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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    14

    Am I the only person to ever have discomfort from the Rapha shorts?

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    Hi,

    Brand new to the forum. I am in my first year of cycling and am trying to get everything as-good-as-it-is-gonna-get for my first century ride (with 7,000 ft of climbing!) at the end of this month. I hadn't ridden more than 20 miles at a time before this year, so it has been a quick learning curve.

    I am riding the Specialized Dolce base model. I started with the stock Riva saddle, but upgraded to the Oura Expert Gel earlier this summer because I wanted to have a less-upright position on the bike, and when I did that on the Riva saddle I would quickly revert back because of "soft tissue discomfort" "up front". The Oura was the only seat my LBS had in stock at the time.

    So far I have liked the Oura. It has allowed me to make my pedaling more efficient and I have a slightly more aggressive position which helps my back to be less painful for long distances. However, when I get into my longer rides, 50-70 miles or so, I start to have sore sit-bones. In order to counteract this, I figured that I would upgrade from my Specialized shorts to the supposedly cloud-like Rapha classic shorts (if I'm going to be sitting on something for 8 hours, it better be comfortable).

    The pads under my sit-bones ARE wonderful. I thought I was going to love these shorts. Then I found myself starting to scootch back on the seat, putting my sit bones off of the saddle padding and even the Rapha pad wasn't going to help with that. So, I figured out that I was having "soft tissue discomfort" "up front" again which was causing me to want to move back in the saddle. The pad in the Rapha shorts is quite thick in the middle front.

    So, my question for this forum is thus: can it be that the Rapha shorts don't agree with me (making me potentially the only one to complain about anything but the price!) or is it the seat? Do I need a wider cutout? a longer cutout? ? ? ? I really want to like these shorts because of the padding under the sit bones. And I need to send them back soon if I really don't like them.

    Thanks for the help. Let me know if I should post this elsewhere on the forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Welcome to TE!

    I've never used the Rapha shorts, but--
    If the soft-tissue issues are new with this pair of shorts, then it's the shorts, not the saddle. Shorts, like saddles, are really personal and even the super-fancy or universally-loved models won't work for everyone. How long have you been doing the 50-70 mile distances? You know how your sitbones had to toughen up when you started riding? This is the same thing. Your butt will be sore until you put in enough time in the saddle for it to get used to the idea. If you've been riding those distances regularly for months, then you might look at changing the saddle. The Oura is a racing saddle--very little padding. Have you considered something like the Jett or Ruby? There's a bit more padding in the Jett. If your LBS doesn't have it, they should be able to get it.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    Welcome to TE!

    I've never used the Rapha shorts, but--
    If the soft-tissue issues are new with this pair of shorts, then it's the shorts, not the saddle. Shorts, like saddles, are really personal and even the super-fancy or universally-loved models won't work for everyone. How long have you been doing the 50-70 mile distances? You know how your sitbones had to toughen up when you started riding? This is the same thing. Your butt will be sore until you put in enough time in the saddle for it to get used to the idea. If you've been riding those distances regularly for months, then you might look at changing the saddle. The Oura is a racing saddle--very little padding. Have you considered something like the Jett or Ruby? There's a bit more padding in the Jett. If your LBS doesn't have it, they should be able to get it.
    Thanks and thank you for the response!

    On Saturday I went to my LBS to change the angle of my stem and mentioned that my right sitbone was hurting sooner/more than my left and one of the guys there noticed that my saddle was slightly right of center so we remedied that. I mentioned to the fit guy that I keep scooting back and that I was thinking of moving my saddle backward and he told me not to do that. He mentioned that riders often scoot forward when they climb, which I hadn't heard (I thought they moved back). So, I didn't move my saddle back.

    I went back to the Specialized shorts that had been working up until 50 miles or so. I started doing 50+ about 2 months ago, but have only done it 4-5 times. So, I started out on Sunday and about 25 minutes in my right sit bone was already hurting! I was planning on doing 75 miles and that wasn't going to make it very fun. I decided to try moving forward a bit on the seat and try ignoring my sitbones. About 10 minutes later I had forgotten all about it, my sitbones stopped bothering me so much and I completed my 75 mile ride!

    Tomorrow I am going to try the Rapha shorts one last time and try to sit further forward on the saddle and see what happens. If they really don't work, I will send them back. The fact that they have a 30-day guarantee makes me like the company even more! :-(

    Thanks again for the feedback.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    844
    It sounds like a fit issue more than anything. I would look for an independant fitter- or if you give a general idea of where you are, you might get some good recs on here.

    It could also be a saddle issue- but a good fitter will be able to pin point that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    14
    I tried them one last time and they were still bad. Returning them today. :-( oh well. I rode 82 miles yesterday on the same seat but with a carbon (2013 ruby compact) bike and the seat was much better... The carbon seat post probably helped.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    14
    I think there is something that disagrees with me in the Rapha pad. My guess? The thick padding in the front of the pad. Otherwise the shorts fit nicely and felt great.

    Are there any other brands that offer a wear-it-and-if-you-dont-like-it-return-it refund like Rapha?

 

 

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