Saddle-sore and anatomy of a saddle

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  • Saddle-sore and anatomy of a saddle
  • Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Just completed a long ride over two days on the Grand Union canal. One of the really limiting factors for me was the saddle sore I was getting.

    I know that saddle choice is a very personal thing but with specific areas of pain developing, I was hoping that others may be able to suggest certain features in the design of a saddle to counter these ‘symptoms’.
    Maybe saddle pain is inevitable in some way but am interested to hear from those who spend upwards of 5 hours or so on the bike.

    I currently use a Charge Spoon saddle which is great for shorter bursts, at least I’ve not had any problems until now, but over the two days I was riding I got a hell of a lot of discomfort.

    Without wanting to give you all a mental picture, the harder areas between my baby equipment and the waste chute took most of the discomfort. I suppose on the Charge Spoon there is effectively material there so its always in contact.

    My other issue seemed to be a deadening of my inner thigh muscles I think from contact to the saddle. I thought perhaps my padded inner short and shorts were rucking up but no, not really, pretty tight and flat.

    So, what features should I be looking for do you reckon? Is there a guide for position and tilt? I found on the canal I was constantly getting bounced forward onto the nose of the saddle and had to keep reseating myself. Does this suggest too much forward tilt? I wanted to tilt forward to lessen nose contact.

    More padding at the rear? Thinner nose? Cut- out section all the way to the nose?

    I mean seriously, how do TDF riders etc cope? Is that what the banned substances are for?

    Any advice appreciated..

    Premier Icon teamslug
    Subscriber

    One word….Specialized

    stumpy01
    Member

    FWIW, I find the Charge Spoon to be really uncomfortable.

    I’d be looking for something with a cut out down the middle & one that fits your sit bones well.

    I’ve got a really battered WTB Rocket on my Inbred & love it. I also find the Spesh Body Geometry saddles to be good.

    Small changes in angle & body position make a big difference too.

    bristolbiker
    Member

    You are wearing shorts with a decent quailty pad for that kind of time/distance?

    Going from short bursts to multi-day epics is going to bring any deficiencies in equipment or setup into sharp (and painful) focus pretty quick.

    As you say, saddle fit is a persoanl thing – ‘Flite’ shaped saddles suit my ar$e shape – anything from a Spoon to an SLR seems to do the job regardless of the amount of padding, provided I spend the time setting it up properly.

    Gary_M
    Member

    When you say a ‘saddle sore’ do you mean a boil or do you just mean you’re a bit tender?

    Wear decent shorts, no underwearmore and you will ‘toughen up’ in that area. under them, ride

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    You are wearing shorts with a decent quailty pad for that kind of time/distance?

    Presumably. Endura ones that came with my shorts. I’ve never really got on with padded shorts, usually go without but that’s for only 3-4 hour rides I suppose, but the type of rides where you’re getting up and changing position frequently.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    .When you say a ‘saddle sore’ do you mean a boil or do you just mean you’re a bit tender?

    Yeah, no actual ‘sore’, just tender.
    I invested in some Vaseline which works well for that, but also works very well as an emergency chain lube 8)

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    *hopes no one does a ‘this post needs pics’ post*

    bristolbiker
    Member

    I’ve never really got on with padded shorts

    Might be an idea to give it another go – your backside will thank you 😉

    titusrider
    Member

    Presumably. Endura ones that came with my shorts

    wrong answer!

    any ‘liner’ shorts are nothing like as comfortable as proper bibshorts or stand alone lycra. Go feel some in a shop and you will see the difference.

    Also i presume you are wearing your lycra next to the skin as it should be?

    finally get yourself some chamois cream for further long riding endeavours

    bristolbiker
    Member

    Also i presume you are wearing your lycra next to the skin as it should be?

    And this…..

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Sorry, what is the difference between a ‘liner’ short and a bib short?
    Yes, I am in full commando mode too.

    Wwaswas… Working on pictures for you now.. 😀

    the saddle sore

    That’s not a saddle sore, that’s just a bit bruised and tender. Saddle sores are inflamed hair folicles, that then get infected by streph bacteria, the whole log gets very inflamed, then if it doesn’t heal up it becomes an absess and needs draining/bursts. Those bad boys are a whole new world of pain on the bike!

    Presumably. Endura ones that came with my shorts.

    1st mistake, get some ‘cycling’ shorts, not cut down MX pants with a cycling liner. Lycra may look uncool unless your hung like the key ingredient in a Tesco’s beef burger, but no one is looking at your crotch despite what your ego tells you.

    Sorry, what is the difference between a ‘liner’ short and a bib short?

    Bib shorts are what roadies wear, look like your liner, but with braces to keep them in place. And generaly they’re a much higher quality.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I invested in some Vaseline which works well for that, but also works very well as an emergency chain lube

    Try some chamois cream and a decent quality pair of bib shorts. I have two pairs of bib three quarters I wear for commuting – dhb and castelli and I do get some soreness towards the end of the week when I wear the dhb ones. So basically good quality shorts and chamois cream will help a lot.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Let’s work on the basis that I will NEVER wear just Lycra… 😀
    I know, I know…. But I won’t.
    I await flaming.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    you can wear a proper bib short with baggies on top. the ‘own brand’ liner shorts don’t have the best pads in them, generally.

    bristolbiker
    Member

    Let’s work on the basis that I will NEVER wear just Lycra…

    Thread closed then – nothing to see here, move along…. ‘sore arse walking’

    Premier Icon FOG
    Subscriber

    While we’re on this, which pads have people found the most comfortable? I have used Gore- good, Mavic-good but only for a couple of hours and DHB which were’nt bad for the money but still no pad to rule them all.Obviously it is a personal thing but a few suggestions for stuff that people have found good would be useful.

    tn25
    Member

    Hi, I think you are getting a sore perineum, which is in the area you mention. This contains a number of nerves and can become very painful, including giving you pins and needles in your “bits” if it gets bruised. If this is what you have, I’d suggest the issue is that you need a saddle which has a cutout, as rounded in cross section saddles just push up against it making it worse. Specialized and others do them in different widths, but you either need to get your sit bones measured in a shop that does that sort of thing or measure them yourself by sitting on a bed of sand and measuring from dimple to dimple and then using the measurement to determine which saddle width to buy. I was in agony using a number of saddles until I tried a Specialised Phenom in the widest size, which fixed the problem almost immediately.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    i use endura lycra shorts, they are fine for me, but i also dont find the spoon to be a comfy saddle.
    currently i use a ‘ready for race’ cube saddle on 2 bikes, it is totally unnoticable in use.
    may not be so good for you of course.
    +1 for small adjustments in height/angle/reach/bar height making a big difference.

    tonyd
    Member

    I’ve always just used whatever came with baggy shorts, until last year when I finally splashed out on some Campag bib shorts. What a revelation! As soon as the cold weather arrived I got some winter bib tights too.

    If I’m MTB’ing then baggies go on over the top (just make sure you buy baggies with a removable liner), if I’m on the road and it’s cold I put on some Gore waterproof shorts which help keep the wind and rain off.

    Was just looking today at the Gore windproof shorts so I’m not wearing waterproofs all the time (I don’t overheat, they’re just a bit swishy) and they look great – nice slim fit. Pricey though.

    Edit: I changed the seat post on my commuter last week and have got a bit sore, I think it’s a touch too high – makes you move around a lot more so worth checking your hips aren’t rolling.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. I think I’m going to find somewhere that demos saddles, and try some with a cut out in the nose. May look into getting me butt measured too.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Try different widths of saddles. Specialised do some models in different widths. If your weight isn’t being carried on your sit bones you will get sore over long distances.

    http://www.specialized.com/specs/spec.jsp?speccode=bodygeometrysaddles

    tonyd
    Member

    I think you can measure your own arse pretty easily – just sit on a piece of firm sponge or similar (kids sandpit might work!) and then measure between the two impressions of your sit bones.

    Premier Icon sillyoldman
    Subscriber

    Not enough support for the sit bones on a spoon for me – padding too thick and soft. This puts pressure on the perineum which is what you’re finding.

    Decent quality bibshorts under your baggies will help too as mentioned above. Better fabric gives comfort and support (at mid to higher price points) – this also means that the better quality chamois is held in place better rather than squirming around in pish liner shorts.

    Get a saddle that fits and better shorts – problem solved.

    angryratio
    Member

    Ah, you have experienced first hand (well arse) CSAS Charge-spoon-arse-syndrome.

    I general get that by day three of a 5 day riding holiday.
    Savlon is the cure.

    Saddles are a mixed bag, as someone above has already said spesh ones do a nice job.
    Get your but measured on the ass-ometer in shop and go from there.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Yeah they have a specialized store in Birmingham it seems. I’ll have to get my ar5e over there…

    colonel wax
    Member

    Not much help but I put a Charge Spoon on my bike, first ride was 70 miles off road and it was fine. I’ve now got Spoons on all my bikes.

    I wear proper Lycra, with thin baggies on top. I commute to work everyday on me bike as well, so I guess my arse is used to it (ooh err missus etc)

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