My Saddle is Nothing But a Pain in the ah . . . rear! (Update)

Discussion in 'Folding Bikes' started by Rockn Robin, 16 Sep 2018 at 15:48.

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  1. Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    I absolutely love my Brompton, but I've always had difficulty with the saddle. After just about every ride, my backside hurts, and lately it is even worse. I use padded shorts, I've adjusted the tilt on the seat various times, but to no avail. I do notice that if I sit way back on the seat, I get some relief. Height wise is fine, as on the complete down stroke I maintain a slight bend to the knee the way it should. There is a forward and rear adjustment on the saddle, does that have any bearing? Also, I'm wondering if sitting more upright, which I do, can contribute to the problem. I haven't made any adjustments for and aft, but other than that, would a saddle change be in order? Perhaps there are more comfortable ones other than the saddle that came with the bike?

    Thanks for your help.

    Edit:

    I adjusted my seat back as far as it would go. Probably about 3/4" travel that had remained. Went for my ride this morning and within a couple hundred feet, I could feel my butt starting to hurt. I got off the bike and thought perhaps if I lowered the saddle some. So I lowered it about an inch, climbed back on and low and behold it felt much better. Not perfect, but better. Enough to at least enjoy my ride more. I'm actually amazed that some minor adjustments can make a big difference. Either this a day this week or next, I'm heading over to a local bike shop to have my sit-bone measured and perhaps, if necessary purchase a better more appropriate seat. After all, what's the point of riding if you are going to be in pain. At least the pain this morning wasn't near as bad.
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2018 at 16:39
  2. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Veteran

    Location:
    South East
    Have you had the saddle for very long? It can take a while to settle your ‘areas’ into a new saddle, and sometimes a saddle may never suit you, despite trying everything.
    I’ve tried padded shorts, underwear and nothing, and found that 50 miles can be done without padding, but that’s for me! I’ve cycled for years, and can quickly settle into a new saddle, as long as I don’t stop cycling for any length of time.

    Standard saddles are often not the best, but appear to be the lowest common denominator for most people... you may not fit this general mould.
     
    Rockn Robin likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Thank you for your reply. The saddle came with the bike which was purchased in 2012. The funny thing is, I didn't really have so much of an issue with it then. Now, I have been absent from cycling for about a year, and have been back in the saddle for a couple of weeks, about 4 days out of each week. Whether that is an issue or not, I have no idea.
     
  4. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Veteran

    Location:
    South East
    My OH has a problem if the saddle gets to a couple of years old, but we have left them outside, undercover, during winters, with only a little cycling in this time. Her preferred saddle has quite a lot of padding, so there may be some deterioration of the suppleness for her rear. She just bought a £50 saddle, and immediately rode 38 miles in hot temperatures and has had no issues with comfort.
    It maybe this, or your absenteeism from cycling for a year, or both, or neither.
    If you have a local shop nearby who can help you with a saddle fit, that may be a good start?
     
    Last edited: 16 Sep 2018 at 16:20
    Rockn Robin likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    So a new saddle sorted out your wife's issue. You make some good points. Perhaps a visit to a shop is in order, maybe not where I purchased the bike, but to a shop that deals with local clubs and have knowledgeable staff who ride often. The shop I purchased the bike from is run by a very nice couple that, to be honest, don't have the real knowledge that others may have. The owner comes from a background of architecture, and although well versed in folding bikes, may not have the cycling knowledge that I need to lean on for advice.
     
    stoatsngroats likes this.
  6. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Veteran

    Location:
    South East
    in your original post, you mention that you could shift the saddle forward/aft, and that when you sit more upright, you can gain some comfort.

    If this were me, I would try shifting forward an inch, to see if this allowed your ‘sit’ bones to be more supported. This is just from my (uneducated) guess, but worth a try, until you can gain some advice from this who will know more than I.

    It is also possible that the period of not cycling has allowed your posterior to relax away from providing natural body support, and combined with the amount of cycling you appear to be doing, can have really basked those muscles.
    It could just be a matter of settling in to the saddle you have, so I may have been not much help at all!
    Regards to Arizona btw, from a Chiefs fan
     
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  7. alicat

    alicat Guru

    Location:
    Staffs
    If the saddle feels more comfortable when you sit way back in the seat, I would experiment with the fore/aft adjustment before you try a different saddle.
     
  8. Joe Brom

    Joe Brom Regular

    I would say you need more time back in the saddle to get it sorted..two weeks back after a year off isn't very long.

    Or do what I do and toss that thing for a Brooks B17. Brooks leather is all I can ride, and I prefer them with unpadded shorts. My S6L uses a titanium model, which benefits from slightly longer rails and a little more "give" than the steel versions.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Thank you for your advice. Actually, I was wondering if I make some sort of adjustments to the saddle so I’m not too uptight. If I’m leaning forward more, maybe there is less weight and pressure on the seat bone. I will try that for tomorrow’s ride. I was also wondering if changing my handlebars to a straight bar might help, allowing me to lean more forward.
     
  10. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I also use a Brooks (B17) on my Brommie, as do many others. Good combo.
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    I remember as a boy I had a Brooks racing saddle. Never an issue with saddle soreness. Rode everywhere. I guess as we get older, we become more fragile. Brooks saddles are very stiff at first, but I guess over time they soften up.
     
  12. Kajjal

    Kajjal Über Member

    Location:
    Wheely World
    I don't have the same style of bike but would start by thinking where the pain is. I have wide sit bones due to being very tall and need a wider saddle with a good sized cutaway or I quickly feel like the Scene in the bond film where he is tied to a chair and his nether regions attacked with a rope :blink:

    To get the saddle height right put the crank downwards in line with the seat tube when you are sat on the bike and the pedals level. Then sat back properly on the saddle try to lift yourself off the saddle upwards in line with the seat tube. If you can't do this your saddle is too high so drop it a little and try again. Symptoms of this are you keep moving forward on the saddle, you rock on the saddle as you over stretch to pedal etc.

    If you look up KOPS it gives a good starting point for the fore / aft position of the saddle which you can then adjust from.

    Start with the saddle level, using a spirit level to set it. Always check the slope of the group you are on as setting a saddle level with a spirit level when you are a hill means once the bike hits level group you can see how crazy the saddle position is.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    That’s good advice. I will do as you suggested. I measured my saddle and it’s 5 3/4” across at the widest point. My height is 6’ 1” tall. Do you think a wider saddle is in order? What does KOPS mean?
     
  14. FolderBeholder

    FolderBeholder Regular

    Watching with interest.

    My Brompton came with the Brompton wide saddle (as I ordered) to fit my wide-ish saddle.
    I’ve had worse saddles, but I’ve had better. I’ve perhaps put 300 mi on my Brom since new, and I
    just brought it home July 28. I’m hoping the saddle, or my saddle with improve with time.

    Rockn Robin....is your saddle the standard Brompton offering?
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Rockn Robin

    Rockn Robin Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Yes, it’s the standard saddle. You mentioned a wider saddle on your Brompton. Is it wider than mine, which is 5 3/4”?
     
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