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How far the saddle sits behind the bottom bracket has a lot to do with how flat your back is. Moving the saddle farther forward allows the cyclist to flatten out their back more. In effect this is rotating the whole body forward. Steep seat tubes are a feature of triathlon and time trial bikes and allow the flattest backs and lowest position.
I used to have the same problem and found that I was not sitting correctly on my saddle. I needed to hold my back straight: it was arched causing my hips to roll forward and bringing my pubic area in contact with the seat. Once I rolled my hips under, straighten my back and made sure the sit bones where firmly on the saddle, that problem went away. I also had to strengthen my lower back to make sure I could stay in the correct position.
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I have an issue because I broke my tail bone when going down some stone steps with my bike and now I literally sit on my tail bone which is uncomfortable and I have the same issue with my tender feminine spot so I try to pedal standing up most of the time and I lean forward when I have to sit as well as tilt the seat down causing me to slide forward too much but a female has to do what she can right!
Will check out some of these seats though...thanks
Finding saddle bliss takes a bit of trial and error. Some bike shops have a bin of used saddles you purchase with the understanding that you can return it and try another if it doesn't work out. Sometimes you just have to try a few.
Another thing to consider is where your weight goes. The higher your handlebars and more upright you sit the more weight is on your bottom. Sometimes raising your handlebars cures one problem while causing another. Sometimes women have to build some upper body strength before they can support more of their weight by their arms. As your fitness level increases you will also support more of your weight with your legs; for very fit cyclists the saddle is used more to stabilize the bike than to support the rider.
When I worked in shops Avocet women's saddles were seemed the most popular among women who had trouble with comfort. About 10% of our female customers preferred men's saddles and found women's saddles too wide.
While gel and cutouts can improve comfort the most important aspect of a saddle is its shape; it has to fit and if it doesn't fit all the padding and holes in the world won't make it comfortable. A saddle that is perfect for one rider might be an ass hatchet for another.
I had the same problem, but mine stemmed from the same thing as Carolyn1Alaska. I got a really good bike fit from a guy, but I figured since he has been doing fittings for years, he has come across this same problem with other women. He didn't laugh or make me feel embarrassed, and in fact knew exactly what I was talking about. However, if you're dealing with an 18 year old, you might want to look elsewhere for a fitting. That young of a guy might not have the maturity or experience to really understand the problem.
While I didn't have my stem or handlebars changed out, the fitter moved several things around (I also had a problem with cycling straining a hamstring). We decided to go this route first and see how I do. If I need the stem or handlebars changed out, we will do that later.
Historikell - that saddle looks interesting!
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
I just rode a 50-miler and had a terrible time with the same issue. I'm going to try this one out:
I've read nothing but rave reviews about it from both men and women everyplace I've looked, including bike and tri-specific blogs. And the design just seems to make sense. I also read (later) that Lance Armstrong was sporting one of these on his time trial bike this year, if celebrity endorsements are worth anything.
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I ride a Terry Butterfly now, but have ridden several others. I find the shorts make a bigger difference than the saddle. I also have a long torso and short legs and arms, so having my bike fit to me was very important. I suggest going to the LBS and letting them adjust the stem and rise of your handlebars.
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I am new to riding and don't have this problem. However, my female bike store lady told me not to buy a different seats - she told me to get good gel shorts if I did encounter problems. Maybe you could try some other shorts? Just a thought!
Dana, Half Fanatic #1693
Completed 2013 Events:
Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles
Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles
Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles
Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon
Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles
Oddly, the best saddle recommendation I got was from my LBS owned and run by two males; although to be fair, they both have wives who bike race.
I had tried saddle after saddle and had the same problem every time. None of the changes helped and I was at my wits end. Turned out, I have very short arms, so a bike built to fit my legs, put 50% of my weight forward on my hands and arms. That also tilted my pelvis forward so I was on the "soft tissue", not on my sit bones.
They "cured" my saddle problems with a very short stem, W specific handlebars with a short reach, and spacers added to the stem to "bring" the handlebars closer to my body since I am not so stretched out.
I can ride any saddle I like now... that fixed the issue for me. In fact my saddle of choice is the Fis'ik Pave... a so-called men's saddle.
Bottom line... Make sure your bike fits properly.
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.”
OK, I purchased the following seat from Trek as an add on to my bike. Bontrager H2 Flex Form WSD I wanted something that would keep my front pelvis bones stable and move instead of me having some movement there. (Long story short: I have fractured my pelvis years ago and before the one hip replacement the area had too much movement like prior to childbirth. Now the other hip is going.) I have osteoarthritis in my neck, so I prefer to stay upright. My friend coaching me from the UK, says eventually, I may be able to lean more forward. The one time I tried . . . those naughty bits said an open seat would be more comfortable. Do they make an open seat that flexes with pedaling?
Vickie--swimming against the current without progress.
"Where attention goes, energy follows!"
Diane - thank goodness for women like you! One of the LBS by me just hired a female mechanic, and she is fantastic. I'm so happy to have her as a resource.
Funny, but you're the reason I work at a bike shop! It's such a male-dominated industry & many females prefer discussing some sensitive subjects with fellow female riders.
My first thought is positioning on the bike. Admittedly, my first several months on a road bike resulted in those exact feelings (or non-feelings). After a few adjustments and several saddles, I have it perfect (7 years later). I ride a Selle Italia LDY gel seat. It's the beat saddle I've had yet. I tried a Terry Saddle, but found the height of the saddle too tall, rubbing too much on the thighs. I do ride my saddle a little nose down, keeping some of the pressure off the front area.
Hope this helps - there are SO many variables to saddle positioning, and of course finding that "Holy Grail" of a saddle you couldn't possibly live without. Good luck in your search! Diane
The World is a Better Place on Two Wheels!
I, too, have trouble with my bits. Terry has a good line of women-specific saddles, including some with cutouts, which is eventually what worked for me.
Bike fit is important, too. If you have not had your bike professionally fit and have the $$ (it's not usually more than about $100), it might be worth considering. You'd be surprised at how a tweak could make a big difference, even to things like the stem, not just the seat.
Ultimately and unfortunately, you just have to use trial and error until you get one that works. If you have friends who cycle, you could ask them if they have any seats hanging around that you could try/borrow. That's how I came across Terry.
I'm new here and have done a search on this topic and didn't come up with anything, but please excuse me if this has been asked and addressed here before. My question is female-specific, so directed towards the women. To be blunt, I have a terrible time with my, uh, "girl bits" when I ride.
This happens on both my road bike and mountain bike. I want to ask for a new saddle (or two) for Christmas, but I have no clue where to begin. I wear padded shorts with no underwear, so it's not like seams are scratching. Plus, I use "Chammy Butter" but it doesn't help much. It's not my sitz bones either, it is the much more sensitive part. I don't know why, but no matter how I adjust my seat I am always putting pressure on that area. After each ride I am numb and in pain.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this, or any recommendations for specific saddles that will deal with this problem? It's hard to explain the problem to the 18-year-old male teenager working at my local bike store... lol... I'd rather get suggestions from people who've been there. Thanks! Sue