Saddle sores..

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al_yrpal
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby al_yrpal » 20 May 2020, 10:10am

To be clear I wasnt suggesting an e bike, just the type of wide soft saddle that the e bike is fitted with. I have 3 other normal bikes which I ride frequently. The saddle you have chosen is somewhat similar.

Al
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AimzOx
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby AimzOx » 20 May 2020, 10:28am

Thanks, Al.

We have looked at those saddles that just have the bum bit, no nose, but thought it might look a little odd on the bike! If the new one fares no better then it will be one of those, though!

slowster
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby slowster » 20 May 2020, 11:11am

Apologies for my post above. If I had read your posts more thoroughly I would have seen that you had already stated that the problem is not the pressure on your sit bones.

With regard to changing saddle and the Specialized 'Assometer' which is designed to measure the width between sit bones by measuring the distance between indentations in foam padding on which the shop's customer sits, I have read of some people making their own simple similar measuring devices with whatever they might have at home that deforms similarly when weight is pressed on it, e.g. plasticine borrowed from a child's toys.

Googling to find examples of that, I came across this article by Steve Hogg about SMP saddles, which I think will interest you. It was written in 2011, so post dates the 2000 article which 531Colin linked to, and it appears that Steve Hogg's understanding of saddle fit, including for women, had evolved further by that point.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/09/all-about-smps/

The article concludes with comments on what SMP saddles are likely to suit different riders.

531colin wrote:The only bits of your pelvis which are structurally suited to sitting on are your ischiac tuberosities, or bum bones.

Steve Hogg corrects and clarifies this in the article. OP I think that the photographs of the pelvis and saddle in the article will explain/confirm to you where the weight of your body should be on the saddle, and where you should be expecting to feel the pressure of that weight when seated on the bike if the saddle is the right shape for you.

AimzOx
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby AimzOx » 20 May 2020, 11:51am

Thank you, slowster - no need at all to apologise! I was surprised to be getting sores where I've got them! I suspect I need to harden up and persevere to some extent, though anything I can do to make it slightly more comfortable is welcome!

Thank you, too, for the article link. It looks interesting and I will have a read and see what I can get from it to try and improve my saddle position/weight balance. I am under no illusion I am a beginner and so some adjustment on my part is needed, too!

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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby Vorpal » 20 May 2020, 12:00pm

AimzOx wrote:My distances have been far from huge; first ride was 3 miles. Worth noting I was in jeans (I know!), but it was the most comfortable ride, with just a little tenderness rather than chafing/sores. The second was 3 miles, same route but opposite direction. This time in my gym leggings as we thought it would be more comfortable - wrong! Bring on the chafing.. Had a little ride for the third (two miles) as I had to turn around after a mile because of the pain.

I think this may be an important clue to solving the problem.

Are your jeans tight? Loose? How about the leggings? If your jeans are more comfortable, there is nothing wrong with wearing them. You may make improvements by considering the differences between how the two item of clothing fit, and trying to improve from that perspective.

The other thing is that cyling shorts, in theory, should take the chafing between layers, rather than between clothing and skin.

Personally, I do not like shorts with big pads, especially the gel pads, as they make things worse for me. I do like shorts with chamois-style pads, or constructed of a few layers, instead of having pads. The linings for mountain bike shorts are ok for me that way. Or cycling underwear.

Unfortunately solving this sort of problem is of a rather individual nature. After having babies, the saddle I had been riding for years started chafing and I had to figure out how to solve that. It involved lots of trial and error.
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Cowsham
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby Cowsham » 20 May 2020, 12:11pm

LollyKat wrote: Even so, it will boil down to trial and error. I have a box of discarded saddles which I really need to get round to selling


Same here but finally got round to selling a few recently on eBay -- didn't get much for them.

I'm male but can't abide cutouts or even groves -- I find a completely flat saddle is better for me. Selle justek types with a little padding is great cos your sit bones sit on top of the saddle instead of either side of a hole or groove which can rub "or worse snag" on your bits etc.

Also found having a little of your weight distributed on your hands is on a bad thing cos it takes some of the weight off your butt so position is a big part of comfort too. I used to sit fairly upright on my flat bar bike and no matter how comfy my saddle I'd get a sore bum eventually.

For the record I found a sprung saddle with a flat top like a bobbin saddle was best but since shifting my weight more forward onto my arms I prefer the justek saddles -- S171 if you can find one.

AimzOx
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby AimzOx » 20 May 2020, 2:06pm

Hi Vorpal. The jeans were regular fit, not over tight, but actual, real denim, so quite thick. The gym leggings were far thinner, that's when I had real problems!

I find the under shorts I have quite comfortable, but I won't really know until I can ride again (waiting for the saddle being delivered this week).

I put a lot of weight on my hands in my riding position, so also need to train myself out of that - thanks Cowsham!

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531colin
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby 531colin » 20 May 2020, 4:28pm

Aimz, a couple of things you have posted absolutely scream out to me that this is (at least to some extent) a problem with your riding position.
Early on, you said that you weren't really sitting on your bum except when you were holding the tops of the bars, and as soon as you held either the hoods or the drops you slid forward on the saddle. That means to me that the bike is too long for you, and you are sliding forward and sitting on your genitals. Most recently you have posted that you have a lot of weight on your hands, and that means you are sitting too far forward.
Have a look at my bike fit stuff. You need to be able to go from holding the hoods https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/24774996652/in/album-72157647432027543/
to not holding anything at all..https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/24265151174/in/album-72157647432027543/ with your back at the same angle, without sitting up and without falling forward and chinning the bars. Have somebody hold the bike and try it.
You can't "train yourself out of putting too much weight on your hands" its a simple question of balance.
I think you need a much shorter handlebar stem to get the bars closer so you can sit properly on the back of the saddle.
People will tell you that fitting a short stem will ruin the handling of the bike. However, if it handles properly now when you ride with your hands on the tops, it will handle properly in the future when you have your hands in the same place, but you have moved the bars back and now your hands are on the hoods.
Many many people will tell you that no saddle on earth is comfortable when its in the wrong place.
I think there two components of saddle soreness; getting your saddle in the right place so you can sit on your bum bones will relieve pressure on your genitals because you are no longer sitting on them.
The other component is friction or chafing, and there are all sorts of magic potions and garments which are supposed to prevent chafing. I have no experience of these!
Only you can know if your problems are down to weight bearing on the wrong place or friction....or both.

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531colin
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby 531colin » 20 May 2020, 4:54pm

Remember, Steve Hogg is fitting bikes for racing cyclists....varying from pretty good to world class.
Have a look at the 3 guys here...https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/05/seat-set-back-for-road-bikes/
I reckon they are sitting on a different bit of their anatomy to what I do, as a 72 year old recreational cyclist.
Steve puts them up to show individual variation in how different athletes get down to a very low position with different combinations of pelvic tilt and back flexion.

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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby Vorpal » 20 May 2020, 6:13pm

AimzOx wrote:Hi Vorpal. The jeans were regular fit, not over tight, but actual, real denim, so quite thick. The gym leggings were far thinner, that's when I had real problems!

I find the under shorts I have quite comfortable, but I won't really know until I can ride again (waiting for the saddle being delivered this week).

I put a lot of weight on my hands in my riding position, so also need to train myself out of that - thanks Cowsham!

I agree with Colin that weight on your hands means that the fit is wrong. This is normally a symptom of either the saddle being too far forward (counter-intuitive, I know), or the handle bars being too far away, or both.

A frame builder I know tests postion for frame builds by what Colin said; where a cyclist can comfortably hold their position without hands on the bars.

As for not sitting on your bum, I mostly agree with that, as well, but with a qualification. Your sit bones are the place to sit on a saddle, but the cause is not always position. It is *usually* position, but can also be caused by a mismatch between anatomy and saddle shape. I think this is more likely to be true for women than men, simply because (like so many things) saddles were really designed for men and adapted for women.
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Cowsham
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby Cowsham » 21 May 2020, 1:37am

AimzOx wrote:Hi Vorpal. The jeans were regular fit, not over tight, but actual, real denim, so quite thick. The gym leggings were far thinner, that's when I had real problems!

I find the under shorts I have quite comfortable, but I won't really know until I can ride again (waiting for the saddle being delivered this week).

I put a lot of weight on my hands in my riding position, so also need to train myself out of that - thanks Cowsham!



Ah no --- ( maybe I didn't word that well sorry )
I meant you need to take some of the weight on your hands but also keep your sit bones taking the weight on top of the saddle. Don't have your sit bones on a sloping sides type saddle cos it can wedge itself between your sit bones and cause more friction. Also a too soft saddle can make contact with your soft under bits and cause all sorts of unpleasantaries.

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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby rfryer » 21 May 2020, 5:49am

AimzOx wrote:I've started looking at saddles, what do you think of the ISM Touring saddle? Slightly odd shape but the cut out and shortness might help? At least in my mind it would..

My other half used to have similar issues until switching to use ISM Adamo saddles, though she has always used the less padded varieties

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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby Cowsham » 21 May 2020, 8:32am

rfryer wrote:
AimzOx wrote:I've started looking at saddles, what do you think of the ISM Touring saddle? Slightly odd shape but the cut out and shortness might help? At least in my mind it would..

My other half used to have similar issues until switching to use ISM Adamo saddles, though she has always used the less padded varieties


I tried one -- down the road a mile and back up home -- saddle straight in the bin!

We should have a pool of saddles here on this forum that could be tried like a library book and left back to save each member an expensive saddle buying journey.

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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby slowster » 21 May 2020, 9:34am

Cowsham wrote:I'm male but can't abide cutouts or even groves -- I find a completely flat saddle is better for me. Selle justek types with a little padding is great cos your sit bones sit on top of the saddle instead of either side of a hole or groove which can rub "or worse snag" on your bits etc.

Cowsham wrote: Don't have your sit bones on a sloping sides type saddle cos it can wedge itself between your sit bones and cause more friction.

I think the above comments illustrate how very different we all are. What some men and/or women find to be perfect, others find to be purgatory. Assuming that what saddle suits you will suit another, whether or not they are the same sex, is probably not going to help.

I've never used a saddle with a cut out, but clearly they are so popular with large numbers of riders, some of whom will have experimented with numerous different saddles, that they are the answer for some people. I suspect there's even quite a range of differences between saddles with cut outs, e.g. width, length and shape of cut out, its relative fore/aft location and the nature of the rest of the saddle (width, hard/soft padding or solid leather etc.)

As for saddles with sloping sides, which I presume refers to those with a rounded rather than flat top, I think all saddles used to have a rounded top until relatively recently. I presume that was due to the inherent limitations/requirements of the materials, i.e. both solid leather and plastic leather topped padded saddles needed a curved top because they would sag otherwise. I think the Flite was one of the first flattish top saddles, and although it was extremely popular, it had a reputation for sagging after a while. I presume the now common flat top saddles required some advances in the materials technology for them not to sag.

I think the reason why the (vast?) majority of riders were - and are still - happy with rounded top saddles, was the inverse of the reason given above for not using them: rather than the saddle wedging itself between the sit bones, riders use the rounded top to control/reduce the amount of pressure on the perineum (males) and genitalia (females). Because the saddle has a rounded top which tapers from the back to the front, the further back a person is seated on the saddle, the higher their sit bones will be and the lower the amount of weight and pressure on the perineum/genitalia.

Cowsham
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Re: Saddle sores..

Postby Cowsham » 21 May 2020, 10:03am

slowster wrote:
Cowsham wrote:I'm male but can't abide cutouts or even groves -- I find a completely flat saddle is better for me. Selle justek types with a little padding is great cos your sit bones sit on top of the saddle instead of either side of a hole or groove which can rub "or worse snag" on your bits etc.

Cowsham wrote: Don't have your sit bones on a sloping sides type saddle cos it can wedge itself between your sit bones and cause more friction.

I think the above comments illustrate how very different we all are. What some men and/or women find to be perfect, others find to be purgatory. Assuming that what saddle suits you will suit another, whether or not they are the same sex, is probably not going to help.

I've never used a saddle with a cut out, but clearly they are so popular with large numbers of riders, some of whom will have experimented with numerous different saddles, that they are the answer for some people. I suspect there's even quite a range of differences between saddles with cut outs, e.g. width, length and shape of cut out, its relative fore/aft location and the nature of the rest of the saddle (width, hard/soft padding or solid leather etc.)

As for saddles with sloping sides, which I presume refers to those with a rounded rather than flat top, I think all saddles used to have a rounded top until relatively recently. I presume that was due to the inherent limitations/requirements of the materials, i.e. both solid leather and plastic leather topped padded saddles needed a curved top because they would sag otherwise. I think the Flite was one of the first flattish top saddles, and although it was extremely popular, it had a reputation for sagging after a while. I presume the now common flat top saddles required some advances in the materials technology for them not to sag.

I think the reason why the (vast?) majority of riders were - and are still - happy with rounded top saddles, was the inverse of the reason given above for not using them: rather than the saddle wedging itself between the sit bones, riders use the rounded top to control/reduce the amount of pressure on the perineum (males) and genitalia (females). Because the saddle has a rounded top which tapers from the back to the front, the further back a person is seated on the saddle, the higher their sit bones will be and the lower the amount of weight and pressure on the perineum/genitalia.


But some saddles have a rounded top all the way back and therefore the only thing you can control is how much sit bone spreading is going on but by the time your far enough back on the saddle to be comfortable the rest of the saddle is rubbing on your inner thighs. The saddle needs to have somewhere flat enough that your sit bones can sit on top thus lifting the delicate bits up enough to prevent excess pressure on them without another rounded bit or padded bit pushing up towards them. ie it may seem counter intuitive but heavily padded saddle can make things worse.