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View Full Version : Define saddle comfort and discomfort


MrBilly
12-04-2007, 07:33 PM
I am very new to this forum, but I would like to focus on what comfort (discomfort) people are talking about with regard to saddles. I have read many posts here, but have not a clue what area of the anatomy one is addressing as hurting (uncomfortable) and what solution has been found to resolve the issue.

I have great problems with pain in the perineum, which is the area between the male genitalia and the anus. It seems to be a skin problem and gets more uncomfortable the longer I ride - it is a local irritation, not deep inside, it is NOT numbness in the penis, it is just very disturbing. The sit bones don't hurt.

I am not sure how to deal with it. The Brooks saddle sounds interesting, but it appears to me that it is my "weak painful spot" that will take the brunt of the Brooks saddle? Or, is it the give between the fore and aft sections of this saddle that makes it comfortable and would solve my problem? :crap:

I bought one of those horshoe "comfort" saddles (ISM) and have only used it once, but it certainly didn't hurt in the area I described above..but it had it's own discomfort in the sit bone area. It may take more tweeking to get it right, but I sort of doubt it.

Thanks.

Billy

e-RICHIE
12-04-2007, 07:34 PM
i switched an SSM aspide 6 years ago and
have never had a saddle sore since atmo.
plus, my position is dialed in on my bike.

caleb
12-04-2007, 07:40 PM
I am very new to this forum, but I would like to focus on what comfort (discomfort) people are talking about with regard to saddles. I have read many posts here, but have not a clue what area of the anatomy one is addressing as hurting (uncomfortable) and what solution has been found to resolve the issue.

I have great problems with pain in the perineum, which is the area between the male genitalia and the anus. It seems to be a skin problem and gets more uncomfortable the longer I ride - it is a local irritation, not deep inside, it is NOT numbness in the penis, it is just very disturbing. The sit bones don't hurt.

I am not sure how to deal with it. The Brooks saddle sounds interesting, but it appears to me that it is my "weak painful spot" that will take the brunt of the Brooks saddle? Or, is it the give between the fore and aft sections of this saddle that makes it comfortable and would solve my problem? :crap:

I bought one of those horshoe "comfort" saddles (ISM) and have only used it once, but it certainly didn't hurt in the area I described above..but it had it's own discomfort in the sit bone area. It may take more tweeking to get it right, but I sort of doubt it.

Thanks.

Billy

How much do you ride?

palincss
12-04-2007, 07:50 PM
I have great problems with pain in the perineum, which is the area between the male genitalia and the anus. It seems to be a skin problem and gets more uncomfortable the longer I ride - it is a local irritation, not deep inside, it is NOT numbness in the penis, it is just very disturbing. The sit bones don't hurt.

I am not sure how to deal with it. The Brooks saddle sounds interesting, but it appears to me that it is my "weak painful spot" that will take the brunt of the Brooks saddle? Or, is it the give between the fore and aft sections of this saddle that makes it comfortable and would solve my problem? :crap:



If you have the saddle properly adjusted, the weight will be carried on the sit bones in your butt, not on the soft tissue. For many people, that means a Brooks needs to be adjusted to point upwards -- for some, slightly, for others, rather dramatically. Here's one of mine: http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=326011544&context=set-72157603355855778&size=l

Louis
12-04-2007, 08:07 PM
Define saddle comfort and discomfort

"Comfort" is when you don't even notice that the saddle is there, so you don't even think about it. Kind of like a good umpire in baseball. Knock on wood, that where I am now. Let's hope that lasts.

shinomaster
12-04-2007, 08:11 PM
If it hurts when you go pee or if you cant get "it" to wake up after a long ride you have a problem. atmo.

Dave
12-04-2007, 08:16 PM
Have you read about the extreme importance of fine angle adjustment? Single bolt seatposts will not always do the job. If you don't have one, invest in a 2-bolt "rocker" design that allows fine angle adjustment, like Thomson, FSA K-force, ITM Millennium or Selcof. It's cheaper than trying a whole bunch of saddles.

Grant McLean
12-04-2007, 08:18 PM
I bought one of those horshoe "comfort" saddles (ISM) and have only used it once, but it certainly didn't hurt in the area I described above..but it had it's own discomfort in the sit bone area. It may take more tweeking to get it right, but I sort of doubt it.

Thanks.

Billy

First of all, your bike has to fit. Your postion on the bike is
the most important thing to get right. If you need help with
that, find a professional at a shop, or a coach.

Ideally, you want your body supported by your sit bones.
With your weight bearing on your skeleton, you don't compress
the soft tissue, uh, 'areas' you describe. Your sit bones may be
wide or narrow, it's hard to tell without measuring them.
Some saddles are more or less designed to force you onto the
sit bones, with either a cut out, or like E-Richie found, by the
shape like the Selle San Marco Aspide saddle, which has a 'tunnel'
sort of shape in the middle.

Anyone not used to sitting on their actual sit bones may find the
saddle feels really hard, and uncomfortable at first. It takes
a little getting used to, but in the end... (ha ha) it's not great to
have your nerves and or blood supply crushed by your weight.

-g

regularguy412
12-04-2007, 09:59 PM
Let me get this right. It's the little 'sutured' area that becomes inflamed after several miles or a few days in a row in the saddle? If so, I agree with Grant. It may not be completely the saddle's fault.

If you are 'reaching' with your legs to get to the bottom of the stroke (thereby shifting your hips side to side), you may be scrubbing that area against your chamois. A saddle that is high in the middle (no cut-out) might contribute to this problem. However, getting your hips rock-solid on the saddle with no rocking, sliding or reaching will do much to make any saddle more comfortable.

At that point, it becomes more an issue of how your particular anatomy (sit bones, soft tissue, etc.) mates up with any given saddle shape and padding.

Make sure your bike fit is correct and then go test saddle types. Most local bike shops have an array of saddles they will let you try out before you spend the money on one.

Mike in AR

Blue Jays
12-04-2007, 10:23 PM
If the sit bones don't experience pain, could it potentially be the riding apparel that is at fault, too? Perhaps trying a different pair of bibs is in order.
A quick wipedown with an antibiotic towelette followed by application of Bodyglide (http://www.bodyglide.com/) can't hurt, either. Good luck with the saddle selection. Mine are different flavors of the Selle Italia SLR model and they've all been very comfortable.

coopdog
12-04-2007, 10:38 PM
Flexibility makes a difference too. The less flexible you are the more pressure your going to put on your TAB (iT ain't the A$$ or B*lls). So you can raise the handlebars or work on your flexibility.

MrBilly
12-05-2007, 07:53 AM
Thanks that is quite helpful. I try to ride 20 miles each day. :bike:

Billy

Ahneida Ride
12-05-2007, 11:05 AM
Yup, that is exactly where the pain is ....

Brooks was the cure. The Brooks transferred the discomfort to my
posterior, but I also quickly realized that once my buttissimo and the saddle
mated a bit, things would be just fine ..... and they were.

Positioning of the Brooks is critical. Small adjustments make huge differences.

Try a Brooks ..... T B17 Ti is amazingly comfortably.

wallbike has a 6 month return policy.

lemonlaug
12-05-2007, 12:10 PM
I believe the non-scientific term to describe the region you're talking about is taint . Just FYI.

dirtdigger88
12-05-2007, 12:15 PM
I find that saddle comfort directly relates to time/miles spent on the bike

the more Im on the bike - the more comfortable my saddles tend to be

they can really hurt during that 3 hour ride in mid january

then they are much better on that same ride in june-

go figure

jason

SoCalSteve
12-05-2007, 12:27 PM
Yup, that is exactly where the pain is ....

Brooks was the cure. The Brooks transferred the discomfort to my
posterior, but I also quickly realized that once my buttissimo and the saddle
mated a bit, things would be just fine ..... and they were.

Positioning of the Brooks is critical. Small adjustments make huge differences.

Try a Brooks ..... T B17 Ti is amazingly comfortably.

wallbike has a 6 month return policy.

Expensive for the Ti version, but OH so worth it!

Just make sure that the position of the saddle is correct (tilt wise). You can do a search on this forum and come up with boatloads of info regarding tilt....DBRK says it best though...

It should look like a hammock. Also, as someone pointed out earlier, having a seat post that is infinetly micro adjustable is the ONLY way to get a Brooks to work properly. If not, it can be a VERY painful saddle....

But, once you have it dialed in, you will NEVER go back to the plastic saddles again no matter what the Brooks looks like, its weight or any other reason...

Good luck!

Steve

RABikes2
12-05-2007, 12:34 PM
Take a look at these two saddles. It might be worth a try according to where you've described you are having problems.

http://www.selleanatomica.com

Since mid-February, I've put over 7,000 miles on the BiSaddle.

http://www.bycycleinc.com

I agree though, the best advice is to begin with a dialed in fit on your bike.

JMO and experience ... ;)
RA

benb
12-05-2007, 02:22 PM
Sounds to me like your saddle is too high and/or you have the nose too high.

Start with -0.5 degrees down. (Straight edge across the length of the saddle, and then put the level on top of that)

If you can't ride with the saddle level or slightly nose down without feeling like you're sliding forward and/or having strain on your arms, then you probably have some other fit issue.

I don't understand how people (men) can ride with the saddle pointed sky high.. if you're sitting on your sitbones with the saddle set nose high you will have the middle/nose of the saddle sticking into your perineium.. I've tried it this season after having some issues and getting that advice here, and I've tried a brooks, and in either case it's a recipe for pain & numbness for me... and on top of that it puts a curve in your back which will give me issues when hammering and/or riding in the drops as I can't rotate my hips forward due to the high nose. The only way I could see if working for me would be if my handlebars went WAY up to the point where it was impossible for me to sit any way other then bolt upright. Probably higher then the saddle.