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Bike guys: What type of seat won't make my sit bones go numb?

Rambo

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I've got a Schwinn stationary bike that can accept any type of bike seat. The one that's on there now is hard and flat and makes my sit bones numb within 20 minutes. I tried out another model from Schwinn that had a groove in the center, shocks in the back, and "gel padding" and I still felt uncomfortable. Any suggestions on a seat brand or type that might work for me?

Also, what's the proper way to setup the seat in relation to pedaling? I tried the bike out twice now and both times I've felt that my knee ligaments and calf muscles were doing most of the work, not my quads and hammys. I called Schwinn and they say that there should be a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of stroke when the leg is at full extension. Tried this a few different ways but I just can't seem to find the right angle.
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by Rambo
I've got a Schwinn stationary bike that can accept any type of bike seat. The one that's on there now is hard and flat and makes my sit bones numb within 20 minutes. I tried out another model from Schwinn that had a groove in the center, shocks in the back, and "gel padding" and I still felt uncomfortable. Any suggestions on a seat brand or type that might work for me?

Also, what's the proper way to setup the seat in relation to pedaling? I tried the bike out twice now and both times I've felt that my knee ligaments and calf muscles were doing most of the work, not my quads and hammys. I called Schwinn and they say that there should be a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of stroke when the leg is at full extension. Tried this a few different ways but I just can't seem to find the right angle.


hey meng

also check the angle of your seat, the nose might be pointing slightly upward against your riding position, crushing your manhood in the process... also consider wearing padded cycling shorts when you work out.

as for seat height, the schwinn guy is generally correct. my rule of thumb for slightly bent knees is I put my heels on the pedal and if I pedal it all the way down my legs should be straight. of course, ymmv
 

longskate88

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I'm fitting myself for a new bike right now, and just googling "road bike fit" for example brings up lots of good articles.

When you say your butt isn't doing much work, I read that that is caused by having too upright of a riding position. You could try lengthening the cockpit of your bike by raising the seat and sliding it back on the rails, and bending over more and stretching more to reach the bars. Imagine a tour rider riding into a headwind, he's down to where his back is almost parallel to the ground.
 

akatsuki

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I use a Specialized Toupe. It all depends on how you are set-up. If you are: 1) forward, road-bike style, and have your weight distributed, and 2) you are riding for long periods of time then you may want a harder saddle. But it should definitely be supporting your sit bones.

If you just hop on for a half an hour or whatever, then you can go for something cushy.

You can read Sheldon Brown's article: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
 

Rambo

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Remember guys, this is a stationary bike. The adjustments only go so far. There is a sliding seat plate which moves the seat on a horizontal axis and a vertical height adjustment which lowers the seat up and down. If I unscrew the bolts on the seat I can move the post along the two "rails" under the seat that the post attach to. Lastly, I can tip the seat angle a slight bit.
 

longskate88

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To threadjack, why a stationary bike? I'm getting a road bike because of the scenery here in SD, I want to ride along the coast and the mountains and be outside. Just curious.

Riding shorts are good advice too, normal shorts have seams in the crotch area that can rub, whereas bike shorts have anatomic padding and no seams.
 

Rambo

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Originally Posted by longskate88
To threadjack, why a stationary bike? I'm getting a road bike because of the scenery here in SD, I want to ride along the coast and the mountains and be outside. Just curious. Riding shorts are good advice too, normal shorts have seams in the crotch area that can rub, whereas bike shorts have anatomic padding and no seams.
It was given to me by someone who is moving out of their apt and can't take it with them. I just want to use it for a bit of cardio, especially if I get locked out of the gym before I can get my workout completed. Definitely not going to be using riding shorts as I'd only be using it for 1 hour max every now and then. Most likely 30 min in the evenings.
 

LawrenceMD

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general rule is that the more upright the riding position the wider/cushier the seat needed (because of the percentage of weight actually on the seat).

so a dutch bike which has a seat thats lower than the handlebars will not only be wider - but it will have springs in it too:



a normal bike with the seat at handlebar height (give a take 2 inches) can be a regular seat:



and a racing bike (either road/mountain/ect) that has the handlebars lower than the seat needs a thin sleek profile to be less chafing and actually more comfortable since its almost 40% of the weight on your hands forward.



just choose according to the riding position.
 

rjmaiorano

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Originally Posted by Rambo


What position does this qualify as?


Womens... AFAIK from your other posts you sound as though you are a more than capable athlete. Raise the seat and get some good cardio in.

Also, just because your riding on a stationary for 30~ mins doesn't mean a riding/chamois short won't help. Minimal investment for better comfort.
 

Rambo

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Originally Posted by rjmaiorano
Womens... AFAIK from your other posts you sound as though you are a more than capable athlete. Raise the seat and get some good cardio in. Also, just because your riding on a stationary for 30~ mins doesn't mean a riding/chamois short won't help. Minimal investment for better comfort.
What does my being athletic have to do with not wanting my ass to be numb after sitting on this thing for a short period of time? I'm not training for a triathlon over here. The shorts ain't happenin'.
 

Henry Carter

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Without good shorts you will struggle to get all that comfy. thats half the battle.

I have had success with a few different seats from an ultra light selle italia SLR which sagged after 6 months to a concor light to my current Selle San Marco rolls, which is pretty old school. Everyones ass is different though so whats good for me is not neccesarily good for you. You just have to try different ones until you get something that works.

One tip, stay away from anything gel.
 

LawrenceMD

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Originally Posted by Rambo
What does my being athletic have to do with not wanting my ass to be numb after sitting on this thing for a short period of time? I'm not training for a triathlon over here.

The shorts ain't happenin'.


honestly there is a brake in period for your ass to get used to the seat. even on some cruisers (the position you're in) where you are totally upright even when there is a bigger cushier seat (as there should be since all your weight is on the seat) it will hurt at first.

you need to literally build up and toughen your flesh on the sit bones which can only be achieved by movement in the saddle. it usually takes about a week.

its sucks to have a sore ass, but then once you adapt its all good.

GOD THAT WAS SO HOMOEROTIC.

as to bike shorts, you don't have to have it, but just make sure what you're using has no seems (like the center seam) that can cause the massive chaffing. so even simple basketball shorts can be detrimental (because they usually have raised seams in the center). maybe you have a pair of running shorts that are thin and flat? just avoid the super raised center seams. eventually you'll build up your skin.
 

Rambo

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Originally Posted by LawrenceMD
honestly there is a brake in period for your ass to get used to the seat. even on some cruisers (the position you're in) where you are totally upright even when there is a bigger cushier seat (as there should be since all your weight is on the seat) it will hurt at first. you need to literally build up and toughen your flesh on the sit bones which can only be achieved by movement in the saddle. it usually takes about a week. its sucks to have a sore ass, but then once you adapt its all good. GOD THAT WAS SO HOMOEROTIC.
[nohomo] I've always had a sensitivity/inability to sit on bike seats. I just don't think my ass is built for proper bicycle usage. [/nohomo]
 

rjmaiorano

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Originally Posted by Rambo
What does my being athletic have to do with not wanting my ass to be numb after sitting on this thing for a short period of time? I'm not training for a triathlon over here.

The shorts ain't happenin'.


Like the doc said above, there is usually a break in period for your ass on a seat.

For myself at least, I would have a much harder time raising my HR with the seat low rather than high.
 

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