To fellow cycling enthusiasts: I need help protecting my, ahem, derriere

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael*K, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    OK, I love my Trek mountain bike. Though I've had it for two years, this summer I've used it more than the previous two summers combined. Great way to see areas inaccessible by car and it's outstanding exercise. [​IMG] However, there's one thing that I can't deny...after a long day of biking, my ass hurts big time. [​IMG] I've given serious consideration to getting a new seat or at least a gel cover for my current one. So which side of the fence do you fellow cycling enthusiasts fall on? New seat or a cover? It's not like I can take each option for an extended test spin. I'm somewhat concerned that the gel covers, while comfortable initially, will start to move around on top of the seat over time. Is this a logical conclusion? If I get a replacement seat, is there a specific model or feature I should be looking for. My behind thanks you in advance of any feedback you can profide. :b
     
  2. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  3. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Mike,

    Although it seems counter-intuitive, a gel cover is not really the right answer. This just allows you to sink further into the saddle and irritate more of the contact area.

    You need to try a variety of better saddles from a local bicycle shop. Most of them will let you try them and swap as long as they are not damaged. Some manufacturers such as Avocet guarantee you can swap the saddle.

    You want a saddle the firmly supports your pelvic sit bones that stick out at the bottom.

    Andy
     
  4. Allen W

    Allen W Stunt Coordinator

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    Also counter -intuitive is getting a narrow seat, they usually work best for long rides. Sometimes getting a really wide seat can lead to chafing[​IMG] I do not think a gel cover will help your current situation at all.
    Sometimes a well made leather seat won't start out feeling the best but the good ones do offer good support and eventually conform somewhat to your body. Or you can try to get a seat that has the gelpack built into it.
     
  5. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    >>Also counter -intuitive is getting a narrow seat, they usually work best for long rides

    That's the direction I went last year when the squeak in the seat on my Kona just got too annoying. The low-profile Bontrager racing saddle was hell the first couple of times out, but once the butt callouses build up, it's fine.
     
  6. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Are you able to try out one of the split tail seats. I bought one of these things for my bike and I found that it helps keep your butt from getting sore and takes the pressure off the area below the scrotum. It helps relieve numbness in the area. Coupled with regular bike pants, this type of seat has helped me.
     
  7. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the tips, guys. So is a leather cover generally preferred over something like Lycra? I'm sure it is for durability, but for now I'm willing to sacrifice long term durability for the sake of comfort.
     
  8. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Nothing can make or break the pleasure of a ride like the contact points with the machine. Gloves, grips/tape, shoes, pedals and the all important saddle-shorts-butt interface (so to speak)

    I don't think choices in the latter category could be any more individualistic, but I find the $80 Pearl Izumi shorts to be worth every dime. Other folks will enthusiatically sing the praises of other brands, both high-end and more moderately priced (Perfomance has put out a few that have been well liked, but I haven't encountered any good ones from them) Natural chamois liners have a rather smal, but incomparably loyal following. In the case of saddles, I think the ones that most frequently receive raves from experienced riders are the Terry (both men's and women's) products and the classic Brooks saddle with the copper rivets (this one requires a considerable break-in period) Personally, I ride San Marco products. I have either Squadra or the classic Rolls on all of my best bikes. I love these, while some other folks find them to be instruments of torture.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  9. HienN

    HienN Stunt Coordinator

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    Make sure that the saddle is adjusted properly such that in your normal riding position your buns are resting firmly on the most padded portion of the saddle. I see many people set their saddle too far back they end up sitting on the tapered end. Also check the angle, it should be level or pointing down very slightly for obvious reasons.

    I usually am sore the first week or 200 miles of the riding season but get used to it quickly. I actually prefer the narrower type of seat, never really like the squishy feel of the heavy gel seat.
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I went the gel cover route, which seemed to work okay, though others swear by a firm ass chisel. [​IMG]
    I think the biggest difficulty is just getting used to riding if you aren't used to it. After a while the pain goes away. Of course my usual treatment is to bail off a bridge or other high obstacle, then the butt moves down the list of things that are painful on the body...
     
  11. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I second that a gel cover is not usually the answer, like you mentioned, the gel typically wont last that long, I mean this is mountain biking, I presume crashes do occur and the seats (at least mine) take a beating.

    Bike shorts are great, you should try to find a good bike short, either they full lycra or the baggie MTB style ones. I have a bunch of Pearl Izumi microsensor ones and some basic Performance or Nashbar baggie MTB shorts (with a lycra insert) and both I interchange, unless I need pockets which the PI ones don't have sans a tiny inside pocket.

    You're really gonna have to find either a good bike shop that will allow you to try various types of saddles out. Some shops will have demo saddles around, you want to be sitting on your seat bones, which you can feel around for, padding should be in that area and you can try those cutouts too. Also, during long rides, move around and shift a little, nothing to drastic, but it can get the circulation and different leg muscles active anyway.

    For MTB, I swear by my old Avocet O2 Kevlar, I just got a new one for my Santa Cruz to replace a hard-as-a-rock Fi'Zik Nisene which looks like a racing saddle.

    For all my road bikes, I ride the traditional Sella Italia Flite Ti Gel.

    Good luck and good riding!

    Jay
     
  12. Edan W

    Edan W Stunt Coordinator

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  13. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    I never got into Mountain Biking so I don't know how seat needs differ from that of road cycling, but on a road bike I always prefered a narrow seat made of leather. Wider seats kind of feel more supportive but generally aren't, ditto for gel saddles. Of course it's all personal preference. But what feels comfortable the second you sit in it may not be comfortable 10 miles down the road (Kind of like Lincoln Town car seats, very plush and comfy when you first get in, 3 hours later your back is killing you because of no support).

    Andrew
     
  14. eric holm

    eric holm Stunt Coordinator

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    three points have been made here that will all aid in your dilemma:

    1. Thinner is better. Don't get a cover. Gel or no gel. Up to you but in my opinion, it doesn't make much difference.

    2. Get a pair of bike shorts. Spend $$ to get a decent pair. This will make a huge difference.

    3. Most important. I've seen one thing that makes more difference than a new seat or shorts and that is seat position. MAKE SURE THE SEAT IS ANGLED FLAT OR SLIGHTLY DOWN!!! I have been around cycling all of my life the one adjustment to a bike that the bike owner has been most amazed with is seat angle.
     
  15. matthew_rm

    matthew_rm Second Unit

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    My Schwinn came with a GREAT seat last year. However, after about 5 hours it hurts. Hard-core riding XC offroad stuff it's fine. (Your ass floats above the seat the entire ride[​IMG] )
    BIG gel seats are not cool[​IMG]
     
  16. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    A couple things different from road saddles and mountain bike saddles, at least for those people that actually mountain bike with a mountain bike. One thing is typically the back of them are skinny enough that you can hang your ass back of them on steep descents, a too-wide saddle will make it hard so say goodbye to those "Comfort-saddle" abominations you see that look like a giant seat cushion on rails. Also a mountain bike saddle might have protective padding on the rear corners because of crashes.
    Both saddles may or may not have a drop in the nose of the saddle as thin noses sometimes will grab baggy shorts on standing climbs. It seems that road saddles seem to be slightly longer too, maybe for the same reason above.
    For inexpensive outdoor gear, including cycling, you might want to check out:
    www.sierratradingpost.com
    Assos, Castelli, Pearl Isumi, Cannondale, make descent stuff from my experience.
    Jay
     
  17. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Okay, I'm confused. Should I get a mountain bike saddle or a road saddle? Is there a decent hybrid choice? Or maybe I need to get one of each to swap out. I do my fair share of weekend off-road biking, but the majority of my biking is done during the week in urban environs...streets, paved bicycle paths, etc. And I guess I'm either a cautious rider or I'm not "extreme" enough because generally spills aren't an issue for me, though I've probably just jinxed myself. [​IMG]
     
  18. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    If you just ride on a mountain bike then it doesn't matter what kind of saddle you get, get the one that is most comfortable. Sounds like you are just riding urban with a mountain bike so I'd say go with the one that seems comfy to you, better if you can try it out for awhile. I was just trying to explain why there are so-called "mountain bike saddles" as opposed to "road bike saddles" since naturally, one kind of wonders why would there be a difference.
    Thinner saddles typically will cause less chafing in the netherregions, at least between the legs and your groin area as your legs which are spinning aren't in contact with the saddle as much. The Sella Italia Flites are like that but they are fairly hard at first until broken in. I have heard alot about Brooks but might be hard to find, try some of the upper end road bike stores near you. Koobi is another one that seems to sell a bunch of those split-rail saddles. Sella Itali and Sella San Marcos make pricey road saddles that you might try. (Lance/USPS rides on a Selle San Marcos for that matter and you know that if Lance rides one one, it'll make you 10mph faster [​IMG])
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  20. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    Getting a good pair of shorts will work wonders. I have a pair Pearl Izumi baggy shorts w/a padded lycra inner short. Also, consider Titanium railed seats as the shock absorbing properties of Ti are better than aluminum/lighter than steel. Plus, as others have said the proper angle will make a huge difference in long term ride comfort.
     

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