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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    294

    Thumbs down Saddle Discomfort and Lady Bits

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    Hi all,

    I don't intend to get graphic with this discussion but I'm curious if anybody shares the same problem that I do....

    I've never had a saddle that's been super comfortable but the Terry Butterfly that I've had the past 2+ years has been pretty good for me. I can't use a saddle without a cutout because it causes an immense amount of pain and I've recently come to realize that it's because I have very large labia majora. So the necessity of having a cutout is imperative because of the larger amount of soft tissue than the average female.

    What really sucks about it is that the majority of women don't have this problem and it already stinks to be a female cyclist - having to sit on all of our parts! Men are so lucky because they can move it out of the way. I really feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place because there's nothing I can do with *mine* but sit....and deal with it.....

    Does anybody else have this? I ask because I thought that I was just odd in that I would never find a comfy saddle but then I came to realize *why*. Forgive me for crossing the line but most days, it looks like I have little balls because they actually do hang down from my body a little. aaaahhhhhh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    hey you SAID you weren't going to get graphic.

    The beauty of a saddle like my brooks B67 is you CAN kind of move it all to the side a bit.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    105
    Try the SMP saddle. It has a huge cutout - esp. the high end models. Many women say the women's model is too bulky (at the back & at the nose) - but they seem to like the men's versions.

    Another alternative is the Specialized Jett - has a fairly large hole - but more importantly it's a firm saddle so you sit quite high on it (which reduces undercarriage pressure).

    Finally I see there is a new model of Selle Italia saddle due for 08 (very nice, white & pink) which seems to have a big hole. I am very happy w/ the Jett - but I might just try the Selle Italia in search of saddle nirvana.

    Best of luck w/ your graphic bits!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Have you tried the Terry Falcon X? The cut out is larger and shaped in such a way that it's very easy on the Lady Bits.

    Electra Townie 7D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    If you can tolerate it, try the Selle SMP Strike. It has the widest cutout I ever found. The problem is the wide cutout comes with the cost of a wide nose (and the lady strike supports wide sitbones, too). RoadRaven has a thread on it that is relatively recent.

    When I first sat on the saddle, DH made a comment to the fact that the look on my face was pure glee. Woohoo, a saddle meant to just...uh...err...get out of the way where you don't want it.

    I've been eyeballing Topeak's Allay line, but it doesn't look like it is really in production yet.

    I wonder sometimes how many women who stop cycling do so because they can't find a saddle that works.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,080
    Equus, you are not unusual. I've met many women over the years who have more soft tissue than "normal." A combination of tight-fitting shorts, minimal chamois, and a cut-out seems to work best for this condition.

    And not to drift too far, but I competed at a duathlon in November and a woman who was also racing came up to me (without knowing who I am or that I'm a cycling coach) and told me her life/athletic history, including about her labia-reduction surgery. yes, you read that right. she is an elite endurance athlete (RAAM, FC508, etc) and suffered from so much saddle discomfort that she had some soft tissue removed. the result wasn't flawless and she actually suffered some nerve damage.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    A slightly more upright riding position might take some pressure off that intimate area and put more weight back onto your butt and sit bones.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I'm built like you, too. I'm pretty much okay with my Terry Liberator Ti Race, but it isn't completely ideal for me. I'd be interested to try something different, but I'm not unhappy enough to go through the expense and hassle. Yet.

    Lots and lots of Chamois Butt'r, minimalist chamois (spin shorts work better than road shorts for me), and keeping the hair trimmed really short.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huntington Beach, Ca
    Posts
    1,004
    I'm right there with you anatomically and have had endless saddle issues that I just tolerate and deal with. I just switched to a Terry Butterfly and it's been the best fit for me so far, but I'm still not without some discomfort.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Yes, me too. How frustrating.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    294
    Thanks everybody for your fast input! I appreciate it and I'm glad I'm not the only one who has reason for not finding a comfortable saddle.

    The one I currently own is starting to show signs of age and the padding is taking it's shape from my weight and use. I'll give all of these saddles a try and let you know which one I go with.

    Thanks again!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    1,320
    I can get some comfort from my Terry Butterfly saddles. I find that playing with the seat height and angle help to some degree. Just don't do a lot of adjusting- a micro bit at a time. Also handlebars should be lower than your seat by about an inch. This will put more weight on your arms and less on your sit bones.

    I, as I am sure you do as well, move around on my seat and stand often. This will help.

    Bike fit is essential here. It's all about geometry if you think about it (angles and such will change weight on saddle). If you haven't done that, I'd recommend a fitting.

    Good luck!
    Nancy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I'll echo what everyone else has said. I prefer a cutout too. I don't know if my girly bits are especially large; I've never done a side-by-side comparison with anyone else!

    Bike fit, seat angle, handlebar height, chamoise, etc. make a difference. I prefer the Sugoi RS shorts for whatever reason. The chamois works for me. Also keep in mind that saddles--like just about everything else on a bike--need to be replaced periodically. Saddles with cutouts break down even faster. I only got about a year out of my first Terry, which is consisent with what others have reported. Depending on how much and how hard you ride and the conditions you ride in, you may need to replace the saddle more or less often.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I had the same issue a couple of years ago when I got a new bike and the geometry of my position changed. In fact, when I went for my annual exam, the dr. said I had "lesions"she couldn't figure out from what. I knew immediately! I bought the Terry Falcon X also, and I have had no issues since.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    294
    I might think about trying the Falcon X. It's the same company and general size with the saddle I currently use. I would just be afraid going with another company altogether.

    I'll update everybody once I get the new saddle. Thank you!

 

 

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