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I recently "upgraded" to a Romin Comp Gel saddle from a soft racing saddle because my old one, while extremely comfortable on long road rides, wasn't working for the TT position I'm now practicing for an upcoming Ironman.

I've been professionally fit with the seat, so I think things are lined up well. I've ridden nearly 200 miles over the last week with it and the problem is: it still freaking hurts. It's not chafing; it's pressure right in that, uh, under-area that's supposed to sit in the gap of the saddle.

Can I expect it to get awesome any time soon, or should I try another saddle at this point?

Edit:

Regarding seat position, I have my current seat all the way forward, which is where I've been steadily moving it over the last two weeks since my professional fitting. Moving it forward did help, but now I'm stuck again (and I have one of those bent seatposts that is pointing forward as well).

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    Could you expand on what you meant by "wasn't working for the TT position?" given that it sounds like the new one isn't either but the old one was at least comfortable!
    – Unsliced
    Sep 30 '11 at 10:48
  • @Unsliced: As you lean your pelvis forward, the part of your pelvis your weight fits on is a narrower part of the open triangle at the bottom of your pelvis. I assume he means that it was too wide for the more leaned forward TT position.
    – freiheit
    Sep 30 '11 at 17:02
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Take it back and get a different one. A decent bike shop will let you do this. I went through 3 saddles the last time.

The goal is that the "saddle fits you", and not, "you fit the saddle".

It really doesn't take weeks.

to determine whether a saddle is right or not! A long ride will do.

An anecdotal note... My current road bike saddle would qualify as a "hard leather saddle". At the time I bought the bike, I didn't like the original saddle, then tried a Specialized, then a Fizik, and then settled on a Selle Italia. I'm not knocking either Specialized or Fizik or any other brand; it's just that the Selle Italia saddle worked for my anatomy, and I often spend an entire day+ sitting on that saddle. Saddles are like shoes, they have to fit the wearer. A 30 mile ride told me which saddle to get.

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    I have read that it takes a while to "break in" a hard leather saddle. But of course, I've never figured out why anyone would want a hard leather saddle when so many other newer options are available. Oct 1 '11 at 12:58
  • 2
    @Dan - Because once a leather saddle is broken in, there's nothing like it out there for comfort. I have Brooks saddles on two of my bikes; they're good for some kinds of riding, less so for othere. More appropriate for touring and maybe commuting, where you have a little more relaxed posture. Would never put one on a mountain bike, where it'd get muddy, or on a bike where only ride short trips. Oct 5 '11 at 0:03
  • But yeah, swap out the saddle. If the shop won't take it back, I think there are some saddle swap threads on bikeforums. Oct 5 '11 at 0:04
  • I like San Selle Italias. I have 3 of them on my various bikes. (Found a bike store that had a discount box of them and bought a bunch I am still working through).
    – geoffc
    Jul 2 '13 at 14:47
7

It can take a few weeks to get used to a new saddle, or other components, but if adjusted properly they should be 'uncomfortable', not 'freaking hurts' painful.

When it comes to saddles, even after a professional fit you may need to make adjustments at home. Using a grease pencil or other means of marking the position you can start by doing two things likely to help:

  1. Decrease the nose angle a few degrees. This could be especially helpful since in a time-trial position most riders are inclined closer to horizontal an this can significantly increase the pressure on the perineum.
  2. Move the saddle a few millimeters forward. This compensates for the tendency to slide slightly forward when in the drops or on your aero-bars, and helps keep the saddle pressure on your sit bones.

Finally, you may want to use a small plumb bob to make sure that the nose is centered left to right over the top tube. Again, in a TT position small deviations can make a big difference.

1
  • Yeah, I did end up making some adjustments as I've written in my edit above. I didn't try the nose tilt or the plumb bob, though, so perhaps I'll get the wrench back out and see if I notice anything. Thank you!
    – ladenedge
    Sep 30 '11 at 14:01
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This question was answered by a suggestion to slide the saddle forwards on the seat post. You could give that a try.

I doubt you'll get used to an existing, uncomfortable saddle position. I don't think that part of your anatomy will 'toughen up'.

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    My old saddle didn't work in the TT position because it had no channel in the middle and I ended up having to kind of ride on the left or right of it, if that makes sense - but only when on the aerobars. Also, thanks for the comment on seat position - see above for my edit.
    – ladenedge
    Sep 30 '11 at 13:58
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I dont't know that saddle model but, as always, the answer is really subjective. It could also be forever.

My suggestion is to try a saddle before buying and buy always the better shorts you can afford.

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Having your saddle straight ahead is not always best either. Every body is different - I'd urge you to set up your bike to fit your actual body, not some aesthetic ideal of "supposed to be__. "

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This may also be the frame. One of my bicycles was always hurting my ass, and this especially got worse after I gained more weight with age. I tried to fix this by replacing a regular saddle to the "royal" one but even this was not helpful. Various adjustments helped to some extent but that pain remained the most limiting factor on how far can I ride.

The other two bicycles with the larger and in general different frames and very comparable saddles do not hurt. This likely has something to do with how the seating bones are positioned.

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That saddle is unlikely to adjust to you. Man-made materials generally don't budge. You may want to try a Brooks or other leather saddle. If you do, apply the saddle dressing that should come with it, and don't do long rides on it for a few weeks. I've found that two or three weeks of commuting (25 km round-trip) usually does the job.

If you are a woman, your pelvic bones are probably wider, and you'll want a saddle designed for women. Presumably the bike shop already took that into consideration, but I've seen a shop or two where the staff didn't know about this basic issue.

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It's vital to adjust your bike to fit your body from the start if you want to keep appropriate alignment and avoid physical difficulties. This will also help you stay comfortable during your bike ride. Setting your bike seat to the same height as your hip bones is a good idea.

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  • So, are you trying to say it shouldn't take any time at all?
    – DavidW
    Nov 1 at 4:40

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