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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    6

    Skinny girl chamois recs?

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    I'm new to cycling, and took an indoor cycling class the other day. I like the class, but the seat was painful on my pubic bone. My seat bones are okay, and the fleshy bits are fine, but my pubic bone still feels bruised.

    I am very skinny, and think maybe I don't have enough cushion to protect that area. I'm thinking I need a very thick chamois? I looked at ****'s Sporting Goods but all they had was a limited selection of shorts, and nothing with a chamois that was thick enough.

    I don't care for shorts. I like capris/knickers.

    Any advice on protecting my pubic bone, or specific apparel items that would work for me would be incredibly helpful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,557
    Sounds like a saddle position, saddle fit, or posture problem.

    You really should not be weightbearing on the pubic bone.

    Ask your spinning instructor to help you set yourself up on the bike?
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    6
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Sounds like a saddle position, saddle fit, or posture problem.

    You really should not be weightbearing on the pubic bone.

    Ask your spinning instructor to help you set yourself up on the bike?

    Thanks for the response, but he did adjust the bike for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    3,176
    Was it uncomfortable while you were spinning or ok during, but painful after?
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    6
    It was uncomfortable during and worse after. During the class I kept shifting around on the saddle, trying to find a comfortable position but there just wasn't one.

    Bike seats were always problematic when I was a kid, too, come to think of it. The only thing that ever worked for me was one of those big banana seats. I was never able to tolerate the boys' bike seats.

    Also, the more forward I leaned, the more painful it was on the saddle. Sitting straight up was the least uncomfortable position.
    Last edited by Lucygoosie; 03-04-2011 at 04:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    14,501
    Knott knows what she's talking about. If you can relieve the pressure by sitting up, that's a huge red flag that it's your posture that's the problem. Try sitting up to where it doesn't bother you, then leave your pelvis where it is when you come back down to the bars.

    But another thought ... indoor bikes often come with really bizarre saddles that don't fit any known human being. If the saddle you were sitting on didn't allow you to put any of your weight where it's supposed to be, it's remotely possible it might've thrown you that far forward.

    Do you have the same problem on your outdoor bike(s)? If not, does your gym give you the option of bringing your own saddle? I can't imagine a saddle fitting so poorly it would be contacting your pubic bone *without* giving you excruciating soft tissue chafing first - but we're all different down there.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    6
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Knott knows what she's talking about. If you can relieve the pressure by sitting up, that's a huge red flag that it's your posture that's the problem. Try sitting up to where it doesn't bother you, then leave your pelvis where it is when you come back down to the bars.

    But another thought ... indoor bikes often come with really bizarre saddles that don't fit any known human being. If the saddle you were sitting on didn't allow you to put any of your weight where it's supposed to be, it's remotely possible it might've thrown you that far forward.

    Do you have the same problem on your outdoor bike(s)? If not, does your gym give you the option of bringing your own saddle? I can't imagine a saddle fitting so poorly it would be contacting your pubic bone *without* giving you excruciating soft tissue chafing first - but we're all different down there.
    I think you may well be right about the saddle of the indoor bike. They are very small. There was no position at all that was -comfortable- for me. Sitting upright was -less painful- but there was nothing that was painless. I can't see how any adjustment would change that.

    My soft tissue really wasn't affected, but the painful area isn't under the girly soft tissue bits. It's further back, between the ischial tuberosities and the terminal front of the pubic bone.

    In this diagram from Wikipedia, the painful area would be the lowest area of the 4 where the pubic bone meets the ischium. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lvis-pubis.jpg

    Oh, and I don't have an outdoor bike. I haven't had since I was a kid.


    I will ask if I can bring my own saddle but I suspect the answer will be no. I'd really like to add indoor cycling to my workout regime. But I'm a little afraid to try it again, because the pain has been so intense.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Knott knows what she's talking about. If you can relieve the pressure by sitting up, that's a huge red flag that it's your posture that's the problem. Try sitting up to where it doesn't bother you, then leave your pelvis where it is when you come back down to the bars.

    But another thought ... indoor bikes often come with really bizarre saddles that don't fit any known human being. If the saddle you were sitting on didn't allow you to put any of your weight where it's supposed to be, it's remotely possible it might've thrown you that far forward.

    Do you have the same problem on your outdoor bike(s)? If not, does your gym give you the option of bringing your own saddle? I can't imagine a saddle fitting so poorly it would be contacting your pubic bone *without* giving you excruciating soft tissue chafing first - but we're all different down there.
    Darn, I posted a reply but I think it got hung up in cyberspace. Here goes again, more or less.

    I haven't had an outdoor bike since I was a kid, so I can't compare.

    You might be onto something about the saddle at the class being the problem. The seats were teeny. I tried to push back to make better contact, but then my butt was overflowing off the back (and I'm very small, so it wasn't just extra tush, hehe). I wonder if my ischeal tuberosities are far enough apart that I couldn't make good contact with the seat, and I was thus resting on the lowest/furthest back part of my pubic bone (the part that fuses with the ischium).

    That's where the pain was (when on the bike and off it) and would explain why the soft tissue (which is over the highest point of the pubic bone) was unaffected.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,557
    Your butt should "overflow off the back."

    The saddle is meant to contact your ischial tuberosities, not your buttocks.

    Think of it as "perching" on the saddle, rather than "sitting" on it.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    5,203
    You could also try raising the handlebars and see if that helps. I often have to raise handlebars of spinning bikes in order to be comfortable on the saddles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    98
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucygoosie View Post
    In this diagram from Wikipedia, the painful area would be the lowest area of the 4 where the pubic bone meets the ischium. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lvis-pubis.jpg



    I will ask if I can bring my own saddle but I suspect the answer will be no.
    I think you've discovered a big part of your answer - sounds like the seat's too narrow!
    I prefer my saddles to be at least 2cm wider than my sit bones, so it has a chance to actually support them.

    I wonder if you offered to leave a wider seat on "your" spin bike they might permit it? That way you wouldn't be loosening and tightening the bolts every time, which I could imagine might be a reason they might initially be inclined to say no...?

    '09 Trek 7.3 FX hybrid / Jett 155mm
    '09 Cervelo P3 TT / looking
    '11 Cervelo S3 road / Selle Royal Seta 155mm
    Ischial tuberosities: 140mm center to center

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    164
    If it was just after 1 class, it may be that your body just needs to get used to it, and after a week of indoor cycling, you might not have have any pain or discomfort at all. Kinda like when you stand on your feet a long time and you're not used to it, your feet hurt like crazy that evening... you do that after a few days and you hardly notice it anymore.

    I'm not disputing any of the technical advice given.... just saying that my experience has been that that type of soreness goes away once you get used to the saddles on the stationary bikes. I'd give it a week or two before spending money on shorts.
    ~ working mom to 3 little girls ~


    Roadie... 2010 54cm Trek Madone 4.5, Bontrager inForm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    6
    I don't know the width of the seats, just that I saw them and thought "eek." They reminded me of the seats that boys' sport bikes have--and I was never able to sit on those as a kid because they hurt.

    I'm afraid the pain was so intense that if it were just an issue of "toughening up" then I would simply choose never to cycle again, much as I'd like to add it to my fitness regime. Sitting down was a problem for two days. I stood a lot, or reclined flat. I still feel it when I sit. Seriously, the idea of incurring that kind of damage again makes me want to cry.

    I'm wondering if one of those padded seat covers might help. It could add a little bulk to the seat as well as some support, and I don't see why the gym would object to its use since it slips on and off. This is something I'd only do twice a week for an hour so it doesn't have to be pro-worthy; It just needs to be painless.

    Maybe a bike shop could help me in making sure my posture is right and figuring out what I can do to protect my parts.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Start by reading the saddle fitting threads here, measuring your sitbones, and deciding whether you need a cut-out or not. *Then* go to your LBS and see about trying saddles that fit your general requirements. There's a lot of trial and error, but it's no different from trying on clothes, that way. If you know your size and general shape, you can narrow the choices quite a bit. If you don't, you're almost guaranteed a lot of frustration.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucygoosie View Post
    I'm wondering if one of those padded seat covers might help. It could add a little bulk to the seat as well as some support, and I don't see why the gym would object to its use since it slips on and off.
    I'm sure they wouldn't object, and before you buy one you might ask if they have them for use. A lot of spinning classes have a few seat covers for participants to use if they need them.
    ~ working mom to 3 little girls ~


    Roadie... 2010 54cm Trek Madone 4.5, Bontrager inForm

 

 

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