1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Better seat, sore ass!

    Have a scott spark and the seat killed my rear! Should I keep the stock seat and just get some padded shorts or get a gel type seat?

  2. #2
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    Padded cycling shorts for sure. Not only do they provide padding, but help prevent chafing from friction as you move around on your seat.

    I get mine for a song off eBay. Wife prefers the more expensive Pearl-Izumi etc. The name-brands are of better quality fabric and stitching, but the padding is about the same.

    Next is to make sure that the saddle is the proper width for your sit bones. A quick search found this -- for road bikes, but you get the idea.
    Bicycle Saddle Fit: Cycling Gear Guide | Bicycling Magazine

    Have you been mountain biking long? Skill and just getting used to it are big factors.

  3. #3
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    I am just starting out. after about an hour ride my sit bones were killing me to the point it was almost unbearable and was worse the next 2 days after. What is a good short with thick padding that wont break the bank. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quik View Post
    I am just starting out. after about an hour ride my sit bones were killing me to the point it was almost unbearable and was worse the next 2 days after. What is a good short with thick padding that wont break the bank. Thanks!
    As above, get some decent padded shorts - there's a multitude of options in varying designs available from all the online bike stores. You might even be lucky and have a local store who stocks a decent range, so you can try them on etc.

    Once you get them, it might take a couple of rides, but the pain goes away

  5. #5
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    If you get the right saddle and some good shorts the pain won't be as bad and if you ride often enough it will go away.

  6. #6
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    It can be super challenging to find a seat that doesn't hurt, especially if you go any distance at all when you ride. I had this same problem when I first started riding. I basically agree with most of the statements above. You could try and get a gel seat to start, it certainly wouldn't hurt. Finding the right pair of shorts will also go a long way. Find the right combo of shorts and seat and your nearly golden. But regardless of what you do, the truth is that you will have to ride for a bit before the pain is gone completely.

  7. #7
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    First thing is go to a Specialized dealer and get your sit bones measured. They have a tool you sit on and then you measure the width saddle you need.

    I've haven't bought a seat in years and when I went to order, I was surprised they come in widths. Yes padded shorts are nice, also as a beginner, you need to toughen up the ass a little, but none of that matters if your seat is the wrong width.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  8. #8
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    Padded shorts first. They are a must.
    Then worry about the seat.
    Also, it gets better with seat time.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  9. #9
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    You remember when you first started or started back in the gym, football in school etc, always pain when the muscles haven't been accustomed to being used. Get the padded shorts and give it a bit of time, your arse has only been accustomed to sitting on a comfy sofa most probably
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  10. #10
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    For me it's more about time in the saddle rather than distance for how sore I get. Definitely need a new saddle... I thought it'd get better over time but it hasn't.

  11. #11
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    gel seats often make the problem worse. they work for some people, but the thicker padding on a get saddle just cuts off the circulation even more than a hard saddle. the general rule is: the longer you ride, the harder your saddle should be. that's counter-intuitive but it works.

  12. #12
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    Takes a while to break in your body to the seat. Heck, I get a little sore if I'm off the bike for 5 or 6 weeks and then go for a ride, as is often the case for me this time of year. Just give it time. Good shorts do help a bit, though.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quik View Post
    I am just starting out.
    This is your problem, not padded shorts.

    Let's get something straight up front: padded shorts are not actually to pad you from the saddle. The primary function of the chamois (or synthetic) inside the short is to prevent chafing. The padding is there for support more than it is for cushion. In order for you to sit comfortably on a saddle (for more than 15 minutes) you need to be sitting on your sit bones. The soft tissue of your rear is not made to support your body weight on a saddle; when the soft tissue is compressed you loose blood flow and things go numb and it gets really uncomfortable. When your sit bones are in contact with your saddle it allows the soft tissue to remain mostly uncompressed and you will get less pain and numbness in the long run.

    The downside is what you're experiencing right now: unless your butt has gotten used to having those bones sat upon it can be pretty excruciating for the first few rides. I experience this every spring, after my first ride I can barely walk the next day. However, if I get back on a bike during the pain then things usually get better after the first 3 or so minutes of searing pain. Anyway, your problem is that your sit bones are not used to being used in the fashion you need on a bike saddle. Here is my list of things you have to get right:

    1. Saddle setup. Make sure the nose to tail angle is nice and flat.
    2. Harden up. The 'ol Rule 5. You're going to have to get your bottom in shape for the riding season. It's going to be uncomfortable but it will only last 1 or 2 rides (in my experience).
    3. Get cycling shorts. Not because they're "padded" but because they improve every aspect of your biking experience. To be honest, the small amount of padding does usually improve your experience, but don't buy shorts thinking that lots of padding is good because it's not. Lots of padding means cheap shorts and means bunching, chafing, and rubbing. Lots of padding also means soft tissue compression. Not good. Buy the most expensive shorts you can afford; seriously, I can not stress this enough. If you only can afford one pair of shorts, make it a good one and do laundry more often. Look at the price range of shorts then shoot for at least the middle range.
    4. Saddle. You need to put time in on any saddle to know for sure you do or don't like it. Unfortunately it's a personal thing and no one can truly tell you what saddle to buy. This usually means messing up once or twice and buying a worse saddle than the one it replaces. You can streamline this process if you have a LBS near you that has demo saddle program(s). At this point almost all the mainstream saddle makers seem to have programs available. Personally I find WTB to fit the widest range of bottoms and would be a good place to start. Like shorts, less padding is typically more. The more padding the more soft tissue compression and the less you'll want to ride.

    Good luck out there, put some miles in before you go doing anything expensive.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  14. #14
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    You can move the saddle a bit forwards to shift your weight a bit more on your arms.

    A hard saddle is something you get used to very quickly. The tissue covering your sit bones is quick to adapt.

    If it hurts you otherwise (poor circulation, chafing etc.) you'll need a differently shaped saddle - more padding won't help. Have your sit bones measured and try out different models. Just 1-2 hours in the saddle tells you if you should pass the saddle or give it a chance. A whole day in the saddle without issues is a very promising sign.

  15. #15
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    Bicycle shorts make a big difference. I've tried many different brands, but I like the "primal" brand best. Not cheap unfortunately.
    DaveH
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  16. #16
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    I use bag balm to help with the soreness/pain.
    We Can't Stop Here...This Is Bat Country.
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  17. #17
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    Soreness from a saddle can be a lot of issues..often not the saddle itself. Firstly, is it adjusted correctly? Is the overal fit of the bike correct? Padded cycling shorts are your #1 thing to get that will help. Finally, often the soreness comes from not being in cycling shape and muscle tone etc. will get better after a few rides when you use these muscles and the soreness may go away.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  18. #18
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    Now while I and the others saying you're new to this, you need time for your muscles to get accustomed, if after a while it's more than just muscle soreness and you just don't feel comfortable, the definitely check other saddles. Saddles, pedals and grips are very personal, what may suit one or ten riders, may not suit someone else. For me personally I've done well with WTB saddles, the RocketV, PureV and SpeedV, I can ride all, just depends on which bike and distance.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Soreness from a saddle can be a lot of issues..often not the saddle itself. Firstly, is it adjusted correctly? Is the overal fit of the bike correct? Padded cycling shorts are your #1 thing to get that will help. Finally, often the soreness comes from not being in cycling shape and muscle tone etc. will get better after a few rides when you use these muscles and the soreness may go away.
    i've just bought one of those plastic saddles with holes - they were light - weighed 160grams but after 5km of on road riding on my road bike my sit-bones hurt like hell. My philosophy now is that some padding is needed otherwise the pain will not allow you to ride any further. No point in saving weight when you are riding in pain.

  20. #20
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    Buy a Serfas saddle. I recommend the RX one.
    I don't care what you ride or how you ride just as long as you ride.

  21. #21
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    Better seat, sore ass!

    Definitely need saddle time. I am at the point where I can do a standard 15mi ride on pretty much any saddle by the end of the season without chamois because I have saddle time and my ass has toughened up.

    Longer rides still need chamois. Early season needs chamois regardless.

    The saddle does matter but saddle choice is intensely personal. Width is more important than padding. But some amount of padding in the saddle does help a lot. Too much is just as bad as not enough but you have to find what works for you.

    Your riding position makes a difference (aggressive vs upright)

  22. #22
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    time in the saddle...

    a good pair of shorts, and a decent seat...it's a perfect world
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Better seat, sore ass!-dsc01692.jpg  

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