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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11

    Saddle soreness after riding new road bike

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    Hi All, Iím Sarah from the UK. Really happy to be part of this group.
    I LOVE riding but for the last 20 years, always rode a mountain bike. Rides of 40-60 miles or more were never a problem.
    I recently bought a new Specialized Womenís Tarmac Disc Expert and have loved it. In my 20s I used to ride road bikes so I am used to riding low in an aggressive position and do this wherever possible.

    However, after the third 20-mile or so ride on my new road bike, I suddenly developed very sore areas on my front Ďprivate partsí (labia) - like boxersí cauliflower ears. Very tender to the touch and swollen. As though the hair follicles were blocked, swollen and inflamed.

    I have found some creams to use, however I think my first course of action is to reduce the seat height of my saddle (it was fitted by the Specialized store but when I ride, I have to stretch my legs a lot and end up slightly rocking from side to side). If that doesnít work, Iím wondering what saddle to change to. I enclose a picture of my current saddle.

    But am thinking of changing to a ISM PN1.1 saddle which is wider at the front with a deep cut-out.



    What do you think? My problems are all at the front-ish part of my anatomy, due to my new road bike riding position. I look forward to your comments. Thanks a lot.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,718
    I'm wondering if the saddle is too wide, actually. And the cutout of that saddle is already deep. Is it an OUra? What size?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,718
    Read this and measure your sitbones. Typically, chafing caused by the neck of the saddle results in the area between thigh and buttock being chafed. I think perhaps the cutout edges caused problems. IF that is a 168 or 155 mm saddle, you could try whichever size is smaller. Noseless saddles cause their own problems. And if it is a 155, I'm interested in buying it from you.

    http://biketouringnews.com/component...-bike-touring/

    Make sure you measure the outside distance of your sits, as well as center to center and inside to inside. Then measure on the same places on the saddle. Good way to troubleshoot.

    Edit: looks like it is a 155 mm. They also make a 143. I'd try that before going to something so completely different. The width of the neck may be moving the cutout directly into soft tissue. Is this your bike? Nice!

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/wo...=263510-154568

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/wo...=220823-130170
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-16-2018 at 08:36 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Read this and measure your sitbones. Typically, chafing caused by the neck of the saddle results in the area between thigh and buttock being chafed. I think perhaps the cutout edges caused problems. IF that is a 168 or 155 mm saddle, you could try whichever size is smaller. Noseless saddles cause their own problems. And if it is a 155, I'm interested in buying it from you.

    http://biketouringnews.com/component...-bike-touring/

    Make sure you measure the outside distance of your sits, as well as center to center and inside to inside. Then measure on the same places on the saddle. Good way to troubleshoot.

    Edit: looks like it is a 155 mm. They also make a 143. I'd try that before going to something so completely different. The width of the neck may be moving the cutout directly into soft tissue. Is this your bike? Nice!

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/wo...=263510-154568

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/wo...=220823-130170
    Hi Muirenn

    Thanks for your help. Yes, it is an Oura Saddle. I have looked in the manual (itís useless!) so I canít find the actual spec of my current fitted saddle. I enclose some photos, including a tape measure, so perhaps, if you have time, you could tell me what size Iíve got? Thanks very much.





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by SarahAlexander9 View Post
    Hi Muirenn

    Thanks for your help. Yes, it is an Oura Saddle. I have looked in the manual (itís useless!) so I canít find the actual spec of my current fitted saddle. I enclose some photos, including a tape measure, so perhaps, if you have time, you could tell me what size Iíve got? Thanks very much.





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, Muirenn, thatís my bike. Wishing I had not worn such crap indoor shoes when I too the photo! 😱


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,718
    Quote Originally Posted by SarahAlexander9 View Post
    Yes, Muirenn, that’s my bike. Wishing I had not worn such crap indoor shoes when I too the photo! ��


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    LOL on the shoes!

    The specs for the saddle are listed under your bike on the website, and it says 155. It sounds like the cutout is causing problems. You need to figure out where the point of contact is that causes it. Some people cannot use a cutout because of what you described. IF you click the second link, you will see it is also available in 143, which may fit better (or worse, depending, but they also have a 168). The ISM does not look like it will mitigate the issues you described. It could, but before ordering a random saddle with a big cutout, figure out the issue with this one.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11
    Thanks Muirenn, youíre a star! I really appreciate your help on this. As I said, I will try lowering the saddle first by a centimetre or so and see if that helps first. My next step would be to take accurate sitbone measurements, as you described in the very useful article you attached. I LOVE my new bike - itís already made me faster than on my S-Works Stumpjumper but the pain and swelling are like nothing I have experienced!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,718
    Quote Originally Posted by SarahAlexander9 View Post
    Thanks Muirenn, you’re a star! I really appreciate your help on this. As I said, I will try lowering the saddle first by a centimetre or so and see if that helps first. My next step would be to take accurate sitbone measurements, as you described in the very useful article you attached. I LOVE my new bike - it’s already made me faster than on my S-Works Stumpjumper but the pain and swelling are like nothing I have experienced!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I thought you'd already lowered the saddle. Yes, it does sound like it's too high.

    One thing, are you putting weight on the pubic rami? Only your sitbones should carry weight, even when on an aggressive positioned road bike. Lift up through your abdomen and lower back, and make sure your sits are evenly distributed on each 'cheek' of the saddle and pull up through your body while leaning forward. No weight should be in the area your described, though there will be contact. It is possible that switching to a road bike altered your position from what you are used to on a mountainbike. Though I'm not that upright on my mountainbike, I am compared to my Pinarello.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-16-2018 at 09:22 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11
    Another excellent point, Muirenn, thank you. I think I might not have pulled myself up high and over enough (as if Iím doing a yoga stretch with legs flat out on the floor in front of me) a perhaps I was just guilty of slouching in a generally forwards direction without placing the sit bones in the right area on the saddle. Very grateful for your help. 😁


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,718
    Quote Originally Posted by SarahAlexander9 View Post
    Another excellent point, Muirenn, thank you. I think I might not have pulled myself up high and over enough (as if I’m doing a yoga stretch with legs flat out on the floor in front of me) a perhaps I was just guilty of slouching in a generally forwards direction without placing the sit bones in the right area on the saddle. Very grateful for your help. ��


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think It sounds like both, perhaps. It's very difficult to sit properly if the saddle height and width are off.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133
    Hi and welcome to the forum. Nice to have you with us.

    Yes, if you have to rock your hips/legs side to side, your saddle height is definitely too high. Could be a cause of your problem, but, for sure, will definitely be a source of other problems, too. For instance, too high and you will not be getting max power with your pedaling. I like my saddle height to be where I can just touch the ground with the balls of both of my feet when at a stop. For my MTB riding, I sometimes drop just a touch lower, even. This really is a critical measurement, enough so that even changing shoes can affect it.

    Be sure to check the tilt angle on your saddle, too. I spend a lot of time on this one, but it';s worth it. Too much tilt down in front will cause your skin to stretch in the sensitive areas and you won't get enough leverage off the seat to work your legs at the best. Too much tilt back will cause too much contact with the sensitive areas, especially when the road is a bit rough and bumpy. Again, really does have to be just right. Seat adjustments are one reason why I always carry a bike wrench.

    Once thing that might be worth a try is using one a saddle from your MTB if still have one. No law says you absolutely must use a road saddle, but, again, I think how it's adjusted is the important thing.

    As for width, Sheila is so right about getting that one right. Just remember, though, too narrow is also going to cause a lot of issues. I have a wide sit bone measurement, so narrow guy size saddles have always been a nightmare for me. Usually the first thing to go when I buy a unisex bike.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11
    Hi North Woods Gal

    Thanks for your in-depth and friendly message. I really am grateful to find this group and hope we keep it just as lively and helpful always.

    I will do what you say - your advice is fantastic in all respects - so, thank you very much. I have lowered the saddle height by a cm and will see where that takes me. I know I can ride 60 miles+ on my MTB but canít say the same for the road bike at the moment! I am hoping that these small adjustments and then taking precise measurements will help solve this problem. I am getting ride withdrawal and Strava absence withdrawal while waiting to heal these delicate areas! Thanks again.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133
    Best of luck, Sarah. Believe me, I know what bike withdrawal is like. Not fun. Keep us posted and keep joining in. Love having you with us.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11
    Cheers, North Woods Gal. I am loving the solidarity in this group. Thanks for all your help.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,470
    I can't add anything different, except that I cannot overestimate how important the tilt of the saddle is, even in increments of 1 cm. I need mine to be slightly tilted up.
    I switched from a Terry Falcon to an Oura about 4 years ago. I was very suspicious, but when I was being fitted for a new bike, the shop owner recommended the Oura, as I had dealt with constant pain in the soft tissue and burning, since I started riding, despite having a cutout. Although my sit bones hurt for a couple of weeks in the transition to the Oura, I learned how to use my core strength to sit back and the pressure was totally alleviated. I now have an Oura on all 3 of my bikes, including a hybrid, where I am upright. But, as Murienn said, if it was too wide for me, it would be really horrible.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

 

 

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