Tldr; best XL Bib Chamois for 117mm sit bones on a 155mm Specialized Comp saddle?
During my recent bike fit I felt the fitter had trouble getting an accurate sit bone measurement. In the end he landed on 117mm and switched me to a wider saddle, a Specialized Bridge 155.
It made me sore, but i wasn’t sure if it was because it was new, too wide and/or my sit bone measurement was off.
I went back in a pair of gym shorts (thinking that the chamois I was wearing in the initial fit was what was throwing off the measurement) and had him remeasure me. The measurement came back a little thinner/shorter but he said not enough to go down from a 155 to a 148 or smaller. I had him put my stock saddle back on and sure enough he was right. Despite the new pain, I could feel how much better my rear end liked the 155 saddle.
From there we rifled through a whole bunch of other specialized saddles and I landed on the Specialized Power Comp 155. I could tell my sit bones were in the right spot in the meat of the saddle.
Since then, I’ve been riding a lot and I’m still getting significant sit bone pain. It occurred to me that perhaps my chamois isn’t positioned correctly?
I have tried some Castelli chamois in the past, but they felt weird. Maybe it’s my unorthodox anatomy, but the chamois always felt way too forward. To the point where I could grab a good bunch of the chamois jutting out between my thighs in my fist while i was riding.
I then tried on a few sugoi Bibs and they fit me like a glove! As soon as I put them on, I could feel how the chamois “went all the way back” and there wasn’t all this extra material sticking out in front when I was on the saddle. I bought a few pairs of sugoi Bibs and was happy. That was until I started riding so much more this summer.
So after the bike fit, and after finding the correct saddle and still having this crazy sit bone pain, I very intentionally reached down and felt the spot that was aggravating me while at a stop. It occurred to me that the inner part of my sit bone was almost exactly halfway on the outer edge of my chamois while the outer half of my sit bone was on the seam. Fyi, these are the sugoi rse bib shorts from a few years ago with the Formula FXE chamois.
For my next ride I tried “not to pull up the chamois so far and tightly” to allow the chamois to sit farther forward so my sit bones were farther back (and chamois farther forward) and allow my sit bones to be on the widest part of the chamois. Because while the Castelli chamois were waaaaay too forward, maybe the sugoi chamois was an inch or so too far back. I also made sure to rub chamois cream into that outer part of the chamois and seam since that seemed to be the specific problem area. I also popped 4 advil before the ride lol.
With the chamois repositioned, advil taken and some more precise cream application, it seemed to work. It wasn’t nearly as bad, but on the latter half of the ride I kept reaching down and pulling the leg of my short down towards my knee; to pull the chamois forward and get that widest part of the chamois back under the middle of my sit bones. I completed the 115 mile 7000’ foot ride in a lot less pain than I anticipated, but noticed I now had the beginnings of chaffing; something I’ve never had before.
Suffice to say, I’m at a bit of a loss. I ordered some other Bib brands but they all feel similar in placement at best and none seemed to fit as nice as my sugois (although some chamois did seem thicker). And i can’t ride the new Bibs with cream for 75+ miles to test them out and then still be able to return them.
Is this a common problem? I’m not your typical cyclist body type. Former college hockey player, minor league baseball player and now pro skier. I have a weird body. I’m very muscled up top, kinda short at 5’9", 200 lbs with a huge butt and quads, but the tiniest little calves and ankles you’ve ever seen lol. I’m usually an XL or L in Bibs and jerseys, depends on the brand. I’m a little heavy right how after some injuries so losing 5-10 pounds is in the future. sigh
Any advice or experiences are appreciated! Thanks!