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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok ladies I am asking this for my wife as she doesn't get on the computer. She has a few stretch marks in her girly area that are getting sore each time she is riding. She is not a small girl, she just a little full figured. I should also state that she is just getting back into riding after 20+ years. She had a full fit done when she got the bike a trek 7300 so it's not the fit of the saddle adjustment, at least I don't think. Should she look for a new saddle or just use some anti-Chafe cream on them. We have looked at the selle italia saddles but was not sure. She though the one with the center cut out might help her problem but I figured I ask here first. She has bike shorts with the chamois pad and some with another type of padding but they don't seem to work. Any ideas would be of great help.
 

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Anti-Hero
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Try a new saddle, but be sure you either take very accurate measurements when you swap them, or, better yet, get it re-fit to her. Terry saddles are popular, and they've got a good return policy, as do Specialized saddles.
 

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haole from the mainland
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Doesn't hurt to try some chamois cream. I also find that heavily padded shorts cause more problems than they solve. I tend to wear tri shorts for rides <30 miles and lightly padded shorts (I happen to like Zoot's cycling chamois) for longer rides.

It's important to figure out where the chafing is occurring and which part of the saddle is the problem so she can find a saddle that's the right shape.
 

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I use Selle Italia Lady Gel saddles. They work fine for me. A good LBS will let her swap saddles out until she finds the right one.
 

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I would try using some chamois cream of some kind before you start plunking down money for a saddle. If that doesn't help, then shop around for something better. I think it would be silly to skip straight to the $100+ solution without first trying the $10 solution. But she may very well need a new saddle and she might have to try several before she finds one she likes.
 

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It wasn't mentioned in your post or not, but a beginner might not realize that she should not wear regular underwear under her cycling shorts. If she is doing that, suggest she stop wearing undies under cycling shorts. It's not needed.
 

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I had this problem on my road bike - I just didn't get along with the saddle at all. Definitely try a new saddle, perhaps one with a cutout. Also, you mention that the saddle position was fitted, but if the saddle is the one that came stock on the bike, it might not be the right size/shape. Particularly if the bike isn't WSD. Specialized dealers can do a measurement (I'm sure there are others, but I'm only familiar with Specialized). Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow my wife would like to say thanks for all the ideas so quickly. She doesn't wear any underwear when she has here bike shorts on. Although she does wear a pair of loose pants over the shorts when she rides. Not sure if that is the problem but she wore them because the few days last week were to cool for her to wear shorts only. The seat is the stock seat that comes on the Trek 7300 Hybird bike. It is not a WSD bike either it is the unisex bike. She also wanted to know if she would use the chamois cream will this be an ongoing problem or should the skin tough in up some in that area as she rides more. I am not sure if there is a Specialized dealer in my area but I am going to look to find one. The LBS were we got her bike is a great shop but they are not a Specialized dealer and not even sure if they would measure her up for new saddle but I will give them a call this week to check.
 

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haole from the mainland
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I use chamois cream routinely on long rides as a preventative. It's not an area I want to toughen up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe I miss stated that one not so much toughen up but may take time till your body gets used to riding. :blush2:
 

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Is the irritated area in a place that makes contact with the saddle?

If so, does it bother her while she is riding, or only after the ride is over?

A saddle that is the correct width where the sit bones make contact is very important. Too narrow will be hell. If the bike isn't a women's specific bike, it's possible that the saddle is too narrow, causing sliding around on the saddle while riding, which would of course irritate anyone. With skin integrity issues, that would be compounded.

I tried 5 or 6 saddles before I found 2 that work well for me. I bought used on ebay, and also bought new at REI due to their fabulous return policy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My wife said that the irritation starts on the ride at about the half way of a 10 mile ride and just gets worse as we go, if she tries to ride the next day forget about doing 10 miles she can only do about 3 to 5 miles. After that it will be a few days off the bike till she feel able to ride and then it starts all over again. She also states that is seem to be were the narrow part of the saddle starts to widen is were that issue is. She stated that on the back where her sit bone rides is ok so far so I think the width is ok. I think she is going to try a cream first to help the chafing and then try a new saddle if that doesn't work.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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sounds like that stock saddle is a very likely culprit,though as others have noted anyone returning to (or new to) bicycling will find it takes a few rides to feel comfortable on a bike seat.

Shame on your LBS for claiming they "fit" her to her bike set up but leaving her on a stock saddle.
 

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She could try A&D ointment from the drug store (used on babies). Use a LOT. If it works, they even sell little ON-the-go packs that she could take with her for longer rides if it starts to absorb in. Right now I'm using Qoleum, but it's expensive and hard to find, and only slightly better (to me) than the A&D.
 

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bendico said:
Ok ladies I am asking this for my wife as she doesn't get on the computer. She has a few stretch marks in her girly area that are getting sore each time she is riding. She is not a small girl, she just a little full figured. I should also state that she is just getting back into riding after 20+ years. She had a full fit done when she got the bike a trek 7300 so it's not the fit of the saddle adjustment, at least I don't think. Should she look for a new saddle or just use some anti-Chafe cream on them. We have looked at the selle italia saddles but was not sure. She though the one with the center cut out might help her problem but I figured I ask here first. She has bike shorts with the chamois pad and some with another type of padding but they don't seem to work. Any ideas would be of great help.

Some of this might be the "newness" of the bicycling. Like probably a lot of people on this forum I started from zero: no bike, no bike clothes, no endurance in my body (like my first training ride was 4 miles long and just about killed me). The new experience with the bicycle seat took some time to get used to. A couple of years later when I wore out the saddle that came with my bike and bought a Brooks Professional - to the casual observer it looks about as comfortable as a block of wood but it's a GREAT saddle.

What I am trying to say here is that your wife may have to give it a few more rides to break her rear end into the saddle. That Brooks took about 200 miles before it started to feel correct (I still think I broke into it instead of it breaking in to me). Probably longer when I first started riding.

If the ride quality of the saddle improves a bit each time (i.e., can go longer distance without it hurting) then it's probably just a case of getting used to it. If the discomfort shows up at the same distance, ends up with the same results, then start trying some other things:

1) A new saddle - everyone is built a little different and there is a saddle out there somewhere for her

2) Adjustments fore and aft and tilt of the seat

3) Maybe a longer stem between the handlebars and the steerer - or a greater (i.e., more upright) angle. Careful here -- too much up angle may make being in the drops uncomfortable and exaggerate the problem you are trying to fix.

4) Could also be the clothes. Chamois in cycle shorts are all different. Maybe cycle through a few brands to see what works. They are not created eaual. I went through a lot of different short manufacturers before settling down on Pearl Izumi Slice Ultra Sensor Short (www.pearlizumi.com) The road to find these was rough: pinch, chafe, and other bad stuff. Now I don't use any chamois cream or "helper" stuff - the shorts fit nicely and can absorb anything that the road dishes out.

I realize that this is a lot of money and time to be cycling through. The beginning of this sport is not cheap. But, once your have all the gear set up, and get past the initial investment, the maintenance cost isn't too bad.

Hope this helps and hope you get this issue fixed quickly!
 

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The single most common reason given for women not riding their bicycles is soft tissue pain caused by saddle pressure. A correctly fitted saddle of good design and quality should not cause any pain whatsoever!! I'll second a visit to a Specialized dealer who can measure and fit the correct saddle. Women's saddles should not require "bedding in" of any nature. The Specialized D4W saddles combine scientific design and testing so have a good mixture of cutout shape and padding density to properly support and protect perineal ares.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just wanted to give everyone a update on what has happen since my last post . My wife has tried different brands and type of bike short with no luck of fixing the problem. Then this past weekend she figured to try different types of saddles, we went to the LBS tried a few and got her fitted for a saddle she said felt good at the shop and she rode it there for about a mile around the lot and local streets said it felt good. We then went riding and did about a 10 mile ride and she had just as much pain if not more then as before but now she has chafing too which she never had before this so this saddle is out. At this point in time she is off the bike for a at least a week or so :frown5: and we are thinking of starting from day one with no padded bike shorts and just riding the saddle that came on the new bike. Then start with process of elimination saddle first if problem still exist. If the saddle change doesn't work then we will look at shorts second. If none of this stuff works she is then thinking of going to get a Dr. opinion maybe another type or problem with muscle or tissue in that area.
 

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*caution TMI Alert*

I KNOW everyone says not to wear undies under bike shorts. So I took the advice and stopped wearing it. Everytime my shorts move against my sensitive areas I felt it. Just chamios and I have all kinds of discomfort and my area gets WAY over stimulated (so not in a good way) causing chaffing cause then there a lot of um "extra liquid" down there. I tried putting cream but I still had a lot of "sensation" over long rides. My shorts fit properly the seat is totally good otherwise and all that. But anytime there is a little movement in the shorts I noticed it. I never had a problem until I took the undies off. So I wear lycra thongs that breath and wick moisture underneath my shorts. They strech with you so you don't have bunching or pinching (you would have that with cotton) and they don't shift against my body so at the end of the ride I don't have a puddle in my chamois or undies and I don't have to stand every 5 minutes to get some relief. I use cream around the seams of the thongs on longer rides just to make sure I don't get chaffing down there.

I KNOW for 98% of people underwear under chamios is a no no, but it is a consideration that not all advice is one size fits all. So if she tries wearing undies make sure to get underwear made for working out. It needs to wick moisture, breath, and not have seams in the lining (very important) and have some stretch for movement. Thongs are better in my opinion since you don't have an undie seam right where you're making contact with the bike and no panty lines.
 

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I have a Trek 7500 and the stock saddle is not good at all--too wide and you slide around on it. Also, the seat post is too short -- I had to get an entirely new post to fit the bike properly.

I now have a bontrager seat post (that I took off of my mountain bike while another post is on order) and a specialized saddle (with the hole in the center). Much much improved fit and feel.

Perhaps she should try a smaller pair of padded shorts -- something that is slightly compressing and stays in place while she rides. Also, she may need to start off with shorter rides early in the season and slowly progress to longer durations.
 
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