Saddle discomfort on indoor trainer

I am new to indoor training. I use a second bike with a similar setup and same saddle as my outdoor bike. Outdoors my saddle is pretty comfortable, but I’ve been struggling indoors. I suspect it’s because it’s 100% seated. A few quick standing breaks could work, but resistance is so light I can’t really pedal standing in most recoveries, and I don’t want to sacrifice an effort. Any thoughts on how to manage through this?

you should definitely stand regularly. I try to stand 1 minute every 10 minutes. I use erg and don’t have a problem standing in the recovery valleys if you just drop your cadence to 50 or 60, but if you don’t like standing in the recovery valleys then pick a time to stand during the intervals themselves. I find it’s a really good way to break up long sweetspot and threshold intervals and something to look forward to when you feel discomfort.

Other ideas besides fit and kit are using some kind of rocker plate. Please search for threads on rockers for more info.

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Not so much that you are seated but that the bike is fixed. Even if you sat in the saddle for an entire outdoor ride the bike would move subtly under you giving you momentary breaks.

You don’t say if you are using your trainer in Erg or resistance mode. If in Erg mode, just slow the cadence right down and the trainer will adjust.

It’s erg mode, but doesn’t adjust super quick. I guess i need to slow leg speed considerably before standing. that might help prevent the rapid change

I just did a 3 hour and 15 minute ride on the trainer…next day developed a saddle sore. Personally, I am looking into either the inside ride or a rocker plate to provide some more motion, as I just find it super awkward standing while riding the trainer.

I built a rocker. It’s great. highly recommend. however, rocker isn’t gonna prevent saddle sores on it’s own. I’ve had bouts despite my rocker having some very natural movement. good news is there is a great thread about noxema and vicks vapo rub to help with that issue!

Vicks vapo rub??? Doesn’t that burn???

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Vicks for sores. After a shower, put a small amount over the sore.
Noxema on the pad before every ride…

Works great and Noxema is a cheaper alternative to chamois cream.

Some compiled ideas to consider:

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For standing, you can upshift 2-3 gears to help keep resistance close to target while reducing cadence. I try to stand for 15-30 seconds every 5-10 minutes. There are times I can hang in on 20 minute intervals but generally do take a standing break. Also, I find different bibs make a huge difference. By far the worst bibs I’ve had on the trainer are Black Bib ultimates -I just can’t get comfortable with these. I have Endira ProSL (V1) that are great outdoors & work well indoors too but oddly, the most comfortable bibs I have for the trainer are DHB bibs that have the least padding of any shorts I own. Not sure how but I’m way more comfortable in these on the trainer than anything else.

The fixed bike position is the issue. Definitely make a habit of rising or standing every 5-10 minutes. Adding motion can help but I’d avoid the cost/time of doing that until you’ve tried routinely riding/standing first. Also, on long indoor rides I briefly get off the bike every 30-45 minutes.

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I built a rocker plate and it definitely helps with comfort but is not a total fix.
Personally I find that when I ride outside I tend to ride in a somewhat forward/aggressive position on the hoods or drops which rotates my sit bones forward and is very comfortable, I could ride for hours like that. When I am on the trainer I tend to get “lazy” and ride a bit more upright with my hands on the tops or the bar bends which makes my sit bones dig into the saddle at a steeper angle which creates discomfort.

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That is one reason I recommend setting your indoor bike with the front axle 1-2" [25-50mm] higher than the rear axle. It is unnatural to place a bike in the same pitch angle and expect the same feel, when we are totally missing wind resistance and the general aspects of forward motion while sitting stationary inside.

So, for all my rocker plate setups, my front is at least 1" higher.


All good tips here but it also just takes some getting used to it. Did a lot of low volume and hated the 1h30m Saturday workouts. In the summer I started mid volume and had a lot more of those sessions. Now those sessions don’t really bother me any more and up to 2 hours is fine. After that it starts to get a bit more annoying.

This is good advice.

It’s silly but I feel like I’m cheating if I get off in the middle of a workout.