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Thread: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    So basically how do you avoid butt hurts like hell after sitting on the narrow seat for extended period of time? Well it's more of the area between butt and family jewel that contact the seat, but you know what I'm talking about.

    I have a gel seat cover and it helps some, but it still happens. The routes I usually do is between 50 to 70 KM and I tend to ride full speed till my legs are numb, take a break, then repeat. Mind you I'm not even an amature, just ride for fun and some exercise on a cheap department store bike, so telling me to buy $500 worth of equiptment isn't going to help.

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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Your rear hardens up quite a bit with more riding. Keep at it and it won't bother you after a while.

    The only riding technique I can think of off hand is to lift your rear off the seat when approaching a rough section of road.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Also experiment with your saddle angle a little. From your photo, it appears to be nose-up. Try tipping it just a little more towards level and see if that's better or worse.

    Also, seats are a pretty individualistic thing. Even after your body's fully acclimated to riding, there will be some seats that work for you and some that don't. My road-racing bike has a Flite Carbon, which is nothing more than a flexy carbon shell on titanium rails, with no padding at all, but I can ride it 100+ miles since the shape works for me. More padding is not necessarily the answer, because it's more stuff to sink into and put pressure on your soft tissue in addition to your "sit bones."

    Giving yourself a break is also a good trick. If you're going up a hill at all, shift to a high enough gear that you can pedal while standing, and give yourself a 30-60 second break from the seat. Or if you're going down a steady grade, stand up with the cranks level and coast for a little while.

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    I picked up a gel mountain bike seat for my road bike. I always wear bike shorts with a gel insert. Make sure the seat is level or even slightly down in the front. Every 10 - 15 minutes stand up and pedal. Finally - make sure the seat is at the correct height, if you are rocking back and forth on the seat while you are pedaling, the seat is too high.
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    Flashaholic* GLOCK18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    You need to get a seat with a split down the middle, I ride about 800 miles a month with no issues after getting one of these seats.

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    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    This might come as a shock to you, but lose all the gel saddle crap... Gel is ok for short rides (let's say up to 30KM), but if you spend more time on your bike than that, there's not much that can beat a leather saddle.
    They are expensive, require quite a lot of maintenance and have a very long break in period (at least 500KM) but by then the saddle has formed itself to your body... or your body has formed to the seat, there's still a lot unknown about that, all I know is that if you can manage to endure the pain (and trust me, there will be pain, probably lots of it too) it will be worth it in the end.

    Brooks is pretty much king in this market segment, the top models will set you back 100s of $$ but the entry level models are a lot friendlier priced (although they are still quite expensive compared to most synthetic saddles). Keep in mind that even if you buy a entry level Brooks saddle, if you manage to get through the break in period and give it the proper maintenance, it will probably be the last saddle you ever buy. When cared for correctly, they will last you a lifetime (and longer)...

    Ok, so far the Brooks sales pitch

    Another thing you might want to try is changing your technique. If you ride a bike like this and you sit on the saddle all the time, you're doing it wrong. When riding a roadbike, you pretty much stand on the pedals all the time, the seat is just there for a little rest when your legs get tired. If this is not an option, I suggest getting a different bike that's more suitable for your riding style. You can change the setup of this bike too, but it might not give you the desired results. To improve the comfort, you could mount a wider saddle and get an extender to put the handlebars in a higher position.

    But there is one option that is better still.... get a recumbent bike... unfortunately, these are very expensive.
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    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Coop View Post
    This might come as a shock to you, but lose all the gel saddle crap... Gel is ok for short rides (let's say up to 30KM), but if you spend more time on your bike than that, there's not much that can beat a leather saddle....
    +

    I have to agree on loosing the gel seat cover.

    Having the proper saddle height & tilt is a prerequisite,
    then you have to get a decent pair of cycling shorts,...this is a must if you don't have them already.
    (cycling shorts greatly helps even out pressure)

    You riding position takes time to perfect, so in the meantime, miles on your bike acclimates your body.
    Occasionally get up off your saddle to take pressure off for a bit.

    This is a good thread: beginner road bike???

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    And don't worry... Cycling shorts don't have to be spandex these days... There are a lot of good loose fitting cycling shorts...
    ... Never underestimate the power of human stupidity ...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    +1 on seat angle, the up in the front config looks painful. If you can slide the seat fore/aft, also give that a try. One of the benefits of a harder seat is that you can feel right away, where the pressure points are. Start with horizontal/centered and figure a way to 'feel' through the softness.

    After you get your weight evenly distributed, then work up your tolerance.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    On my mountain bike, I use a WTB Speed V saddle with the split down the middle. The seat is level to the ground and is comfortable for me. I think the saddle runs $25 or so.

    For pure street use, I found the Brooks B17 to be the best after you break it in (or does it break YOU in?) Use the leather conditioner stuff on it and enjoy for many decades. It will break your butt for the first few hundred KM though! After it breaks in, you won't ride anything else.

    I cheat on my road bike though, it is a suspended recumbent so my parts are in the air stream. Can't do wheelies though.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'll try to do some adjustment first and see if it helps, if not I'll see about a new seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by BentHeadTX View Post
    I cheat on my road bike though, it is a suspended recumbent so my parts are in the air stream. Can't do wheelies though.
    Heh, I've done a few unintensional wheelies while going up hill, almost dumped myself on the back and scared crap out of me.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* RA40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    So long as it is soreness. You want to avoid the numb and tingling of having the saddle not fit your pelvis width. Accounting for proper tilt and height issues. It takes time for your 6 to acclimate to the riding if this is early season for you. If I'm off the bike for a week or two, I feel the pressure points following a ride.

    Speaking of cycle wear, an amusing shot that has been circulating:

    Mike

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    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Sox and sandals!!!!! What is he thinking

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Besides adjusting the seat so it's either level with the ground or even slightly tilted down in front, you might try adjusting your riding position. Do you ride upright, or in an aero position? The latter tends to cause the type of discomfort you're experiencing. It also is very bad for your back long term. While I never experienced discomfort of the type you're having, I never rode in an aero position either for very long as I find it way too uncomfortable.

    All that being said, as the miles pile up your body tends to harden up and otherwise adjust, even with less than optimal equipment. At this point I could probably ride on a seat post and not be overly uncomfortable.

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    Flashaholic* KC2IXE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    The V saddles are supposidly great, but then again, we could quote one rider I knew who went to the Pan Am games - "The seat isn't there to sit on, it's there to keep the bicycle centered below you, you should have most of your weight on your legs"
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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Coop View Post
    This might come as a shock to you, but lose all the gel saddle crap... Gel is ok for short rides (let's say up to 30KM), but if you spend more time on your bike than that, there's not much that can beat a leather saddle.
    It bothers me to think of 30km as a short trip....
    But for those who uses it as a mode of transportation daily...Coop, B@rt, et al would know best about cycles

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    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    30 Km is not all that long of a ride for a road bike. I regularly go on 20 mile bike rides, which are just a bit more than 30 Km. My bike seat has simply cushioning on it, but it isn't gel. I also use shorts with pads in them, which help a lot. After a while you just get more used to it, and you won't be as sore.
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    Flashaholic* RA40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone ride road bike here? need some tips

    One area where people can have problems is a generic bicycle that is not fit for their proportions. The casual crowd that rides around the block, the local park or market won't give it a thought but start putting the miles on, it becomes important to have good fit. Finding a balance in efficient position and comfort will help in giving you many miles minimizing discomfort and possible injury. Bike fit is a long discussion and there are many approaches. If you are serious it may be of benefit to seek a qualified shop and discuss-arrange a fit session.

    It isn't necessary to have a big investment in gear yet like flashlights, one that works well, begins a treadmill of desires. You'll ride with more comfort, be more efficient (faster, use less energy) overall.

    This is how mine is set-up currently and has about a 4" saddle to bar top drop. I can ride the drops comfortably. YMMV on position.

    Last edited by RA40; 05-25-2009 at 06:22 PM.
    Mike

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