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Excruciating Saddle Pain

mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
edited February 2018 in Road beginners
I started riding road/TT bikes last year for the first time and I have yet to become used to my saddle. I've been fitted to my TT bike by a reputable Triathlon bike shop and they did a fine job (everything else feels great!), but my censored hurts like hell after 15-20 miles to the point that I have to stop. It's brutal.

The used bike I purchased (used Orbea Ordu) came with a Terry saddle, but I switched over to an ISM PN1.0 because the Terry felt too firm. I had also tried the PR1.0 at the shop, but thought it was too wide because my inner thighs are scraping it a bit. I'm thinking though that the PN1.0 saddle I have is actually TOO narrow and that my weight is on too much of soft tissue causing the pain. I've cycled with both padded cycling shorts and no padding at all with no luck.

I have another ISM saddle on the way to try only because I found a good deal, but I feel like this is keeping me from putting in miles and don't know what to do. Any advice?

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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Weird saddles. Try a normal one.
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  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    cooldad wrote:
    Weird saddles. Try a normal one.
    My first saddle, the Terry FLX, was relatively normal, but I didn't like the pressure at the center when sitting on the nose, hence my change to the split saddles.
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    It can take time to adapt- due to shifting all your weight onto your sit bones. The ISM saddle should be set slightly lower than a traditional saddle which could make it more comfy. Also make sure it's far enough back.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Sounds like you haven't done a sit bones test, that's the first thing to do if you think your saddle is not right.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • zefszefs Posts: 484
    Some people recommend adding 20-35mm to the sitbone measurement. So for me that I measured 133mm my recent change to 155mm saddle has been positive. Also make sure you are sitting "in the saddle" and not "on the saddle" like a great youtuber has recommended:

    https://youtu.be/uZtbRpoSB94
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    Measure your sit bones and look for a saddle with a decent cutaway. I am very tall and standard saddles that come with bikes become painful after an hour.

    Less likely is your saddle is too high forcing you too far toward on the saddle, usually this will give various aches and pains as well as you over stretch you legs and body in general.
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    Thanks for the feedback everyone (and the video). Will measure my sit bones and go from there. I'm sure this is the result of rushing into a saddle purchase without educating myself.

    To the reply above, I don't think my saddle is too high considering the angle at my knee at 6 oclock, but that's a good thing to be aware of.
  • zefszefs Posts: 484
    The angle might seem fine but if the pelvis is rotating it could cause further issues.
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    zefs wrote:
    The angle might seem fine but if the pelvis is rotating it could cause further issues.
    Rotating back/away from the front (more upright)?
  • zefszefs Posts: 484
    mdsfx wrote:
    zefs wrote:
    The angle might seem fine but if the pelvis is rotating it could cause further issues.
    Rotating back/away from the front (more upright)?

    It should be stable and not rock from side to side. If you are experimenting with your bike fit it helps to put the bike on a trainer and try different positions (even better if you educate on bike fit first from correct sources).
    Try to see how each part feels under effort and you get a good idea of what your body is doing so you can tweak further. Hope that helps!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Are you saying that teh whole time you've had the bikes (since last year) you've not got further than 20 miles on the saddle ?

    Do you have a normal bike or just the TT ? What kind of mileage have you put in ?
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    fenix wrote:
    Are you saying that teh whole time you've had the bikes (since last year) you've not got further than 20 miles on the saddle ?

    Do you have a normal bike or just the TT ? What kind of mileage have you put in ?

    Basically, although I'm not sure I would ride much farther than 25-30 at a time. It's a TT. Only rode about 850 miles last year, having spent more time running and swimming.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    A TT bike is great for racing - but its not my choice if its the only bike i have.

    You're not doing enough mileage to do great bike times anyway - so you may as well be on a road bike with a more relaxed position and just the fact that it should be comfier would get you better times.

    Are you racing Olympic Distance ?
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    fenix wrote:
    A TT bike is great for racing - but its not my choice if its the only bike i have.

    You're not doing enough mileage to do great bike times anyway - so you may as well be on a road bike with a more relaxed position and just the fact that it should be comfier would get you better times.

    Are you racing Olympic Distance ?

    Funny enough, I feel more comfortable on the TT in aero position than more upright in my previous road bike. Only sprints for now, but I may change to Olympic for the Chicago.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    If your TT Is more comfortable and yet the saddle pain is Excruciating - what was the road bike like ?
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    fenix wrote:
    If your TT Is more comfortable and yet the saddle pain is Excruciating - what was the road bike like ?
    Have you ever heard of the Spanish Inquisition?
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    Update: After measuring my sit bones and reading up a bit, I'm giving a couple new saddles a whirl. ISM PR which is wider and has more padding and the Fabric Tri which is pretty flat and firm.

    Praying that one of these will help!
    wlIIkecr.jpg

    Edit: this fabric saddle is like sitting on concrete. The PR on the other hand feels like a cloud. Ill give it a long ride this weekend to see how out goes. Seems extremely promising. Thanks for all of the info everyone!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    What width tyres do you have on there ? And what PSI are they run at ?

    Your legs should act as shock absorbers somewhat - so when you get to rough surfaces they're absorbing the vibrations - rather than sitting in the saddle like a sack of potatoes.
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    [email protected], but this was even happening on the trainer. Also, if you're using your hamstrings at all, I'm not sure how much pressure would be alleviated...?
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    mdsfx wrote:
    ... this fabric saddle is like sitting on concrete. The PR on the other hand feels like a cloud...
    I only get a sore a**e if I'm doing long slow rides and sitting up a lot - hence not pedalling hard enough to partially unload the saddle. If your legs are burning you don't notice your backside :wink:

    Another factor is whether you periodically stand on the pedals for a minute or so to allow bloodflow to the compressed areas. Soft saddles for me are waaaaay worse than firmer supportive ones....
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    mdsfx wrote:
    [email protected], but this was even happening on the trainer. Also, if you're using your hamstrings at all, I'm not sure how much pressure would be alleviated...?

    110PSI might be a bit much for you - I used to use about 90 PSI for 23mms and now I'm lower again on 25mm tyres. Much comfier.

    It's odd to have so much pain from the saddle. Any shots of you side on cycling ?

    It's easy enough to alleviate pressure from rough roads just by lifting partially off the saddle. I take it you're not doing that ?
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    I see what you mean. Yes I always lift off my saddle if I see a rough patch coming. I think most of my issue was using a saddle that was simply too narrow, but I'll find out Saturday when I can put some time in. Very interesting point about tire pressure. Maybe I'll drop that a bit.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I've never even measured my saddle width and I can only think of one saddle over the years that I just couldn't get on with.
    Sometimes I've slapped a new saddle on and done 100m as the first ride. (thank you Fizik Arione).
  • mdsfxmdsfx Posts: 13
    45 minutes riding and tweaking the PR2.0 and it was a very comfortable experience for once! So far so good
  • mdsfx wrote:
    45 minutes riding and tweaking the PR2.0 and it was a very comfortable experience for once! So far so good


    Personally I can't stand the ISM saddles. Tried them when I first got a TT bike and was tubbed raw after barely 10 miles overtime I rode the bike.

    I now use a Fizik Arione Tri saddle on the TT bike and I love it. Have done 3 ironmans along with various other races and training on it and its lovely.
    FCN 7

    FCN 4

    if you use irrational measures to measure me, expect me to behave irrationally to measure up
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