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Major comfort issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi-
So, I've been biking regularly since it started getting warm around here. I used to ride a lot when I was a kid, but it's been about 10 years since I had a bike, and since then I've gained about 80 lbs.

Getting back into it, I've been training at the gym on the side, and my cardio is coming around nicely. Unfortunately, my comfort level on the bike is the chief factor in deciding how long I ride for.

I was having terrible wrist pain, until this weekend, when I went in to my LBS to try out some nicer bikes (my current Schwinn is starting to show its price tag and an upgrade may be in store for the off season) and the sales rep (after duly measuring me up) placed the bike seat about 6-10 inches lower than where I've been riding. This has helped a TON with my wrist pain, though I think I'm suffering some performance issues as my gut now gets pressed in by my legs, and thus affects my breathing. Hopefully I'll keep up my current regimen/intensity and this problem will take care of itself. Meanwhile, a useful tip for the other Clyde's out there suffering from wrist pain.

However, I also have a problem with seat pain that is not going away as I continue to ride, as I'd hoped. Right now, a 20 mile ride leaves me in agony over the last 5 miles or so. My legs still have several more miles in them, but I'm not sure how I'm going to continue upping my distance. My first ride of the season is in a month, and it's 30 miles, which I'll be doing along with a couple members of the family who are seasoned riders (thus I'd like to start making 30 mile runs now, so I can work on some speed so they are not blowing me away). I went out and bought a nice gel seat, and continue wearing liner shorts (no lycra for me just yet). I still have sharp pain in the seat, as well as shooting pains going down my legs. The new seat has a middle, but it is fairly indented. Any other suggestions?

I also (though this is not as big a problem as the seat issue) have some mild numbness/discomfort in my feet. I've always had a rough time in any sport where my feet are strapped in (snowboarding, wakeboarding, etc). Seems I have fairly "tall" feet, and they are prone to losing circulation under pressure (though I have great curculation otherwise). I'm still riding in gym shoes and toe clips, so that may be a problem. However before I spend $100+ on a set of pedals and cleats, I'd like to know if there will be any circulatory benefit, as I'm not really to the point where I'm worried about more efficient power transfer, etc. Thanks in advance for the help.
post #2 of 9

Thank you so much for your post.
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post #3 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikarian View Post

I was having terrible wrist pain, until this weekend, when I went in to my LBS to try out some nicer bikes (my current Schwinn is starting to show its price tag and an upgrade may be in store for the off season) and the sales rep (after duly measuring me up) placed the bike seat about 6-10 inches lower than where I've been riding. This has helped a TON with my wrist pain, though I think I'm suffering some performance issues as my gut now gets pressed in by my legs, and thus affects my breathing. Hopefully I'll keep up my current regimen/intensity and this problem will take care of itself. Meanwhile, a useful tip for the other Clyde's out there suffering from wrist pain.

 


Well, this may be long after the fact but how is it possible that your bike's saddle was lowered by 6-to-10 inches?  

 

How tall are you?  6'4"?  Taller?!?

 

  • As far as your saddle, consider something like a BROOKS B67, or equally wide BROOKS saddle ... minimally, a "standard" BROOKS B17 which is considerably wider than most "plastic" saddles.

 

For a larger rider, a "regular" saddle which those of us who are shorter than 6'0" use will undoubtedly be like straddling a 2x4 rather than sitting on a saddle.

 

What are the dimensions of your bike?

 

  • top of the saddle to the center of the BB spindle (c-c)
  • crankarm length
  • top tube length (c-c)
  • handlebar TYPE & width

 

Post a pic of its current setup.

 

BTW.  While lowering your saddle was probably a good thing, to lower your saddle by 6-to-10 inches suggests (to me)  that the salesman was just giving you the bum's rush and didn't want to take the time to truly help you & thereby establish a working relationship with you for future considerations on your part with that shop ... 
 

post #4 of 9



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikarian View Post

I was having terrible wrist pain, until this weekend, when I went in to my LBS to try out some nicer bikes (my current Schwinn is starting to show its price tag and an upgrade may be in store for the off season) and the sales rep (after duly measuring me up) placed the bike seat about 6-10 inches lower than where I've been riding. This has helped a TON with my wrist pain, though I think I'm suffering some performance issues as my gut now gets pressed in by my legs, and thus affects my breathing. Hopefully I'll keep up my current regimen/intensity and this problem will take care of itself. Meanwhile, a useful tip for the other Clyde's out there suffering from wrist pain.

However, I also have a problem with seat pain that is not going away as I continue to ride, as I'd hoped. Right now, a 20 mile ride leaves me in agony over the last 5 miles or so. My legs still have several more miles in them, but I'm not sure how I'm going to continue upping my distance. My first ride of the season is in a month, and it's 30 miles, which I'll be doing along with a couple members of the family who are seasoned riders (thus I'd like to start making 30 mile runs now, so I can work on some speed so they are not blowing me away). I went out and bought a nice gel seat, and continue wearing liner shorts (no lycra for me just yet). I still have sharp pain in the seat, as well as shooting pains going down my legs. The new seat has a middle, but it is fairly indented. Any other suggestions?

I also (though this is not as big a problem as the seat issue) have some mild numbness/discomfort in my feet. I've always had a rough time in any sport where my feet are strapped in (snowboarding, wakeboarding, etc). Seems I have fairly "tall" feet, and they are prone to losing circulation under pressure (though I have great curculation otherwise). I'm still riding in gym shoes and toe clips, so that may be a problem. However before I spend $100+ on a set of pedals and cleats, I'd like to know if there will be any circulatory benefit, as I'm not really to the point where I'm worried about more efficient power transfer, etc. Thanks in advance for the help.


Wrist pain and saddle height. You've probably stumbled on somewhat of a solution (bars needed to be the similar height or a bit higher than the saddle - if you have a "gut-a-mus maximus") but the wrong end of the bike was adjusted. It sounds like your bars were too low and too much weight was placed on your hands. Like Alf, I'm amazed you could lower the seat 10 inches. Damn! Maybe the saddle was a bit on the high side but by the best part of a foot?

 

Seat issues. The right pair of shorts and saddle will cure most woes most issues that remain can be resolved via saddle adjustment. If you're putting a lot of weight on your hands then set the nose saddle a touch higher than the back - just enough to notice on your typical "level" that the bubble is off center. By changing the angle of the seat you'll both change the pressure points on the seat and add or remove a fair bit of support required by your arms. Very small adjustments and make big improvements.

 

Make sure too that the seat is positioned perfectly straight in the frame. Any deviations left or right can lead to comfort issues.

 

A good pair of bike shoes could be in your future. Pick a set with 3 or maybe more sets of adjustable straps - whether they be velcro or the ratchet kind. That will allow you to set the pressure across the foot a little better by adjusting each strap seperately. You're not aiming to crush your feet. Tighten enough to where your feet are not sliding around inside. Most cycling socks tend to be a little more textured and less prone to slip that regular socks and this helps me significantly with not having to ratched the straps down on my feet.
 

 

post #5 of 9

The pain you talk about in you seat and shooting down you legs...NO GOOD!  Get a bike-fit done.  Problems, MAJOR male health problems can arise (pardon the pun) from a rider putting too much pressure on the wrong parts.  One such problem - prostate-itis.  Yes - it's as awful as it sounds.  Also - the "shooting" pain is because you're sitting on a nerve - a major nerve.  Doing damage here could ruin you. And nerve damage is, for the most part, is permanent.

See a reputable bike shop and get a fit done for around $100.  The take their advise on equipment.

post #6 of 9

I've come to the conclusion that much perineum pain comes from A.  improper saddle and B.  poor posture.  Improve your core and you will improve your posture.  Get your back straight and get those sit bones on the wide part of the saddle and you will see a big difference.  I think much of the moaning and groaning about netherlands pain comes from just plopping down on top of the saddle.  

post #7 of 9

  I found that too "gel-ly" a saddle can cause problems...you sink into the gel and then there is soft-tissue pressure.  If a saddle is sized properly and the weight rests on the "sit bones" then the soft tissue is spared and doesn't experience the pain.  Sort of counter-intuitive but true...at least in my case.

post #8 of 9

I agree about the gel saddles causing problems.  I used to do triathlons and found out by trial and error that gel saddles made my butt problems worse. I unfortunately had to buy numerous different saddles to find one that fit correctly with my wider then normal sit bones.  I recently got back into cycling and went to a shop that sells Specialized saddles since they will measure your sit bones and then sell you an appropriate saddle.  This has worked out well for me.  

I'd look into  having your sit bones measured.  Then work on your posture as said previously. Good luck. 

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post



 


Wrist pain and saddle height. You've probably stumbled on somewhat of a solution (bars needed to be the similar height or a bit higher than the saddle - if you have a "gut-a-mus maximus") but the wrong end of the bike was adjusted. It sounds like your bars were too low and too much weight was placed on your hands. Like Alf, I'm amazed you could lower the seat 10 inches. Damn! Maybe the saddle was a bit on the high side but by the best part of a foot?

 

Seat issues. The right pair of shorts and saddle will cure most woes most issues that remain can be resolved via saddle adjustment. If you're putting a lot of weight on your hands then set the nose saddle a touch higher than the back - just enough to notice on your typical "level" that the bubble is off center. By changing the angle of the seat you'll both change the pressure points on the seat and add or remove a fair bit of support required by your arms. Very small adjustments and make big improvements.

 

Make sure too that the seat is positioned perfectly straight in the frame. Any deviations left or right can lead to comfort issues.

 

A good pair of bike shoes could be in your future. Pick a set with 3 or maybe more sets of adjustable straps - whether they be velcro or the ratchet kind. That will allow you to set the pressure across the foot a little better by adjusting each strap seperately. You're not aiming to crush your feet. Tighten enough to where your feet are not sliding around inside. Most cycling socks tend to be a little more textured and less prone to slip that regular socks and this helps me significantly with not having to ratched the straps down on my feet.
 

 


I know the above is an older post, considering the thread is a year old...... :D

 

I think the poster though stumbled on the real problem, and it's one of poor design on modern bikes.  While it is now possible to move the saddle by 20cm or more, the bars can't be adjusted at all.  Old bikes, like those in the 1970's tended to have about 5cm of saddle adjustment, and about the same on the bars, and this was good for dialing in fit to some degree, because sizes were 2" (5cm) apart, so if you needed more adjustment, you went with a bigger frame. 

 

The threadless headset though, meant you had one shot in getting it right, because once it was set, you had no option of changing the adjustment because the only way to raise the bars had been cut off.  Unfortunately most shops simply cut the steerer off at the lowest setting, without regard to whether that will work for the person who will purchase the bicycle.  You could purchase additional parts to fix the problem, but on a cheap bicycle the solution might cost almost as much as the bike, and you shouldn't have to.   I think the solution is the steerer itself, what is needed is a standard connection between the steerer and fork, I'm thinking something like a hole that goes through the fork crown and bottom of the steerer with a bolt that goes through and with a nut on the back.  This would be combined with a variety of pre-cut steerers, so that instead of cutting the steerer, the shop can switch the steerer for one of a different length.  

 

 

 

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