Author Topic: Sore butts  (Read 30932 times)

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Offline gamcgregor

Sore butts
« on: April 10, 2008, 05:38:22 pm »
Last year I put in about 3000 miles. But not mort than 43 at a time. I never get to a point where my rear end is comfortable enough to ride farther, like a century. Any advice would be appreciated.

Offline John Nettles

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Sore butts
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 06:54:14 pm »
Have you tried adjusting the seat up, down, forward, backward, or tilting.  Where specifically does it hurt, i.e the pelvic bones, tissue chafing, genitalia, etc.  Have you tried different saddles.  I assume this is for a road bike.  If you could, please give more info so we might be able to help you.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Offline whittierider

Sore butts
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 02:10:42 am »
You might have to try different saddles.  What's best for one person is not necessarily best for another.  When the shape is right, thick padding goes beyond unnecessary, to counterproductive.  The saddle I'm using now on the bike I ride most is the lightest, narrowest, hardest, and almost the cheapest of any I've ever used, and yet is one of the most comfortable and has lasted the longest.  Bike shops are usually understanding about the saddle problem, and many of them will let you try one at a time for a reasonable time and exchange it if it doesn't suit you.

In addition:  In your shorts, at the points of most pressure, put a load of petroleum jelly, A&D ointment, bag balm, or one of the other products made for the job.  And don't wear underwear under the shorts either.  Besides lubricating, petroleum jelly (in sufficient quantity) makes it very difficult for bacteria to live and multiply.

This message was edited by whittierider on 4-10-08 @ 10:11 PM

Offline RussellSeaton

Sore butts
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 10:32:17 am »
Different shorts can also have an effect.  Shorts range from obscenely expensive to dirt cheap.  Chamois in the shorts range from paper thin to diaper thick.  How many panels the shorts are made of range from 4 to 10 now days.  Which one is most comfortable for you depends.  Try a short that seems to be the opposite of what you are using now.  Might help, or not.

Offline DaveB

Sore butts
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 12:22:56 pm »
One other recommendation.  If you ride in relatively flat terrain, you may be sitting the entire ride.  Try standing periodically to relieve the pressure and allow your rear to recover.  Upshifting a couple of cogs will make standing easier even if it's flat.

One advantage to hilly rides is you usually stand to climb some of the hills and automatically get off the saddle once in a while.

Offline Carl

Sore butts
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 02:03:46 am »
I'd second David B's suggestion to stand up more. I've never understood why the few milliimeters of padding in most bike shorts would make a difference in cushioning when it's compressed by anybody who weighs more than a few tens of pounds. My theory on bike shorts is that the seam placement in the crouch and their slippery nature makes them desirable...less so the padding, but I won't go down this road with so many folks loyal to the padding concept. I will argue that simply standing up in the pedals a lot, moving around (look over both shoulders, move your hands on the bar, etc.) ...makes a huge difference in comfort.

This message was edited by Carl on 4-12-08 @ 6:25 PM

Offline DaveB

Sore butts
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 10:03:50 am »
I just noticed no one asked if you actually do wear biking shorts while riding.  Do you?  If you wear jeans or gym shorts or similar, a large part of your problem is right there.  The seams are all in the wrong places and you will probably never get comfortable.  

Also, the comment about wearing underwear under shorts is a good one.  Don't do it.  Again, the seams are in the wrong places.

There are people who routinely ride in jeans, etc. without complaint but I don't know how they do it. They must have real iron butts.  

Offline gamcgregor

Sore butts
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 01:39:45 pm »
Thanks for your reply, yes on the bike shorts, no on underwear. I don't have any problem with chaffing. I was tempted to try a  seat with less padding. My only other guess would be to get my weight down some more. I just have what i call that end of the ride soreness. I feel as if my legs and body could do 50, 60 or even a century. But Im not sure my butt could take it. And I see pros and other people riding with seats that have almost no padding. I have some padding on a leather seat. Thanks for all your replys.  

Offline DaveB

Sore butts
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 05:19:54 pm »
Padding, particularly a lot of it, on a bike seat is counterproductive for long rides.  Instead of the saddle supporting your "sit-bones" you sink into the padding and it reduces circulation by putting pressure where it's not wanted. If you are using one of the "comfort" seats try one that's firmer and thinner.

Offline wolverbob

Sore butts
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 06:34:42 pm »
For us recumbent riders, we really don't know what sore butts are like anymore from riding. And the same goes for sore necks, backs and wrists. Distance seems to be limited to how long your leg muscles hold out or how long you have to ride.

Bob Krzewinski

Offline driftlessregion

Sore butts
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 07:09:09 pm »
Get thee to the pro shop in your town and pay whatever they charge for a bike fit. All physical issues, saddle sores, knees, hands etc can only be fixed after the fit is correct. I'll spare you the gory details of my own woes but the cure was simple: a good fit. Don't accept some kid in a shop who guesses what would be good for you. Find the folks who know physiology and cycling. They don't need the fancy machines, though they might work fine too. You want someone who listens to you describe your problem and the style of riding you do. Andy Pruitt is one of the acknowledged experts but there are others. My pro studied with Andy. There are books that detail fit, such as at but once there are problems it is best to go to an expert. Good luck.

Offline gamcgregor

Sore butts
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 04:16:11 pm »
I have not tried adjusting the seat up or down or any other way. I have thought about a seat with less padding, although mine does not have a lot of padding now. I dont have any problem with chaffing of any kind, use the chamois butter. Just " the butt bone feels like it is bruised" for lack of a better description. Would my weight have much to do with it. In Michigan I dont get much biking in the winter, and usually put on some weight. Have also had three broken spokes all of sudden this spring while biking in Florida. Anyway thank you all for the suggestions. I will try them all. Not quite ready for a recummbent though.

Offline bogiesan

Sore butts
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2008, 12:04:29 am »
> Not quite ready for a recummbent though.

But you're ready to try different saddles, different fittings from
different bike pros? Try to be open minded about this. You may never
be comfortable on your existing bike, which is a shame, but that allows
you, once you accept the reality, of shopping for another bike. I'm not
going to try to convince you to look at recumbents, but shopping for a
touring steed is fun, exciting, and hopelessly confusing.
Shopping for a recumbent is actually much more difficult since there
are so many different tire size combinations and wheelbase options.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline tgpelz

Sore butts
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 12:38:23 am »
I have NOT had a sore butt in the past 18 years.  

I use the EASY Seat (or Eazy Seat).  Google it.

My wife's butt also likes the easy seat.   She will not ride on anything else (other than a recumbent).

OH, that is another thought.   Get a Linear recumbent.  I have one of them.  I love it.  Hills are a bit more difficult, but I like my recumbent.

The only problem with the recumbent is carrying front and rear panniers is not going to happen.   So, for my loaded touring trips, I am on a standard bike with the easy seat.


Offline gamcgregor

Sore butts
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 05:04:16 pm »
Thanks Tom, is the eazy seat also for a road bike. I have heard recumbents are hard on hills. I suppose that would be good in Florida, not to many hills. Thanks.