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Discussion Starter #1
As much as I love my new bike I always seem to hesitate when I just sit on it it's still too cold here where I'm from to ride.
Now I still need to upgrade the seat to a wider more comfortable one since whomever designed the current one had no idea men would be riding it and believe me when I say it hurts your you know what. But the weird thing is I never really forgot how to ride a bike per-say but I still hesitate like I'm gonna forget when the time comes. Anyone experience this after a long time of not riding? Or is this all just some mental thing in my mind?
 

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Not just mental, I know that if I haven't been riding much , I don't feel comfortable doing stuff I've done before. As to your saddle ,it takes time to build up to feel comfortable on any saddle. You may just need to ride more ,I'm talking two or more times a week ,for a few weeks. Cycling shorts can help, so can the right saddle. Wider isn't better, everyone is different on what works for them, but there is a way to start with something that may be close. You measure your sitz bones, yes there is such thing ,two bony protrusions off your hips. You sit on a piece of memory foam or cardboard and measure the distance between the indentations . That gives you a width of saddle to start with. You want your weight on those bones ,not on anything else.
 

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It is normal to hesitate IF you are now older and realize consequences. haha

Yeah, just ease into it

As far as the seat, make sure you get help. A bigger seat can be worse than whatever it is you have on there now whatever you are going through.
A larger seat with softer padding means you sink into it and the padding has to go someplace...yep, into the nooks and crannies that have nerves!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is normal to hesitate IF you are now older and realize consequences. haha

Yeah, just ease into it

As far as the seat, make sure you get help. A bigger seat can be worse than whatever it is you have on there now whatever you are going through.
A larger seat with softer padding means you sink into it and the padding has to go someplace...yep, into the nooks and crannies that have nerves!
I'm thinking of getting one of those seats with a built springs.
 

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Ride it and ride it. Don't change the seat until you put some good rides on it. Don't over think things just keep riding it.
 

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as far as the seat...if you want to develop into a rider who can do big rides....


if you are new, you gotta go thru breaking your gooch in, to sit correctly on 'normal' narrow saddles

wide saddles actually suck and impede finessing an mtb through the chunk...and will make it hurt too....I am burned into narrow saddles, if i ride a wider saddle like seen on some stationary bikes....in one 1 hr ride on those I get aches...whereas I can spend 8 hours on a narrow saddle and nothing whatsoever bothers me

I'd say ...stick with it and break in your gooch to the saddle...but you gotta ride often enough to make it happen and know when to back off and take a break from riding.
 

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I re-learned how to ride a bike after spending 18 days in a coma (which forced me to re-learn how to do a lot of very basic things, including swallowing). There's always a point no matter where you are that you have to take a leap that it's just going to work.

As for the saddle, DO NOT buy a huge, springy, squishy thing. Those are fine if you're doing short paved greenway rides. But they're a problem for mtb riding, and they're a problem if you want to do longer rides. Folks have already explained how the squishy works against you. But the size is also problematic because that extra width will rub you places (squishy or not) where you really don't want it. Proper mtb riding also requires you to stand up A LOT. I probably stand up for 50% of the distance of my mtb rides give or take. I tend to spend more TIME in the saddle (because I'm generally seated when I'm going slower), but that standing position is especially important on the mtb as it lets you adjust your center of gravity in ways you simply cannot do while seated. A big saddle will prevent you from moving in a bunch of directions.

I agree that you need to build up to spending more time in the saddle if you aren't used to it. There are LOTS of subtle ways to get better comfort from a saddle that will be better suited for mtb use. They DO come in different sizes for different body types. They DO come in different shapes to fit different anatomies. And you CAN adjust the position (up/down, tilt, fore/aft) to fit you better. If you experience numbness, then the saddle doesn't fit. If you experience soreness/bruising, then that's something you can deal with. Keep your duration down, but your frequency high. Try using bike shorts with chamois and maybe even a chamois cream for rubbing. There are lots of different things here, too, and some may or may not work for you since everyone is a little different.
 

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Not just mental, I know that if I haven't been riding much , I don't feel comfortable doing stuff I've done before. As to your saddle ,it takes time to build up to feel comfortable on any saddle. You may just need to ride more ,I'm talking two or more times a week ,for a few weeks. Cycling shorts can help, so can the right saddle. Wider isn't better, everyone is different on what works for them, but there is a way to start with something that may be close. You measure your sitz bones, yes there is such thing ,two bony protrusions off your hips. You sit on a piece of memory foam or cardboard and measure the distance between the indentations . That gives you a width of saddle to start with. You want your weight on those bones ,not on anything else.
Agree with the above. Get a seat fitting so you know the correct width of saddle for your sit bones. On my first mountain bike I persevered for weeks trying to get used to a seat that was too narrow and it was an unpleasant almost harrowing experience. As another online poster once put it "after about 20 minutes my junk went to sleep". If the seat is too narrow all the pressure and weight on the seat is on the soft tissue in your backside which cuts off the blood circulation and causes the whole area to go numb. It doesn't have to be a big wide seat. I went from a 130mm seat that was torture to a 140mm seat that resolved all my issues. Never had a problem since.

As for confidence I'm in the same boat as you. After a bit of a break from riding I've been doing quite a bit of easy trail riding to build up my fitness. Thinking I was doing real well I went and rode some steeper, more gnarly rides that I used to ride regularly and I really struggled. Was a real pussy on the downhill sections that I used to fly down. I'm sure time in the saddle will get the confidence back but I agree that time off can make you lose your nerve and confidence handling the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I can't find a new saddle what about a softer cover? The one that came with my bike is like still on cement.
 

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You probably need to talk to your local bike shop.
Yes, they are pretty firm seats, but for a reason.
The one you are talking about may be entirely the wrong size, like mentioned just above around the sit bones. If the seat is the correct size for you and you feel it is too stiff, it's likely something you will adapt to.
Again, anything softer will be pushed up into your body. Note the new style seats have a groove. That groove is meant to allow our bodies to rest on the sit bones and be supported by the seat, making our body parts not have pressure applied to sensitive nerves. If you are experiencing any numbing sensations, the seat is probably front for you. If you consider seats have the groovet to relieve pressure, think what is going to happen when you sit on a sponge. All tha extra material has to be forced someplace....and it will go where the voids are.

Spend a few minutes searching the internet for proper saddle fit....the diagrams may be helpful instead of our words.

Again though, it may be the seat on your bicycle is the absolute wrong one for you. That is not for the internet to decide because we can't see you sitting on it. My 2000 MTB came with a relieve in the seat....as did my 2016 and 2019 bicycles. I have not had to change them but I a pretty averaged body type per stereotypical MTB person. I purchased a used road bike, 2006 model and it did not have a relieve. I rode about 2 rides on that and had to chagne the seat because it was causing way too much pain and numbing. That was only my 2nd ever seat, the 2006 mountain bike then this used road bike. I had very little experience but did know the reason for the relief. I purchaesd a seat, quite firm, that very similarly matched the dimensions of my MTB seat and it was like night and day because of the relief. The comparison saddles were all very similar actually, the 2006 sadde, the 2000 MTB and the new one I purchased for the road bike. It was the design that made a difference, not the amount of extra or missing padding.

The type of shorts you ride in may also be a factor. I am fortunate enough to be comfortable riding in board shorts (hybrid to be exact) and never required a chamois. You may need to consider a proper pair of bottoms to ride in as well.

This video may explain. You don't need that saddle but you can understand the theory of saddle fit.
 

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For sure. I’ve been off the bike for less than a year a couple of times, family, school, work, etc. and I do hold back quite a bit until I feel that I’m ready to get back to where I was.
Seven years is a long time. Bikes and riding styles have changed over that time. Take the time you need to come back.
 

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If I can't find a new saddle what about a softer cover? The one that came with my bike is like still on cement.
Padded covers are even worse. Because they move around.

There are differently padded saddles that can be perfectly fine for mtb purposes depending on what works best for your body, that can still be of appropriate size.

Hands down, your butt needs to get used to sitting on a bicycle saddle. You can't just go from sitting on a lounge chair to perching on a firm saddle for 8 hours at a time. Gotta build up to it. Even if I take a seasonal break from riding, I have to go through that same process when I start riding again. It doesn't take as long when your breaks are shorter, but there are several reasons I can't just grab the bike after months off and go do a century ride.
 

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Listen to all those about proper fitting and all that really good information but based on my experience for me. Its all about saddle time and getting used to things.
 

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IMHO stock saddles are ****. I bought one of these for each of my bikes Bontrager Sport Saddle as its a bit wider and softer. I dont use a diaper when riding, and this one is super comfy for all day riding.

As far as the other question - mountain biking is one of those sports that overthinking it can get you in trouble. Most of the time, your muscle memory will kick in and you will do just fine. Personally, I love to session the same thing over and over - but actual riding, I know that I have hit things as big or bigger so I literally dont think about it.

Great video on not overthinking -
 
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