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Lessening indoor training saddle pain?

Old 03-07-19, 03:26 PM
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surak
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Lessening indoor training saddle pain?

Anyone have tips on how to make a saddle more comfortable for indoor training?

I used to have discomfort whether indoors or outdoors until I got a bike fit. Now my butt is happy outside on a Specialized Power saddle, but indoors it still hurts. I've read that it's a common complaint about that saddle, so I don't think it's just a matter of getting used to it. I'm seriously wondering if something like a gel cover would help.

Things I've tried that still aren't sufficient: Chamois cream, expensive plush chamois, lower cadence (more load on legs vs. butt)
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Old 03-07-19, 03:53 PM
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standing every 5 mins? You can build a rocker plate for your trainer
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Old 03-07-19, 05:10 PM
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Where does it hurt? How many hours/week are you riding now and how frequently?
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Old 03-07-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
standing every 5 mins? You can build a rocker plate for your trainer
I do stand when it gets unbearable, suppose I should stand more often and for longer, though it messes up my power output when trying to hold steady, e.g., doing SST. I'm riding rollers with a fork mount. Hadn't thought that movement would help, but I see DIY rockers are a thing so there must be something to it? Would not using a fork mount help (caveat being that I lack the balance to train without it in the short term)?

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Where does it hurt? How many hours/week are you riding now and how frequently?
Between the cheeks, even though the Power has a cutout and good sit bone support. I've been riding indoors for on average 4 hrs/wk since November, sessions typically 1 hour with some longer.
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Old 03-07-19, 06:27 PM
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Stand up before it gets unbearable. On the road you're probably moving around on the saddle a good bit, which is something that may not happen as much inside. Make it a point to move forward/backwards/stand up every 2-3 minutes and see if that helps.
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Old 03-07-19, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Anyone have tips on how to make a saddle more comfortable for indoor training?

I used to have discomfort whether indoors or outdoors until I got a bike fit. Now my butt is happy outside on a Specialized Power saddle, but indoors it still hurts. I've read that it's a common complaint about that saddle, so I don't think it's just a matter of getting used to it. I'm seriously wondering if something like a gel cover would help.

Things I've tried that still aren't sufficient: Chamois cream, expensive plush chamois, lower cadence (more load on legs vs. butt)

Riding inside and riding the stoker position on a tandem are the two most painful cycling things when it comes to saddle comfort.


After trying "all the things" in both situations, I've found that riding with a saddle that is somewhat wider than usual helps.
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Old 03-07-19, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Stand up before it gets unbearable. On the road you're probably moving around on the saddle a good bit, which is something that may not happen as much inside. Make it a point to move forward/backwards/stand up every 2-3 minutes and see if that helps.
Good advice, I'll try to stand more often. Unfortunately moving around isn't an option because the Power only has one comfortable spot to sit in, perhaps why people agree it sucks for indoor riding. That's why I was wondering if I could use a cover or something to change its shape. I don't want to swap saddles unless that's the last resort, because it works so well for me outdoors and we're finally getting some days where riding outside is an option (minus incidents like today's snow and then hail).

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Riding inside and riding the stoker position on a tandem are the two most painful cycling things when it comes to saddle comfort.


After trying "all the things" in both situations, I've found that riding with a saddle that is somewhat wider than usual helps.
I definitely have more empathy for my stoker! When you say wider, do you mean the entire saddle, the nose, or the back where the sit bone support is?
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Old 03-07-19, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Good advice, I'll try to stand more often. Unfortunately moving around isn't an option because the Power only has one comfortable spot to sit in, perhaps why people agree it sucks for indoor riding. That's why I was wondering if I could use a cover or something to change its shape. I don't want to swap saddles unless that's the last resort, because it works so well for me outdoors and we're finally getting some days where riding outside is an option (minus incidents like today's snow and then hail).



I definitely have more empathy for my stoker! When you say wider, do you mean the entire saddle, the nose, or the back where the sit bone support is?
The back where the sit bone support is.

I've found I can shift position a bit more while seated when the saddle is wider.
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Old 03-07-19, 07:51 PM
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Try a gel cover. They aren't expensive and may solve the problem. My wife has one for when she rides my bike indoors and says it is much more comfortable. I haven't tried it myself but I've been riding road saddles for 50 years and it takes about 3 hours on the trainer to make it hurt.
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Old 03-07-19, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I do stand when it gets unbearable, suppose I should stand more often and for longer, though it messes up my power output when trying to hold steady, e.g., doing SST. I'm riding rollers with a fork mount. Hadn't thought that movement would help, but I see DIY rockers are a thing so there must be something to it? Would not using a fork mount help (caveat being that I lack the balance to train without it in the short term)?

Between the cheeks, even though the Power has a cutout and good sit bone support. I've been riding indoors for on average 4 hrs/wk since November, sessions typically 1 hour with some longer.
What does "between the cheeks" mean? Numb groin, hemorrhoids, or? Photo of you on your rollers might help.

Speaking of rollers, of course you can ride them fine right now without the fork mount. Set them up in a doorway so your shoulders are right in it. The narrower the doorway, the better. On rollers, speed is your friend. I wouldn't worry terribly about serious training on them in March. First learn to ride them, then train. Downside of really riding rollers is that it'll take you a while to get good enough to stand on them. Totally worth it, though.

4 hours/week consistently should be enough to condition your butt tissues, so that's not the problem. You use padded bike shorts, right? Same problem no matter which model of shorts you use? Some shorts are a better match for some saddles than others. I've found that saddle with large cutouts typically work better with thinner pads.
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Old 03-07-19, 09:30 PM
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You're probably sitting more heavily in the saddle on the indoor trainer. I do. Outdoors, rough road nudges us to support ourselves more with our legs. Often it's subtle: coasting for a second or two without fully sitting in the saddle, etc; using a bigger gear; sitting up more during indoor trainer sessions, while leaning forward to get more aero outdoors. I do all that stuff, which accounts for the differences in comfort I feel between indoor and outdoor rides.

Outdoors I'm often comfortable with Aero Tech Pro shorts with their thinnest, barely-there pad. But indoors I prefer a thicker pad.

For indoor trainer sessions try a pair of Przewalski 3D shorts. Most comfortable pad I've tried, not only thicker than most but denser yet still resilient and comfortable, and smooth with an odd golf-ball dimpled surface. The shorts themselves are good for the money but the pad alone is worth the whopping $20 the shorts cost.

I mostly wear them for indoor trainer sessions, but like 'em well enough that I'm planning to try the 3D padded bibs for outdoor rides.
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Old 03-11-19, 06:38 AM
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Make sure you are NOT using padded shorts
Take as many microbreaks as you need. It won't hard your steady state to relieve pressure for 30 seconds every 5-10 minutes.
Gel seat cover MAY help. I find the padded saddles in the gym much more comfortable than my brick saddle.
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Old 03-11-19, 08:50 AM
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Here are a couple of ideas for you.

Is the bike level when inside? When I put my bike on the trainer, I use a block under the front wheel to level the bike. Conversely, there are front blocks available that intentionally change the level of the bike to simulate climbing and descending. On the road, the bike constantly changes level as well as side to side motion.

Is the force on the pedals the same inside as outside? And keep in mind that muscle recruitment will be different inside versus outside due to the total energy required to move the bike versus spin the trainer. All I have to do to make my ass sore inside is to do a high cadence very low force recovery ride. However, I can also do that outside by riding around easy for a longer duration.

Another idea on the trainer that may reduce ass pain is to ride tops, hoods and drops by alternating position every couple of minutes and ride in the drops for any harder effort. Riding in the drops or on the hoods with the forearms parallel to the ground is the fastest position and IMO, the position to develop power and endurance for use outside when needed.

Finally, change up the force on the pedals inside and do not do constant power. Alternate between two or three force levels and change cadence. This will use different energy systems and change muscle recruitment which will be a better proxy for outside riding. Mixing energy systems is better in many cases than just constant force riding unless one is trying to simulate hill climbing or time trials.
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Old 03-14-19, 11:44 AM
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I've done one unstructured roller session and another structured interval session back on the fork mount to gauge the pain more closely.

The unstructured roller session was relatively pain-free. More ammo to seriously work on weaning myself off the fork mount eventually.
The pain during the intervals was definitely more during the high cadence recovery portion. Switching hand positions frequently and standing even for only a few strokes made a significant difference; I wasn't doing it as much originally because I wasn't sure if it was better to try and hold one steady position for a whole block.

I'm still thinking of trying a gel cover to make the low-load blocks more comfortable. Haven't looked at the options yet, hoping there are some that will fit the smaller/shorter dimensions of the Power saddle.
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Old 03-21-19, 03:57 AM
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It is all about standing before the discomfort sets in for me. During Zwift rides I stand on many more short hills than I would in real life, trying to get at least a few seconds out of the saddle every 5-10 minutes or so just to relieve pressure and let the blood flow.

The timing is different on workouts in erg mode but as long as the power is at Sweet Spot level or higher, same thing - I stand for short periods. Can also do it during the low power recovery sessions.

If Zwift put in traffic lights that forced you to stop, could skip all the standing!
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Old 03-21-19, 05:55 AM
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Provided your saddle fits you, is properly adjusted and generally doesn't give you trouble on the road; waiting to change positions, standing, or moving more toward the rear is a lot like drinking Long Island ice teas. Once you sense the effects, its way to late.
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Old 03-21-19, 11:16 AM
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If you have the right saddle and have ridden on it several hours a week for about a month, there should be no discomfort on the trainer. If there is, wrong saddle or poor position, simple as that. More padding, i.e. gel cover, usually makes it worse. YMMV.
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Old 04-03-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Good advice, I'll try to stand more often. Unfortunately moving around isn't an option because the Power only has one comfortable spot to sit in, perhaps why people agree it sucks for indoor riding. That's why I was wondering if I could use a cover or something to change its shape. I don't want to swap saddles unless that's the last resort, because it works so well for me outdoors and we're finally getting some days where riding outside is an option (minus incidents like today's snow and then hail).



I definitely have more empathy for my stoker! When you say wider, do you mean the entire saddle, the nose, or the back where the sit bone support is?
This part seems kind of odd. Pain in between suggests to me that your sitbones are not at the widest part of the saddle, and might be a little bit behind. If you can check that , perhaps you can front-or-back the saddle a little bit until the sitbones are at the widest point.
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Old 04-03-19, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
This part seems kind of odd. Pain in between suggests to me that your sitbones are not at the widest part of the saddle, and might be a little bit behind. If you can check that , perhaps you can front-or-back the saddle a little bit until the sitbones are at the widest point.
Nope, there's plenty of reviews of the Power that agree that it only has one good position to sit on.

"This is perfect if you’re more a race-minded kind of rider and you’re searching for performance, but not so much if you prefer to move a bit in the saddle in order to stretch your legs and change position on long rides."

"I found I moved around a little more on the Stealth out on the road than I do with the Power. I like the Stealth better for indoor duties, the Power better for outdoor riding."

"Riders who are generally happy to find a comfortable position and stay there should get along just fine with the Power's stubby length. But if you tend to move around a fair bit – and especially if you're one to slide way forward at times – the Power simply won't work for you, since there's really nowhere to go."

"[It] would seem the [Power] shape lacks enough slope and, being so wedge shaped and short, removes the opportunity to have more than one comfortable/functional spot."

"I also found my sweet spot to be smaller than on the Romin or other saddles—moving forward or back on the small nose didn’t work so I tended to stay locked into position on this saddle."
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Old 04-07-19, 08:25 AM
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My cycling is currently limited to 70 minutes every other day on an upright indoor cycle because of various physical limitations of an old man. But I have been a "serious" non-competitive cyclyst for over 50 years. The best combination of elements I have found forr saddle comfort are the following:

1. feet centered on pedals (pedal further back than allowed by most cycle shoes) (This may needed because of my nearilogic problem - no control over ankels)
2. cycle shorts with medium density foam (non-gel) pad.
3. saddle with thin foam (non-gel) padding, with central groove sit bone measured width, adjusted to horizontal position.
4. lubrication freshly applied to skin in sit bone and surrounding area. (currently using glycerin or coconut oil)
5. shift seat position slightly forward and aft, generally with changes in peddling resistance.
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