Can't get comfortable in the saddle at all? Chamois wrong size?

Hi Guys, I hope all is well with everybody.

I am looking for some advice in regards to getting comfortable in the saddle before I go and spend $200+ for a bike fit. I know that might be the best advice, but I would like to try and avoid that if I can right now.

I’ve tried 3 different saddles over the last few months and I can’t for the life of me get comfortable, whether it be on the road or on my indoor trainer. I’ve tried to angle the seat up, down, flat, forward, backward and to no real avail. I feel like I end up shuffling a lot on the saddle and trying to sit up, then get down low, shuffle around etc.

My last resort right now is thinking that maybe my bib chamois isn’t the greatest? The pain feels more like it it coming from directly under my crotch, almost like inside of my seat bones, which when I poke around, it feels like the chamois on my shorts gets narrow in that area and perhaps I need some better ones with a better placement?

I assume I am not the only person who has had this issue. So, without going for a bike fit (which I will do if I have to), what else has worked for you guys in the past and any other advice you could give me in advance?

Thank you so much.

Lower the saddle a bit and try again.

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I will try that - But why would lowering the saddle help here?

How long have you been riding?

A couple of years intermitently, and pretty much 100-150 km per week for the last 8 weeks.

I had/have the same issue. I went through 5 different bike seats, at least half a dozen chamois’. I could never get comfortable on the bike. I finally broke down and got a bike fit through a Retul guy. He changed my stem length (shorter and 25 degree angled up.) He changed my seat… even though I said I’d been through 5 of them already. Put plastic wedges in my shoes. Changed the cleat position under my feet.

After all that, I was in even more pain than previously. It felt like a wasted $300 to me at the time. In hindsight, I think that the issue is that my bike was the wrong size and he was trying to fix that by making these drastic changes. I still have the same bike and a lot of the same issues but I feel like when I am ready to get a new bike, getting the proper size will be a big step in being comfortable finally.

As far as Landis’ comment, people tend to tolerate saddles that are slightly too low as opposed to slightly too high.

Good luck :slight_smile:

With out seeing you it’s just a hunch as a slightly high saddle will cause much more pressure in/around/under your crotch/sit bone/inside of thigh area than a lower on. Take it to the extreme where the saddle is so high you could barely reach the pedals…obviously too low is not good but, I’d rather ride slightly low than high. Many cyclist who try to find more power with position raise the saddle to get more extension. Usually when they feather it slightly high they complain of saddle sores (among other problems). Lowering the saddle usually really helps. All other things equal.

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Thank you for the explanation. I will drop the saddle tomorrow and see how that feels…Anything else I should be looking out for? Do you think the chamois pad width could also be something to look into?

This topic (saddle comfort) is really subjective and internet advise dangerous as so many variables exist. With that said:

IME pads can absolutely make a difference but, usually if the bib/shorts are way too small or large. If the bib/shorts fit well the pad is probably in the right spot and not moving so, bike fit and/or saddle shape, width, outline and profile are next to examine.

My closet is filled with bibs from various manufacturers over the last few years. All high end but, slightly different. Ale, Eliel, Cuore, Etxeondo and Pedal Mafia. All in varied states of use from new to technically worn out. All feel fine. I’ve been at this for a long time and know the shape of saddle I need: mid 140 width; shorter but wider nose, however, the outline can’t be too aggressive and flare too quickly; and lots of profile.

The only thing that makes all that painful is too high a saddle. Just one man’s journey. Hope something sticks for you.

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Thanks Landis - Much appreciated for your time

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I had this happen one year, had to swap saddles mid season. Maybe try someone else’s saddle, we all prob have a couple laying around