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Bicycle butt hurts

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knightsbff posted 12/18/2013 17:40 PM

I have been riding my bike for exercise. It's a schwinn mountain bike, nothin fancy. It is sooo freakin uncomfortable. Please tell me what seat to buy for comfort. Also both my hands are going to sleep when I ride. What's up with that?

ETA I rode 21 miles today.

[This message edited by knightsbff at 5:42 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Eranda posted 12/18/2013 18:47 PM

You're a guy, right? Get yourself some gel pad shorts to wear when you ride, it makes a big difference- they have the pad sewn right into the short. You can find the Nishiki brand at Dick's Sporting Goods.

Like this:

or this:

I know this because my company makes them and I'm the technical manager for this account

knightsbff posted 12/18/2013 20:54 PM

Not a guy, and me riding around town in those shorts is not an option. Thank you for the advice though. I might have thought about it 20 years ago but I don't think I'm made for those anymore.

inconnu posted 12/18/2013 21:15 PM

a female specific seat should help, especially if you're having any chafing issues. but really, the shorts make a huge difference. or, there used to be gel seat covers you could buy. I haven't looked lately, but I'm assuming something like that would still be available.

as far as your hands going numb, it could be from too much pressure if you're leaning on the handlebars. you might try raising the handlebars some, so you have to sit up straighter and can't lean so easily. they also make padded fingerless gloves that might help.

sharim posted 12/18/2013 22:34 PM

They make padded biking underwear that you can wear with regular shorts, capris, leggings. Your butt will toughen up tho, too. For your hands, definitely make sure you get gloves with gel in them. You may also wan to invest in the "add-on" handlebars so that you can be alternating hand positions.

Keep riding!!!!!

Must Survive posted 12/18/2013 22:55 PM


You sound like me. I have a mountain bike that I ride (off for a few more weeks due to surgery that ahem, leaves those certain parts still sore).

Anyway I am with you, there is no way I would be caught dead in those shorts with the padding. I am spending WAY to much time trying to get rid of my natural padding down there to be seen in extra!

I did buy a gel seat, it does help. And you do toughen up. I also wear the gel, fingerless gloves that help a lot.

Biking is good for my mental health, I hope it is for you too.

FaithFool posted 12/18/2013 22:57 PM

I kept the saddle from an old five speed and scavenged handlebars from another bike, had them both put on a new frame about 20 years ago.

Most comfy ride ever, i just keep updating the moving parts.

I call it the Frankenbike.

Frame height should be right for your leg length, mine are long so I got a 20" frame. I can sit fairly upright so not a lot of pressure on the wrists. I use padded fingerless gloves in summer.

You can get sheepskin covers for a saddle.

I've put a lot of miles on this thing and have never resorted to padded shorts. Don't ride in jeans though. OUCH Have many pairs of soft leggings and layer up in fall and winter. Just wore the bottom out of my fave pair of soft khaki surfer girl shorts I got in Nashville. Will have to shop for new ones, they were so comfy...

PS 21 miles is a LOT for a first ride BTW! Ass bones will toughen up after the first week.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 11:05 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

heartbroken_kk posted 12/18/2013 23:58 PM

I coach mountain biking, including beginner women.

The best recommendation I can make is to take yourself down to a real bike shop. I don't know where you live but if you PM me I might be able to help you find a good one.

Cycling is a great activity for health and longevity. It's generally easy on your body and you can burn a ton of calories. It's also super fun once you get into the groove. Don't let discomfort after a big ride stop you from getting back on the bike, but rest and let bruised parts toughen up.

Your fashion statement doesn't have to be lycra. There are really nice looking mountain biking shorts out there that have the dorky spandex hidden inside under a twill short look. The most important part for your sore butt is the "chamois" (pronounced "shammy"), which means padding. It's the "underwear" (yes, wear them without underwear!) You want shorts that pad your seatbones without feeling too much like a diaper. They are not meant to be worn standing or walking, they are meant to be worn while seated on a bike, so it's not too easy to pick them out. Get help at your local bike shop.

Also, a bad saddle can't be padded enough to make it comfortable.

Your hands go numb because your handlebars are in the wrong place. Your bike might not fit. Your frame might be too big or too small, or the handlebars just too low. Your local bike shop can help you determine what's up with the bike fit.

DON'T give up because you hurt!

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
― Susan B. Anthony

Sad in AZ posted 12/19/2013 00:49 AM

DON'T give up because you hurt!

Seriously! I don't street ride much, but I go to a lot of spin/cycling classes. I used to wear the shorts/capris with the padded seats, but now I just go in my regular gym clothes. Your butt gets used to it

Catwoman posted 12/19/2013 11:00 AM

Try a seat from Terry Bicycles in Vermont. I just took up riding this year, and I bought a female-specific seat from them because with another bike, I would get horribly sore in the seat. It has made a huge difference.

I also wear padded shorts or leggings. You can get a set of padded undies and wear them under a looser fit sweat pant. It will also help.

Now my big point of discomfort are my hands and toes. No joke! Seat is FINE!


knightsbff posted 12/19/2013 12:08 PM

Thank you all!

I am getting some padded shorts I can wear under regular shorts or sweats and I bid on a terry saddle on ebay.

I am looking at aero bars or bar ends to give me more hand positions and maybe something to decrease the reach.

I won't quit. I have really been enjoying my rides. I'm slow right now but I know I will get faster with time and practice. I just love the exercise and being outdoors.

sisoon posted 12/19/2013 12:18 PM


Possibly the bars are too low.
Possibly you keep your arms too stiff, although that usually hurts the elbows or shoulders.
Possibly some thicker h'bar tape will solve the problem.
Possibly gloves - although my hands hurt if I wear cycling gloves, and my elbows and shoulders hurt if I don't.


Saddles are very personal; what works for one person may not work for another. A lot of shops give you 30 day trials - that's std for Specialized, for example. There's a place that offers 6 month trials for leather saddles. I think your best bet is to choose between:

1) pick up used saddles on CL and sell what doesn't work out for you, and

2) find a shop that will let you try the saddles out for a good period.

Bikenashbar offers basically an unlimited trial, but they're mail/web order, and if you do business with them, your local bike shop may not be around when you need it. Prices are great, though.

I've gone from an Avocet Touring I (no longer available) to an early Fizik Aliante to a Specialized Toupe back to the Aliante.

My belief is that a seat that makes you perch on your sit-bones is best, so I tend to look for harder saddles - i.e. least padded.

The shorts used to be wool and leather chamois. The purpose wasn't to cushion your butt; it was to absorb the sweat.

You know the usual SI advice about looks. The shorts will probably make riding easier and healthier for you. That's the only thing that counts, and I urge you to try 'em out.

I look awful in the shorts, too, BTW, but I couldn't do 20 miles without something like them, and my goal is 70 on my next birthday. So I wear the shorts. After all, other cyclists only have to look at me until they pass me.

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