Starting to get a sore ass from using the indoor trainer. Help!

Hi,

Pardon my frankness, but I have been doing SSB mid volume for a few weeks now and my ass / lower regions are starting to get numb and sore mid workouts.

I don’t have saddle sores, but just numbness and mild discomfort. It is making these workouts quite unpleasant.

Some are on the TT bike, some are on my normal road bike.

I can just about do an hour and I am not looking forward to some of the hour plus rides that are coming.

(The workouts themselves are challenging, but not over the top.)

I have tried 3 different saddles that I own and none are perfect. I have also adjusted height up/down and fore and aft a little to see if that helps.

I have also tinkered with the angle etc. I am usually quite good at bike adjustments etc. I have done about 3,000 miles this year on and off the trainer. Normally though, before TrainerRoad, I only did 30 to 45 mins on the trainer.

I have tried 2 or 3 different cycling shorts. I have also tried a bit of chamois cream from time to time.

I would say on a scale of 1 being no discomfort and 10 being terrible, I am at a 7 after 30 mins or so.

Is it a case of just toughing up etc or does anyone have any more suggestions that might help?

Many thanks.
Colin

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You could try this: Rocker Plates for Trainers

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Where exactly does it hurt?

I, personally, don’t think that expensive rocker plates/chamois/saddles do anything for you. It’s all about bike fit and getting out of the saddle for 15-30 seconds every 5-10 minutes.

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Agree with this. Getting up for 30 seconds or so every so often really helps me. Generally during a 90 minute ride I’ll stand two or three times for 30ish seconds and that’s enough to keep the nether regions comfy.

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I’ve found it to be a combination of fit, and movement. I have to get up and move, as has already been referenced. Think about how much time you spend standing up on an hour long outdoor ride, vs how long you do on the same time on the trainer?

That being said, I also realized I was crutching my way through a few fit problems out on the road. My flexibility suffered a bit from time off the bike (and hip surgery) so I was flexing at my lower back rather than opening my hips, and that was causing some severe pelvis pain after 45 minutes or so. Once I dialed my fit back in I’m pretty much good to go as long as I get up a bit.

Bottom Line - Make sure your fit is spot on, just because you ride that way on the road doesn’t mean its perfect, and if thats good, just try getting up and moving around more.

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I’ve done plenty of 4-12+ hour rides without any real comfort issues. Bike fit is dialed in. About two weeks worth of bike kits hanging in the closet because I used to commute by bike.

However 90 minutes into a trainer ride and my ass starts to hurt. Specifically my sit bones and general numbness in that area. No matter if I take micro stand breaks every 5-15 minutes. I can complete a 2 hour workout, but beyond that it is impossible without getting off the bike every hour and walking around.

I’m going to build a cheap rocker plate and see if that helps. I still have a secret evil plan to do traditional base on a trainer, while hammering out work emails on my computer. A bike desk if you will. If that doesn’t work I might get one of the recumbent bikes I saw in a Costco email and try that. Definitely saw aerobic improvements during traditional base 1, and really want to find a way to combine work with low-intensity aerobic workouts.

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Pedal harder (hehe, funny guy…) and shift some of the weight to your hands. You shift the weight by moving the saddle fore and/or lower/extend the reach to the handlebars. However, if you get numbness in your hands, you’ll rather have a numb ass. As long as your genitals aren’t numb, you’re fine - you just need to shift the weight and get some blood flowing.

seriously, it is better when doing harder efforts. Two years ago I developed the dreaded nerve tingling from putting too much weight on hands, not going back there! And yeah, the private parts get numb from time to time.

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Here is a link to some testing and data I performed recently. Signs point to real, measurable differences between rigid and rocker motion.

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You said you’ve tried a few saddles, but if you never got fit to them, I’d try that. My bike fitter changed my life putting me on a Specialized Power saddle. But I’m sure if I’d decided to try one on my own I would have got a 143 whereas he fit me on a 155. Best thing ever.

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I’m 183 cm and look quite fit - I use a cheap womens saddle at 155 mm width with a big cutout. With a standard 143 mm saddle, I feel like the saddle is slowly splitting my sit bones apart, making both my sit bones and perineum uncomfortable. And yes, I pedal hard and sit extremely aerodynamic.
So, try a cheap wider saddle, maybe. You need to sit on the saddle, not have it wedged halfway inside you.

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I stand up for 10 seconds every 5 minutes. This helps a lot. I always put chamois cream on as well.

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I am “the man with no ass” ha ha, and have two saddles with cutouts. Been measured 3 different times and 143mm saddle is perfect fit. No problem throwing on a kit and riding aero for +/- 6 hours on a rolling century. The problem is only on a trainer. I can (usually) hammer out 2 hour sweet spot without too much discomfort, but 90 minutes of Baxter literally becomes a pain in the ass by the end.

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Pulled directly from my rocker plate link, but here is a decent summary of some options to try:

When you have a bike that is perfectly comfortable outside, and then leads to problems when ridden inside, I feel it is important to look at what is different. When you do, there are two key differences.

  1. Lack of wind resistance on the body riding inside. That is a difference that I find because you end up with slightly more weight on the hands and arms, because you don’t have the wind pushing your upper body back.

    • To compensate for that, I recommend that people raise the front axle about 1"-2" [25mm-50mm] higher than the rear axle. This shifts the weight slightly back onto the saddle and off the hands and arms.
  2. A bike mounted into a typical trainer ends up being very fixed and rigid in position. This can lead to excessive loading on the sit bones on the saddle because there is no shift in the demand on the muscles and tissue around them.

    • The non-equipment solution is to introduce standing breaks into your riding. Anything from every 5 to 10 minutes is common. These breaks can be for anything from 10 seconds or pedal strokes, up to minutes at a time if desired (for saddle relief directly or other training reasons).
    • The equipment solution I recommend is adding motion to the trainer setup. The Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer was my inspiration. But I made a simple double plate stand with a hinge that allowed me to mount a rigid trainer and turn it into a rocking trainer. These are called “Rocker Plates”.
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Have you tried shifting into a higher gear (lower cadence, under 80) and standing up every 5 minutes for 30 seconds?

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Has anyone tried gel seat covers like what they sell on amazon for like $15? It’s something I’ve been curious about but haven’t bothered yet. Way cheaper than a new trainer or rocker plates if they do work for our purposes.

Thanks everyone so far.

Wow! I thought it was just me that felt a bit of discomfort after a while on the trainer.

My discomfort is mainly in the perineum (which I believe is the name given to the area between the scrotum and the anus.)

After thinking about it a bit more, I also notice some discomfort even at the start of a trainer ride, if I had hammered it the previous day.

Also, as I have spent so much time on the TT bike in an aero position I wonder if this has made a “normal” road position less tolerable for me now.

I had never really thought about standing up for a little bit every 5 to 10 minutes. I always assumed that one should just man-up and grind it out. Anything less is “cheating” etc.

I’m sure that will help a little, but I’m not sure that really addresses the underlying issue.

Over the years and in bike fits, I have noticed/been told that there is a bit more wear in my cycling shorts on the right hand side of the bum and inner thigh. Also the saddle gets worn ever so slightly more on the right side too.

Some said it could be a bit of minor leg length difference, or that it is nothing to bother about as most “favor” one side over an other.

I will check out the rocker plate idea.

I do think that if I got the saddle issue right, it will really improve my training and ultimately my speed. Who would have thought that sitting on a bicycle and pedalling would be quite so technical.

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My wife’s old bike has one, might give that a try.

I just starting Traditional Base 3 MV after mind numbingly making it through TB 1 & 2. Maybe you can, but I don’t see how you could do emails or work in TB 2 or 3. The workouts are long, boring and monotonous, but not easy aerobic stuff. I thought I would just breeze through Traditional Base but I always keep asking myself “WTF, why is this harder then I think it should be?” Maybe I went into Traditional Base thinking’s it was gonna be easy, it’s not! Sure it starts off easy, but once you get into 2+ hour trainer rides it gets brutal. Expecially if you’re like me and refuse to get off the bike or stop pedaling. It’s just a long time to be continuously turning the cranks.

Really looking forward to my 3+ hour trainer rides in TB 3 :weary:

This is concerning and could lead to long term issues if not corrected, so it’s important to try and find a solution.

Everything is magnified on the trainer, so something that works well outside may cause problems in very little time indoors. Along with saddle width, a key fit issue is how flat or curved the saddles profile is. Although its impossible to diagnose your issues via the forums, my guess would be that a flatter saddle would help elevate you ischial tuberosities (sit bones) and get some of the pressure off your perineum. The size of the saddle cutout may also be a factor.

If you could find a fitter that could do some pressure point mapping, that would be ideal. Otherwise you might want to find a shop that will let you trial a bunch of different saddle shapes. I’m a fan of Prologo saddles and they have models that are flat, curved, and then some halfway in between.

The saddle is the key, but other things to consider are really good bib shorts and having some movement of the trainer. Rocker plates are a hot issue right now and I’m sure help a lot. For me, there was a big difference moving from the Kickr, which is very rigid and fixed, to the Tacx Neo, which has a small amount of give.

Hope this helps.

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