Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

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Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby KarenM » Fri Aug 24, 2012 13:39 pm

Hi - I'm fairly new to MTB; I'm finding that if I'm in the saddle for more than an hour so so, and especially if there is alot of up-hill, my most sensitive bits get very saddle sore/chaffed!!
I've tried tilting my saddle down slightly but this doesn't seem to help.
I wear padded liners. Saddle is just the one that came with the bike.
Any suggestions much appreciated!

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby supersonic » Fri Aug 24, 2012 14:08 pm

Maybe try a Specialized Body Geometry saddle? they also have fitting centres where they can look at the sit bones etc.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby Chunkers1980 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 14:10 pm

Do you have a women specific saddle at the moment?

My missus moved to one and finds it much better.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby Stumpjumper25 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 06:41 am

2nd the Specialized Body Geometry saddle.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby KarenM » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:48 am

Thanks for the advice - any further thoughts welcome.

I have a women's specific bike (Boardman Comp) - assume it came with a women's specific saddle but maybe it's just the colour!

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby Dandelionclock30 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 20:12 pm

Agree with the other posters get a specialized BG saddle. Do not get a large padded saddle they make the problem worse not better.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby Esmerelda » Sat Aug 25, 2012 20:39 pm

The important thing is to get a saddle of the right width. This means it matches the width of your "sit bones" (aka ischial tuberosities or protuberances). Our pelvises are generally wider than men's, for obvious reasons, and so we need saddles specifically designed for women (D4W, WSD, etc). It makes no difference whether you are fat or thin - the bones will still be in the same place!

Women's saddles generally come in three sizes:
Small (approx 130mm)
Medium (approx 143mm)
Large (approx 155mm)

Small and medium tend to be better for road cycling, where you are bent forward.

Medium and large are preferred for MTB, with a more upright position.

So the first step is getting the right width. How do you decide? Well, the lads in your local bike shop will be delighted to assist :lol: . But check first that they have the proper foam pad for you to sit on :oops: . The sit bones make a couple of indentations, which can then be measured.

Then you can choose a suitable saddle for your specific purpose. For example, MTB saddles need to be fairly slim, so you can stand up and push yourself behind the saddle (for steep descents). Touring saddles need to be more comfortable, and hence more padded (but still the correct width).

Nothing beats actually trying out a few different saddles, though!

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby miss notax » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:25 am

Yup, I agree with all the very good advice above!!

I use a Specialized Ariel saddle on all my bikes and it definitely works for me! I find anything else really unconfortable. Perhaps give one a try (or buy one second hand to see if you like it?)? From what you have said I would definitely steer towards the ladies specific ones with a hole in the middle - they don't squash your bits so much!!! :oops: :lol:
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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby hoots » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:28 am

My OH also uses Specialized D4W type saddles (Ariel 130 I think), and it's the first saddle she's found that she finds super comfy. It's definitely worth getting your sit bone measurement before buying though - If you can't find a local Specialized dealer with the measuring cushion, you can get a good idea yourself by sitting on a piece of memory foam or something similar that'll hold the impression of your sit bones for a few seconds - then just measure the distance between the two dents in the foam.

Apart from uncomfortable saddles & shorts, another contributing factor that can lead to a sore bum is staying seated in the saddle on descents or through rough ground. I'm a mtb skills coach, and I see a lot of people (not just beginners!) who stay seated in places where they should really be standing up on their pedals. I've had feedback from a couple of clients just recently who've mentioned that they rarely get saddle sore now, because they spend much less time bumping around in the saddle - obviously it's also better for your back and means that riding over rough surfaces is generally much safer.


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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby bartiebat » Wed Sep 05, 2012 14:54 pm

I'm workinig through my own issues at the moment! Everything was fine, I bought a womens italia diva (?) saddle for my old bike, then my new (mens) bike came with a much sleaker saddle which I initially liked & by the end of the ride everything was crushed to death! The saddle was really solid & the nose super long, so hubby put it on his bike for his daily commute to try & soften it up a bit & I instead used his which was softer. There was still a noticable crushing though, but not to the point I was ouching in the bath!! After a month of this I gave up & put my old bike girl saddle on - all crushing gone but instead I started devloping lumps at the very top of my right leg that were taking 10 days of no riding to go. So after much asking I've gone to the Specialized concept store, been measured & they've sent me away with a medium, mens, road/tri/mountain saddle - I'm not wholey convinced since I would have chosen a large, womens, mountain bike one, buuuut they offer a 30 day money back guarentee if it's not right, so I intend to give it a damn good demo & if I don't like it we can go right through the range!!

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby Pezzle » Fri Sep 07, 2012 20:17 pm

Another one for the Specialized BG saddle. Bought a 143 Lithia for my new bike earlier this year and its just the biz. So much so I'm planning to buy another for new road bike. :oops: Yes there I said it "road bike" Bartie :D

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby msmancunia » Mon Sep 10, 2012 20:45 pm

Can't advise on saddle stuff as mine's pretty ok (roadie). Occasionally get chafing on longer rides, and have to recommend Rapha's chamois cream - really really good and smells fab.
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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby Kaz_S » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:17 am


I use a Selle Italia Lady saddle, it's been brilliant. Very different to the cheap saddles bikes tend to come with.
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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby mattwarin » Mon Oct 15, 2012 17:01 pm

Hey, I'm building a bike for a friend, i use a charge spoon on mine and love it, does anyone know if the charge ladle is equally good for women? Thanks
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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby bikesncoffee » Fri Oct 26, 2012 07:47 am

I have had great success with the Selle Italia lady saddle, on both my mtb and road bikes, but it took trying out a few saddles to get there. As some other posters have alluded to, comfort is not as much about the amount of padding ( check out Brooks), as it is about the over all design: shorter nose, size and placement of cutouts, and width for sit bones. Men's saddles can be pure torture for women, but some of the women's designs aren't much better ( ie Fizik - looks great but why is there a bump where there should be a cut out? Ouch!)
Also another vote for chamois cream, especially for long rides. I use chamois butt'r but there is a women's specific product called Hootie Cream out there.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby 97th choice » Sat Feb 16, 2013 21:04 pm

My OH used a gel saddle to no avail, but finds the saddle on her myka very comfy, cycling shorts still required though!
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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby maringirl » Sun Mar 24, 2013 16:17 pm

+1 for the Selle Italia. Might be worthwhile investing in some really good padded shorts - cheaper ones don't have such good inserts and every liner I have tried has been woefully inadequate. I can recommend Skins. Expensive but so comfy.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby camerauk » Sun Mar 24, 2013 16:41 pm

would also recommend the BG range of saddle as like already said you have a 30day exchange policy
also make sure you padded shorts fit correct and the padding is not too big as this could also make it uncomfortable as it could bunch up and use some chamois cream
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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby big p » Sun Mar 24, 2013 16:54 pm

my missus swears by these

she's been into cycling for 18 years now and tried every saddle out there, she has one of these on each of her bikes.

she time trials and races triathlon a lot so she's in a position that puts a lot of pressure on her lady parts, she tells me this saddle gets rid of that.

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Re: Saddle sore - sensitive bits!

Postby flywheel » Thu Sep 03, 2015 21:07 pm

Chafing and a little soreness will always come up with us females. Just make sure during your rides you stand up on the pedals every once in a while and give your behind a break from the pressure on the saddle.

Also, invest in a good chamois cream. Chamois Butt'r and DZ Nuts both make women's specific creams. You don't need a lot when you ride.

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