Uncomfortable saddle or lack of fitness?

Manonabike

Über Member
Why is it that a saddle becomes so uncomfortable after 50 miles or so? I think this is a fitness issue really. If a saddle is very comfortable for say 30 miles and the saddle does not suffer any physical changes then it must be a question of legs getting tired and more of the weight goes on the saddle (almost dead weight) than on the pedals, so, eventually the backside cannot find a comfy position..... BTW, not talking about saddle sores here cause I think that is another issue.

Surely a saddle that is uncomfortable for somebody then the saddle would always be uncomfortable, regardless if it's a 2 miles ride or a 50 miles ride. As long as the saddle support the person's sit bones well and it's a comfortable saddle to begin with then I see the fitness of the person being a big issue with uncomfortable long rides.

I would also add an excess of weight to the lack of fitness...

I bet those people that say they can forget the saddle, they are either very fit and can ride with plenty of weight on the pedals for quite some distance, not so fit but very light or not so fit and not so light but ride short distances.....
 

gavintc

Guru
Location
Southsea
A soft saddle will get steadily worse over time and distance. A hard saddle that fits, can be ridden all day.
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
If I sit in my favourite armchair for five hours that becomes uncomfortable also. Trust me I have tried this experiment many times. :thumbsup:
There's a few issues to look, what type of saddle do you use? gel ones get uncomfortable and do you wear padded shorts?
 
OP
OP
Manonabike

Manonabike

Über Member
I use brooks saddles and I do wear padded shorts.

I used to ride on a soft gel saddle and a 15 miles ride was painful.

When I say lack of fitness I mean fit enough to do 30 miles comfortably, the next 10 ok and the next 10 gradually building up to an uncomfortable ride.

OK, let me put it this way, is there anybody here that is either unfit, very heavy and can ride long distances comfortably? If you can then tell us about your experience. On the other hand, if you are either fit or very light and can ride long distances comfortably then let us know about your experience.


Hlab, what would you say the problem is after 50 miles then?
 
Manonabike said:
Hlab, what would you say the problem is after 50 miles then?
The saddle, certainly not your fitness if you can cycle excess of 50 miles. Its just getting one that fits you that'll solve the problem; as I was saying I like hard and narrow saddles but other folk go for wider mtb ones and find them comfortable. Maybe you could consider a fit like Spesh do to get one which fits you/ is the width you need.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Mark_Robson said:
If I sit in my favourite armchair for five hours that becomes uncomfortable also. Trust me I have tried this experiment many times. :biggrin:
There's a few issues to look, what type of saddle do you use? gel ones get uncomfortable and do you wear padded shorts?

If I try to sit in my favourite armchair for five hours, I wake up after seven hours.

I looked at a Sleep inducement CD in the music store and thought about spending some money on it. My wife said "If you buy that, you'll never hear the end of it!"
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
as you get tired your posture would change, experiment with the position of the saddle, you may be slightly compensating for it not being quite right and then gradually not doing so as you tire
 
OP
OP
Manonabike

Manonabike

Über Member
Tynan said:
as you get tired your posture would change, experiment with the position of the saddle, you may be slightly compensating for it not being quite right and then gradually not doing so as you tire

Well, you're certainly onto something there!!!! As one gets tired cannot push those gears as hard, slows down and more weight concentrates on the rear end that is supported by the saddle.

Today I made an experiment which supports my suspicious anyway.

Today I did exactly the same ride as I did last Saturday, 72 miles, the same route, the same bike and saddle....

I set out with the main idea to look after my legs which meant riding at a slower pace. It took me longer to ride the same distance but I managed at least an extra 10 miles in comfort. This means the first 40 miles were very comfortable. The following 10 to 12 miles were OK, not uncomfortable but I knew the saddle was there all the time.... the last 8 to 10 miles were pretty uncomfortable. Now, by the time I began to feel very uncomfortable I had been on the saddle over an hour longer than last week.

I have to add one more observation and that is my position on the bike is quite upright - the saddle and the handle bars are at the same level. So, a heavy rider + upright position = needs stronger legs to ride longer distances comfortably.

While riding I was remembering another experience that supports my observation..... whenever I ride with a headwind the first few miles are ok but as I begin to get tired I get very uncomfortable on the saddle, achieving very few miles in comfort. However, when I'm doing hills I don't experience the same and the reason behind that is that I mix the ride between pushing the pedals and riding out of the saddle..... plus the fact that there are not very long hills around here :biggrin:

So, what does this all tell me? I'm sure I know now what I have to do to ride a century without suffering for so long..... I will lower the handle bar a little bit ( I don't think I need to change the saddle position as I can ride for miles on end on the drops as the saddle is now) - look after my legs better - lose weight. Hopefully the first two will have a positive effect on the last one as I will be able to ride longer and more often..... at the moment I ride 20 miles a few times during the week and that is quite easy but no luck in coming down from 17.5 stones :ohmy:.....

..... today exercise made me realise that my initial statement does not really apply to riders with handlebars over 2" below saddle level.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Manonabike said:
Well, you're certainly onto something there!!!! As one gets tired cannot push those gears as hard, slows down and more weight concentrates on the rear end that is supported by the saddle.

Today I made an experiment which supports my suspicious anyway.

Today I did exactly the same ride as I did last Saturday, 72 miles, the same route, the same bike and saddle....

I set out with the main idea to look after my legs which meant riding at a slower pace. It took me longer to ride the same distance but I managed at least an extra 10 miles in comfort. This means the first 40 miles were very comfortable. The following 10 to 12 miles were OK, not uncomfortable but I knew the saddle was there all the time.... the last 8 to 10 miles were pretty uncomfortable. Now, by the time I began to feel very uncomfortable I had been on the saddle over an hour longer than last week.

I have to add one more observation and that is my position on the bike is quite upright - the saddle and the handle bars are at the same level. So, a heavy rider + upright position = needs stronger legs to ride longer distances comfortably.

While riding I was remembering another experience that supports my observation..... whenever I ride with a headwind the first few miles are ok but as I begin to get tired I get very uncomfortable on the saddle, achieving very few miles in comfort. However, when I'm doing hills I don't experience the same and the reason behind that is that I mix the ride between pushing the pedals and riding out of the saddle..... plus the fact that there are not very long hills around here :biggrin:

So, what does this all tell me? I'm sure I know now what I have to do to ride a century without suffering for so long..... I will lower the handle bar a little bit ( I don't think I need to change the saddle position as I can ride for miles on end on the drops as the saddle is now) - look after my legs better - lose weight. Hopefully the first two will have a positive effect on the last one as I will be able to ride longer and more often..... at the moment I ride 20 miles a few times during the week and that is quite easy but no luck in coming down from 17.5 stones :ohmy:.....

..... today exercise made me realise that my initial statement does not really apply to riders with handlebars over 2" below saddle level.

What this tells me is that you are a 'normal' cyclist. No, you're a better than average cyclist for 17.5 stones.
 
OP
OP
Manonabike

Manonabike

Über Member
Are you saying that nobody can ride over 50 miles in comfort?:tongue: - well, going by what I read here then that is something of a surprise. The information I pick from here is the only information I have, I don't belong to any club and I ride mostly alone, unless I'm doing a 15 miler on a Friday evening when a friend comes along.

Not sure about being better than average for a 17.5 stones rider...... I know that I have a good pair of lungs which have to work really hard sometimes :wacko:

I absolutely love riding my bike for miles after miles and I just want to be able to go much further and then be able to come back home with my rear end in an acceptable shape :sad:

Thanks
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I used to hate my Flight Ti when TT'ing over an hour.....and riding it longer...... Now.... happy to do a 5-6 hour Sportive on it, no issues.........180g's.....:smile:

It's a terribly hard saddle, and very light, but seems to work over long distances..I've shaped me bum to fit........:biggrin:;)

I use a Charge Knife (Ti) day to day.... very comfy, despite the minimal weight...and on a fixed..........220g's :biggrin: riding fixed presses more problems on saddle fit.............:sad:
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Yes, a Charge Knife is a comfy saddle despite the uninspiring name!

I find that on a hard training ride when I'm going at it and often out of the saddle, I just don't notice it. It's only on long rides when I don't change my position that it begins to feel uncomfortable.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
I'm reasonably familiar with the OP's symptoms.....
And as I'm trying to increase my distances (see LEL thread) I've been watching how experienced Audaxers do it....
Two things I noticed.... they spend a comparatively long time at any controls with food. (From distance running events, I'm more used to a "grab & go" approach to feed stations) And even "spinners" often get out of the saddle and "honk" up short rises. Both of these seem to give the saddle pressure points a rest, and increase the distance one can go in comfort.
 

HeyWayne

New Member
Location
Bedfordshire
I'm towards the heavier end of the spectrum, (18st) and have found that standing up for a few seconds on a downhill to give my backside a rest makes a big difference.

I only have the saddle that the bike came with, and I figure with some more time (and money) I can look for a saddle that will make the longer rides more comfortable. I can, at present, go for 10-12 miles without really noticing it's there.

How on earth do you measure for a saddle? It's not like you can trial them either is it?
 
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