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View Full Version : Saddle Sore From Hell, Need Help Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Triskeliongirl
09-04-2006, 10:01 AM
Hi guys, I rode for more than 5 years with a terry butterfly saddle and no problems. Last spring I started to experience crotch pain riding, and thought maybe the pads on my shorts were too compressed (old faithful terrry t-short) so bought new shorts. 2006 version of the t-short hurt, so I ended up with the shebeest SSS and elite distance II. While these felt great, the chamois started tearing on me, and when the tear I would again end up with crotch pain. I took a good look where it hurt last night, and saw raw red rough skin and a white blister in the crease between my labia minora and labia majora. Now, I am not sure I was slathering that area particularly with chamois butter, but will try to pay more attention to that. I don't know if the increased sensitivity could be perimenopause (I turn 49 this month) and while I am more comfortable when I use estrogen vaginal cream the night before a ride, it may be just that I am oozing a cream in the right place and not the estrogen that is helping. I rode for years with a terry butterfly with cut-out at my urologists suggestion to prevent UTIs, but now I think that maybe the cut-out is not giving me enough support. What do you guys think? I am thinking of trying a Brooks, but how do you know which one to try (and they are so expensive if you pick the wrong one). I have pelvic x-rays so I could measure my sit bone distance on them, but not sure what part of the bones you are supposed to measure from if that helps.

jobob
09-04-2006, 10:17 AM
I am thinking of trying a Brooks, but how do you know which one to try (and they are so expensive if you pick the wrong one).

Hi -
Wallingford has an excellent six-month return policy for Brooks saddles, which has been discussed in numerous threads here.

Just run a search on for wallingford in this forum, or check out wallingford's website at www.wallbike.com, and more will be revealed.

solveig
09-04-2006, 11:58 AM
I had lots of saddle sore issues with my Terry Butterfly as well. I went to a Selle San Marco Atola Gelaround, and I love it. Equally important were:
1. Consistent, generous use of chamois butter (or udder balm)
2. Washing the sores & whole crotch area after every ride, and then applying either hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
3. Using antibiotic cream (OTC triple antibiotic) on sores, open or not.

When the sores were bad, I did the alcohol/HO and antibiotic cream several times a day. And a 2-3 day hiatus from riding helps, too.

Good luck!

S

Triskeliongirl
09-04-2006, 12:17 PM
Thanks! I am applying both antibiotic cream and aloe vera, and of course changing out of the shorts quickly. Staying off the bike is harder though. Interestingly this morning I changed out of the shebeest SSS short I commuted in into an old pair of terry shorts in my office. Usually I change into street clothes, but since its a holiday I didn't bother. Then I rode home for lunch so kept the terry shorts on, with the generous chamois butter, and felt a lot better than had in the shebeest. So maybe the shorts are part of it........

equus123
01-12-2007, 08:27 AM
Hi guys, I rode for more than 5 years with a terry butterfly saddle and no problems. Last spring I started to experience crotch pain riding, and thought maybe the pads on my shorts were too compressed (old faithful terrry t-short) so bought new shorts. 2006 version of the t-short hurt, so I ended up with the shebeest SSS and elite distance II. While these felt great, the chamois started tearing on me, and when the tear I would again end up with crotch pain. I took a good look where it hurt last night, and saw raw red rough skin and a white blister in the crease between my labia minora and labia majora. Now, I am not sure I was slathering that area particularly with chamois butter, but will try to pay more attention to that. I don't know if the increased sensitivity could be perimenopause (I turn 49 this month) and while I am more comfortable when I use estrogen vaginal cream the night before a ride, it may be just that I am oozing a cream in the right place and not the estrogen that is helping. I rode for years with a terry butterfly with cut-out at my urologists suggestion to prevent UTIs, but now I think that maybe the cut-out is not giving me enough support. What do you guys think? I am thinking of trying a Brooks, but how do you know which one to try (and they are so expensive if you pick the wrong one). I have pelvic x-rays so I could measure my sit bone distance on them, but not sure what part of the bones you are supposed to measure from if that helps.


I know you posted this a long time ago, but I was just reading something else similar to this because I recently developed *what I think is* a cyst again. Have you ever researched something called - Bartholin's Cyst? It sounded like the similar region you were discribing above. Just wanted to pass that by you. How's it doing now?

Triskeliongirl
01-12-2007, 08:37 AM
Thanks for asking. I am totally healed and pain free since I switched to a Brooks Finesse Saddle. In retrospect, I realize the problem was that the buttefly wasn't wide enough in the back to support my sit bones, so all my weight was being borne by my labia, hence the irritation. Getting the Brooks just right also took a tad of work, I found that angling so it is higher in the back but level across the front works best. That is, I put a level across the front ~2" of nose and be sure that is level, but the result is the back of saddle is higher than the front. I also needed a very laid back seatpost for the brooks, since the rails are shorter than on the butterfly. Another problem I had on the butterfly is that is was too wide in front, sometimes giving me sores on my thighs, but that was secondary to the more serious problem I described. So for me, a saddle wide in the back and narrow in front (like the brooks finesse is best). I use to ride with a terry liberator that is more like that, but only switched to the butterfly when it came on a bike I bought, thinking it was an 'upgrade.'

alpinerabbit
01-12-2007, 02:00 PM
As a trained microbiologist I urge you to please, please, not not not use antibiotic cream just because something is raw. Please use it only if you have a doctor recommend it on an inflamed wound.

Low-dose application of antibiotics increases the chance of resistance.

I know they are obtainable OTC in the US, please refrain...

Crankin
01-13-2007, 04:01 PM
I was having the same problems, suddenly, after riding for 5 plus years with the same cut out saddle. Got my new bike and ouch!! Although I did not not have any cysts, I was raw and red on my left side, in the areas you described. I bought a Terry Firefly racing saddle and it improved a bit, but then tried a Brooks for 4-5 months. The Brooks saddle was torture for me. I broke it in, but the issue never went away. In my case, it was menopausal stuff causing the problem. The slight change in the geometry of my new bike set it all off. My doctor prescribed a Estring, which provides a continual low dose of estrogen to the vaginal area only. This way, it doesn't get "washed out" like the cream, or get into your bloodstream. This also has been a big help to, ah, other "areas" of my life. I switched back to the Firefly saddle and now all is perfect. :p

Grog
01-13-2007, 04:25 PM
Wouldn't it be possible that the padding on a given saddle would start giving in and a new saddle would be in order?

Or maybe you tried that...

Triskeliongirl
01-14-2007, 07:15 AM
Wouldn't it be possible that the padding on a given saddle would start giving in and a new saddle would be in order?

Or maybe you tried that...

Yes, and it helped but only for a short while, and I was blowing through butterflies at too fast a rate. The fundamental problem for me was that too much weight was being supported by my soft tissues. When the saddle was new it wouldn't be too bad, but as it got older the foam would compress around the cutout, and the problems would start. Same thing with the shorts, they were tearing for the same reason. But, once I got my weight back on my sit bones, I was fine. For folks that can't adjust to the firmness of the brooks, the terry liberator has a wider rear also. I think for me it got worse over time because I become a higher intensity cyclist, so going longer distances at faster rates of speed exaserbated the problem, as did issues with declining estrogen as I got older.

marepaso
02-09-2007, 11:17 PM
I was so glad to see tis thread. I have also been riding for 23 years on all kind of saddles and all kinds of shorts then all of sudden I had chaffing on th soft vaginal tisssues and labia minora. I couldn't figure out wha to do to help. I'd always been able to "shift" things around and it would be fine but I think the fat pads that are in one's labia mjora when your young slowly disappear when you age (yeah, gross I know)so now there is no padding between the saddle tip and some VERY sensitive areas.

From what I read here from older women riders it sounds as if special saddles and shorts will help but that this is avery difficult problemt to solve--(maybe a pu___y translpant?) Any other thoughts.

mimitabby
02-10-2007, 08:12 AM
I was so glad to see tis thread. I have also been riding for 23 years on all kind of saddles and all kinds of shorts then all of sudden I had chaffing on th soft vaginal tisssues and labia minora. I couldn't figure out wha to do to help. I'd always been able to "shift" things around and it would be fine but I think the fat pads that are in one's labia mjora when your young slowly disappear when you age (yeah, gross I know)so now there is no padding between the saddle tip and some VERY sensitive areas.

From what I read here from older women riders it sounds as if special saddles and shorts will help but that this is avery difficult problemt to solve--(maybe a pu___y translpant?) Any other thoughts.

It's a real bummer, but what seems to work the best for me is a saddle like my brooks B67 which gives broad support to the sitbones and lots of lube.
Add to that, good posture, and you're still going to irritate it in the course of a long ride, there are bumps in the road, etc.
You described it well. I hear that you can use local estrogen cream but it's a huge uphill battle.
A lot of people swear by their saddles with cutouts, but considering how much you move around on a saddle while riding, i can't imagine how much that really helps.

marepaso
02-10-2007, 12:00 PM
Minitabby, Thanks so much for the advice!

mimitabby
02-10-2007, 02:26 PM
hey, welcome to TE, why don't you find the "get acquainted" thread and introduce yourself~
I hope what i said helped a little.

Meaux
02-11-2007, 07:08 PM
I am getting a new saddle soon too. It's been okay, but I've been going on longer and longer rides and now my sit bones and the area around my perineum feel bruised as all get out. Any clue as to what kind of saddle to look for? I'm sort of interested in the Specialized Dolce. It's a little wider in the back and has the cut-out channel.

LadyinWhite
02-14-2007, 04:49 AM
I use to ride with a terry liberator that is more like that, but only switched to the butterfly when it came on a bike I bought, thinking it was an 'upgrade.'

I have the Terry fly on my Girl right now. It's actually not bad except the nose is a little long and since I only ride recreationally (albeit for long rides) I don't really need a "racing" saddle. I'm waiting for the Terry Liberator to arrive for this exact design, wider in the back, shorter but also narrow nose and a bit more cushion. This "touring" saddle sounds like exactly the right mix of features for me but.. as we all know.. sounding perfect and feeling perfect are completely different.

Before the fly, I had a stock WSD saddle with no cutout. It was quite comfortable except for a steadily increasing heat/burning in my soft tissues as the ride went on. Although the cutouts aren't for everyone, it really did solve this problem for me.

carolp
02-25-2007, 11:52 AM
I just got a Specialized that comes in varying widths. That, and wearing a pair of liner briefs-- the kind you are supposed to be able to wear with regular shorts (HA!) under my riding shorts. That, and lubing up liberally has made the last few rides actually comfortable.

ChickWithBrains
02-26-2007, 02:34 PM
Definitely not a bartholin cyst -- the area she described isn't quite right for them, and unfortunately they don't go away with conservative treatment! (A doc needs to open them up.)

Bought a Serfas Carma a few months ago after a disastrously sore spot on a stock Allez. Life has never been better!

Frayoch
04-20-2007, 07:46 AM
Hi Ladies, I came here seeking answers to the very same problem, chaffing! I ended up at the DR's cause I thought it was something bad and it was chaffing. I haven't figured out yet when it actually starts - definitely on long rides but everyone says lots of lube but what kind? This is more an internal chaffing some lubes I am fairly certian shouldn't be there!

I also ride a terry liberator which has a cut out, I kind of wish there was a bigger cut out and no padding in my shorts there......

mimitabby
04-20-2007, 07:56 AM
welcome to TE, frayoch, it's clear why you are here.
Try getting fitted to your bike first?
as you read this particular thread, you can see that the original complainer
switched saddles and her problem went away. So that's related to fit to.
IMHO, the cutout doesn't help women. (but that's just my opinion)

I use chamois butter.

BleeckerSt_Girl
04-20-2007, 11:09 AM
Perhaps the edges of the cutout are irritating your sensitive bits.

Trekhawk
04-20-2007, 12:24 PM
Perhaps the edges of the cutout are irritating your sensitive bits.

Or it could be the type of cutout. I went from a Terry to a Selle San Marco Atola saddle and voila no more problems. Personally I love cutouts but not all cutouts are equal.:)

velogirl
04-20-2007, 09:18 PM
Or it could be the type of cutout. I went from a Terry to a Selle San Marco Atola saddle and voila no more problems. Personally I love cutouts but not all cutouts are equal.:)

And not all girly-bits are equal. Ask any gynocological nurse, some women have more soft tissue and some women have less. Women with more soft tissue tend to like cut-outs (or suffer numbness with a saddle without a cut-out). Women with less soft tissue don't seem to need a cut-out as much. No scientific study to back this up, just my experience fitting a variety of women over the years.

It also depends on how aggressive your riding position in. If you're a recreational rider and your bar is equal or higher to level of your saddle and you sit firmly back on your sit bones (like sitting in a chair), then a cut-out won't be as important to you as it would to a rider who tilts forward at the pelvis and rides in a more aerodynamic position with a lower bar and sits more on her soft tissue than her sit bones.

lizbids
04-22-2007, 10:06 AM
I'm actually using that Donna Butterfly (the breast cancer edition), trying to break it in for my tour. The good news is that I haven't felt any problems, even from day one. I like it better than the stock saddle on my bike, and I like it better than the Terry Liberator (which I felt was too wide).

Granted I only ride 25 miles in abut 2 hours in the park, going up and downhill, etc. So hopefully I will still continue to like the saddle, as it supports my sit-bones as well as minimize chafing. Oh, and I wear Sugoi shorts. I've had the saddle since late February, and I figured I'd know by now if I want to return it.

I guess the good thing about Terrys is that you can return them...which seems to be the case often, as all of us girls are unique :D

merryn ferguson
04-29-2007, 08:05 PM
I am getting a new saddle soon too. It's been okay, but I've been going on longer and longer rides and now my sit bones and the area around my perineum feel bruised as all get out. Any clue as to what kind of saddle to look for? I'm sort of interested in the Specialized Dolce. It's a little wider in the back and has the cut-out channel.

Hi I rode a Dolce for years and recently a year ago changed tothe Jett and at first I loved it and now oh my god I cannot stay on it longer than 20 miles and I am trying to train for a double century so after todays ride I went back pulled the jett off and put my old Dolce back on...you know originally I took the dolce off because I wanted a sleeker faster cooler ( I guess) looking saddle and at first it was so good but now ................the LBH said i just need a new saddle ...well heck how often are you supposed to change your saddle good luck

teigyr
05-08-2007, 10:55 AM
Do your sit bones change as you get older? Or if you gain weight?

I've always ridden on a Fizik Vitesse and have never had problems and I ride them until I break them, basically. I put on on my newer bike and longer rides are uncomfortable! I don't know if it's me getting used to the bike again or if it's it. Or, I guess, that ever changing body chemistry.

I used to be able to ride in cheaper and less padded shorts and no chamois butter but things are changing I guess.

It kind of makes me laugh though because if I described the symptoms without saying what it was (burning when I urinate and itchy as it heals) it sounds quite a bit like a STD :D

I am looking seriously at those Brooks saddles. DH looked a bit exasperated and said "but you just got a saddle" which granted, I did, I just don't know why it isn't working!

FreshNewbie
05-08-2007, 11:21 AM
Did they change them in 2007? Sometimes saddles are not the same even if they are from the same manufacturer or same year. Shape might be just slightly different, foam used is not the same, some material changed. Just a slight adjustment might change your feel on the saddle.
I just got brooks after about 9 other saddles, so far it's ok, I am still breaking it in sort of to speak. Will see if it works out in the end. I need something that won't kill me on 50-100 mile rides and won't require a gallon of butter supply for one ride.
Good luck with your search.

teigyr
05-08-2007, 03:11 PM
Am sure the saddle might've changed, I just didn't think it would be an issue. And you know, there might be variations within the same year kind of like when you buy two pairs of pants in the same size and same kind and and there are slight fit differences.

I did 30 miles on it today and loaded up on the butter. This was after 50 on sunday and 25 yesterday both without butter. Today I felt surprisingly good though I haven't showered yet. Usually it's when the water hits the chaffing is when I realize OUCH!

Am still toying with the idea of Brooks. I know it's shallow of me but they are just so pretty!

FreshNewbie
05-08-2007, 06:39 PM
Well it's not shallow at all, I find brooks pretty too. If you are not after all comfortable on your saddle is it possible for you to try to exchange it or return it? You can always try out brooks from wallbike.com I am sure you know about their 6 months policy. Just research which model you need.

La Victoria
07-06-2007, 08:30 PM
I know what you're describing as I had the same problem for several years. Nothing helped except heading off to my gyn to have them opened and drained. Several years ago, after once particularly painful episode, she recommended a device called an Estring, which had just been released. It is an intravaginal ring, made of a soft, pliable plastic and it is impregnated with estrogen. It slowly releases estrogen over a 90 day period and it keeps the vaginal tissues from drying and thinning out. This in turn helps prevent bacteria from getting a toe hold and starting an infection. That device has been a god send as the number of those little demons has dropped dramatically and I'm able to bicycle without worrying about developing a new sore.

For chafing problems I use A& D Ointment, the diaper rash stuff in a tube. It will heal chafing overnight and is also good for windburn, especially wind burned lips.

La Victoria

mimitabby
07-06-2007, 08:43 PM
here's another thread that won't ever die.
I think Triskelion loves her brooks.
mimi loves hers too.

Dianyla
07-06-2007, 10:08 PM
here's another thread that won't ever die.

I missed it the first two or three times around, and got quite a kick out of seeing how many times it got revived from obscurity. Quite the useful topic! :rolleyes:

Triskeliongirl
07-08-2007, 07:05 PM
Yes, this is the thread that won't die! One year later I am still very happy with my Brooks Finesse. My only complaint are that the rails are a tad short, but each time I have tried another saddle, I always quickly return to my Finesse. I really don't think I could ever go back to riding a non-Brooks saddle, although I do wish they would make the Finesse with a longer nose and rails, but everything else exactly the same!

KnottedYet
07-08-2007, 08:58 PM
I really don't think I could ever go back to riding a non-Brooks saddle, although I do wish they would make the Finesse with a longer nose and rails, but everything else exactly the same!

Oh, if the B17 standard were only 7 mm wider, it would match your wish!

sundial
07-10-2007, 10:02 AM
I'm reading about all the saddle woes and all I can say is ouch! :eek:

I used to use a Terry but my sit bones were too wide for the Liberator and I ordered a Falcon X recently and it was too narrow as well. Terry doesn't offer different sizes for the sit bones like Specialized. If they did, they would be tops in the market in my opinion.

I am ordering a Specialized Alias saddle sz 143 mm in hopes that it's comfy enough for the girlie parts. I really don't want to develop those darn cysts or saddle sores. Got the chamois butter and I hope my saddle is comfy.

Also, Pearl Izumi Short Attack short offers strategic padding for the fore/aft parts of the seat. :cool: I like PI shorts better than Terry's for the chamois/fabric technology. I think with the right combo of short and saddle, many of these problems can be alleviated. Now if only the seat could make my lipo disappear.....:rolleyes:

emily_in_nc
07-10-2007, 07:42 PM
I used to use a Terry but my sit bones were too wide for the Liberator and I ordered a Falcon X recently and it was too narrow as well. Terry doesn't offer different sizes for the sit bones like Specialized. If they did, they would be tops in the market in my opinion.

I am ordering a Specialized Alias saddle sz 143 mm in hopes that it's comfy enough for the girlie parts. I really don't want to develop those darn cysts or saddle sores. Got the chamois butter and I hope my saddle is comfy.

But wait, isn't a 143 mm saddle narrower than a Terry Liberator or Falcon X?

143 mm = 14.3 cm = 5.6"

According to the Terry site, the Falcon X is 6" wide, the Liberator Race is 5.8", and the Liberator X is 6.5".

Emily

Andrea
07-11-2007, 06:08 AM
maybe a pu___y translpant?
HAHAHAHAHAAA!
No idea why that made me laugh so much

I like bag balm when I get some chafing or something like that. Seems to heal it up overnight.

KnottedYet
07-11-2007, 06:18 AM
Sundial - what are the outside measurements of your sit-bones?

The rule of thumb I've heard is to have 1 or 2 cm margin to the outside of each sit-bone for a comfy saddle that lets you weightbear on the bones rather than on soft tissue.

My 180mm sits never land on the nice cushy part of any chamois, but they are nicely supported by my Brooks B67. Once you figure out the width range of the various saddles it makes shopping a whole lot easier.

cyclingmom01
08-12-2007, 07:42 AM
Good morning Ladies, I'm new to cycling. Have been a marathon runner for years and am struggling with PF, hence here I am on a bike. I must say that I absolutely love it. I logged 500 miles my very first month and am struggling with one issue. My perineum is tender after riding. I'm not chaffing, although I do feel a little burning when I urinate initally after my ride.I am trying to make a conscious effort to sit on the seat correctly. I have not been able to have an orgasm since I started riding. I have a doctor's appt in a little over a week, but am wonder WTF have I done? I am 42 y/o and have never struggled with this before. I've read about women getting vaginal nerve damage. Is this temporary? The joke with DH is that I'm going to apply for a handicap parking sticker, but it really is bothering me.
Also, how do I go about getting measured for a new saddle and how do I know what will work for me. The LBS is all guys and I would feel a bit uncomfortable talking to them about this issue.:(

emily_in_nc
08-12-2007, 10:56 AM
Good morning Ladies, I'm new to cycling. Have been a marathon runner for years and am struggling with PF, hence here I am on a bike. I must say that I absolutely love it. I logged 500 miles my very first month and am struggling with one issue. My perineum is tender after riding. I'm not chaffing, although I do feel a little burning when I urinate initally after my ride.I am trying to make a conscious effort to sit on the seat correctly. I have not been able to have an orgasm since I started riding. I have a doctor's appt in a little over a week, but am wonder WTF have I done? I am 42 y/o and have never struggled with this before. I've read about women getting vaginal nerve damage. Is this temporary? The joke with DH is that I'm going to apply for a handicap parking sticker, but it really is bothering me.
Also, how do I go about getting measured for a new saddle and how do I know what will work for me. The LBS is all guys and I would feel a bit uncomfortable talking to them about this issue.:(

Does your saddle have a cutout? I ride a saddle with a cutout to avoid the issues you mention. I have burning pain with urination after riding if I do not have a cutout, or if the cutout is too narrow (Terry Damselfly - ouch!) I am very happy with the Selle San Marco Atola Gelaround. It has a very soft, diamond-shape cutout, and I never have any genital irritation or nerve issues with it. I hope that your problems will go away when you get a better saddle. I wouldn't ride another mile on whatever saddle you are riding now -- that does not sound good!

As for getting measured, I have read here that shops that sell Specialized saddles have a "butt-o-meter" you can sit on that can show your sitbones distance, but I just measured mine to the best of my ability manually. I laid on my back, pulled my legs back over my head, and just felt where my bones were down there. I determined that they were quite narrow (not too surprising since I have 34" hips), so I needed a narrower saddle than what I was riding. If your bones are wider, you might find a Terry Butterfly comfortable -- a lot of women really love that saddle.

Also - make sure to buy your saddle from an LBS or online retailer that allows a trial period to make sure it's going to work for you, and if not, you can return it and try another one.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful (but sometimes vexing!) world of cycling!

Emily

sundial
08-12-2007, 12:46 PM
Sundial - what are the outside measurements of your sit-bones?

Knotted, I'm actually a 130 mm in sit bone width, but I went with a 143 mm saddle. I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a little extra room as I change positions on the saddle. :)

Dianyla
08-12-2007, 06:02 PM
Yes, this is the thread that won't die!
Resurrected, again! :rolleyes:

KnottedYet
08-12-2007, 06:45 PM
Good morning Ladies, I'm new to cycling. Have been a marathon runner for years and am struggling with PF, hence here I am on a bike. I must say that I absolutely love it. I logged 500 miles my very first month and am struggling with one issue. My perineum is tender after riding. I'm not chaffing, although I do feel a little burning when I urinate initally after my ride.I am trying to make a conscious effort to sit on the seat correctly. I have not been able to have an orgasm since I started riding. I have a doctor's appt in a little over a week, but am wonder WTF have I done? I am 42 y/o and have never struggled with this before. I've read about women getting vaginal nerve damage. Is this temporary? The joke with DH is that I'm going to apply for a handicap parking sticker, but it really is bothering me.
Also, how do I go about getting measured for a new saddle and how do I know what will work for me. The LBS is all guys and I would feel a bit uncomfortable talking to them about this issue.:(

I just (as in 1 hour ago) finished my certificate in pelvic rehab. (Physical therapy.) My whole class was darn near dancing out of the exam room! I don't think anyone failed the final exam.

Let me tell ya, I'm *full* of information right now! (dang, I hope I don't forget any of it later!)

First off, let's blame your saddle or saddle position, since you didn't have these issues before riding.

We won't blame *cycling*, cuz we all know cycling is faaaaabuuuulous!:D We won't blame core strength or posture, cuz I can't see those and evaluate them. (go to a PT who does bikes or women's health or BOTH to really get checked out. Forum info is never as good as face-to-face info. If you need resources or contacts in your area please PM me.)

Something is pressing on your soft tissues. What is it, and why is it pressing?

1. Is your saddle too narrow?
A narrow saddle might feel ok for a bit, but if you are weightbearing on your soft tissue or pubic rami or pelvic floor tendons rather than your ischial tuberosities ("sit bones") you will compress things that will protest. A well-fitting saddle should be as comfortable as a wooden chair.

2. Is your saddle too soft?
Soft saddles will also feel nice for a bit. Unfortunately, most wider aka "women's" saddles also seem to be very overly padded saddles. Cushy stuff will press upward between your sit bones as they sink down into the cush, and crush the life out of the soft tissue between the sitz.

3. Do you truly need a cut-out?
Ok, I've seen more female genitalia than I ever expected to when I began working in PT. And here's what I've learned: all women are built differently!! You might need a cut out, cuz your tissue might be "fluffier" than someone else's! Don't be shy! In the past I poo-pooed cut-outs because they don't work for me. Now I have seen the error of my ways. Lo, I must be a non-fluffy type. :D

4. Is your saddle/bar relationship wrong?
If you cannot maintain your weight on your ischial tuberosities on a saddle that is wide enough, you might want to look at how far forward ("reach") your bars are relative to the saddle or how far down relative to the saddle they are ("rise"). Reach and rise contribute to the anterior/posterior tilt of your pelvis on the saddle. Tilt has an awful lot to do with what tissues or bones are weightbearing.

Core strength is also vitally important, as is the tendency to lock your elbows (cuz then the jolts and bumps go straight to your butt) but you need face-to-face to work on that and other postural/riding habits.

BTW: elbow locking can also be a sign of too long a reach or too low a rise.

KnottedYet
08-12-2007, 06:52 PM
Saddle size: The rule of thumb (which seems to work well, so I have no reason to criticize it) is that you should take your outside sitz bone measurement and add 1-2cm to each end for wiggle room. That gives you the width of the saddles to consider.

Watch someone ride some time, they really do shift around on the saddle quite a bit as they change from downhill to climbing to flats.

Folks with a hip angle that feels best on "T" shaped saddles are at a disadvantage to those who can ride "pear" shaped saddles, I think. The "T" folks can't really shift front to back on their saddles like the "pear" folks. "T" riders just gotta get their buns up off the saddle more often to relieve/change pressure.