I recently switched from a 143mm flat long Selle Italia saddle to a 143mm Specialzed Power Arc. My pedal stroke feels way better on the Power Arc–I think I benefit from the waved and curved shape, cutout, and short nose. However, the Power Arc is causing me serious chafing and saddle sores in the crease between my left buttock and hamstring.
I’ve been paying close attention to how it feels and I’m pretty sure it’s not my leg rubbing against the saddle, but rather my leg rubbing against itself. This happens when I sit near the widest part of the saddle–I think my butt and hamstring basically bunch together and chafe at the bottom of my pedal stroke. When I sit in the center of the saddle I don’t get the chafing, but then the saddle doesn’t feel any more comfortable than my old Selle since I’m basically using it as a flat saddle, and I don’t think my sitbones are as supported in this position.
Has anybody else had similar experiences or advice? Before the chafing got bad enough to create saddle sores, the Power Arc was the most comfortable saddle I ever rode, so I’d love to figure out a fix or get ideas for other saddles that might work better for me. I have like five days left to return the saddle or decide to keep it.
The Bontrager Aeolus may work for you. The shape is a little different but similar. I have never been able to solve chafing issues. That same spot is where I always get my saddle sores and it’s only fixed by using a different saddle.
Yes, I started to have similar irritations/saddle sores with the Power Arc indoors when I am extra sweaty this winter. I find that tweaking the bike ever so slightly will make a huge difference - in my case, bike has to be slightly off-level for most comfort.
I went through a pile of saddles and settled on the Power Arc as it is by far the most comfortable for me. This winter for some reason I’m having issues indoor, no problems at all outside (15+hrs in 3 days outdoor and all discomfort disappeared)! I may try out a similar saddle next winter if problems persist …
I use the Power Expert outdoors. I tried the Power Arc Expert on my indoor bike and I experienced a lot of rubbing in the same spot as your chafing. I gave it quite a long chance but changed to the Power Expert and don’t have that problem.
I’ve been riding the Power Mimic (great saddle for men too) indoors and out. It’s always been fine outdoors, but on long sweaty trainer sessions I got chafing from the edge of the wings. I slid it forward about 1/4” and it solved all of my problems without drastically altering my fit.
I had same problem with power, then moved to power arc. Better, but same problem once the rides get long enough. It’s a great saddle for me if it’s a short ride in aggressive position, but just doesn’t work when putting in the hours (which makes it a deal killer). I switched to a phenom last year and it’s much better for distance. I’m still not 100% happy, but it’s working. I’m doing a race in June that will be 13-14 hours (or more), comfort is a bigger concern than fitness at this point.
Make sure your saddle is properly positioned (height, tilt, and fore/aft). Small adjustments can make a significant difference in comfort and chafing.
Consider getting a professional bike fit to ensure your overall position on the bike is optimized, which may help alleviate chafing.