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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's the issue. I'm new to cycling and to put it plainly.. my butt hurts after riding.

Yeah, I know, It's a common thing.. rite of passage.. etc. However, currently I'm riding a Selle Itale Initiale saddle and Louis Garneau Shark Power tri shorts.

Not exactly bread with butter for a beginner. So I ask, Do you reccommend I buy more cushy shorts, or a presumably better saddle? I'm not real sure the saddle is the problem, rather the shorts have a thin layer of fleece like "padding". For my tri, it won't be a problem because it's a sprint tri, so a 15 mile bike ride. However, it makes it difficult to train if it's constantly hurting all the time.

Let me know what you think, I'm trying to stay in the 50-150$ range for whatever I choose to do.
 

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Both... try to find a comfi saddle first then quality shorts or bibs. I like Voler bibs/shorts or Performance Elite's. The saddle is the most important, the shorts are the frosting on the cake.

You can sign up to be a Voler Team member and receive discounts not available to the general public. I've bought bibs for under $30.00. http://www.velowear.com /
 

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more specifics, please.

Not trying to be kinky, here, but how and where does your butt hurt? Is it the sitbones, chafing in the middle or on the sides, etc. And does it hurt immediately when you start riding, or only after a long time. And how much have you ridden? How many rides, and how long, and with what rest periods in between? You could have typical soreness from getting used to riding (and that will go away with more saddle time), or you could have a saddle that doesn't suit your shape and riding position (You may not need a "better" saddle -- just a different one).

The saddle shape usually has far more effect on these issues than the shorts do.
 

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Ditto on above. How many miles or how much time have you spent in the saddle. Expect soreness for at least the first few weeks if you are a new rider. That said there is a difference between the cheap shorts and mid-priced ones, less dif. between the mid price and high end. Most of the difference is not as much in the chamois as in the moisture wicking abilities of the fabric. I have 80 dollar bibs and 200 dollar bibs, can't tell if one is cushier than the other. Saddles on the other hand can make a big difference. I love the Fizik Aliante saddles for their "hammock" effect on your sit bones. Check with your LBS and see if they have demo saddles for you to try out. If need be Competitive Cyclist has demo saddles for a price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The part that is sore is mostly the perenium area, but the sitbones also get sore too. I have ridden about 100 miles (look, I'm just getting into this.) Usually, I've been real busy with school winding down and finals, so I'd only ride about once a week. However, after a ride anywhere from 7 to 20 miles, I'd be sore for the next few days, so much that if I sat on the bike I'd feel uncomfortable. This then goes away if I just ignored it, but I'd rather not have to.

To the response of "Neither, ride more" It makes it difficult to ride more. Most people say "get a good bike fit and a good pair of shorts" The shorts I have offer marginal padding over plain spandex. This does not help at all. Sure that's like saying, "Don't wear socks and your feet will toughen up" But you'll have blisters and sore feet until that happens. I'm just trying to get a feel for what's going on and opinions. I understand your opinion is that I just need to suck it up and ride more, but if my as hurts and I need to train for a tri in a few months, how do I get better off the bike?

As for the saddle shape, the bike is a Giant TCR Aero, setup with aero bars. In the aero bars, obviously it's going to be a less comfortable setup because my weight is less centered on the sitbones, as well as the wider part of the saddle. When I ride, I try to move around and not stay in one position too long. Maybe I need a saddle more fitting to the tri/tt/aero position. Maybe I can work mine to make it more comfortable.

I just seem to think going from a piece of fabric to some sort of padding might do a great deal in lessening the impact of the seat on my soft tissue areas. That way I can ride more.
 

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We often hear questions pertaining to a new rider and sit bones. Clearly this is not your issue.

Check-
1)Saddle angle- in position if you have too much nose up tilt the saddle will rub the area described. A common mistake for any new cyclist is to have a saddle with a nose up tilt for the secure feeling it provides. Try and have your saddle as level or slightly nose down. Not too nose down as you will feel like you are sliding forward.

2) Bibs/shorts that have a quality fabric for wicking moisture away from you before in causes chaffing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fortunately I haven't had any chafing problems. I can try a slight tilt in the saddle, but if I do anything it will be in small increments. I think I'm going to go into the shop and see what they think and what suggestions they can offer.
 

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In general terms, I'd say the chafing and some saddle sore issues relate to shorts, and bruising or non-skin tissue soreness relate to saddle. Saddle sores come in various forms, including chaffed areas that might be rubbed raw or blistered, or welts or pimple-like things (I'm forgetting the term) that can relate to the shorts not fitting, cushioning or breathing or the saddle having a bad contact point or a mix of the two.

I don't know the Selle Itale Initiale saddle, but it sounds like a lower-end entry-level saddle. My seasoned rear usually revolts against such things. If it is the saddle, the difficulty is to find one that works for you. Some like Brooks, some hate them. Some like cut-outs, some hate them. Etc. With all of that, I think saddle width is a thing that lower-end saddles tend to be weak at, but again, I don't know your saddle...

Good luck sorting it out.
 

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Go for both, although in my case I need a certain type of saddle more than I need padding in the shorts. I absolutely am not a fan of perineal pressure or genital numbness.
 

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Sounds more saddle-realted to me.

Perineal soreness suggests that adjusting saddle angle may help, but you may want to try a saddle model with a cutout. They work for many people (including me).

The sit-bone soreness may just be a break-in issue (breaking in you, not the saddle). You say you've ridden only 100 miles total, and you've done at least one ride as long as 20 miles. Those are some long rides for tissues that haven't been toughened up. That's a recipe for soreness, even bruising. I think you've just got an over-use injury. Do short rides for a while, and stand up more when you're riding. 30 seconds out of the saddle every couple of minutes can do wonders, restoring circulation to the injured area.

But that perineal pressure thing: I'd really look into some cutout-type saddles. You're really looking for the wrong fix when you focus on shorts padding. A thick pad in the shorts can compress under the sitbones, bunching up and causing increased pressure on the perineum.
 

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PdxMark said:
In general terms, I'd say the chafing and some saddle sore issues relate to shorts, and bruising or non-skin tissue soreness relate to saddle.
+1 It doesn't matter how cheap or how expensive a saddle is. The cost does not and will not determine comfort. If you can't narrow down the soreness to a particular attribute of the saddle then you just might need to get a different saddle. For example: the saddle that came on my stock Kona hardtail had seams that dug in no matter what shorts I wore. The saddle went bye bye. Cycling is largely a try it and buy it and then buy something different if it doesn't work sport. It can get expensive but that's the way it is unfortunately. The biggest variable for saddles and finding the right one is the saddle's width compared to your sitbones.
 

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The "padding" in most shorts isn't designed as a cushion, but to absorb/wick away moisture and to prevent chafing. So good shorts (or at least better fitting) can make the ride way more comfortable, but not because they provide better cushioning.

As noted, padding in a saddle doesn't necessarily make it more comfortable for riding. It's much more complicated than that.
 

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Some of your discomfort might be from the shorts. The LG Tri shorts that you said you were using (and most tri shorts in general) have fairly minimal padding. This lets them dry quicker after exiting the water and keep the pad from holding onto water while on your bike or running. Regular cycling shorts tend to have a slightly thicker pad. The pad shape can also vary quite a bit from tri shorts to bike shorts. You might want to try using a pair of cycling shorts (not tri shorts) and see if that helps some. Like someone else said, the padding isn't designed just for comfort, but it does help a bit. At the same time, don't go overboard and get a pair of those thick squishy gel pads, cause those bring all sorts of other problems into the equation.
 

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Does your saddle have seams on the inseam part - crucial for pedaling. I used to love the Flite, but lately I have found that the padding is too thick on the inseam part of the saddle. I have bought a saddle that resembles the SLR, but the leather is too thin and is showing some wear on the nose area. Typical of SLR - I might buy a standard San Marco Aspide, but the widest part of the saddle is 130mm or less, whereas the SLR is 135mm. The Aspide is longer.
 

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1. butt hurts mostly from weak legs...as you get stronger it will hurt less
2. that being said, the Assos Mille bibs are the most protective and comfortable I have ever worn. Expensive but worth it.
3. SMP saddle....again, expensive but worth it, but my own experience is that the saddle is not as much of an issue as leg strength and chamois quality.
my personal opinions...worth what you pay.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have strong legs from a background in soccer and track & field. I'm fairly certain I'm sore from other reasons than weak legs.

I'm looking into getting a pair of decent quality shorts. Money is also an issue, especially since I've just gotten into the sport $$$
 
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