Saddle suddenly too wide

So recently I’ve had some chafing on my butt cheeks from the widest spot of my saddle. I can’t figure out exactly when it started but I have only introduced two new things.

  1. Being a new handlebar, a Zipp SL-70 Aero I 38cm (narrow is aero, you know) which may have a little shorter reach that my old specialized alu bars. When getting the new bars mounted I got a 5mm spacer inserted. So my new bars are also a little higher than the old setup.

  2. Being muscle activation drills done before workouts to get my glutes firing. Since I discovered that the didn’t seem to be very active when I’m cycling.

So I like to believe that it’s because my ass got so active that it somehow needs more space and my saddle then is too wide. But seriously? Could that be the case? Or is it more reasonable to think that it’s because of a small variation in how I sit on the bike now?

Like to hear your thoughts :smile:

I have a similar story. Been riding since October, and averaging 7hrs/week since November. I got a demo Specialized saddle to test and had it for 4-5 weeks while a new one was on back order with no issues (around Jan/Feb) and it seemed to fit great. Got the new saddle, and 2 weeks into it I started to notice discomfort. Since then, I’ve had 3 saddle sores on left and two on right (all but one in form of a blood blister) all in a row. The last one is finally almost healed, but it has been a frustrating 4-5 weeks to be sure :frowning: considering another saddle, but with shops doing online orders only I am a bit hesitant.

Was that a Specialized Power by any chance? I had the same thing and switched to a Power Arc on all my bikes and after a bit of time to adjust it’s been smooth sailing.

Yes! It absolutely is! I have actually considered the Power Arc as well, did you go with Expert or S-Works (which I don’t want to spend $350CAD on …)?

Also - are you using a 143 or 155mm? I am now very interested to try the Power Arc!

Less reach (both through narrower and higher bars) might make you sit further back on the saddle (to get back to old reach), where it is wider.

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I just went for the Power Arc Expert. Only difference with Pro and S-Works should be the weight.

I had a fit done and went with the 143mm Power. Kept the same size when I switched to the Power Arc.

I was very excited to try it too after reading online about it solving the saddle sore issues for others! I tended to get them in the crease between the glutes and the hamstring muscles, and other people in various forums who had the same problem said switching from the Power to the Power Arc made a difference for them.

Good luck! I know how much it can suck riding with these sorts of issues, it’s great to finally find the right fit + saddle + bibs + chamois cream that lets you ride without even thinking about your bum :joy:

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You have me convinced, I think I’ll grab one for the weekend. I get them in the same place, and honestly it is a small cost to pay for no butt pain :rofl:

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Update: saddle ordered, delivery tomorrow. I’ll report back in a week or two after I’ve had a chance to ride it a bunch. Specialized offers a 30 day comfort guarantee, which is helpful but hopefully I won’t need.

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@sbfp sorry for the slight side track in your thread. What saddle do you have currently?

Have you been working on your mobility as well as activation drills? If you’re moving a bit more freely that could definitely change things, maybe not in optimal saddle width but in optimal saddle shape?

Power Arc in 143mm acquired and mounted. Easy ride tonight, but will report after the weekend.

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I have in fact been doing activation drills and mobility work so I might also move at bit more freely on the bike. But never felt restrained by my mobility though. Since my post I actually feel it’s been better with the saddle issues. Now I’m actually trying to figure out if my saddle is too narrow when I’m not sitting so far back on it. For me the saddle game is a complete jungle both in terms of size and style. Have scheduled a bike fit in the near future and hope this might help figuring out the saddle issues.

I currently ride a 143mm Toupé from specialized

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Yeah, it’s definitely a bit of a jungle like you say.

In case you haven’t already seen it, this bit from a recent podcast might be interesting to you: Bike Fit: How to Make Your Position Aero and Powerful (Ask a Cycling Coach 254).

Good luck with the bike fit :+1: