New bike, new saddle, sore butt!



OkiePhlyer

Member
Feb 3, 2017
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Oklahoma
I bought a used Giant Cypress last summer to begin riding again. It has a Bontrager Commutergel saddle. I carried tools with me for about a month while riding and making adjustments. Finally I got everything set where I wanted it. The whole time on that bike while making those initial adjustments my butt never felt sore after I had completed a ride. There were moments while riding when I would stop and make an adjustment, but after finishing I felt fine.
Fast forward to last week...I upgraded and bought bought a Giant Defy 1 that came with a Fizik Arione saddle. The first couple of rides were not very long, but the saddle seemed to be a little uncomfortable. yesterday I rode 21 miles, and the last 2-3 were pretty uncomfortable. When I finished my butt was really sore. I even limped a little while walking for about 30 min afterward.

My question is this: Am I sore because of the different geometry of the two bikes and have to get used to the new riding style, or is the saddle on the road bike just not playing nice and needs to be replaced? Should I stick it out and try to make more adjustments?

I'm 6'2" and 230 lbs if that helps.

Thanks!
 

OkiePhlyer

Member
Feb 3, 2017
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Oklahoma
I posted this in the Road bike section too. Figured out the Arione didn't fit my sit bones. Gotta find the correct fit and I should be in good shape.
 
Nov 7, 2016
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Whilst it may be that this new saddle isn't going to work well for you (or still needs further adjustment), it could also simply be the distance you rode that lead to the soreness.

How often do you ride 21 miles or more? Was this the first time you've ridden this far since getting back into cycling?
 

OkiePhlyer

Member
Feb 3, 2017
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Oklahoma
Whilst it may be that this new saddle isn't going to work well for you (or still needs further adjustment), it could also simply be the distance you rode that lead to the soreness.

How often do you ride 21 miles or more? Was this the first time you've ridden this far since getting back into cycling?

20+ miles is a normal ride for me. I do that several times a week. I also throw in some 30+ mile rides in periodically when I have the time. I've never had issues with the saddle even on the longer charity rides I've done.

I looked through the Fizik website and read about how they fit their saddles. According to their specs I am a Large Chameleon. The Antares saddle should be the one that fits me best. I'll probably be selling the Arione and getting something more suitable for my bike than the Commutergel.
 
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dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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Your experience with a too-narrow saddle is no surprise. At 130 mm width, the Arione is sized for the typical Italian cyclist, not us full-size Americanos. I bought one and rode it for a couple of years, but it was never really comfortable for me, just too narrow. The specs say the Large Antares is 152mm? That should work fine for you; proper width makes a huge difference in comfort.

Fisik makes high quality saddles, but you don't really need to spend that much unless you just like the cool look. I've used the Terry Fly saddles for the past decade. Had a couple of them with the textured leather covers, but got the last one in plain vinyl cover. My LBS had it hanging up at around $60, and I needed a saddle for the new bike.

I've also found that no saddle lasts me more than 10K miles, or 2-3 years. The foam just seems to break down and get soft, ruining the comfort.
 
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OkiePhlyer

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Feb 3, 2017
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Oklahoma
You are correct. As a full size American it just wasn't going to work. My other saddle is a lot wider than the Arione. And much more comfortable. Being a larger than average cyclist I would imagine the sleek looking saddles won't work for me. There's no bike shop close to me, but I should be able to get to one in the next few weeks. I still would like to find a road bike saddle to try and improve on what I have now.

Thanks for the info.
 
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dhk2

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Just a couple of more points, which you probably already know. Finding a saddle wide enough (but not too wide) with enough support is the most important thing. But you'll also need to find tune the position: height, fore/aft, and the all-important tilt, before you're comfortable. Just a couple degrees of tilt can make a big dfference.....nose too low and you'll tend to slide forward, off the full-width part. Too high and you'll have pressure in the wrong place whenever you get into the drops. If the saddle platform or rails aren't strong enough, your weight will flex the whole thing into a hammock shape making it impossible to get the tilt right.

The other thing I've found is that it takes about a month to get used to a new saddle, unless you're just installing one identical to your old one. Not sure if there is a "perfect" shape saddle but it seems every one hits different pressure points which will require some break-in time. Like a new pair of hiking boots, they take a bit of getting used to even if they fit great. Last, once your butt is sore from too much early spring riding on the wrong saddle, it's going to take some time to heal up. Trying out different saddles when the butt is already sore can be a futile exercise.
 

OkiePhlyer

Member
Feb 3, 2017
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Oklahoma
I carry a set of tools with me and make adjustments as I ride until I get the saddle as good it can be. You're right, even a few degrees tilt makes a huge difference.
I'm glad I didn't push it with the smaller saddle. I had done a short ride (15 miles) on it before the ride that made me sore. After that I had enough. The first ride after swapping saddles I could tell I still had some minor tender spots from the previous ride, but nothing to make me complain about. I have ridden a few times since then with no issues.
 

dhk2

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You're ahead of me then. Back in 2004, I did the first spring Century on a new bike with a too-narrow SSM Aspide saddle. After 50 miles, the chaffing started, and by mile 80 I was off the saddle as much as possible. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but was determined to finish my first full Century in years. Turned out the hard edges of the 130mm ? saddle had left me with two bright-red vertical stripes.....I'll let you guess exactly where.

That's actually when I learned about saddle width and sitzbones. In the old days, even my Brooks B17 Narrow was around 150 mm wide, so no need to pay attention. Like tires, glad to see we now have choices that fit real-world riders. We don't all have to be 140lbs and 5'6" to enjoy riding high-quality equipment that fits and holds up under us..
 

OkiePhlyer

Member
Feb 3, 2017
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Oklahoma
Well I probably got lucky with the initial saddle I had. I also had a good friend to recommend carrying tools to make adjustments.
When I was a teenager I tried a long ride (for me) one day and went about 25 miles. I had the same issue about halfway through. Luckily most of the way back was downhill. All I had to do for the most part was stand and coast. Lol