Saddle sore and saddle choices

share ideas, ask questions and talk to other women in the sport
naavt
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 14:42 pm

Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby naavt » Wed Jan 16, 2019 15:56 pm

Hi all,

I'm trying to bring my wife to the sport and the major issue that she's facing right now is saddle sores, to the point where she's giving up riding.

So I was just "one more guy" believing that her sores were due to lack of adaptation to her saddle, and only recently I've decided to invest the right time searching for its causes.

I've been learning a lot, and for the first time I've taken some time to read some of the posts written by many of you on this forum about the subject, under the "saddle sores" post.

Sorry for my frontally, but to stay in tune with all who cares to share their experience (and I thank in advance to all who's willing to), my wife is an "outie", at least from Cobb saddle makers perspective, and only recently I've realised that my wife's pain is in her female parts, not her bum :(

We clearly don't have the opportunity to try saddles over here, so it can be a really expensive journey to buy and sell second hand a bunch of saddles that just don't work.

A couple of days ago I had the chance to pick an ISM road saddle borrowed from a female rider, friend of a friend. The issue was that my wife only had the chance to ride it for 20 or so minutes, in our trainer.

She told me that she felt a real difference, for the better, comparing the ISM to her saddle, and with that in mind, I'm here to ask all female riders that are willing to share their experiences, what do you think of ISM saddles in a road bike, and what other options did you consider if you have ever suffered from the same issue?

Thanks!

maryka
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 13:39 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby maryka » Wed Jan 16, 2019 17:09 pm

All my saddles have cut-outs and this is the most important thing for me. Not sure what your wife has tried so far, but my current saddles are Specialized Power for road racing and training (where I want a fairly aggressive aero road position), and Specialized Romin for off-road and commuting (where I have a more upright position), both have generous cut-outs. So if she's not tried saddles with cut-outs I would start there with some more common and cheaper models before settling on a very expensive ISM model.

I did struggle to find anything that worked for me in an extremely aggressive position (TTing and triathlon) because the nose of my my regular saddles just squished my bits in the most painful way. I tried a couple of ISM saddles and they were an improvement on the squishing, but they chafed the inside of my legs due to the relatively wide nose, and were not comfortable at all for me when I was sat more upright. In the end I've been most happy with my Cobb V-Flow Max saddle for TTing which is similar to the ISM but with a slightly different and narrower nose shape, as compared in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIUroglh9gw It's not perfect as it's actually too padded for me, but it's best I could find for when my body was near horizontal on the bike with a lot of weight sat on the front of the saddle. I had one on my road bike for a while too and it was ok there too except that it's just big, soft, and heavy!

Ebay is where I got most of my saddles, lots of hardly-worn ones out there in all brands and models. Saddle selection is an ongoing challenge for a lot of riders, not just women!

Also, the liberal use of chamois cream (I like Chamois Butt'r) helps a lot with the dreaded flap mash, especially on rides over 2hrs.

naavt
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 14:42 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby naavt » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:54 am

Thanks for sharing maryka!

maryka wrote:All my saddles have cut-outs and this is the most important thing for me. Not sure what your wife has tried so far...


Basically she has tried 3 saddles to the date. The one that came with her bike that has a cut-out (which she also finds a must), but that one is a cheap B-Twin saddle.

I've fitted my saddle to her bike (a Prologo Dimension Nack). She likes the short nose but found the cut-out too narrow and the saddle "unpadded" for her. I've explained her that's probably because she isn't accustomed to ride and everybody thinks that a super padded saddle is more comfortable, which isn't always the case.

She tried an ISM Adamo Road some days ago and told me that she's feels the difference. The issue was that she tried the saddle for less than 30 minutes and I'm somewhat reluctant to spend several € in a saddle to trow it in the bin (or in the used marketplace for what matters).

I've now asked for my father's Selle SMP for her to give a try. Expect to do it this weekend.

maryka wrote:In the end I've been most happy with my Cobb V-Flow Max saddle for TTing which is similar to the ISM but with a slightly different and narrower nose shape, as compared in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIUroglh9gw It's not perfect as it's actually too padded for me, but it's best I could find for when my body was near horizontal on the bike with a lot of weight sat on the front of the saddle. I had one on my road bike for a while too and it was ok there too except that it's just big, soft, and heavy!


I've read good things about Cobb saddles. Curiously I find the cut-out very narrow comparing it to ISM saddles for instance, and that's just by looking at pictures since no one sells Cobb here, so I'm very curious on your experience with that saddle.

My wife is a skinny girl. She's 39yo, 1,65m but only weights 48Kg so I'm thinking that a narrow nosed saddle will suit her better and probably prevents chanfing her inner thighs.

Once again, just looking at pictures it does seem that the Adamo PN 3.1 could be a good choice for her, but she tells me that she needs a wider saddle at the back (once again, I find that she's telling me that because of false assumptions that a wider saddle is more comfortable).

This weekend we are going to measure her sitting bones width just to see how we go from there.

maryka wrote:Also, the liberal use of chamois cream (I like Chamois Butt'r) helps a lot with the dreaded flap mash, especially on rides over 2hrs.


Thanks for that tip. Sometimes is the little things that can make a huge difference!

maryka
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 13:39 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby maryka » Wed Jan 23, 2019 21:14 pm

How is she getting on?

Was thinking about your post the other day and I think you basically have to bite the bullet and get her the saddle she wants or you won't have a wife who wants to ride a bike. 30 min is enough to know that a saddle DOESN'T work for you and that's probably all you need right now. If the bike fits her and the saddle is literally the only thing, then just spend the money and get it. A sport where tires can cost £50, a £150 saddle isn't that bad really!

Where are you located that you can't try out saddles in person or see them in a shop or grab them cheaply off ebay?

mac111051
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 19:35 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby mac111051 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 19:16 pm

It,s not all about the saddle, this is a big help to my partner https://www.velovixen.com/shop/cycling- ... cream.html

Jayme
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 14:32 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby Jayme » Tue Jan 29, 2019 08:44 am

My go-to saddle is a selle italia diva gel flow. I have it fit on both of my bikes. But what works for me, may not work for someone else. Although I do know many other females who swear by the same saddle. As someone else mentioned, chamois cream is a must as is a decent pair of well-fitting padded shorts.

amrushton
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 21:22 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby amrushton » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:02 am

Saddle position (fore and aft, tilt and height) is crucial. then there is saddle width (135/143/155/165mm) which is the width of the sit bones. there is saddle shape - cut-out/short nose/long nose. what worked for my wife was saddle mapping at a specific bike store - other people do it.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... snt-better

This is/was more cost effective than buying/borrowing saddles. It was £150 and over 3 hours. V.interesting and goes into a lot more than just sitting on a saddle

naavt
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 14:42 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby naavt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 13:29 pm

maryka wrote:How is she getting on?

Was thinking about your post the other day and I think you basically have to bite the bullet and get her the saddle she wants or you won't have a wife who wants to ride a bike. 30 min is enough to know that a saddle DOESN'T work for you and that's probably all you need right now. If the bike fits her and the saddle is literally the only thing, then just spend the money and get it. A sport where tires can cost £50, a £150 saddle isn't that bad really!

Where are you located that you can't try out saddles in person or see them in a shop or grab them cheaply off ebay?


Hi,

First things first. Is there an option to be alerted from post replies onto my email? I think I've checked those on preferences pane but have to keep returning here to look if someone posted a reply, and sometimes I just forget to.

About your post. Yes, I've bitten the bullet and bought her an ISM PR 3.1. We are waiting for it and I'm praying (albeit not a believer), that it just works for her. Let's see.

We are in Portugal, with a total population that's only about 1,5 million more than London residents, so LBS here don't stack all that much items beyond what they know that's has selling potential. Cobb isn't even sold here and my wifes ISM saddle had to be asked for, paid in advance.

naavt
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 14:42 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby naavt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 13:32 pm

amrushton wrote:Saddle position (fore and aft, tilt and height) is crucial. then there is saddle width (135/143/155/165mm) which is the width of the sit bones. there is saddle shape - cut-out/short nose/long nose. what worked for my wife was saddle mapping at a specific bike store - other people do it.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... snt-better

This is/was more cost effective than buying/borrowing saddles. It was £150 and over 3 hours. V.interesting and goes into a lot more than just sitting on a saddle


I've been fitted by one of the most regarded fitters out here and he don't have the equipment needed for a saddle mapping, and I can be wrong, but I really suspect that no fitter in this country offers such possibility.

Anyway, I appreciate your tip which I find a real good and useful one. I'm calling my fitter and will ask him if he can do that job. Thanks!

amrushton
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 21:22 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby amrushton » Tue Feb 05, 2019 14:12 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1epWR0_YSQ

this young enthusiastic lady offers some advice. Think she has a saddle fit clip on the same channel where she talks about the tilt.

naavt
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 14:42 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby naavt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 15:48 pm

amrushton wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1epWR0_YSQ

this young enthusiastic lady offers some advice. Think she has a saddle fit clip on the same channel where she talks about the tilt.


Thank you for the tip. Went over to her channel looking for the tilt video and realised how many pounds she has lost bicycling :o :shock:

amrushton
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 21:22 pm

Re: Saddle sore and saddle choices

Postby amrushton » Tue Feb 05, 2019 16:30 pm

A combination of cycling and diet and sheer determination I would imagine. All 3 working together. she talks more about it and shows her triumphs and failures


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