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enter image description hereRecently I began having problems with my saddle, or more precisely, my behind. It starts to hurt where my sit bones are after 45-60 minutes. It feels sore at first, but eventually it gets really painful. I've ridden this bike (Trek Madone 5.0) thousands of miles over the past 10 years, but the pain only showed up in the past two or three months. I had a complete professional fitting when I bought this bike. I've changed nothing, and until now it's been perfect. The saddle is the Bontrager Race saddle that came with the bike.

At first I thought it was my shorts. I had some high end shorts that I thought might have worn out, so I got some new shorts that seemed to help at first, but now it's back to the same pain in the same place.

Twenty years ago I was a 10,000 miles a year rider, splitting my time on road and mountain, and I never had this problem. Back then I would be on my saddle for seven hours, and I never had this problem. Today, I'm more like a 3,500 miles per year rider, but I can barely do one hour in my saddle without pain.

I don't have the same pain on my mountain bike, which has a Fizik saddle.

I was looking at new saddles, which might be a solution, but before I do that, I figured I'd seek some advice here. Maybe it's a fit issue? Something changed unknowingly? I know my way around bikes pretty well, but I don't know anything about body mechanics.

Any advice?

Okay, adding some responses to the comments:

The Fizik saddle (MTB) is almost 20 years old. That really surprises me, but it's a 2001 Santa Cruz Superlight, so it must be. That bike still feels new to me! That's not the problematic saddle, however. The Bontrager saddle on the Madone is.

I have lost 15-20 pounds in the last year or so. I thought that might have something to do with it. That I might have less "padding" on my rear, but would that last 2 months? I should have adjusted by now. I'm riding four to five days a week now.

I did a quick check of the saddle. There is nothing obvious that is cracked or broken. Bolts are tight. I twisted and pulled it, but I can't get it to move.

I think the solution is to get a new saddle.

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  • How old is the Fizik saddle?
    – mikes
    Aug 10 '20 at 23:07
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    Has your saddle moved ? Have you had any personal changes, like surgery or illness, a significant change in diet / smoking, or (perhaps) pregnancy. Any of those can affect the body enormously.
    – Criggie
    Aug 10 '20 at 23:14
  • The first thing that crossed my mind is something nasty going on inside. I'd probably get some blood tests done, like white blood cell (WBC) count and perhaps CRP. Access to these can vary though. Poland has companies like diag.pl which have outlets at hundreds of local health centres, you just walk in and do these tests for the price of a big takeaway dinner. There is nothing like that in the UK, no idea about other countries.
    – pateksan
    Aug 10 '20 at 23:40
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    On top of checking to see if the saddle has moved I would check to see if the saddle's shell has cracked. If it has it might be flexing enough during riding to change your riding position. Aug 11 '20 at 0:31
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    Saddles do a lot of work and do wear out. The time for a replacement may have come!
    – Carel
    Aug 11 '20 at 7:43
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Whether we like it or not, we all change every moment. Because we are alive. The differences are slight, but they are cumulative. Any change in activity, diet, lifestyle, etc. changes our body. Saddles are only getting old.

Pain isn't just an inconvenience - it's your body's way of talking to you:

  • constant little pain when you get tired of translating: 'enough for now, I'll fix minor problems',
  • increasing pain: 'stop, at least slow down, I need more time to fix myself'
  • muscle pain the day after training: 'you did it wrong, don't force it anymore'
  • sharp pain: 'STOP !! Never do that again'

If your lifestyle has changed to be less active:

  • you have smaller muscles and you sit differently
  • you slouch - your spine is overloaded and you sit differently

If you have lost weight:

  • you have too little weight to use the suspension perfectly
  • Your skin is not sufficiently isolated from the bones
  • Your skin may be too dry to deal with it
  • you have a different weight distribution
  • you sit differently because your body is different

If you have gained weight

  • you have a different weight distribution
  • you sit differently because your body is different

Check the saddle - even a 1 degree incline can make a difference, it's a long saddle.
Check your ... body - take 2 mirrors and look at them - you may have a new sign (no it's not cancer, cancer is vicious because it doesn't hurt until it's too late). If you find anything unexpected, go to MD and have it removed / healed.
All of the above can occur together.

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    The only other thing I would add, has the padding in the saddle started to degrade?
    – Henry
    Aug 11 '20 at 18:56

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