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newbie saddle help

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by breesteak, May 21, 2012.

  1. breesteak

    breesteak Chimp

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    i literally started cycling this morning LOL
    i can't run outside, as the impact kills me, so i decided to cycle in the summers to stay active.
    anyway, i have some questions about my saddle. see, i got this bike free from a local guy. 7-8 years old Kona Hahanna MTB. (says RaceLight on the side)

    i don't know if the bike is hurting me because it's a male saddle (i think it's a male saddle, a male gave it to me LOL) and i'm a female, if i'm just hurting because i haven't ridden a bike in many years.
    i'll put a pic of the bike and saddle, see if you have any tips. i want to nip any pain in the bud if i can. i feel bruised right where my femur and pelvis meet on either side, it's pretty painful LOL.

    i know proper saddles are like shoes, fit differnt for each, but i'm needing tips on what to get, what to do, etc. thanks :)

    IMG_9909.JPG IMG_9905.JPG
     

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  2. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

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    Find a good bike shop, many have a seat demo program and will help you find the proper fit. While you are there, find a nice pair of padded chamois' that fit you comfortably.

    You're right, saddles fit everyone differently. You can measure your sit bones, try a million seats, etc. I am lucky, I can pretty much ride any seat.

    Also, it will take a little bit of time for your supporting muscles to adapt to cycling, so regardless you will be a little sore.

    I am usually sore for the first 2 rides of the year (I am not one of those ride all winter people)

    Good luck
     
    #2 -   Jun 2, 2012
  3. TreeSaw

    TreeSaw Mama Monkey

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    I'd say the same thing as kickstand....see if any of your local bikes shops measure for saddles. Specialized dealers generally do. As a woman, yes our saddles are different and having one that "fits" you will make or break your ride. I personally run Terry Saddles (www.terrybicycles.com/saddles). I have a Butterfly Ti on my hardtail, a Damselfly on my road bike and a Falcon X on my 575. I have a couple of LUNA Sport saddles that I loved too (was sad one met it's demise as it was my absolute favorite and they aren't made anymore). IF you can't find a shop that measures sit bones, try as many saddles as you can. Also, Terry has a try-it and if you don't like it, return it guarantee on their saddles.

    The next piece of advice I would give you is to make sure you have good riding shorts. A good chamois (pad) is key and please, no panties under your shorts...it may seem personal, but any seam on your lady parts causes unnecessary chaffing while you're riding. You may also want to try some chamois cream (chamois butt'r, belgium butt'r or even some Desitin) will create a moisture barrier and makes the saddle more comfortable...you don't need a lot and would be surprised at how much it helps, especially for longer rides.

    Good luck and enjoy your ride :)
     
    #3 -   Jun 2, 2012
  4. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

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    X2 on the chamois butter.

    My gf likes one of the specialized seats, took us a few months to find her the right one.
     
    #4 -   Jun 2, 2012
  5. breesteak

    breesteak Chimp

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    wow thanks for the help! i didn't even know chamois butter was a thing. that sounds really helpful.
    i found a local bikeshop and am going to look there next time i get the chance. i figured i should avoid walmart LOL.
    thanks for the tips, i'm really liking cycling so far and hope i can finally sit on my bike without worrying about being in pain :)
     
  6. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    Getting measured for 'sitbones' at a bike shop helped me. FWIW, my wife and I measured for almost the identical width seat. I'm 6'1" 225 and she's 5'5" 115. Padded shorts and the correct width seat were the things that helped her the most. She is definitely not an avid cyclist and her biggest complaint about going out was the seat being uncomfortable.
     
  7. sunny

    sunny Grammar Civil Patrol

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    Hey sorry you were in so much pain!

    My $.02:
    1. Chamois butter is a misnomer. It is not for your chamois, nor made from chamois. It's really anti-chafe cream, and should be applied somewhat sparingly on the places on your body that would potentially come in contact with the saddle, i.e., usually right where your underwear hits you on the undercarriage side. Do not apply chamois cream to your chamois. You will regret it.

    2. Saddle tilt. Men generally run their saddles flat and level. Women generally like them tilted 1° down to relieve pressure on the soft tissues up front. You should not feel pressure, but neither should you feel like you're sliding forward off the bike.

    3. Saddle width. The width of the nose of the saddle is as important as the width of the rear of the saddle. Front should be narrow enough that you do not chafe excessively. Rear should be wind enough that your sit bones are properly supported on the contact patches of the saddle and you are not being supported by your... ahem soft tissues because the saddle rises in the center. Average women's sit bones width is about 115 mm if I remember correctly. Ask at a Specialized store to use the ass-o-meter. Yes, there really is one.

    4. Good pair of shorts. See above. You get what you pay for. $90 pair of shorts should last you 5 years or more. Gentle wash cold. Minimal amount of fragrance-free soap. 1/2 C vinegar in the wash every few weeks to kill bacteria.

    5. Just like hiking boots that your feet get used to (not that you "break in" the boots), your saddle doesn't necessarily get broken in. Your tail bones will gradually build muscle over the bones to protect them, just like the muscles in your feet develop. This does not happen in one day.

    Don't suffer. Keep asking questions till you find something that works.

    Good luck! :)

    OK, so that was more like a buck fifty.