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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know that there are all sorts of causes and conditions that could be the cause of this, but I'd like to hear some real-world experience from all you fellas.

I started cycling again on May 20th and started to have some discomfort in my sit bones. I was told here that it would go away with more riding and was a typical symptom of returning to riding.

Anyways, I kept riding, making sure to take at least 1 day of rest in between rides (even if they were short by my old standards) and 2 days after more strenuous rides. I know Strava is this and that, but at least you can all see exactly what my activity has been like and hopefully help give some input:

Robert Y. | Cyclist | Strava

Robert Y. | Cyclist | Strava


When I got my Supersix (I was professionally fit on it), the saddle that came with it was a Fizik Arione that was excruciatingly painful so I went to a LBS that had the Specialized fit center and ended up getting a Specialized Toupe Expert (instead of the Romin because it had more padding) which seemed to be one size wider. Anyways, that saddle worked well for my first ride with it and I could finally sit on my bike without excruciating pain. The first real ride with it on the 6th was fine with only slight discomfort, but two days ago, I started to get some pretty significant pain on my sit bones (more on my left than right, but not by much) after a 41 mile ride that had lots of seated climbing). Now, I can't even sit in my car for more than a half hour or so without pain in those sit bones.

I don't feel any sorts of 'lumps' like some people have. I'm wondering if it is purely putting in too much, too soon.

For those that don't want to look at my Strava for whatever reason, here are my stats from May 20th to June 9th:
ACTIVITY
Avg Rides / Week2
Avg Distance / Week54mi
Avg Time / Week3<abbr class="unit" title="hours" style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-style: none; font-size: 0.846em; margin-left: 2px;">hr</abbr> 48<abbr class="unit" title="minutes" style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-style: none; font-size: 0.846em; margin-left: 2px;">m</abbr>

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</tbody>
YEAR-TO-DATE
Distance214.3mi
Time15<abbr class="unit" title="hours" style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-style: none; font-size: 0.846em; margin-left: 2px;">hr</abbr> 12<abbr class="unit" title="minutes" style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-style: none; font-size: 0.846em; margin-left: 2px;">m</abbr>
Elev Gain12,782ft
Rides9

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As always, thanks for the help!
 

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I'm wondering if it is purely putting in too much, too soon.
Sure sounds like that to me. Starting from zero, you ride over 200 miles in about 3 weeks, with some long rides, and too much sitting. I think you're bruised. May take a few weeks to heal up.

I'd advise you to stand up more on those climbs -- a LOT more. You could stand more on every ride, for that matter. If you want to keep riding some while you're healing, that would be my advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd rather take the necessary time off but that will be very hard for me to do psychologically.

My shorts are all 6 years old and were low-mid level back then so I don't know if that could be the issue (I've heard simply getting good shorts/bibs can be a fix). Also, as far as padding with saddles, I've heard it said that one can sit on a pure carbon fiber saddle with no padding as long as it fits their geometry and they have a good chamois. Is this nonsense? Should I look for a more padded saddle?
 

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You just need more time. I remember when I got back into cycling 25 years ago, for a while I couldn't even sit on the saddle, let alone ride the bike. Now I can ride 100 miles + in a day without any problems.If you think you will find comfort stating from scratch, I think you're going to be disappointed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You just need more time. I remember when I got back into cycling 25 years ago, for a while I couldn't even sit on the saddle, let alone ride the bike. Now I can ride 100 miles + in a day without any problems.If you think you will find comfort stating from scratch, I think you're going to be disappointed
Well like I said above, I learned that I would need to put in the miles to get to that point. My only concern now is that, two days after a ride, I can't even sit on a well-padded leather seat in my car without pain. That seems pretty significant, but like I said, I could be wrong. Can you describe the process of getting back into cycling (ie. how many miles a week, how much pain, how long for pain to go away, etc)?
 

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What size saddle (130, 143, 155), and do you know the outside distance of your sitbones? The thing they use to measure in the shop just measures your center to center distance. If you are a little wider or more narrow than average, you may need a different size.
 

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Anyways, I kept riding, making sure to take at least 1 day of rest in between rides (even if they were short by my old standards) and 2 days after more strenuous rides.
This is a good technique, however I think you may be logging too many miles out of the gate.

I'd rather take the necessary time off but that will be very hard for me to do psychologically.
Guess you'll find out which has a stronger will... your @ass or your mind.

My shorts are all 6 years old and were low-mid level back then so I don't know if that could be the issue (I've heard simply getting good shorts/bibs can be a fix).
Maybe not a complete fix but a key part. Get yourself a good pair of shorts!! You can get by on lower level shorts for short rides <30mi. But for over 30mi, get some good shorts!

Also, as far as padding with saddles, I've heard it said that one can sit on a pure carbon fiber saddle with no padding as long as it fits their geometry and they have a good chamois. Is this nonsense? Should I look for a more padded saddle?
Ehhhh perhaps if you have an iron @ass. I think you need some padding in a saddle. Not so much that you squish into it, as this causes chaffing problems. But you want some there.


Well like I said above, I learned that I would need to put in the miles to get to that point. My only concern now is that, two days after a ride, I can't even sit on a well-padded leather seat in my car without pain. That seems pretty significant, but like I said, I could be wrong.
I think JCavilia is right. You're probably bruised. Do you have a (loving) significant other (or a mirror) to take a look?


Can you describe the process of getting back into cycling (ie. how many miles a week, how much pain, how long for pain to go away, etc)?
You should have no pain. Maybe minor discomfort but not pain.
I'd start with keeping your rides around 20mi each to start. Give yourself at least 1 rest day between rides. Then increase your ride distance by 10-15% per week. That would give you about 5-8wks to reach 40mi rides.
 

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I've heard it said that one can sit on a pure carbon fiber saddle with no padding as long as it fits their geometry and they have a good chamois. Is this nonsense? Should I look for a more padded saddle?
It's not nonsense. I'm using the Specialized Romin Pro saddle. It hardly has any padding and is by far the most comfortable saddle I've ever used including ones with a lot more padding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe not a complete fix but a key part. Get yourself a good pair of shorts!! You can get by on lower level shorts for short rides <30mi. But for over 30mi, get some good shorts!
Any suggestions for a good pair in my budget? (70-90 bucks)


I think JCavilia is right. You're probably bruised. Do you have a (loving) significant other (or a mirror) to take a look?
Nope, can I do it myself? Would the bruise actually be evident superficially? I don't have any saddle sores, that's for sure but it seems weird that the a bruise of the bursa or tuberosity would be seen through the skin...? Would it be swollen?

You should have no pain. Maybe minor discomfort but not pain.
I'd start with keeping your rides around 20mi each to start. Give yourself at least 1 rest day between rides. Then increase your ride distance by 10-15% per week. That would give you about 5-8wks to reach 40mi rides.
Thanks, that's a great tangible suggestion (which is the only thing that works in my brain).
 

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Any suggestions for a good pair in my budget? (70-90 bucks)
No. I think it's a personal fit thing (same with saddles). What works for one person may not work for another. I suggest going to a LBS and trying some on.

Nope, can I do it myself? Would the bruise actually be evident superficially? I don't have any saddle sores, that's for sure but it seems weird that the a bruise of the bursa or tuberosity would be seen through the skin...? Would it be swollen?
I suppose with a mirror. I've never tried. But I never bruise superficially so it's possible to be bruised but not able to be seen.
 

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You probably won't see any evidence of bruising on the surface. The injury is to the tissues immediately overlying the bone (or even to the bone itself). Your symptoms are pretty strong evidence.

You're gonna have to stay off it some. And seriously, pedal out of the saddle a lot more. It's good techique to develop, anyway. Even on a flat ride you could spend half the time out of the saddle if you want to. I suspect you helped cause the problem by long periods of sitting. Getting off the saddle every few minutes, for 30 seconds or more, helps restore blood flow to that area and reduces the trauma effect.
 

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The saddle I got from the Specialized store was a 134 which is almost exactly what the saddle was on my old Trek. The Arione must have been a 130.
The Toupe doesn't come in a 134. That's the same model saddle I've used for the last 3 years. It's 155, 143, and 130.

If you read this, it will explain how to measure your sit bones at home. It is possible that the saddle you used in the past, is no longer adequate for what you need now.


Saddle Comfort and Bike Touring

Though I do agree it could be just overuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You probably won't see any evidence of bruising on the surface. The injury is to the tissues immediately overlying the bone (or even to the bone itself). Your symptoms are pretty strong evidence.

You're gonna have to stay off it some. And seriously, pedal out of the saddle a lot more. It's good techique to develop, anyway. Even on a flat ride you could spend half the time out of the saddle if you want to. I suspect you helped cause the problem by long periods of sitting. Getting off the saddle every few minutes, for 30 seconds or more, helps restore blood flow to that area and reduces the trauma effect.
Will do. How long before I know it's good enough to start back up again? I take it this has happened to you personally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Toupe doesn't come in a 134. That's the same model saddle I've used for the last 3 years. It's 155, 143, and 130.

If you read this, it will explain how to measure your sit bones at home. It is possible that the saddle you used in the past, is no longer adequate for what you need now.


Saddle Comfort and Bike Touring

Though I do agree it could be just overuse.
Sorry, I meant 143. The Arione was significantly narrower (didn't actually measure it). I did measure myself with flour and tin foil and found it to be consistent with what the Specialized Ass-O-Meter found.
 

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When I started with road biking I had problems with sit bone pain. I only ride 30 miles 3 days a week. I tried 5 different saddles from which didn't help. I came to read about Selle Anatomica and tried it. Since then I am more comfortable and enjoying my ride. Maybe this saddle is just the one that's right for me.
 

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Will do. How long before I know it's good enough to start back up again? I take it this has happened to you personally?
When it doesn't hurt so much, it's better ;-)

It happens, a little, every spring after I've missed 8 or 10 weeks of commuting because of the ice and snow on the roads. Takes a couple weeks to feel good. I keep the rides short until it's okay, so I don't ever get hurting as bad as it sounds you are.

And I pedal out of the saddle. A lot.
 
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