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OK all, hoping for some advice and information...been riding since August but just started training for a century scheduled for the Spring. I've gone through the initial saddle soreness when I first started and up until now, I have been really comfortable and happy with my set-up and saddle (PB forte pro). Just last week I rode 40 for the first time and somewhere around the 3/4 mark, my left sit bone really started to let me know it was hurting (really hurting). Ironically just the week before I rode 35 and did not experience anything like that at all (smooth sailing). Is this normal as I increase my ride length? Does my body just need to get used to that long on a saddle like it did when I first started out? Is there something I need to try (lotions, gels)? Do I actually need to consider a different saddle for such a longer length?
 

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OK all, hoping for some advice and information...been riding since August but just started training for a century scheduled for the Spring. I've gone through the initial saddle soreness when I first started and up until now, I have been really comfortable and happy with my set-up and saddle (PB forte pro). Just last week I rode 40 for the first time and somewhere around the 3/4 mark, my left sit bone really started to let me know it was hurting (really hurting). Ironically just the week before I rode 35 and did not experience anything like that at all (smooth sailing). Is this normal as I increase my ride length? Does my body just need to get used to that long on a saddle like it did when I first started out? Is there something I need to try (lotions, gels)? Do I actually need to consider a different saddle for such a longer length?
Some observations based on my own experience:
1) Riding routes that has me sitting entirely without a need to stand up to climb tends to cause me the most sit bone soreness.

2) A saddle that is most comfortable for a century ride is very firm. This can cause some discomfort on rides in the 25-50mi range. After 50mi the discomfort goes away, I don't know why. Softer saddles tend to be good up to 50mi but will become uncomfortable at some point in the ride and never get better on that day.

3) I use Chamois Cream to reduce friction. It does not help much with pressure soreness but sometimes the difference is hard to tell if you haven't used this stuff. Try it. I spread a thick quarter-sized blotch on my fingertips and spread it around on the high-contact parts of the chamois as I'm putting on the shorts. I also wipe any leftover directly on the skin where friction can be an issue and not transfer directly off the saddle pad.

4) The fact you're feeling it strongly on one side may be a one-time oddity, or indicate something asymmetric about your anatomy or fit. A leg length imbalance comes to mind. If it becomes a recurring theme then go get a pro bike fit with this specific matter to address.

5) I've found that saddles with a signficantly rounded/domed profile in the wide area under your sit bones can cause this kind of discomfort for me. I find that one sit bone will sit on the flatter part and the other will ride off the side of the saddle and I shift back and forth. If I ride without shifting my weight the result is one sit bone gets really sore. The solution for me is a saddle that provides more table-like support in the sit bone area. Note that if you're demo'ing saddles this may be an optical illusion of sorts because it's the spots under the sit bones that make the difference at least in my case.

6) Saddle demo programs are really great and for all the effort and time we spend pontificating and spending on cycling gear, I believe saddles are worth all that time and effort. (Yet we will spend much more and research deeper on a set of wheels). Sadly it's trial and error and only a demo program will unlock the keys for you. Make sure each demo is available for a week minimum and get a few long rides in with each one. (This is a good excuse to fit in more rides during the week). It will take a little getting used to each saddle so be patient if it's not quite as nice as the last one. Patronize the shop that supported the demo program because it's a thankless task for them and many shops get lazy and drop the demos.
 
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