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Thread: Saddle pain

  1. #1
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    Saddle pain

    Got a lot of years (25+) and miles under my belt but am at my wit's end trying to figure out saddle discomfort. Been using quality Castelli bibs (whatever their $200 pair are), various chamois creams and tried all kinds of different saddles.



    Used a Fizik Arione Tri for about 10 years but it finally wore out. Ended up being shaped like a hammock over time but I liked the extra padding on the nose even though I raced road and not tri. Since then, I went through the painful process of finding a suitable replacement and landed on a Terry Fly Carbon. A new Arione Tri didn't fit right and was instantly uncomfortable.



    The Terry has been pretty good but I'm still getting pain/pinching/bruising seemingly along the sides just behind the nose. So maybe 2.5"- 3" from tip of saddle. It's like the skin is being pinched by the chamois while the center portion gets bruised even though that's a cut-out relief section.



    Do I need a saddle with an even narrower nose? I might give one of those Specialized Power Arc saddles a try but all of this experimentation is really making a dent in my wallet.



    Found a shop here in Boulder that has a saddle demo program that I'm going to try but wanted to first see if anyone has some thoughts or suggestions. Would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    ngl
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    Quote Originally Posted by adilosnave View Post
    and tried all kinds of different saddles.
    Maybe it's not the saddle. Is there a chance it's too high? I encountered the same problem a few years ago and things returned to normal once I lowered it.

  3. #3
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    The saddle may be too soft .
    Sometimes, your body changes as you age. I had been riding a Selle San Marco Concor for almost 20 years( new ones every 2 years or so) In the last year I started getting saddle sores to the point where I had to stop riding for 4 weeks after a surgical intervention. Now I'm on a Fabric saddle( my 4th different saddle in a year). It's good, but I'm still not 100% satisfied yet. The ti versions are are cheap enough you can try without breaking the bank.

  4. #4
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    A good suggestion. I have, however, tried changing angle and saddle height too but no luck. It's the bruising and chaffing that's killing me and the saddle height doesn't seem to change this unfortunately.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by adilosnave View Post
    Got a lot of years (25+) and miles under my belt but am at my wit's end trying to figure out saddle discomfort. Been using quality Castelli bibs (whatever their $200 pair are), various chamois creams and tried all kinds of different saddles.



    Used a Fizik Arione Tri for about 10 years but it finally wore out. Ended up being shaped like a hammock over time but I liked the extra padding on the nose even though I raced road and not tri. Since then, I went through the painful process of finding a suitable replacement and landed on a Terry Fly Carbon. A new Arione Tri didn't fit right and was instantly uncomfortable.



    The Terry has been pretty good but I'm still getting pain/pinching/bruising seemingly along the sides just behind the nose. So maybe 2.5"- 3" from tip of saddle. It's like the skin is being pinched by the chamois while the center portion gets bruised even though that's a cut-out relief section.



    Do I need a saddle with an even narrower nose? I might give one of those Specialized Power Arc saddles a try but all of this experimentation is really making a dent in my wallet.



    Found a shop here in Boulder that has a saddle demo program that I'm going to try but wanted to first see if anyone has some thoughts or suggestions. Would be greatly appreciated!

    Saddle comfort and adjustment:

    There are 7 factors in preventing saddle numbness and pain:

    1) saddle adjustment - tilt angle is very important and very small changes are noticeable

    2) sitting properly - a lot of people ride too far forward on the saddle. Your "sit bones" should be perched on the rear, wide part of the saddle

    3) standing up - you should never let things go numb or get painful. At the first sign of any lack of feeling or pain, pedal standing up for a short distance and repeat as necessary to bring the feeling back and prevent further numbness

    4) easing up - you want to lift your rear end off the saddle any time you are going to hit a bump or sharp edge. It's easier on your anatomy, your wheels, your tires, and the rest of your bike.

    5) bike fit: in addition to saddle height and tilt, there is fore/aft adjustment, reach and drop to the bars, and cleat position.

    6) tires: proper width with the right PSI for your weight and roads so you don't feel every single road imperfection.

    7) saddle - there are some people who can ride most any saddle if it is properly adjusted (see #1) and there are some people who have problems with nearly any saddle. It's hard to predict which type you are. Work on 1-6 and if that doesn't help, THEN consider a new saddle.

    When choosing a new saddle, width is important but so are a number of other things and it really is not possible to recommend a saddle that works based on width alone. The shape of the saddle butt, width of the nose, thickness and density of padding, etc. all factor in.

  6. #6
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    Everyone is different when it comes to saddles. I have been riding the Specialized Power Saddle for the last two years and I really liked it, but I thought about trying a new saddle.. I tried the Power Arc saddle in holographic. I couldn't stay on it. It was so slippery. I returned it and bought a Pro Stealth saddle. It's a short nose saddle with a wider nose and a huge cut out. Fits like the original power saddle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelbikerider View Post
    Sometimes, your body changes as you age.
    I wish it's sometimes.
    It always does.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by adilosnave View Post
    Been using quality Castelli bibs (whatever their $200 pair are),
    Not to imply the saddle or bike fit 'isn't' the problem because it likely is especially considering you didn't have problems with the saddle you wore out......but when it comes to bibs, quality/price don't necessarily correlate with working for a particular individual.

    The way they fit and pad density and shape are definitely big factors and some people do better with thin, thick, dense, spongy, whatever.

    I've been using the same saddle since I got into cycling and have had experiences ranging from 130 miles of total comfort to feeling like I'm sitting on a hatchet after 35 miles depending on bibs. And by far the worse bibs, for me, cost $275. And the best, for me, I'm not sure about retail but I always find them for about $100.

    Bibs wear out anyway so it definitely wouldn't hurt to buy and try another brand or model.

  9. #9
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    While we do change as we age, saddle companies keep changing their designs even within the same model, so what model may have worked 3 years ago may not work now due to the company's changes, this drives me crazy as well because I like a particular saddle so I go out and buy the exact model again and they screwed with the designed.

    Also there could be an issue with your bibs not fitting exactly correct and the padding is somehow bunched up, or gets bunched up while riding and thus pinching you, even a slight deformation in the padding can do what your experiencing and may not even feel the deformation.

    Odd question, which I doubt you are, but you're not wearing underwear under your shorts are you? if so stop.

    So lets look at the cheapest fix first, have you tried riding the saddle with a different pair of shorts? if so and the result was the same then obviously we can rule out the bibs. Like another poster mentioned too is that older shorts well tend to bunch up as well as ill fitting new ones. Also try pulling the bibs up high enough to feel like your getting a wedgie then work the padding into any space.

    It could also be that the bibs you're wearing for some reason don't like the saddle, maybe the fabric is grabbing the saddle and yanking slowly as you ride to where it eventually starts to pinch. So you may need a slipperier pair of shorts.

    The bruising thing is uncommon for someone with your level of riding experience, usually beginners will see that sort of thing. But I would agree with others that the saddle is probably too soft for you IF changes to your shorts/bibs doesn't cure the problem. And from what I've read due to your question Terry saddles seem to have some issue with that problem your describing with some riders, so I think IF the bib changes doesn't work the padding in the saddle isn't suited for you.

    I saved the last part for last because it's potentially expensive and I really don't think with your level of experience you need to have a fitting done, but that would be the last resort. There are web sites you can go on that will show you how to fit the bike yourself without a fitter, I use this method and it works for me but it does take quite a bit longer then a pro fitter, but if your patient, because it could take a couple of months of fine tuning stuff, you could be successful; if after that and things still aren't going well then see a pro fitter.

    Personally I can help to think that it's got something to do with your shorts primarily and your saddle secondarily.

    Obviously I'm just guessing about all of this stuff, but it seems to track what others have said, so I think you have a good idea for a potential fix

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