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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ride about 5000-8000 miles/year and once a month will do a century ride. I'm male and weight about 185lbs. I've ridden enough to know that high quality shorts and changing positions on the bike can help keep the seat comfortable. I was riding with a Fizik Aliante saddle, which I could tolerate but it tended to cause numbing especially while riding in the drops. I switched to a Specialized Toupe saddle when I bought a Specialized Tarmac SL2 this spring and the saddle felt hard and seemed to place more pressure directly on my sit bones, but I had much less numbing. After going on a 6hr ride last month a very tender soft tissue lump the size of a small grape formed on my right sit bone (ischial tuberosity). The lump is not associated with a saddle sore or skin abrasion – its deep under the skin. After trying to ride the next couple weeks it was really tender and my right hip and leg even started to ache when riding. I took a week off from riding and decided to switch to a Specialized Phenom saddle which has a bit more padding but similar shape to the Toupe. The Phenom is tolerable and I can ride 2-3 hours without serious problems, but the lump is not really dissipating and I’m concerned about what might happen on a longer ride. I also find myself shifting constantly on the saddle and I think it is getting me into positions that aren’t always friendly on my other joints.

A couple of questions.
1. Does anyone have any idea what my injury could be and how to treat it?

2. Are there any thoughts on saddles with center cut outs as opposed to those without them? It seems like the cut out does help with blood flow but seems to force more pressure onto smaller areas of the anatomy.

3. Any seat recommendations would be welcome. I’m starting to think something with a raised center in the back area of the seat (like an Fizik Arione) might help spread the contact area of the seat, combined with a forward cut out might help to maintain the circulation. Does something like this exist and would it work?
 

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SLP: Go see a dermatologist, and quick! Right hip and leg aching? This is serious stuff. Probably it is an enlarges cyst. It may need to be surgically removed; that happened to a buddy of mine in my bike club. He was riding around after the operation with a Depends on under his bike shorts.

I'm not kidding; this is all true. And you should go see a doctor pronto, rather than messing around with new bike saddles.
 

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Anti-Hero
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Once you've gotten the lump thing cleared up, you just have to start trying many different saddles until you find the perfect one for you. Cutouts can help with numbness, but, like you said, they can also concentrate pressure. A compromise could be a saddle with a center channel rather than a full-on cutout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What kind of doc

Thanks for the advice on seeing a doc - the diaper thing doesn't sound too cool. Does anyone have any advice on what sort of medical specialist would have knowledge of this kind of injury? Its not really a dermatology injury, rather I think its a musculo-skeletal problem of some sort.

I rode to work this morning after doing 20 miles late last evening and its really sore again....
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Fit?

Well I am not going to look at your butt, that is why doctors get paid the big bucks. Now on to the bike...

SLP said:
...I switched to a Specialized Toupe saddle when I bought a Specialized Tarmac SL2 this spring...
...decided to switch to a Specialized Phenom saddle...
3. Any seat recommendations would be welcome...
Well there are a few hidden hints in your post. First off you have a new bike so I would question if it is fit properly to your body and riding style. The problem may not be in the saddle but rather in the bike setup.

Next hint I see is the same word repeated, Specialized. Nothing wrong with their products but do not limit your saddle search to those that match the brand name on your bike.

I would suggest you go back to the tried and true Fizik. Get your bike fit dialed in. Then start fine tuning from there selecting saddles similar to the Fizik that worked for you in the past.

For our family the cutouts never seemed to be needed or worked for us. My saddle is a Selle Italia Flite. My wife and son ride the Selle Italia Flite Gel although my wife used to ride a Race Day until they stopped making them. Your results will probably vary.
 

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It's always safe to see a doc. BUT... I had similar issue a couple years ago with a sit bone lump. It was deep, and had no connection with saddle sore. I tried many saddles, including Brooks. (Didn't help much). The lump slowly went away over the winter with NO RIDING. Last spring I went to my LBS for fitting, was told that my lemond had me a little too stretched out. Got new bike with an inch shorter reach. And finally cured the sit bone issue. I do believe that some of us have sit bones that just irritate the hell out of the flesh under them when sitting a certain way. I now have no lump, no saddle issues at all.
 

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SLP said:
Its not really a dermatology injury, rather I think its a musculo-skeletal problem of some sort.
Don't let the perceived depth fool you. See a dermatologist ASAP. If it's a cyst, it's easy to treat and you're good to go. But it may be more serious. Various skin cancers are not unheard of, namely, basal or squamous-cell carcinoma. They're not life threatening but something needing attention nonetheless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bike fit

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the bike fit. Now that you mention it, I did switch to a 1cm longer stem around the time my injury became more serious. I didn't really give this much thought because I get more relief when I roll my hips forward slightly to shift some weight off the sit bones, which is easier to do with a longer stem. I went through a careful fitting when I got the bike, and switched to the longer stem only because I felt a bit cramped compared to my previous bike.

I'm thinking I should look up a bike fit expert. Anybody have suggestions for the San Diego area?
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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I grew a similar lump (though smaller) while trying to break in a Brooks B17. I tried to compensate for the lump while riding, which made my hip and leg sore. I stopped using the B17. The lump eventually went away. So did the hip and leg soreness.

In any event, I agree with the posters who suggest you go back to your old saddle, and that you try and duplicate the fit on your previous bike. What worked before has a good chance of working again.

Good luck.
 
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