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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/29/08 1:15 P

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Wongerchi

You have convinced me to be re-fitted. Yes I'm looking for more speed and if I can get 2 mph that would be estatic. I know when I was originally fitted it was to be sure my saddle height was proper and my elbows were bent properly. I assuming they will do this and a lot more? I'm always wondering if my handle bars are high enough and whether they are extended properly. I think in the current set up it is naturally causing an arch in the back. I have experienced myself pedalling faster and easier in the aero position but I do not think I'm set up properly for that as well.

My aero bars are the old profile triangular shape one unit bar. I love them and would hate to part without it. I have the original cushion but they are no longer serving the right purpose. I have checked into replacing the pads altogether because I have seen and liked what the new ones look like. However, at $45 I find it hard to justify the expense; I don't I paid too much over that when the aero bars were new. The LBS has some basic aero bars with the pads I'm looking for for $30.00. I may have to break weak and buy the set even though I do not want the bar. And no I already asked if they would sell them separately :-(.

Does any one have any other ideas for me on the pads???

Jim

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
4/29/08 12:02 P

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Yes there is a need to be refitted. You're getting numbness where there shouldn't be and it's a lot easier for an expert bike fitter to diagnose and fix your problems rather than a bunch of us here on the internet who can't see what your position looks like.

Also, you bought your bike in 1989 - that's 19(!) years old. Bike fit knowledge has come a long way since then. I got my first bike in 1989 and all they did back then was adjust saddle and make sure that you could reach the handlebars....

I also got 2 mph faster when I got properly fitted. If it's speed you're after, you can't get much better than free.


EDITED to add: I have aerobars on my roadbike so my aero position is on them, not in the drops. In the drops I move back a touch but not a whole lot...

Edited by: WONGERCHI at: 4/29/2008 (12:05)
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/28/08 1:04 P

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Wongerchi

WhenI first oringinally bouht the bike in'89 I had the bike properly fitted by the LBS.

Is there really a need to be re-fitted? I will probably be taking the bike in to be tuned and cleaned. I will then try to be re-fitted as well. Currently the seat is at a level position. I will try a slight tilt and see what happens.

I do vary from riding in a regulear position to an aero position and I occassionally stand. But the pain in the groin and numbness appears to be getting worse and not better.

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
4/28/08 12:37 P

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Hmm, missed this thread but as someone who has been dealing with saddle issues I thought I'd chip in.

Firstly - get a bike fit. I've been fitted on both my bikes and know exactly where everything should be relative to each other. I was playing around with saddles on my bikes last weekend and accidentally put my saddle on my roadbike too far back. As a result I ended up riding on the nose of the saddle and getting numbness in both my groin and hands. I spun home, moved it to the correct postion and everything was good.

I also have the nose of my saddle tilted a couple of degrees down to relieve pressure on the groin. Don't tilt it down too much otherwise you'll find yourself sliding onto the bars! And potentially getting numb hands.

Once you get your bike fitted and you still have discomfort, then it's time to change the saddle. However, saddles are SO personal that whatever works for me may not work for you. I've been through a half dozen saddles until I settled on the ones that I like - Selle Italia saddle for me from now on, thanks. Most LBSs will give you a trial period on new saddles and let you return them without asking too many questions provided the saddle is in good shape.

The first thing you want to figure out is how wide the has to be - measuring your "sit bones" gives you a good idea of what width you need. I know the Specialized saddles come with a fitting system (basically you sit on a foam pad and measure the indents made by your sit bones) to determine the width so if you have a Specialized dealer in your area, that's worth trying out.

I have a cutout saddle on my roadbike which prevents pressure on the guys when I'm in the aero position. On my cross bike I have a solid saddle. So for me, it's the downward nose angle that helps more than the cutout!

Don't look for saddles with lots of cushy padding - they can exacerbate pressure as your sit bones sink into the padding. Similarly, I couldn't get comfy on the high-end carbon saddles either - not enough padding! I ride with shorts with varying chamois thickness, ranging from "apparently there is a chamois here" Tri-shorts all the way to "there's a mattress in between my legs" shorts (my first pair) and there isn't a vastly significant difference for me in terms of comfort.

Final tip - when you're riding, do vary your position every so often. I'll get up and stand for 20-30 seconds every 15-20 minutes to relieve any lingering pressure. I'll also move to the back of the saddle when descending or aero.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/28/08 8:52 A

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Kjeanne

Your reply could have not come at a better time. My wife and I were having this discussion and she indicated that all cyclist had this problem and there is no way to eliminate the genital pain. I said from the info I was reading on the board there are saddles out there that can fix this. I agreed with her on the sit bone are that that could take some getting used to. But I think I will check my LBS and see what they have or go to the internet. I would rather go the LBS route so that I give them a trial drive to be sure that this will correct the pain.

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,442)
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4/27/08 12:53 A

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JHollnagel:

this might be of interest to you. . .

The Unspoken Secret
There is a little unspoken secret about bicycles that not many people like to mention -- the majority of bicycle seats are really uncomfortable! Most of us have experienced some discomfort in the perineal area or at the ischial tuberosities (the sit bones), especially after long rides. Some of us develop saddle sores that are highly uncomfortable. Unfortunately, some people suffer from genital numbness due to cycling. This numbness can interfere with our sexual functioning and can indicate more serious medical problems, genital pain, urinary tract dlsorders, erectile dysfunction (ED) and localized atherosclerosis.(2)

Why can cycling cause damage to the genital area? When you sit on a firm surface, like a chair, your ischial tuberosities (located at the bottom of your pelvis) bear most of your weight. This part of your body is uniquely designed for sitting and supporting your weight. There are no organs attached to your sit bones, and they are padded by muscle and fat. There is plenty of blood flow through this area, so you can sit comfortably for long periods of time.(3)

Now, think about the size and shape of a bike seat. Most of them are not wide enough to support us directly under our sit bones, especially for women, whose pelvic girdles are wider than men's. As a result, most bike seats make us sit on our perineums, resting on the ischiopubis rami (the connector bones of the anterior pelvis) and the internal part of the genitals. This area of the body was not designed to be weight-bearing.

The ischiopubis rami are surrounded by nerves and arteries and, in men, erectile tissue and the urethra as well. The male genital actually attaches far back in for erectile functioning. The Alcock canal, which contains nerves and arteries that enter the penis, runs through this area. Similarly in women, the clitoris attaches far back in the pelvis, and the Alcock canal supplies blood and sensation to the genital and urinary tract regions. Sitting on a bicycle seat compresses this sensitive area, cutting off both blood supply and nerve sensation to the genitalia. The normal, narrow, unpadded bicycle seats significantly reduce blood flow through the Alcock canal, and even padded seats are still restrictive. (4)

A recent case study by Irwin Goldstein M.D., a well-respected urologist at the Boston University School of Medicine, shows an association between ED and extended athletic cycling. Goldstein's research demonstrates that cyclists are four more times likely to experience ED than track athletes. (5) In a 2002 study of bicycle policemen in Long Beach, California, 91 percent of participants reported genital numbness, and experiments revealed that they had a significantly lower rate of normal erectile events during sleep than non-cyclists did. (6) Results from the major Massachusetts Male Aging Study show that men who cycle more than three hours per week are at risk to develop artery blockage and long-term damage in the perineal region. (3) In terms of women's health risks, research at Boston University documents urinary tract problems and sexual dysfunction in women cyclists as well, including both road bikers and racers.(7)

Without preventive care, many cycling injuries occur.
Depending upon the cyclist's riding position, biking can either enhance health or contribute to injury.
The good news is that, if we make certain changes, most people do not have to give up cycling. But you may have to give up the seat that came with your bike! A recent comparison trial showed that the use of an experimental bike seat reduced perineal numbness and posited that proper seat design could prevent cycling -associated impotence.(8)

New bike seat designs include seats with split saddles that can be adjusted to the width of your sit bones, saddles without noses, saddles with holes in the middle of them and saddles with extra padding. I have researched five innovative dual platform models and one with a short front piece, which many people find very comfortable. These include the BiSaddle, the Hobson Bike Seat, the Spongy Wonder Bike Seat, DDwings Ergonomic Bike Saddle and The Seat. There are new seats being developed, as well.

The stated aim of all these seats is to reduce or eliminate the damaging pressure and irritation on the entire perineum and genital region, including the coccyx, prostate, dorsal artery, vein and nerves. Recent research by Goldstein also found that only the dual platform seats, with two separate pads and no nose in the front, were effective in taking pressure off the perineurn and ensuring genital circulation. In his research, Goldstein continues to test different models that claim to achieve the same goals.

Unfortunately, these seats are not readily available in most bicycle stores and are usually purchased through the Internet. The seats, available in stores with a depression in the center or a space toward the back, still substantially cut off the circulation to the genital region.

If the person does not choose to use a dual platform seat, it is recommended to limit cycling to three hours per week, take frequent breaks, or regularly stand up when peddling. Additionally, as experienced bikers know, it is important to remember that the seat must be adjusted to the proper height. This means the knee can be fully extended with the heel on the pedal.


The good news is that, if we make certain changes, most people do not have to give up cycling. But you may have to give up the seat that came with your bike!
As a practitioner concerned with the whole health of your client, it is good to encourage your client to exercise. However, be sure to inform your clients about the health risks associated with cycling on the standard bike seat, and let them know about the new dual platform seat alternatives for making their cycling habit a safer one.


----------------------------------------
----------------------------------------

Ben E. Benjamin, with a Ph.D. in sports medicine and education, is the founder and president of the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He maintains a private practice in Cambridge, and has been in practice for more than 35 years. He can be contacted at: 175 Richdale Ave., #106, Cambridge, MA 02140, or via E-mail at: BB@mtti.com.



Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/25/08 9:55 A

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Kjeanne

I have cripple hip joints from birth so I'm not sure if I can get the hip tilt you are asking.

The last ride I was trying to see if I had my back arched and I'm not quite sure if it is flat or arched? I was trying to see my shadow and see if it is or not? When I ride in a group ride next time I will ask what my back looks like?

I may have to extend my handle bars more out in front of me?

I'm going to have to got to my LBS and see if I'm still fitted properly?

As a 46 yr old male I would rather not have this discomfort while riding if there is a way to alleviate it.

I would hate to see what pain I would be in for a race around our lake (88 miles) or a century by the end of summer.

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,442)
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4/25/08 9:45 A

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I also had the same pain you’re having is in the pubic area. I found that I was arching my back and rotating my hips back. It had nothing to do with my bike fit, which was okay. I had to learn to rotate my hips forward. In addition I strengthened my lower back by adding weight training at the gym. A strong back and core are important in maintaining a proper position on the bike. Those were my weakest areas and all the extra weight I carried around my middle didn’t help! If you are in the correct position, you should only feel pressure on your sit bones – as we cyclists call them.

All to posters are correct in telling you the more you ride the less pain you feel. I can remember days when I cried during and after a ride because of the pain but tough it out: it will get better.


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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RCKWHITNEY's Photo RCKWHITNEY Posts: 470
4/24/08 11:45 A

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The Terry Butterfly saddle is nice, Pearl Izumi shorts work well, and Chamois Butt'r helps a lot in addition to a proper BikeFit.

My previous saddle wore out and caused saddle sores and hip flexor soreness. I tested saddles at the LBS and rode several friends' bikes before deciding on a new saddle, Terry Butterfly. I thought it would be too wide but the problems went away.

Test as many saddles as you can before buying. You'll find the perfect one for you.
Cindy
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BIKELDER Posts: 40
4/23/08 10:42 P

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Over the years I have sought the perfect saddle and the perfect bike shorts, but I have not found them. I did pay to have an analysis of the positioning of my current bike, but I need to get a longer handlebar stem. Right now I am trying the "Moonsaddle" which has no nose. I have 60 days to try it out; I have ridden on in twice and lowered the seat a little. I think I am going to like it, but I do need to get that handlebar stem. Mary

I'm off to my ___dance____ lesson!


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/23/08 10:37 P

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When I orinally bought the bike I was fitted for it. But I will see about getting re-fitted to make sure I'm still ok. I will be double checking my seat tilt before I go out to buy a new saddle

Although, Father's Day is around the corner;-) LOL

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PLAYINGOUTDOORS's Photo PLAYINGOUTDOORS SparkPoints: (12,881)
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4/23/08 5:51 P

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As recommended in other posts, do have your LBS fit you for the bike. I put over 300 miles on my bike before I finally found the "saddle sweet spot" making my latest 200+ miles very comfortable.

In addition to trying different saddles, try adjusting the tilt of your saddle (the front end of my saddle was up too high).

When you are fitted, one thing they should check is where your handle bars are located. If they are too far forward, you'll lean forward too much and cause pressure on the front area of the saddle. There are jointed neck stems that you can purchase that will allow you to bring your handle bars back closer to your body.

A combination of these three made my rides much more comfortable. Good luck!!

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/23/08 2:35 P

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I guess that's an advantage that men have--at my LBS, there has only been one woman that works there in all the eyars I've been going, and I haven't seen her in years! I have to explain all my girly issues to men...

JAMIERAND Posts: 200
4/23/08 2:13 P

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haha.... well even biker chicks get butt pain. How often do you get to cover yourself in spandex, and have someone pay close attention to your buns all in the name of healthy biking? emoticon

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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/23/08 2:01 P

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I'll keep the arched back in mind when I'm being fitted. As far as being shy .... that should not be a problem .... unless of course I have a female doing the fitting procedure. I guess I'll have to just blush and get over it.

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JAMIERAND Posts: 200
4/23/08 1:57 P

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Ah.... when you go in for your fit, make sure you're sitting properly. Some people arch their backs and relocate the pressure to places that don't have much in the way of natural cushioning :)

And don't be shy about asking the fit person about this. Sure its a little awkward, but you're far from the first person to have a tender tush!

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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/23/08 1:51 P

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This is what I'm trying to eliminate. I have plenty of cushion on the tush naturally;-) It is the frontal part of the anatomy that I'm trying to relieve of the disomfort.

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/23/08 1:40 P

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By the way, that split in the saddle takes pressure off of some of those parts that aren't supposed to feel tingly while riding a bike!

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/23/08 1:39 P

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Thanks I'll give being re-fitted a try first and then move on to the saddle try outs

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SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
4/23/08 1:28 P

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Sorry but I have to make this brief. The first thing I would do is make sure that I have a proper bike fit. If this is so then next thing to do would be to just switch saddles. Lots of saddles are created with a split in the middle and that is what I recommend to most people. The amount of weight put on the saddle is a lot. Most of the weight is adjusted to the sit bones. However, there is still some pressure that gets put on another section by the saddle. The split in the middle relieves a lot of this extra pressure. The supposed "sex design" of a saddle doesn't necessarily matter. I used a female saddle on my time trial. What's important is to remember the fit of the saddle to you. Fine a saddle that feels good and relieves the pressure. Most LBS will allow you to test a saddle.
So before you try out a lot of weird things ensure you have a proper bike fit and then give a split saddle a try. That little split in the middle makes a world of difference to men and women. Good luck with your riding and congrats on improving your time.

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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (15,447)
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4/23/08 12:37 P

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I'd get fitted, see what they say, take a ride, see if there is any relief, if not, start trying other saddles. They do have women's specific saddles, but for women like me, they do not work. I am built more like a man.. I need narrow and stiff, so I use saddles designed more for the guys. Trial and error. As for shorts and clothing, my personal favorite is pearl izumi and etxeondo, but they can be pricey, but they do seem to last forever.

Marnie
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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/23/08 12:03 P

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The saddle or saddle position can definitely cause numbness or tingling in the feet. Get thee to a LBS for a proper fitting!

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/23/08 11:53 A

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It is not friction related yet .... my thighs are not that big yet LOL Hopefully by the end of summer I'll be experiencing that kind of pain.

I think is saddle related and not to be crude but for guy it is sore in the prostrate position to the point of almost causing some numbness in that area. Last night I felt numbness in the foot was not sure if it was being caused by the discomfort from the saddle or pedal position? I concentrated on trying to keep the heel down and that seemed to help rid the numbness in the foot.

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WASIOLES's Photo WASIOLES Posts: 38
4/23/08 11:45 A

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Depends on where your discomfort is stemming from! If it is from your seat, then it would be adviseable to replace to a gender specific seat. If your discomfort is more friction related, it would be wise to invest in chamois cream that you can apply directly to your chamois and skin (I prefer to use Assos Chamois Cream - it has a nice cooling effect).

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/23/08 11:07 A

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There are also gender specific saddles out there now (which weren't too common in the 80's) that are better designed. And to echo everyone else, saddles and shorts are trial and error, and a matter of your personal preference. But I I wear Pearl Izumi Untra Sensor shorts and ride in Trek's standard women's specific saddle (even though my bike isn't WSD).

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4/23/08 10:57 A

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Yes, the more you ride the less it hurts but trying out a new saddle in addition to your current cycling shorts could help you out.

I know at my LBS if you get a saddle and it doesn't work out after a couple of rides they will let you exchange it. I got a new Specialized Sonoma Gel this spring and I love it but as F8TH637 stated below it is very much personal preference.

Anne

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JAMIERAND Posts: 200
4/23/08 10:51 A

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Also, not all shorts are created equally. That's one of the areas where it can be worth it to spend a little more. You can get anything from a light pad to a full on gel. I don't know the brands with the best padding off hand, but just go try a bunch on and see which are squishiest. There are some really nice saddles out there as well. Congrats speed demon!

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F8TH637's Photo F8TH637 Posts: 466
4/23/08 10:13 A

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Yes, the more you ride the better it should get but you may also need a new/different saddle. You can replace a saddle on your bike with any of your choosing but it is totally personal preference. The best way to figure out what works for you is trial and error. Keep riding and if it doesn't get any better, try another saddle. And kudos to you for finishing your 14.2 mile course in record time.

- Angel

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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/23/08 10:06 A

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Hi

Is there anything to remedy the tush discomfort while riding? Last night on my 14.2 mile course I finished it in my best time (3rd time out this season) at 48 mins and 20 secs. But I had to raise out of my saddle so much from the discomfort. Which means I'm not pedaling thus causing a slow down in speed. I tried to be smart and di this on the down side of my inclines;-).

I know some will say grin and bear it and the more rides you do the more you will get used to it.

I have cycling shorts but there is not much padding in them are there with more? If so, what name brand?

I have my original avocet seat from when I bought my Raleigh Technium back in 1989 is there a different seat?

Thanks

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