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Thread: Saddle help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    21

    Saddle help

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    I am a new rider, in my first season. I've put a little over 100 miles on my bike this year. My bike, purchased used but in good condition, came with a Bontrager Suburbia FIT saddle which is very wide & padded, and IMO pear-shaped. I've always had discomfort with both genital-squishing and - not sure of the proper way to describe this - a bruise-like pain outside of where the labia are. Not exactly soft-tissue pain as I would think of it, but there's a bone under some very tender skin to the left & right of the labia, and it feels like that's bruising me. It's in an area that's not yet thigh, and not perineum, it's farther forward. I mean literally just left and right of the labia.

    It was worst when I first started riding, and I hadn't been noticing that pain much lately. I had been having genital squishing though.

    Yesterday I got a new saddle, a Selle SMP TRK - the men's version. (I noticed no difference between the mens and women's versions in the particular area of the saddle where my issue is - the womens is shorter, and wider in the very back, though). On my 13 mile ride (that's a long-average ride for me) I was pleased. The cutout prevented any labia squashing, and for the first time, I noticed my sit bones were fully engaged. I thought this is the right saddle!

    Today, I get on the bike, and those same bones I was referring to earlier were SCREAMING with pain. I mean, literally just sit down on the saddle, maybe 2 pedal strokes and AAAAHHHHH. I didn't notice any pain/pressure in that area on my ride yesterday. The nose of the new saddle is much narrower than my previous one, which I thought I wanted, to prevent this kind of pain. This new saddle is harder, though.

    Is this a case of I should rest up a couple days and keep trying this saddle, or is this a definite no?

    I can't even sit on my old saddle today, anything that touches those bones is painful.

    This is not a friction/skin issue, but a deep bruised feeling. The skin itself looks perfectly normal, touching it doesn't cause any discomfort, but pressing is very painful. And I so wanted to ride today

    Other data if it matters:

    Bike is a Trek 7100 WSD, fairly upright riding position
    I am 5'6, 120#
    Wearing lightly padded pearl izumi shorts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    One thing I learned with SMP saddles is that they have a rider's weight a bit further forward (and angled in) on the "sit bones" than most other saddles. I went through developing new sit bone toughness when I switched to SMPs...but it was worth it to no longer have the soft tissue areas. I'd say if what you're experiencing feels like bone pain and not soft-tissue that you're on the right track. Simply easing back into miles/time is probably what you need. BTDT!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    I had the same experience when switching from my Terry Falcon to a Specialized Oura. There was immediate relief from soft tissue pain, and a very long adjustment period for my sit bones. I mean very long. Occasionally, I still feel it on my left side, where I have a tendency to lean. But, it's worth it.
    The male LBS owner warned me and told me it would take at least 6 30+ mile rides for me to get used to it. He was right.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    But if I'm understanding correctly, this is not sit bone pain, it's much farther forward. I don't think you should ever have pain there. The only time I've had pain that far forward was when my saddle was too narrow.

    Looking at the saddle, I think you might try tilting the nose down a bit. But it might just be that you still have too much pressure in front and not enough of your weight supported by your sit bones -- the pressure that used to cause the squashing is now concentrated on the narrow areas on either side.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/u...e/rp-prod23428

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    It's possible the saddle is too narrow in the rear, and your sitbones are bearing the weight in a way that is causing to much stress. I had a Specialized Toupe size 143 for a few months where the symptoms you describe happened. I ended up trading another TE'er for a size 155, and the problem went away. That was around 2010. I still use a size 155 Specialized Saddle. (The Romin).

    Here is a thread that talks about sitbone placement in relation to width.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    43
    I wonder if you have a similar lower back shape to mine - quite strongly concave - and not much flexibility? I'm thinking this might be the reason I'm having so much trouble with a similar area of sensitivity... I can't flex my pelvis forward enough to get my sit bones to engage with the saddle - and all that nice padding in my shorts is in the wrong place for me! The nearest thing I've found to a comfortable saddle is the ISM Adamo Typhoon - keeping pressure away from most sensitive front parts and offering a bit of padded support to the tender area where my bones are bearing my weight. The two 'prongs' that make up the nose of the saddle are a bit wide and can rub against larger inner thighs (like mine!) but these can be pulled together a bit with a cable-tie tightened round the rails at the front... I have to slide the saddle right forward (beyond the measured scale) on the seat post in order to reach the handlebars comfortably but because I'm of medium weight this doesn't compromise the structures. For my situation I doubt a minimally-padded saddle could ever work because there's so little natural padding between the contact bones and the saddle, and that area of all the shorts I've tried is hardly padded either! I've tried loads of saddles and have a drawer full of different padded shorts... Still on the hunt for the ideal, if such a thing is ever possible!! Good luck with your issue and maybe some other contributions will give us both some ideas!
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

 

 

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