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I just happened to wander into a bike shop last week. It specializes in racing bikes.

I asked the owner about my problem of my glutes hurting after rides.

He said to get rid of the wide gel foam seat that I have.

He told me to try out some other seats.

Earlier this year, I ditched the factory Huffy seat after my LBS tech recommended doing so. :-)

I need some suggestions.

(Soon I will be seeing a Physical Therapist for some other pain issues and will ask him/her about what could be the source of my glute pain.)

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    There’s nothing to suggest here. I have no idea how much riding experience you have, what your site bone width is, what your riding style (posture, attitude) is, what your preferred discipline is, what your goals are, what your budget is…anything
    – Paul H
    Dec 11, 2022 at 12:59
  • Given the vague description of the "pain", even Sciatica might be a cause, especially if it occurs much more on one side than the other. Dec 11, 2022 at 15:20
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    I would suggest a bike fit before playing with saddles (as the bike fit will address saddle concerns along with making other changes to suit your needs. While there are guidelines (such as matching sit-bone width), bike seats are very personal. I could swear saddle XYZ is perfect in every way, and someone will say it is the worst saddle the ever tried and we could both be right.
    – mattnz
    Dec 11, 2022 at 23:39
  • @mattnz: I agree, bike fitter is a good idea and would probably also have a selection of saddles available to try. I paid ~200€ but it’s worth it if it allows you to ride efficiently and without pain or long term injuries/damage.
    – Michael
    Dec 12, 2022 at 7:46
  • A bike saddle must support you. A soft saddle does not support you. Think comfortable in the sense of shoes: you do not want a too soft sole, otherwise your foot get plushy and you get even some local blood circulations pain. A stiffer saddle may hurt in the first 2 weeks, you have to break in a bit, then the magic comes: you do not feel the pain.
    – EarlGrey
    Dec 21, 2022 at 11:13

1 Answer 1

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With your glutes you mean the actual gluteal muscles, not just surface pain from skin abrasion or pressure on your sitbones, right?

Pain in those muscles isn’t necessarily caused by your saddle. It’s more likely your overall seating position or a muscle weakness is the culprit. Even leg length difference could be a cause.

A sedentary lifestyle often leads to underdeveloped, underutilized gluteus muscles which can cause all kinds of issues from lower back pain to tightness/soreness of the muscles or Iliotibial band syndrome (pain on the outside of your knee).

The saddles which come with city bikes are often very wide and padded which is really only somewhat okay-ish with a very upright seating position. They look and feel comfortable at first but after a few minutes you realize that the saddle makes contact in all the wrong places.

I’d make sure that your seating position is okay-ish. Most importantly make sure the saddle is high enough. If you put your heel on the pedal your leg should be fully extended. Fore-aft position and handlebar position are harder to get right but also less critical.

All of those things are hard to assess without seeing you in person or at least having a few good photos of your on the bike.

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  • Do you mean photos of me on my bike? @Michael
    – fixit7
    Dec 12, 2022 at 2:34
  • @fixit7: Yes, at least it would give us a rough idea. Photos directly from the side and from behind would be best with as little angle/distortion as possible. Preferably shots with the pedals in the 6'o clock (leg extended) and 9'o clock positions (cranks horizontal). You can cut out or blur your face.
    – Michael
    Dec 12, 2022 at 7:40
  • It will take me a few days. Will report back. @Michael
    – fixit7
    Dec 12, 2022 at 8:22

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