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After riding relatively short distances (about five kilometers), I’ve developed a literal pain in the rear. I suspect the hard seat is the primary culprit, and I’m sure I’ll be able to replace with something more sensible. That’s a no-brainer.

Is there a proper posture to help alleviate or minimize the bumpiness inherent in the system? I’m concerned that this may evolve into an affliction of the lower back. That would be unfortunate as I’m enjoying the ride and from up on high, but not the consequences down low.

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I suspect the proper posture is standing beside it, posing for a picture. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 18 '12 at 3:04
Upvoted for the title :) – NickG Mar 21 '12 at 20:52
I think this question would benefit from a photo (not of your posterior, but the bike). – James Bradbury Nov 19 '12 at 23:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Penny-farthings are known for their relatively harsh ride, and lack of stability. There is no option on many frames to replace the saddle, although there were some that you could. I would get a sprung Brooks saddle, or similar, which might add a bit of comfort without significantly sacrificing the vintage look.

It will add a bit of suspension effect as well.

Something like this: Brooks B66

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I would not recommend a new brooks for someone with a "Painful Posterior" as it has a breaking in period that takes over 2000 mi. especially the first month can be very painful and in fact turns a lot of people off the saddle entirely. If you are dead set on a brooks though they do have a "broken-in" model that I have heard settles a lot faster. It's a shame too because the aesthetic is perfect. – Chris Belsole Mar 20 '12 at 18:52
I agree with you on the excessive break in period, but the long term benefit of comfort, plus the sprung seat option is why I still recommend it... – zenbike Mar 21 '12 at 6:10

I am not sure about Penny-farthings, but on a normal (what is normal?) bike you aim to sit on your sit-bones which are the two bones right in front of your tail bone. Sit those on the rear of the saddle where it is comfortable. This may require seat adjustment with attention paid to your riding posture. Eventually you will find your own sweet spot for where to position your saddle. Being as upright as you are on a Penny-farthing I imagine you would want a nice flat position with a small but comfortable seat.

If it is back pain that you are experiencing being too tense while riding could cause that. Especially when exerting a great amount of effort you want to be relaxed as to be able to move easier without straining your muscles.

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