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Legs are fine, breathing fine but ar*e is killing!

andyboyceandyboyce Posts: 156
edited September 2012 in Road buying advice
Since buying my road bike I have suffered from a sore backside after my long rides. I have had a bike fit, bought the most expensive shorts that I can afford with descent padding and even changed the saddle to an £80 Selle Italia 'gel' saddle but still by ar*e is killing me after a 50+ mile ride and really affecting my enjoyment.

Is this just something that I have to accept? Is it normal ? or is there a solution that anyone can offer please ?


  • mhj999mhj999 Posts: 122
    saddles are like helmets - very individual - you will find one that works for you... and its not always the most expensive!
    assume you are using a chamois cream or equivalent?
    Sensa Giulia 105
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,726
    Suspect the saddle fit or bike fit IMHO. Try playing with saddle position first. It took me a 6 months to find a reasonable saddle & saddle position for longer rides. I did have to man up a bit as well. Another thing to consider is that a lot of people myself included took up cycling to lose weight and get fit, a result of this is that my body has changed, toned up so my bike set up of say a year ago is different to what it is now. Sometimes a more padded saddle is the wrong way to go as well. The above is assuming that no medical problems causing the issue as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Will the chamois cream help with the aching I get, I had always assumed that this was just for chaffing ??
  • guineaguinea Posts: 1,177
    How often are you riding?

    You'll need to get used to it which can take a little time, especially if you're away from the bike for extended periods.

    Chanois cream won't help your sit bones.
  • I am riding 3-4 times a week and have had the saddle for about 4 months now. Had the bike fit about a week after the new saddle.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    It's one of three things

    1) the saddle is the wrong shape for your particular backside

    2) the bike fit doesn't work for you

    3) your backside isn't tough enough

    Firstly, as I'm sure you can appreciate, everyones sit bones are a slightly different shape. It seems that some people find some saddles uncomfortable because the shape of the saddle doesn't match the shape of their bones in the backside that bear the weight. Solution to this is to get a different saddle.

    Specialized claim that they can measure peoples behinds and predict the saddle size/width. Brooks leather saddles claim that they alter shape by wearing in during use to the particular shape of a persons sit bones.

    These two claims are not universally believed

    Secondly, bike fit. Weight is born on the bike on the three contact points, the saddle, the bars and the pedals. Exactly how this is spread out depends on the bike geometry and your size.
    Also how you ride. For example if you pedal hard then more weight goes on the pedals. So assuming two people had the same "shape" of backside they might need different saddles due to differences in their riding style and body shape.
    I have a blog post about "Long Distance Ride Bike Fit" if you want to read more about this.

    Lastly, there is always the "MTFU" ("Man the f* up") explaination. If you ride for hundreds of miles then your backside becomes used to the pounding of the road. Perhaps it hurts but one doesn't feel it.

    I would guess in your case that all three factors have some bearing. For now, if you try and ride faster, press harder on the pedals, this will lift some weight off your saddle. So your legs will hurt instead. Hope this helps :D
  • Great advice, many thanks....I'm off to man up !
  • Betting my life its the saddle.

    If you've had the bike fit done then you know its not going to be that. But saddle shape is so important, as i've recently found out. I bought a Selle Gel flow saddle as well, but after 20 miles (every ride) my sit bones were burning, almost set my watch by it, despite going on to do a few 50 milers, the last 25 were agony. I tried sticking with it but its happened every time.

    I saw another post on here talking about the same seat and having done a bit more research, ive come to the conclusion the saddle shape is more important than the padding. With the Gel flow, i think the shape of it (where it slants either side) might be comfortable at first but i think it doesnt provide enough support, then the sit bones start to move too much and this then creates friction, then the friction becomes a pain and a burn.

    Ive now got a flatter saddle, thats completely level, and its been superb (Specialized Romin Gel) and so much better than the Selle. So if im throwing my two pence worths in then i would say its saddle and padding. Too much gel padding be it in the shorts or the seat can actually make the sit bones move too much and you dont want that.
  • What you have described is EXACTLY what is happening to me. I had a Specialised saddle that came with the bike originally (Roubaix Compact 2012) but the one that you have suggested my be worth a try. How much did you pay please ??
  • andyboyce wrote:
    What you have described is EXACTLY what is happening to me. I had a Specialised saddle that came with the bike originally (Roubaix Compact 2012) but the one that you have suggested my be worth a try. How much did you pay please ??

    AFAIK Spesh bikes come with a Riva saddle as standard and I'm pretty sure its the lowest model in their range. They used to do test saddles but they now only do an exchange service where if you buy a Spesh saddle you can change models as many times as you like as you test them BUT you can't ever get a refund so you are tied to a Spesh saddle. That said they are good saddles and they do have a good range so if you are lucky you will find one to fit. I too am on the hunt for a new saddle been trying Fiziks and getting a Selle SMP to test this week.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Not the biggest fan of gel saddles personally. They can harden after a while, for one thing ...
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    As Adrian Timmis said to me, 'If the position is wrong then it doesn't matter what saddle you have'

    Get your fit checked first.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • I have had the bike fit, so its defnately not that !
  • Lots of shops have tester saddles, especially Fizik ones, try your LBS and see if they got any you can try out and see if it improves you're comfort. As you say if you've had a proper bike fit done I personally wouldn't adjust saddle height, for/aft position etc., I'd try the chamois cream and a different saddle first.
  • +1 on saddle.

    I recently had a fitting where I was suggested a Specialized Romin. Tried it on the turbo at the fitting and it was absolutely (shooting pains) horrible (same with the Stelle Italia SLR). Sat myself on a Fizik Antares and bliss from the word go.

    Saddles are very personal, Pretty sure the SLR and probably the Romin too would be in the top 10 selling saddles so they must work for a lot of people, just not me...
  • andyboyce wrote:
    What you have described is EXACTLY what is happening to me. I had a Specialised saddle that came with the bike originally (Roubaix Compact 2012) but the one that you have suggested my be worth a try. How much did you pay please ??

    I managed to get the Romin Gel in a sale, about £45, but it usually retails for £59.
  • had eactly same problem, went through shorts, 2 saddles and chamois creme...two things I learnt, its not the money that you spend that will cure your problem - its finding the right saggle for you and your ridding position. Once you have found the right saddle your problem will be sorted!!

    I now own a specialised romin evo sport - which is perfect for me and i have not had saddle sores since fitting it :)
    Wilier Izoard XP "Petacchi"/ Campag Veloce/ Fulcrum Racing 5
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7/ Campag Xenon
  • Perhaps the saddle is a bit narrow for your sit bones, so the pressure on them is magnified? Personally I failed at attempting the home made censored -o-meter thing (sitting on some tinfoil - I couldn't really tell where my sit-bones where supposed to be), but you could have a go at that or find a specialised dealer and have a go on their censored -o-meter.

    I think my Selle SLR Flow is a bit narrow for me but 1,500 miles seems to have finally bullied my sit-bones into submission.

    Make sure the saddle is absolutely level, too.
  • Just called my LBS and they have 15 in stock and all of them have a week's trial......fantastic !
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