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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    120

    Tell me the truth about pain

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    Is it inevitable? Or are there any of you out there that truthfully do not experience any pain (crotch) when riding?

    Here's my story:
    Back several years ago, I was wrestling with the decision to buy either a new regular bicycle (like possibly a Terry) or a recumbent, because I was in constant pain with my current ride, despite trying a variety of saddles. I ended up buying the recumbent, because I just wasn't convinced that a regular bike could be comfortable, and if I was going to spend the cash, I wanted it to work for me. I do love my recumbent, but I still feel that there are times when a conventional bicycle would be preferable, for some reasons (visibility, manuverability). I am thinking that I would like to have a conventional bike for commuting and riding around in the city, and keep the recumbent for touring. Also, I have been off all bikes for several years now (for no really good reason, and several silly reasons) and am getting back into it now.

    So, is it a matter of trying more saddles? (there is always another one) I did an online fit kit type thing at wrenchscience.com, and it told me that the conventional bike I have is not bad. I just want to know if my expectations are too high, and if I need to learn to accept ouchiness "down there" as part of the deal.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    1,643
    Quote Originally Posted by WrensMom
    Is it inevitable? ... I just want to know if my expectations are too high, and if I need to learn to accept ouchiness "down there" as part of the deal.
    No your expectations are not too high!
    It's a combination of the right saddle and the right saddle placement. Unfortunately - as you already know - the right saddle for me may not be the right saddle for you. Have you looked at any of the discussions in the Favorite Saddles topic (scroll down, it may not be showing when you enter the forums)? There is quite a bit of good information (and experiences) there.

    --- Denise
    www.denisegoldberg.com

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com


    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Florida panhandle
    Posts
    1,498
    No! Riding your bike should not be a painful experience. In fact, if you're going to tour, you need to be able to be comfy in the saddle for miles and miles.

    Do you have an LBS you trust? Some of them will let you "borrow" a saddle and exchange it if it doesn't work for you. Also, talk to someone there about your bike fit--ask if they'll put your bike on a trainer and check your position. Then you can talk with them about changing components to fine-tune: handlebars, stem, saddle, offset seatpost, pedals, etc. I like the wrenchscience.com site too, but it's no substitute for discussing your bike fit with someone face-to-face.

    Hey, get back on your bike and have fun!
    Bad JuJu: Team TE Bianchista
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress." -Roth
    Read my blog: Works in Progress

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by WrensMom
    Is it inevitable? Or are there any of you out there that truthfully do not experience any pain (crotch) when riding?


    So, is it a matter of trying more saddles? (there is always another one) I did an online fit kit type thing at wrenchscience.com, and it told me that the conventional bike I have is not bad. I just want to know if my expectations are too high, and if I need to learn to accept ouchiness "down there" as part of the deal.

    I can't imagine what an online fit kit can do to show you that your saddle is at fault!
    However, go to Wallbike.com and check out their brooks pages. Just read what the other riders are saying about their experiences with their saddles. Wallbike has a 6 months return policy.. And they are friendly too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    120
    Thank you for your responses ! I was reading some more stuff about bicycle fit and pain, and it does seem to indicate that the saddle is the most likely culprit. I was reading some stuff about measuring the distance between the sit bones, and choosing a saddle which is wide enough to support them appropriately. Based on how it feels when I ride with my current setup, my guess is that my saddle is too narrow, thus not supporting my sit bones at all, so I end up riding on my pubic bone--ouch !

    Mimitabby--sorry, I didn't mean that the online fit kit had anything to say about saddles--I just meant that according to it, the rest of the geometry looks pretty ok. That Wallbike outfit sounds cool--can't argue much with a 6 month return policy

    I am heading off to read in the Favorite Saddles part of the board now.

    Thanks again, I really love these boards already. So many helpful and friendly female bikers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    My advice is don't buy a big squooshy poofy saddle, or a big gel seat cover. Anything you sink into, while maybe more comfie at first glance, will put pressure on your girlie bits.

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanci
    My advice is don't buy a big squooshy poofy saddle, or a big gel seat cover. Anything you sink into, while maybe more comfie at first glance, will put pressure on your girlie bits.

    Nanci
    I agree with Nanci.

    Whereever you are sitting right now, do you notice your crotch hurting? if not
    it's probably because the chair; soft or hard is supporting your sitting bones, which keeps your delicate parts UP OFF the chair.
    m

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    830
    How long did you ride before deciding to switch to a bent? IMO you should expect to hurt a bit when first starting to ride. But after about 4 rides it shouldn't really bother you anymore. After that if you are still having pain then something is definately wrong! But pain at first is normal while your body adjusts to sitting on a saddle. I read somewhere - I think it was Bicycling magazine that many times when women start out they are sore, think it is the saddles fault and by a bigger saddle. They said that the wider saddle can be the cause of the problem. Sometimes a wider saddle is needed but sometimes a period of adjustment is all that is needed.
    As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence." ~Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    1,104
    OOOH! OOOH! What Nanci and Mimitabby said!

    I'm new too, Wren, and had pain questions of my own the other day. My new bike (a "comfort bike," which in many ways IS very comfortable and is going a long way toward getting me hooked!) came with a big squooshy "seat," and it sure didn't take long for me to decide that was a horrible thing! It won't necessarily be girlie bits and sit bones hurting from a big squooshy -- at least in my experience! My next saddle was on my old bike, had a fairly significant amount of padding, but still lots less squooshy than the original. When I finally put it on this bike RIGHT, I discovered that it hurt the girlie bits, and wondered how I could have been content with it last year. (yup, I'm going to graduate from that hard knocks school someday!)

    Right now, Wren, I'm trying a Specialized Dolce saddle. MUCH firmer and flatter than either of the two I've had on the bike so far, but I can tell it's a definite improvement, even if at some point I decide it's not quite right. I've got to admit, this is a bit of a surprise!

    (I think it makes my bike go faster too! Maybe Earl SHOULD keep his big squooshy , so I can keep up with him! )

    Karen in Boise

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    431
    I DEFINITELY need to try out some saddles, because after 10 miles I'm really feeling like the nose of my saddle is putting severe pressure on my crotch....

    As I'm riding, in my head, I'm thinking...'I feel as if I'm sitting on the snout of a bottlenose dolphin' <<-- I love dolphins.........but, I don't need to have that feeling.

    I know there are several threads on "saddles", and there are so many saddles out there that it gets quite overwhelming.

    I will go visit my lbs and try out some saddles. What came with my Gary Fisher Nirvana is an "Oasis" saddle -- and, it does have a prominent nose, compared to some that I have looked at on this site.

    Looking forward to a pain-free ride soon !!

    Denise

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by Denise223
    I DEFINITELY need to try out some saddles, because after 10 miles I'm really feeling like the nose of my saddle is putting severe pressure on my crotch....

    As I'm riding, in my head, I'm thinking...'I feel as if I'm sitting on the snout of a bottlenose dolphin' <<-- I love dolphins.........but, I don't need to have that feeling.
    Denise
    Have you tried changing the tilt of the saddle? Any saddle will put pressure there if the nose is tilted up too much. Try it flat, or with a very slight uptilt. But you don't want to feel like you're sliding off the front end because then your hands will hurt.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    431
    Hi Deb!!

    Thanks for answering my post.

    Try it flat, or with a very slight uptilt. Deb W.
    My saddle is flat, but I definitely will change it to a very slight uptilt, like you recommend. I'll be very happy if that helps !

    By the way, "Hi neighbor!" .....

    Have a great day!

    Denise

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375

    what's wrong with bent

    I gotta ask, though, there are tons of different styles of bents out there. I will personally never go back, now that I've found performance bents (high racers, specifically), they are faster (more aero), more comfortable, more amenable to different rides...
    I also have 2, one for touring/commuting/city riding and the high racer for fast road rides.
    I also have an MTB with two sets of wheels, thin slicks and hobbies. I've ridden it twice this year. If I decide to do more off-road riding like I used to, I'll look into one of the few off-road bents.
    The view is better, they are just plain fun. Even a bike that fits you right is hard on the neck, hands, butt, and back. All you have to do is get over the geek factor. Used to ride my MTB ~1000 miles/year - since going bent, I'm now riding 2500+ very happily - hope to get in close to 4000 miles this year.
    I have looked into a DF for racing, since I really enjoy that. But, haven't been able to get over the fun/comfort factor of a bent. Even if DFs aren't uncomfortable, a DF just isn't as comfortable.
    Just my $0.02, which is free, so not even worth $0.02.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by TsPoet
    I gotta ask, though, there are tons of different styles of bents out there. I will personally never go back, now that I've found performance bents (high racers, specifically), they are faster (more aero), more comfortable, more amenable to different rides...
    Can you post a picture of a performance high racer bent? I've never seen one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by Denise223
    My saddle is flat, but I definitely will change it to a very slight uptilt, like you recommend. I'll be very happy if that helps !

    Denise
    The seat-to-handlebar distance also make a difference. If the reach is too great, your pelvis tilts too much and you get the saddle nose pressure. If your seat rails are long enough, try loosening the seat clamp and sliding the saddle forward. Try this for one ride and see if it makes a difference. It will change your saddle-to-pedal distance, so the better solution may be to move the handlebars back, but it's a good quick test.

 

 

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