View Full Version : Saddle and tailbone pressure?

04-04-2011, 08:42 AM
I occasionally have pressure on my tailbone and I can't quite identify the cause of it. I can ride for days or even weeks without this, and then when conditions are just right it can occur almost daily. I'm starting to guess that perhaps it is more likely to occur when there is some climbing involved but please take that with a grain of salt.

The issue is that I may ride and feel fairly comfortable on the saddle, but if I stand up briefly to have a butt break or get off the saddle at a traffic light I feel this "sinking" feeling on my tailbone. It's almost as if riding pushed my tailbone up (towards my head) and when I relieve the saddle pressure I feel the tailbone area going "back down" towards my bottom end. As I said, I can ride 50 miles on many occasions where this particular thing doesn't happen at all. I suppose I have a bit of upright riding position, but when I am too forward I get hand pressure and numbness in the hoo ha. When I am a bit more upright I avoid that other pressure and seems to do okay on most days.

I have a Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow with cut out and I've been hesitant to try a new saddle since I have 1500 miles on this one and no saddle sores of obvious pain. Would climbing affect your pressure points on the saddle and cause you to feel different than mostly flat roads? Would saddle pressure possible increase with tension (working hard and climbing seems to make me more tense) ?

Even if I changed saddles it could take several weeks to determine if this tailbone thing would happen again since it doesn't happen all of the time now.

04-04-2011, 09:36 AM
I would be very suspicious of a gel saddle. it allows your sit bones to sink in deeply so that other areas (tailbones) are now getting stuck into the saddle.
Hopefully Knott will see this as she is our guru of saddle ills.

04-04-2011, 11:49 AM
For whatever reason, you are starting to bear weight on either the tailbone itself or on the ligaments that attach to the tailbone.

Your saddle might just have broken down so that you are sinking in too far, and as you sink in the saddle padding presses upwards and jams into your tailbone stuff.

I'm thinking this is more likely than that the saddle itself is the wrong size. If it were too narrow you'd've been suffering long before this.

Can you get a new version of the saddle? Since you liked it before this tailbone pain started, it might just be a case of it having worn out after 1,500 miles.

If you suspect that maybe the saddle doesn't fit, it's going to be the width that matters. Tailbone rebound pain often happens on saddles that are too padded or too narrow. Measure your sit bones and make sure the saddle is at least as wide as the outside width of your bones. Even if a saddle is only slightly too narrow, people can ride on them: they'll perch one bone on the saddle and the other just hangs out until they shift around, then suddenly they are jamming the saddle into their tailbone stuff.

Wouldn't hurt to measure your sits and the saddle before you buy a new one, but if you only recently started having tailbone pain I would guess it's just that the saddle has broken down. Kind of like how running shoes break down and start hurting peoples' feet after months of happy running.

04-04-2011, 12:00 PM
1+ on deskrider. The fact that when you are forward you experience pain, plus your hands feel pressure, it points to the saddle not being the correct one for you. What maybe happening is that in order to avoid the discomfort on your private area you are seating to far back of the saddle and this causes tail bone issues on some riders. Try to find a saddle that you can seat with more of your whole body ( back as well as front) and your private part does not get so affected, also use a good chamois cream and I am talking about the types that ultra- endurance or hardcore racers use. :)

04-04-2011, 01:26 PM
That kind of tailbone pain happens to me right away whenever i ride a borrowed bike with a cushy soft or gel padded saddle. OW !!!! Creeping tingling and numbness, followed by piercing pain when i stand up off the saddle. Too soft a saddle that my sitbones sink into.

04-04-2011, 04:56 PM
I ride the Ldy Gel Flow saddle as well and can offer a couple of observations:

It's a wider saddle - has the same shape and width as the Terry Butterfly; in fact, I've read/heard that it's the same saddle frame. So it's probably somewhat unlikely that it's too narrow for the OP.

Even thought it has "gel" in the name, it is not (to me, at least) a squishy, overly padded saddle. In fact, it took my sits a few rides to get toughened up for it. Now that I'm used to it, I find it extremely comfy. For me.

It's possible that it may break down over time as many saddles do eventually, and perhaps that is what is going on here. I haven't ridden enough miles on mine (maybe 1500 total over the past 3 years) for that to happen.

No tailbone pain here, but I ride in the drops and bent over quite a bit and am fine doing that on this saddle. That probably keeps my tailbone and ligaments well out of the danger zone.

Good luck, deskrider!

04-04-2011, 05:23 PM
Just to add a P.S. to my post above. I did a little googling, and apparently there are a ton of different Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow saddles. This is the one I have (though I have it in blue to go with my bike)


This may or may not be the same one the OP has. The width is 160mm, so pretty wide.

06-05-2011, 11:46 AM
I'm going to resurrect this thread because I've been having a similar problem. The sensation I've been feeling is more of a 'tugging' feeling on my tailbone. Like the muscles/ligaments around it are a bit stressed out.

To be honest, I've had the stock bontrager saddle on my road bike since I got it four years ago and while it hasn't given me major problems, I tend to slide forward on the saddle, so I'm not really sitting on the part that my sit bones are meant to be on and thus wind up crushing my squishy parts.

I'm hoping to find a good place to do a saddle fitting in St. Louis, but I'll have to wait to see what people on the St. Louis biking forum say about these places. I'm sure a guy could be somewhat helpful, but I'd really like a place that knows their women's saddles.

06-05-2011, 12:02 PM
I really like the seat that came with my Synapse...it's not my tailbone or sit bones that hurt after a ride tho-its the front part of the crotch that is tender. What up with that?

06-05-2011, 12:06 PM
You could try fiddling with the angle of the saddle. If that doesn't help you, you can get a saddle with a cutaway or a depression for frontal bits.