I recently started biking again after 5 years. However, I had endured unusual coccyx pain when I had a longer than usual ride (~11 miles). I even had my skin chafed/torn where the tailbone meets the saddle which made me think that I might have had too much pressure and friction in the coccyx area while riding.

I'm planning to purchase bike shorts with a padded chamois and/or a new saddle such as Rido. Since I can't afford both at the same time, my question is, would the short make a big difference in alleviating pressure from coccyx or should I consider changing my saddle first?

My bike is a 2015 Trek X-Caliber 6 with a Bontrager Evoke 1.5 saddle. I ride both on the road and the trail but the painful ride was on the road.

  • You'll need to explain what kind of bike this is, and what your riding position is. What is your current saddle?
    – andy256
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 2:13
  • Updated the question with the info. Thanks!
    – Mustafa
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 2:36
  • If you can't handle 11 miles without trouble then you're probably not sitting properly. Especially with that narrow saddle you need to make sure your sit bones are carrying the pressure. Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 3:34
  • I think that could really be the case. I'm going to my LBS for a maintenance today and I'll ask them to check my sitting posture for any problems.
    – Mustafa
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


Biking shorts could help but it's good to understand some things. First is that your coccyx shouldn't be touching the saddle or minimally if it does. A lot of people make the mistake of getting a cushy bike seat to alleviate such pain. The problem with squishy bike seats is that your sit bones sink down into the saddle and all the squishy stuff packs into your crack and starts pushing on stuff up there. Imagine a really hard seat - your sit bones contact the saddle and nothing squeezes up into the soft area. Of course, between the bones and this hypothetical hard saddle is tissue and skin which can get irritated and bruised. Which is why we have padded saddles. Appropriately padded saddles.

So the first thing I'd suggest is trying a new saddle. Something firmer and made out of quality materials. Stock saddles can be pretty bad.

The chamois in bike shorts is like a second pair of socks on a hike. It adds a layer of padding and friction relief in that bones/tissue/saddle interface.

In short, bike shorts might help but the right saddle alone will enable you to comfortably complete an ~11 mile ride without butt bruises.

Caveat - exceptions to all of this if you are anatomically abnormal in any way, I am particularly thinking of overweight.

Caveat no. 2 - it takes time to get used to being back on the bike. Your butt is going to scream at you if you over-do it and cause some tissue bruising. And if you do that you aren't going to want to get back on the bike. So take it easy!

And oh yeah - look at saddles with anatomical cut outs, those work really well for some people.

And oh oh yeah. Some stores have a test program where they mail you like ten saddles and you ride all of them as you like in order to find one that fits. http://www.sportfit-lab.com/bike-seat-demo.html. WTB also has a ten-pack that they sell shops - shops that have that should rent you a saddle for a week for like 10 bucks.

  • 1
    I think the important part of all this is that your coccyx shouldn't be in contact with the saddle. How are you sitting?
    – Holloway
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 9:03
  • I don't consider myself overweight (5'11" 190 pounds) so I think that rules out. And since the stock saddle from Bontrager is pretty firm, I started to think that maybe I'm not sitting properly as @daniel-r-hicks mentioned in this comment.
    – Mustafa
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 14:01

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