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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this question has been asked and answered many times on here but I am looking for a specific feedback. I need to minimize saddle discomfort.

All of my riding is on mountain bike trails and a typical ride for me is about two hours which I do 3-4 times a week. I generally don’t have much saddle discomfort unless I ride 5-6 days in a row. Yesterday I did a 36 mile ride in preparation for a 50 mile race I have coming up. My ass was so sore at the end I could barely finish. I was wearing my Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts with a pad they call a 4 hour liner. I have a pair of Bellwether shorts with a better liner built in but they are only a slight improvement over the TLD liner, plus they aren’t removable and I don’t really like the shorts.

I understand that everyone likes different stuff so I’m not looking for feedback that “cheap liners work for me” or “I don’t need chamois”. I’m hoping someone out there has tried the shorts I have (or similar) and found a liner that was way better. I’m open to trying bib liner under baggies or maybe even ditch the baggies for races.

I have a Specialized saddle that I’ve really liked for my 2 hour rides but maybe that’s the problem also and isn’t going to cut it for 4 hour rides.

Would especially appreciate feedback from guys doing 100 milers.

Thank you.
 

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Yeah. Saddle and chamois is totally an individual thing. A chamois itself can help, but mainly with chafing, which is its historic purpose from back when it was actually a sheep skin (aka chamois) sewn into woolen shorts. The padding is relatively soft and basically gets totally squashed by the weight of your butt against the saddle, so the saddle is the most important aspect. You might want to try different saddles.

I also find that it takes time for my butt to adapt to a saddle and longer rides. If I've been off the bike for awhile, my butt will be killing me after a 1/2 hour. As I ride more, my butt lasts longer and riding often and long enough I can go 6+ hrs.

I would definitely ditch the baggies. For longer/XC type riding they serve no purpose for me as they're hotter and just add drag on my legs.
 

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The TLD chamois in my Skyline Air shorts is a pretty decent chamois/liner, IMO. They are better than most included liners, which typically don't fit well and the chamois usually sucks. I prefer a good fitting liner bib though, hands down more comfortable to me. I have only used the PI pro liner bibs so far, and they're decent chamois, but I won't go as far as to say you can't find better. They are not as good as the high-end road bib version.

You get what you pay for when it comes to chamois/bibs. High-end road bib chamois are typically better than any liner option. Assos bibs have always been regarded as the best of them by most roadies I know, but $$$. Make sure they fit right, ie really tight. Use Chamois Butt'r of some sorts, and plenty of it.

Finding the "right" saddle is pretty crucial after a few hours sitting, but I can't help you find it. I'm using an SQ Lab saddle, that I like. Also, saddle shells wear out over time, and sag/flex too much. It's a little hard to notice at first, but it causes major problems if ignored (been there). The heavier you are the faster they wear out, and need replacing.

Consciously try to stand up more often. If you have your saddle dialed, and a nice chamois/ good bib fit, the only thing left is your ass might just need to get used to that amount of saddle time. Like you, after 3 hours things quickly start getting uncomfortable for me too. I just can't do big rides often enough.

Probably get more specific and useful answers in the Endurance Race forum, maybe.
 

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I'd say spend some time trying to find a more comfortable saddle first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just did a couple of the at-home sit bone measurements. I measured 127mm. If you’re supposed to add 25-30mm that puts my proper saddle width at 152-157mm. Mine saddle measures 140mm. So maybe I could use a wider saddle? Do you find this “match the saddle and sit-bones” technique to be helpful?
 

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All good advice. Appreciate the feedback. I'll try some saddles, cream, and maybe some nice road bibs.
Just did a couple of the at-home sit bone measurements. I measured 127mm. If you're supposed to add 25-30mm that puts my proper saddle width at 152-157mm. Mine saddle measures 140mm. So maybe I could use a wider saddle? Do you find this "match the saddle and sit-bones" technique to be helpful?
Your doing your research which is good, but there's a few points you should focus on.

Chamois Butt'r, or the like, is mandatory for any hot and humid climate, or any ride over 2-2.5 hours. The more you sweat, or the longer you ride, the more important it becomes.

Yes, the width of your saddle matters. It sounds like your "sizing up" a little too much though IMO. Your probably best suited for a "wide" saddle which is generally 145-155mm.

Bibs are great and I like them much more than the shorts I used to use. They don't have to be "roadie bibs", just good quality bibs. I've had good luck with LG, Pearl Izumi, and a couple others but getting the size right is key.

Chamois cream should be the first step. If your only experiencing friction type soars to your skin than the saddle and/or chamois is not necessarily to blame. If you feel like your bones/body are soar for days after a long ride then your on the wrong saddle.
 

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^^^

same liner
same chamois
same saddle maybe

start using chamois cream like assos or deez nuts or something else
at what you perceive as a long time in saddle
 

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Yeah. Many find chamois cream helpful, many don't. A historical follow-on to my previous post, chamois cream originated as a product to soften stiffened sheep skin chamois (redundant, I know). If you're familiar with chamois used to dry your car after washing, you know how stiff and rough they get when dried out. Imagine sitting on that. NG. Hence, chamois cream. Nowadays, it's for sissies with soft tender butt skin. It helps keep it that way. It's a bit different situation for women, where it helps prevent irritation and abrasion of their external genitalia.

Sit bone measurement is helpful. It gets you in the ballpark, but you may want to vary from that. There are many aspects of how a saddle fits you. Besides basic width, how the saddle curves from side to side is key. The amount of concavity front to back is another factor (WTB, for one, tends to be more concave). Personally, saddles that tend to be flatter in both directions work the best for me.

If I'm accustomed to one saddle and try another, it almost always will feel terrible until I give my butt time to get accustomed to it. This is one aspect of comparing saddles that makes it more difficult.
 

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Yeah. Many find chamois cream helpful, many don't. A historical follow-on to my previous post, chamois cream originated as a product to soften stiffened sheep skin chamois (redundant, I know). If you're familiar with chamois used to dry your car after washing, you know how stiff and rough they get when dried out. Imagine sitting on that. NG. Hence, chamois cream. Nowadays, it's for sissies with soft tender butt skin. It helps keep it that way. It's a bit different situation for women, where it helps prevent irritation and abrasion of their external genitalia.

Sit bone measurement is helpful. It gets you in the ballpark, but you may want to vary from that. There are many aspects of how a saddle fits you. Besides basic width, how the saddle curves from side to side is key. The amount of concavity front to back is another factor (WTB, for one, tends to be more concave). Personally, saddles that tend to be flatter in both directions work the best for me.

If I'm accustomed to one saddle and try another, it almost always will feel terrible until I give my butt time to get accustomed to it. This is one aspect of comparing saddles that makes it more difficult.
if you are gonna 'go there' then the real recommendation is get real sheepskin chamois and load it up with lanolin. Kucharik makes pads you can replace your current ones with real sheepskin. with that, now you can ride forever and the last thing that should be complaining would be your grundle.
 

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......Hence, chamois cream. Nowadays, it's for sissies with soft tender butt skin. It helps keep it that way. It's a bit different situation for women, where it helps prevent irritation and abrasion of their external genitalia.
Lol, I got some external genitalia too.

A good saddle is paramount but ime a good pair of road bibs will make it even better.
 

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OP, I don't see it anywhere in your posts - was the soreness from chafing, or was it more like bruising?

Either can happen when you're doing a much longer ride than normal. It is possible you just need to do more longer rides to toughen your backside up. I always have issues during the first day or two of long bikepacking events, or when I haven't been riding much and then try to do a long ride. After I get a few days under my belt it isn't a problem anymore. Towards the end of AZTR I wasn't bothering with chamois cream at all.

If the issue you're having is more like bruising from the saddle, doing some longer rides could also help, or as others said it could be you need a different saddle. Hard to say. Ditching the baggy shorts will be much cooler and could help reduce sweat, which might help too if chafing is the issue.

The chamois cream I use is Okole stuff. I'd never used any before or heard of this kind but got a sample at an event and really liked it. It isn't "wet" like a cream, rather it is somewhat waxy and is very persistent - you have to wipe it off after a ride as it won't come off in the shower with soap and water - which to me means it isn't affected much by sweat. It has helped a lot on some long days on the bike. I'd definitely try this or something similar.

https://smile.amazon.com/Okole-Stuf...539042&s=gateway&sprefix=okole,aps,178&sr=8-2
 

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One way is to use two chamois. Sometimes I will use an extra chamois for longer rides. I do think gel chamois are better though.

However, what is best for me, it is about just riding more to toughen up the rear. Lol. I have two bikes with different saddles (WTB Volt and Silverado). The Silverado is a firm saddle and less padding than the Volt. It takes about a dozen rides to get my rear to get used to my Silverado. Both are great saddles though. The Volt is definitely more forgiving.
 

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It's your saddle not your chamois. If you're riding as often as you said you should have no discomfort on longer rides. Some things to consider is thickness of saddle padding(soft vs firm), saddle shape and saddle width. I would not recommend thicker chamois or softer saddle as too much padding will most likely result in too much soft tissue compression actually causing discomfort and numbness. Most MTB saddles run very narrow. The actual width of a saddle can be much narrower than claimed width. A flatter saddle will be closer to actual width than a domed saddle. You know you have the right saddle when you can go for a ride after being off the bike for a few weeks and you have no discomfort.
 
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