Two Spoke Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
·
5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hesitate to broach this, but I'm about at my wits' end and hope someone may be able to offer some advice. I seem to have a problem with saddle sores, as identified by a couple of LBS wrenches, based on description. This has been going on for some four years.

The sores manifest as large, painful pimple type objects in the vicinity of my sit bones. They have only occurred one at a time, but have repeatedly appeared on both sides. I typically see them develop following 30+mi rides or back to back days in the saddle. Topical acne medication shrinks them, as does immersion in highly saline water. Neither of those things seem able to stop or fully keep them at bay, however.

Once one appears, I have to stay out of the touring bike's saddle for a few days while treating it, or it will grow steadily larger and more painful until the point comes when I cannot ignore the discomfort and am forced out of the saddle.

Speaking of saddles, I've swapped mine 3x in hopes of resolving this. Had my sit bones measured and everything. I think my present saddle is less prone to produce the sores than previous models, but it doesn't solve the problem. All were comfortable while I rode them, even with a small saddle sore. Nevertheless, the sores unquestionably come from saddle time on the touring bike.

I have changed laundry soap repeatedly and even replaced the whole washing machine. Long story there. I also added a fresh water rinse cycle . Those things seemed to help but didn't fix the problem.

It's only my touring bike. My folding MTB does not appear to cause the sores, nor do either of my recumbent bikes. In years past, I've worked around the problem by alternating riding the touring bike with others in the stable. That worked, but I'd rather ride my other bikes because I want to than because I have to.

Hygiene is a factor. I am far better off stripping out of my cycling togs and hitting the shower quickly after a ride than waiting. Even twenty minutes or so makes a big difference. I've tried going without my padded shorts and using 'butt butter'. The latter definitely helps on longer rides, but again fails to solve the problem. Ditto the padded shorts alternatives.

At the moment, I have my eye on a Brooks synthetic saddle. Synthetic over leather for the all weather capacity. The thing is, that isn't an evidence based decision as much as it is one based on desperation: I don't know exactly what causes this or why it's only associated with my touring bike. As much as I love my recumbent, I love my touring bike, too. I want to ride it more than I presently can.

I keep thinking I've finally fixed this, only to have it recur. I'd appreciate ideas or input.

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,542 Posts
“It only happens on the touring bike.”

This makes me lean toward THAT BIKE’S setup. Stem length, bar height, seat height or angle crank length and everything else I’ve missed.

Initially, i was leaning toward the quality of your bibs/shorts, but you kept saying riding the other bikes is fine. It only happens on the touring bike.

Solution:

-Clean said touring bike immaculately.
-Hang that bike on the wall as only good art should be.
-purchase a new touring bike.

Let the happiness ensue.
 

·
Old, fat, and slow
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
If it is only one bike, then I'd have to say it is the saddle .... what feels comfortable just presses the wrong points. As Dos says, " ... THAT BIKE’S setup. Stem length, bar height, seat height or angle crank length and everything else ..."

Have you tried taking the saddle off the folder and riding it on the tourer?

I have had an issue only once when I got a new saddle with too big a cut-out and too soft padding on the edges of the cutout, which allowed just enough movement to create a hot spot which turned into a big open sore .... I have never had an issue with a harder saddle with minimal padding.

Medical science is amazing ... have you looked into buttocks transplants?

Sorry for being silly but I really have no clues .... you have my sympathy, but you can't really sit on that, either.
 

·
Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
·
5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
“It only happens on the touring bike.”

This makes me lean toward THAT BIKE’S setup. Stem length, bar height, seat height or angle crank length and everything else I’ve missed.

Initially, i was leaning toward the quality of your bibs/shorts, but you kept saying riding the other bikes is fine. It only happens on the touring bike.

Solution:

-Clean said touring bike immaculately.
-Hang that bike on the wall as only good art should be.
-purchase a new touring bike.

Let the happiness ensue.
Thank you for your ideas. The annoying thing is, when this started, I'd already logged ~15k mi on that bike. I thought I was using a proven saddle and a dialed-in bike. Then this started. I had my sit bones measured then went through several loaner saddles. Found one I liked and bought. Then did it again the following year and again at some point later. The saddles are all specific to my riding position and sit bone measurements. Each seemed to help for a time but failed to resolve the matter.

I appreciate your idea of proper artwork, but I'm just not ready to hang this steed up yet. Seems I need to cast about for a local bike fitter. Maybe another new saddle.

Thanks again for the input.
 

·
Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
·
5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it is only one bike, then I'd have to say it is the saddle .... what feels comfortable just presses the wrong points. As Dos says, " ... THAT BIKE’S setup. Stem length, bar height, seat height or angle crank length and everything else ..."

Have you tried taking the saddle off the folder and riding it on the tourer?

I have had an issue only once when I got a new saddle with too big a cut-out and too soft padding on the edges of the cutout, which allowed just enough movement to create a hot spot which turned into a big open sore .... I have never had an issue with a harder saddle with minimal padding.

Medical science is amazing ... have you looked into buttocks transplants?

Sorry for being silly but I really have no clues .... you have my sympathy, but you can't really sit on that, either.
Thank you for your ideas and input. The folding MTB's saddle is something of an anomaly: it's mounted on a proprietary shock absorbing seat post and constructed of stupidly soft, squishy material. It goes against everything that a 'proper' saddle should be.

When I first rode the bike, I was horrified by the saddle and figured to replace it immediately. The thing is, it seems to just work up to the 35-40mi point. That's about as far as I want to ride that bike at a stretch anyway, so it's worked out. The 'magic' also seems to have something to do with the shock absorbing seat post, which is not compatible with the touring bike's tube diameter.

Hmm. Buttocks transplants, you say? That sounds promising! I'm really sick of dealing with this.
 

·
Spin Spin Spin
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
full suspension mtb seems to be the answer. make sure you ride it only where you have to be off the seat half the time......oh wait, that's my answer. not sure it'll work for others butt feel free to experiment
 

·
Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
·
5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
full suspension mtb seems to be the answer. make sure you ride it only where you have to be off the seat half the time......oh wait, that's my answer. not sure it'll work for others butt feel free to experiment
One piece of advice I received from several wrenches was to get my butt out of the saddle from time to time. This was initially valid at least insofar as I rarely stand on the cranks while riding the touring bike. Since bringing Chip into the cycling equation, I do stop with some frequency to let him get in and out of his trailer and/or have a drink. Each stop involves getting off the bike altogether for a few minutes at a time. It's another of many steps which helped but ultimately failed to resolve the problem. Dangit. Thank you for the input :).
 

·
Old, fat, and slow
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
One small addendum .... I had what felt like a cyst in a rather sensitive area, one which was only ever touched while cycling. My imagination (too vague to call analysis) was that because I am no longer lean and fit, some combination of folds of skin and folds of chamois or shorts created a hot spot, which worsened from general if not specific irritation because I was spending a lot of time in the saddle.

Mostly I made minor adjustments---shifting and wriggling, standing a little more frequently---and over a span of a few years it shrank some to the point it is no longer irritating. However, I try to be careful to keep everything tight, smooth, and wrinkle-free as much as possible, and do stand every several minutes, if only for a few strokes.

This is the second such unwelcome adaptation my body has made for cycling---I had a similar cyst or blister deep in my flesh on the other side which now has completely deflated but is not yet completely reabsorbed after a decade, but i cannot feel it unless I go reaching for it---it does not affect me while rising or any other time.

I hate to say something like "Ride it out" because your situation seems a lot more painful and dramatic than mine, but if I can offer any hope ........
 

·
tall old member
Joined
·
1,518 Posts
I just gave up yesterday on my fancy $250 Bi-Saddle. I wanted so much to make it work but it just didn’t. It feels like my butt is bruised right over my sit bones. I can’t tell if it is, I can’t see back there. I kept increasing my miles and hoping it would start to work I put a cheap saddle that I had in my stash back on. It feels so much better.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top