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Worries my new saddle is wrong.

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Worries my new saddle is wrong.

Old 05-15-19, 08:57 AM
  #1  
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Worries my new saddle is wrong.

I'll try to not make this long winded. I ride a vintage bike. Had a Selle San Marco Super Corsa saddle that I found out was too narrow. My sit bones measure about 143mm. I swapped out the old saddle for a cheap knock off of a Specialized Power Saddle at 155 width. It feels great as far as soft tissue goes but I do have pain in the front of my hips/groin area.
I got this new saddle in the winter so my first rides we're on a trainer. No pain. Then I started taking it out and the pain came in. It's mostly soreness. No effect on my walking or being able to lift my knees.
Should I try a slightly narrower saddle or just stretch more? The old Super Corsa never caused much pain and I have taken a month off from riding but the soreness came back after a 15 mile ride.
Thanks.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:41 AM
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Try a different saddle.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:59 AM
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The old saddle never caused much pain and the saddle of supposedly the proper width does? What was it about the old saddle that caused you to think it not worthy of your butt other than the numbers game?

Numbers can get you in the ballpark and you only considered the width numbers which are only one part of many things that make a comfortable saddle. And if you were comfortable on a narrower saddle than what numbers say you should have then maybe some other aspect of that saddle is what you should look for in the next saddle.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:08 AM
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Perhaps the Super Corsa was not too narrow after all. Sit bone measurements can be a guide but the proof is in the sitting (and riding). But in any case, try different saddles until you find one that works well.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
The old saddle never caused much pain and the saddle of supposedly the proper width does? What was it about the old saddle that caused you to think it not worthy of your butt other than the numbers game?

Numbers can get you in the ballpark and you only considered the width numbers which are only one part of many things that make a comfortable saddle. And if you were comfortable on a narrower saddle than what numbers say you should have then maybe some other aspect of that saddle is what you should look for in the next saddle.
I do remember some slight pain in the soft tissue area but not as bad as the current hip pain. Unfortunately I don't have that saddle anymore. This weekend I'll head out and see if I can't try out something narrower.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:26 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by The_Joe View Post
This weekend I'll head out and see if I can't try out something narrower.
I didn't mean to imply that you must look for a narrower saddle because the old one was narrower. Other things make a difference too and perhaps it's not that the width is wrong on your new saddle. It might be how fast it flares from the nose to the back. It might be that profile shape from nose to rear. It might be the width of the nose. It might be too much padding or lack of padding. And quite a few other things might affect you too. Have you tried different tilts or fore/aft?

Specialized makes some good saddles IMO. However looking at the pics of what googling for "Specialized Power Saddle" pulls up shows too many different sub-models. Though on the ones that get my attention, it seems they flare out very rapidly when they transition from the nose. That would be a problem for me. I don't know that that is your cause for what you described though. For me it would mean some chaffing on my butt cheek probably.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I didn't mean to imply that you must look for a narrower saddle because the old one was narrower. Other things make a difference too and perhaps it's not that the width is wrong on your new saddle. It might be how fast it flares from the nose to the back. It might be that profile shape from nose to rear. It might be the width of the nose. It might be too much padding or lack of padding. And quite a few other things might affect you too. Have you tried different tilts or fore/aft?

Specialized makes some good saddles IMO. However looking at the pics of what googling for "Specialized Power Saddle" pulls up shows too many different sub-models. Though on the ones that get my attention, it seems they flare out very rapidly when they transition from the nose. That would be a problem for me. I don't know that that is your cause for what you described though. For me it would mean some chaffing on my butt cheek probably.
I didn't think you specifically meant narrower, but I figured if I go to a co-op for something they likely have narrower stuff. This particular saddle is currently as far back as it can go and it gives me a good position on the bike. I have tried angles in either direction. Slightly up was a real bad move. Currently it's level.

I've included a screen shot of the saddle shape. Kind of a Power saddle and kind of that new Shimano saddle. But, cheaper. It does have a very short nose which contributes to the look of a quick flare. Though my thoughts were also aimed in that direction.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:45 PM
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For me, I wouldn't think that saddle would work well. I like the nose to be narrow and only widen out at the very back where the sit bones go. I'd think that picture more for sitting more upright. Maybe not. We are talking saddle for a road bike and you are wanting to be in a decent road bike endurance position right (semi aero) to aero, right? Or are you wanting something else.

You mentioned you had your saddle all the way back. Is the frame too small for you? My saddle is forward. I find that with my saddle forward, I seem to have less pressure on my saddle as the power I'm putting into the cranks is at a better angle to lift me somewhat. But I ride a frame most consider oversize for me and it's the old style geometry of the previous century.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
For me, I wouldn't think that saddle would work well. I like the nose to be narrow and only widen out at the very back where the sit bones go. I'd think that picture more for sitting more upright. Maybe not. We are talking saddle for a road bike and you are wanting to be in a decent road bike endurance position right (semi aero) to aero, right? Or are you wanting something else.

You mentioned you had your saddle all the way back. Is the frame too small for you? My saddle is forward. I find that with my saddle forward, I seem to have less pressure on my saddle as the power I'm putting into the cranks is at a better angle to lift me somewhat. But I ride a frame most consider oversize for me and it's the old style geometry of the previous century.
Yes, looking for an aero, road bike position.

I also ride an old bike. Late '80s Japanese frame. It's not too small for me but I've got a strange body geometry. I'm 5' 9", mostly torso, so the frame fits me as far as pedal stroke and standover height. Just happens that I need the saddle back for (what I think is) proper fitment.

After having a fine time riding the bike on a trainer and taking a few 50+ mile rides it wasn't bad. Then one day the pain came in and I can't remember if it was before or after I made some adjustments. Yes, I'm the kind of person who is foolish enough to keep making changes. Once the soreness heals I also plan to try tilting the saddle down a bit.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:58 PM
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I have all my saddles all the way back, also. Same configuration issue.

Ah! Saddle has more then enough relief in the center. The problem with saddles like that is that as the slot becomes wider and longer, the nose of the saddle becomes wider and also has less surface area to support you. Probably works fine for some, but not for me. I need a saddle that's more T shaped, less pear, so a narrower, longer nose and the transition from top to skirt has to be very smooth and round. My current fave is the Selle Italia MAN Gel Flow. Note the very different shape in plan view from yours. I see this saddle on a lot of bikes around here. Seems to fit a wide range of body types. Try ebay for it.

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Old 05-18-19, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I have all my saddles all the way back, also. Same configuration issue.

Ah! Saddle has more then enough relief in the center. The problem with saddles like that is that as the slot becomes wider and longer, the nose of the saddle becomes wider and also has less surface area to support you. Probably works fine for some, but not for me. I need a saddle that's more T shaped, less pear, so a narrower, longer nose and the transition from top to skirt has to be very smooth and round. My current fave is the Selle Italia MAN Gel Flow. Note the very different shape in plan view from yours. I see this saddle on a lot of bikes around here. Seems to fit a wide range of body types. Try ebay for it.

You know, you're not the first one to suggest the MAN saddle. I had seen the gel model but was worried that it would be too much padding when matched with cycling shorts.

Your theories otherwise make perfect sense. I think I felt ok on the Super Corsa because of the way it widened at the back.
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Old 05-18-19, 10:48 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by The_Joe View Post
You know, you're not the first one to suggest the MAN saddle. I had seen the gel model but was worried that it would be too much padding when matched with cycling shorts.

Your theories otherwise make perfect sense. I think I felt ok on the Super Corsa because of the way it widened at the back.
It's not that soft. Just enough to take the sting out of hits. I don't feel like I sink into it at all.
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Old 05-18-19, 10:03 PM
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I have you considered that the hip pain is something unrelated to the saddle?
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Old 05-19-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I have you considered that the hip pain is something unrelated to the saddle?
Absolutely. I'm taking time off the bike to make sure I'm fully recovered and then I want to try out all options. I have been a little concerned that this saddle pushes my thighs out a bit much. There hasn't been anything else that I remember could have been a contributor. No weird falls or anything like that.
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Old 05-19-19, 07:02 PM
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Your saddle is more of a copy of the Pro Stealth than the Power saddle. I rode the Power Expert for 2.5 years. I thought I could do better and went through six saddles. I realized, for me, that there is not a better saddle in the world than the Power Expert. It has the #2 padding which is just right. I even tried the Power Elaston, but it was too soft for longer rides than 50 miles. Don't cheap out on saddle. I suggest you try a real Specialized Power Saddle.
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Old 05-20-19, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
Your saddle is more of a copy of the Pro Stealth than the Power saddle. I rode the Power Expert for 2.5 years. I thought I could do better and went through six saddles. I realized, for me, that there is not a better saddle in the world than the Power Expert. It has the #2 padding which is just right. I even tried the Power Elaston, but it was too soft for longer rides than 50 miles. Don't cheap out on saddle. I suggest you try a real Specialized Power Saddle.
I cheaped out only because I didn't want to spend $120+ on a saddle that wasn't comfortable for me. $20 was a small investment to see how the shape felt.
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Old 05-21-19, 01:53 AM
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My experience and two bobs worth is that the right saddle takes time to work for you and what's right at the start of your cycling journey will almost never be right by the end.

I find that the saddle that's right when your experienced is ALWAYS too hard at the start.

Softer saddles are always nicer to begin with but after too many miles you sink into them and cut off blood supply leaving you feeling numb. Hard saddle don't cut off the blood supply like soft saddles do but they do leave you feeling bruised until your used to them.

I'm currently using an old Selle Italia Trans Am. At first it was as hard as a rock and it left me bruised. Now its fine.

EDIT, I just did some googling. My saddle looks most like a Selle Italia Trans Am SLR although its not labelled as such.

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Old 05-21-19, 03:17 PM
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Cool another which saddle ..?

@ LBS there is a big Box of 'ake off' saddles from new bikes where the bike buyer wanted something else..


so that is not unusual ..


as said above go sit on more saddles... I don't have your hips so what I bought is meaningless..


& even that has changed over the years...

Go forth and sit on more saddles.. , in person..


and now.... tacos...
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Old 05-23-19, 10:14 AM
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I've been waiting patiently for someone to mention how unlikely it is that someone (male) who is 5'9" would have sitbones of 143mm. I'm 5'10" and I'm pretty sure mine aren't much more than 100mm. I mean ... it's possible. Anything is possible, but if measurement is to mean anything it must be accurate. There is the real possibility of doing permanent harm to oneself with a bad saddle choice. It might be the case that a $20 saddle can be safe overtime but I wouldn't bet my nutz on that. The saddle I spend the most time on is a Bontrager Affinity in a 145mm size. It is one of the T shapes being discussed. The saddle on my road racer is the OEM saddle on the Trek 1.1. It looks fairly narrow but has a center channel (not wide, just a slit really). In reviews it doesn't get much love. I don't love it either but I don't hate it. But I haven't done anything longer than 20 miles on it yet. The Affinity has no center cut-out but I would ride any distance. The Terry Mens Falcon is another saddle I own. I also have had Terry Mens Liberator and Liberator Race. These saddles will never be found for $20. Not even well used. They are, I think, worth paying for and if you have pain with them you can be pretty sure that its something else. Another poster did ask the question as to how the o.p. knows that their pain is due to the saddle. It's a fair question. I think the question is easier to answer when the saddle you are using is a well respected, highly rated example of the saddle makers art. The Bontrager Affinity retails for $120. Mine were (yah, I've got a couple) on sale for half price. The Terry Falcon was $80. The Liberator Race a bit cheaper. I've not tried them but WTB saddles are highly regarded and retail in the $40+ range. I wouldn't trust anything less. FWIW.
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Old 05-23-19, 04:13 PM
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I rode Selle Italias, both under their name and other names for many years. Raced them, put many thousands of miles on them and loved them. (The Avocet II and IIIs were those saddles.) Then in my 40s, I changed and they no longer worked because of perineum issues. I now ride virtually the same saddle (I believe still made by Selle Italia), the Terry Fly that incorporates a cutout. Not always comfortable early in rides but as they go on and get harder, those seats are never an issue. And really hard rides? They are not even there. I cannot ask for more.

Ben
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Old 05-23-19, 08:17 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I rode Selle Italias, both under their name and other names for many years. Raced them, put many thousands of miles on them and loved them. (The Avocet II and IIIs were those saddles.) Then in my 40s, I changed and they no longer worked because of perineum issues. I now ride virtually the same saddle (I believe still made by Selle Italia), the Terry Fly that incorporates a cutout. Not always comfortable early in rides but as they go on and get harder, those seats are never an issue. And really hard rides? They are not even there. I cannot ask for more.

Ben
Ben, which Terry Fly are you using? I am currently riding on an Avocet Touring III. Thanks.
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Old 05-25-19, 03:36 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
@ LBS there is a big Box of 'ake off' saddles from new bikes where the bike buyer wanted something else..


so that is not unusual ..


as said above go sit on more saddles... I don't have your hips so what I bought is meaningless..


& even that has changed over the years...

Go forth and sit on more saddles.. , in person..


and now.... tacos...

I'll second that, go try multiple saddles. I ride a Fizik Antares which took about 3 months to figure out. I tried Specialized, Selle SMP and a couple others. It was almost immediately apparent when I rode it for the first time. Good Luck
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Old 05-25-19, 08:17 PM
  #23  
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I wonder if the pain the OP describes is really felt along the slanted leading edge of the saddle. I have had that pain when a saddle is too far forward relative to my preferred pedaling position, and the back of my thigh near my groins is rubbing and pressing against the edge of the saddle. I relieve that by either moving the saddle backwards, changing the saddle to a shape where the leading edge is closer to the sit bone position (saddle is more T-shaped), and to incrementally lower the saddle a few millimeters at a time to relieve pressure on teh back of the leg. If there is pressure only on one side, the saddle can be rotated to move its nose toward the side of the bike where the sensitive area can be found.

Adjusting width, height, and tilt are not the only issues in saddle selection and adjustment. The shape of the saddle and the locatin of potential pressure points can be critical.
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Old 05-26-19, 09:51 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by The_Joe View Post
Yes, looking for an aero, road bike position.

I also ride an old bike. Late '80s Japanese frame. It's not too small for me but I've got a strange body geometry. I'm 5' 9", mostly torso, so the frame fits me as far as pedal stroke and standover height. Just happens that I need the saddle back for (what I think is) proper fitment.

After having a fine time riding the bike on a trainer and taking a few 50+ mile rides it wasn't bad. Then one day the pain came in and I can't remember if it was before or after I made some adjustments. Yes, I'm the kind of person who is foolish enough to keep making changes. Once the soreness heals I also plan to try tilting the saddle down a bit.
I think I have a similar affliction. I have a few ideas, if you still have your old saddle. One is to do a quantitative comparison between your old saddle and the new one. Put the old one back on the bike, level it, set the height to what you have been using (if you can't reproduce this state of affairs, do the heel on pedal test to set the saddle height to a nearly correct point) and set the saddle as far back as possible. Measure the saddle length to find where the halfway point is, and measure the width at that point. Measure how far back from the middle of the bars it is from the middle of the saddle. Unconventional I know but i just want to compare how the two saddles fit the bike.

Write down all the numbers.

Put the new saddle back on, and do the same thing: level it, set the height, slide it back (staying level), and find the halfway point. As before measure the width at the halfway point, then measure how far back from the middle of the bars it is from the middle of the saddle. Again write down all the numbers.

What I'd be looking for is which of the two saddles can be placed far enough back to correctly locate your sitbones and satisfy your need for weight distribution, wide enough to correctly support your sitbones, and meeting those constraints, is narrow enough at the middle point of the saddle to give you clearance for your hamstrings and whatever else has been pained down there.

Also, you said your old saddle was great until you "continued to adjust it." If you do get it back into its best setup, stop and measure the height, setback from a plumb line through the BB (with a level frame), and measure the saddle uptilt (this will also tell you downtilt, lol!). Probably the best way for this last one is to put the bike on a flat floor, like a kitchen or garage floor, and measure the height of the front of the saddle above the floor and the height of the rear of the saddle above the floor.

This may seem like an unnecessary big production, but you thought enough of the problem to ask, and this process would give me the kind of information I want to be able to narrow down the range of saddle choices. I would probably have eliminated that EC90 in favor of a Brooks, that Selle Italia, a Terry, or a Toupe Gel of suitable width.

Many saddles (or their makers) tell you their width across the widest point. Few of them tell you the width across the middle, the length of the attachment area of the rails, and the location of the attachment area relative to the front or back of the saddle. We have to deal with those issues ourselves.
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Old 05-26-19, 10:31 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post

Adjusting width, height, and tilt are not the only issues in saddle selection and adjustment. The shape of the saddle and the locatin of potential pressure points can be critical.
This is something I'm now realizing. My first thoughts were: wider saddle for wide sit bones, and groove for soft tissue. At first I rode this saddle more on the nose which was obviously bad for the soft tissue. Then this started as I began sitting back further.

I should really express something that I didn't make clear in my original post. This was less about saddle suggestions and more about how a wide saddle could affect one's hips/legs. There is almost a feeling that the wide saddle, despite supporting my sit bones, was pushing my legs apart at the hip joint.

Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I think I have a similar affliction. I have a few ideas, if you still have your old saddle. One is to do a quantitative comparison between your old saddle and the new one. Put the old one back on the bike, level it, set the height to what you have been using (if you can't reproduce this state of affairs, do the heel on pedal test to set the saddle height to a nearly correct point) and set the saddle as far back as possible. Measure the saddle length to find where the halfway point is, and measure the width at that point. Measure how far back from the middle of the bars it is from the middle of the saddle. Unconventional I know but i just want to compare how the two saddles fit the bike.

Write down all the numbers.

Put the new saddle back on, and do the same thing: level it, set the height, slide it back (staying level), and find the halfway point. As before measure the width at the halfway point, then measure how far back from the middle of the bars it is from the middle of the saddle. Again write down all the numbers.

What I'd be looking for is which of the two saddles can be placed far enough back to correctly locate your sitbones and satisfy your need for weight distribution, wide enough to correctly support your sitbones, and meeting those constraints, is narrow enough at the middle point of the saddle to give you clearance for your hamstrings and whatever else has been pained down there.

Also, you said your old saddle was great until you "continued to adjust it." If you do get it back into its best setup, stop and measure the height, setback from a plumb line through the BB (with a level frame), and measure the saddle uptilt (this will also tell you downtilt, lol!). Probably the best way for this last one is to put the bike on a flat floor, like a kitchen or garage floor, and measure the height of the front of the saddle above the floor and the height of the rear of the saddle above the floor.

This may seem like an unnecessary big production, but you thought enough of the problem to ask, and this process would give me the kind of information I want to be able to narrow down the range of saddle choices. I would probably have eliminated that EC90 in favor of a Brooks, that Selle Italia, a Terry, or a Toupe Gel of suitable width.

Many saddles (or their makers) tell you their width across the widest point. Few of them tell you the width across the middle, the length of the attachment area of the rails, and the location of the attachment area relative to the front or back of the saddle. We have to deal with those issues ourselves.

Sadly I no longer have the old saddle but I do have a few other options around. Next in my list is to try an old leather Belt saddle from Japan. I'm hoping it works because an old Japanese saddle on an old Japanese bike would be much better for the aesthetic.


In this process I have adjust for/aft and I have adjusted height and angle. For one short ride I rotated the saddle slightly to the left (side of the pain) and that was incredibly uncomfortable.

Since this post I have visited a doctor. They think I either have an inguinal hernia (which I doubt), some form of snapping hip syndrome, or something is torn. I'm going in for an ultrasound on Wednesday that will hopefully help me to fully recouperate so I can get to the bottom of this.

Thanks to all of you for suggestions and advice.
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