle yet) and get the other foot clipped in.

So I "pedal coasted" a whopping 0.8 miles today, lol.

Cricket
Itís important that you maintain the proper bike fit or metric for riding so Iíd advise against drastic changes unless your setup was off 30 years ago. Do your Look cleats have a lot of float where you can twist your foot around without unclipping? I donít know what model you have but the Delta version had the red cleats for the most float. Iíd encourage sticking with clipless pedals and possibly trying different cleats..

Hang in there. You will get it figured out.
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Old 06-03-19, 11:26 AM
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@CricketUSA
I remember that sore butt every spring. Growing up in N.J. there was always that first warm Spring weekend with the roads free of snow and ice when we rode our bikes non stop. Monday morning, it was quite painful just sitting at my desk at school. It goes away. Don't change anything. Ride lots.
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Old 06-03-19, 02:41 PM
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Hi All,

Thanks for all your replies. So I have my bike set up on my old Blackburn Wind/Mag Trainer and have been pedaling on it and getting my butt slowly acclimated to the seat again. Each day it feels a little less and less painful... but it's going to take quite a bit of time to where I don't feel any pain at all.

BTW... this sort of reminds of riding a horse many years ago. I am not a horse person by any means but one time my father and I rented horses and went trail riding and I couldn't sit on hard chairs for about a week afterwards, hahaha.

As far as pedals goes, I think I am going to look for cheapo pedals... until I feel comfortable using the Look Pedals with cleats again. Getting one foot locked into the pedals is easy... it's getting the other foot locked in that can be a bit tricky.

The way the old Look Pedals are... your cleated shoes can quickly slide off them and the pedal can hit you on the calf muscle and leave a nasty bruise... if you don't catch the front of the pedal with your cleat.

I can see why many bike tourists either use just flat pedals or use a clipless system with a trail style shoe and recessed cleats. Cleated cycling shoes like what racing cyclists wear are very comfortable for riding distances (I even have my old cycling shoes, hahaha) but they make you walk like a duck and they can be pretty damn slippery when you have to come to a stop.

But first things first... I need to get my butt toughened up for the saddle.

Last edited by CricketUSA; 06-03-19 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-03-19, 02:49 PM
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Ride a little everyday. Even if it`s only a couple of miles.

Also , a little PREPARATION H never anybody!
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Old 06-03-19, 03:18 PM
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What size tire are you running? A little fatter tire run at a lower pressure will make for a more comfortable ride. I rebuilt a 1985 Cannondale ST 400 last year with
700c wheels and I'm running 700 x 32c tires. It's a great riding bike. The 32c tires really help cushion the frame a bit since those old STs are pretty stiff, responsive machines.
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Old 06-08-19, 01:50 PM
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I am running 27 X 1 inch tires on 27 x 1 1/4 rims. I think it's just going to take some time to get my bottom used to riding again but it does seem to be getting better each day.
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Old 06-08-19, 03:03 PM
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One question: when you got back on, was it like riding a bike?

What? 🙃
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