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  1. #1
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    Skinny Butt and Broad Shoulders

    So were just getting into this biking thing ok, and by no means are we spring chickens, I'm 56 and have 8 years on my beautiful wife.

    And even though I'm self employed in a physical trade lets face it Im over weight from too much beer and too much food so the typical middle age slump has set in.

    We have put in 3 good rides now totaling almost 40 miles, The first killed me so I bought a Gell seat cover ..the second of which was a 17 mile jaunt felt better but I'm sure set me up for the damage to my posterior yesterday on our 7 mile ride in which my butt actually bled! (Maybe I should have posted this in the Rider Down Thread.)

    So I asked my wife.... "So how long does it take to get that skinny butt broad shoulder wedge shape biker dude look?... and will it happen by the end of the next ride? She laughed and is now making me ride again today. No pain no gain she said.

    Is this cruel and unusual punishment?...does your riding partner work your ass to the bone literally?

    Here is a picture of the Villon laughing at me and my blood stained shorts yesterday.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Skinny Butt and Broad Shoulders-villen.jpg  

    Skinny Butt and Broad Shoulders-ride3.jpg  

    Last edited by Stillraining; 06-03-2013 at 10:37 PM.
    My ride...Pro Flex Beast
    Wife's ride...Diamondback DBR-XR8

  2. #2
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    First, as with any sport, you must allow your body time to heal. Don't push too hard when you have pain.

    Regarding your butt pain -

    Ensure that your saddle is wide enough to support your sit bones. The sit bones should carry the weight, NOT the soft tissues of you crotch. A thick gel cover can actually do damage if it squeezes into your soft tissues with too much pressure. While some soreness is typical when starting out, you may simply be pushing too hard too fast. If the pain is not on the sit bones, consider looking into a different saddle. Also, padded bike shorts can help a lot.
    Last edited by Gasp4Air; 06-03-2013 at 10:00 AM.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  3. #3
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    There are fit issues and so forth, but there is also the issue of breaking in the backside, and it is hard to know which is which at first. I'd say, give it more time and see if it starts to lessen or not. That is how you might know if it is a proper fit issue or just a conditioning issue.

    And don't worry, it is something you get to deal with over and over again! Due to family issues (new baby in April), I haven't been on the bike much this spring, and certainly not for extended rides. I took a 2 hr road ride on Saturday -- first road ride in about 9 months, and road rides are always harder on my seat anyway, since I spend the whole ride sitting down -- and I'm really feeling it yesterday and today. I know that my saddle fits right (when I'm in "riding shape" I can ride for hours and not feel soreness during the ride, let alone the next day), but my backside is just a little out of shape, so to speak. In a few weeks, now that I'll be riding regularly again, the seat will disappear under me and I won't feel any discomfort. But it is going to take a few rides to get there.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  4. #4
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    I'd recommend running and going to the gym as well as cycling if you want to be in better shape. And as mentioned above, rest is really important.
    erphhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  5. #5
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    More Pics!!

    ...of those bikes Those are vintage gems and look to be in great condition! At least yours is, I can't see hers well enough.

    You might want to lay off the gel covers. It may be a little more comfy on short rides, but the real issue is that while they relieve sores that you would eventually harden up to (without the gel cover), they cause problems that will only get worse with longer rides.

    Of you have not invested in riding shorts with a decent chamois, you might want to consider doing so.

    Way to go getting back in the saddle!
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  6. #6
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    All good points, and now that someone brought up the bike. That Beast when new had one of the worst shocks ever, and if you weren't around the 170# weight it was designed for it was downright abusive. That was new, how old now? IMO you should get another bike, if you want to ride more, or if you like that bike get a shock from Risse Racing - High performance mountain bike suspensions, yes it's unbelievable but they still make em, or you can hope the one you have on there now seizes.
    Good for you, after a few weeks of pain it'll be more fun/less pain. It wouldn't hurt to measure your seatbones, or pick throu the bin of 10$ take offs at your lbs.
    Round and round we go

  7. #7
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    I agree-lose the gel and get padded shorts.

    Fact is, any saddle is going to make your butt sore for the first five or ten rides. Even one that is right for you. You have to let your body develop around your sit bones. And give your body rest. Skip a day or two between rides until you get up to speed.

    Side note: as pretty as your wife looks not wearing a helmet, she (and you) really need to wear one.

  8. #8
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

    Side note: as pretty as your wife looks not wearing a helmet, she (and you) really need to wear one.
    Being 48 and 56 years old, I think they can figure out when they need a helmet.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Being 48 and 56 years old, I think they can figure out when they need a helmet.
    With that being said, I think women cook cute as he!! wearing helmets;-)

  10. #10
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    Wow! thanks for all the feed back guys...every one of you offered good positive input which is most helpful and you are all greatly appreciated for that.

    Like probably most beginners our age we don't want to sink a lot of money into the sport at first to make sure this is something that's going to stick with us. So our budget for sparkly, shinny new state of the art stuff is just not there at this point.

    Thank you for the kind words about our vintage bikes..I took a long time looking for ones in excellent condition. Maybe not the choice most riders today would have made but for us they are a wonderful improvement over the Wal-mart specials we always bought our kids and once upon a time were top shelf bikes.

    Jana's Diamondback as well as my Beast are indeed in excellent condition. I do have a different spring on my Beast its a 500 lb instead of the stock 750 lb. With my weight pushing 215 lbs there is no issue with it being a hard ride, it is quite comfy actually and at my age I doubt I will ever have to worry about bottoming it out going aerial.

    I was told by a close friend to look into the padded shorts but I haven't progressed that far in the mental imagery of my fat butt in a pair of those thigh shorts yet...same goes with the pointy helmets, but I did tell my wife last ride that I thought we should get those as at the speed some riders are blowing passing us without announcing their presence if we ever get tagged we will be in serious trouble.

    So I have to start running too!...I dont know man we both have bad knees so the reason for the whole biking thing as its low impact. But I catch your drift...I probably wont get that skinny butt any time too soon..

    So bottom line some pain is normal at first, don't overdue it and let myself heal.. I'm also hearing a resounding loose the gel seat cover and get my ass measured... Is that something a bike shop does like measuring your shoe size? If not how do you measure your sit bones for the correct saddle?

    Again thanks to all.... and just for kaputsa here is a couple more picks of the old horses.... and thanks for asking and the thumbs up man...we like them allot .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Skinny Butt and Broad Shoulders-janas-diamondback.jpg  

    Skinny Butt and Broad Shoulders-my-beast.jpg  

    My ride...Pro Flex Beast
    Wife's ride...Diamondback DBR-XR8

  11. #11
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    Is the saddle on your bike "original equipment"? MTB saddle design has changed a lot since that bike was new, and as a sport rider from the "skinny butt but big gut" crew I can recommend the Specialized "bodygeometry" saddles as an inexpensive upgrade. Have 2 different models and they both are very comfortable, the one I bought "aftermarket" was about $30. As a big corporate bunch of jerks, Specialized makes stuff that works reasonably well for most people. Before trying this saddle I bought (for the same price) a "Serfas" saddle (somewhat generic replacement parts sold in lots of shops) that persisted in making my a** sore. As others said before bike shorts with a chamois/pad help SO much and just wear your khakis over them if you dont want to look "speedy". I also agree with you totally that biking is an alternative to running, and due to bad knees, I only run if bad people are chasing me.

  12. #12
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    I'm going to join the "ditch the gel and get some padded shorts" crowd. They can be kind of spendy but I found a couple pairs on line at a reasonable price. I bought the licra type and just wear them underneath some breathable sports shorts. They make all the difference in the world. There is a reason they have been developed and used for the last 40 years of biking.

    On another note I think it's great that your significant other both rides with and pushes you. As you both progress and get in better shape you'll get opportunities to see and experience places that the non biking world never will.
    If only Sikorsky made bikes...

  13. #13
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    Mountain biking shorts are just very well made shorts with a padded liner so you don't need to rock the budgie smuggler look. They're high at the back so your wife doesn't have to look at your arse crack all day and they have the pockets in all the right places (on the sides and at the back) so that the stuff in your pockets doesn't rub against your thighs. Sorry for the repetition but yes, ditch the gel covers and find a good modern saddle, your wife will probably appreciate the new 'women specific' saddles too, they've come a long way over the years. Fat saddles with gel covers will only be comfy for very short journeys, they will chafe on long journeys as your bleeding arse will testify.

    Keep it up

  14. #14
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Wow, that Proflex looks mint!

    Regarding the shorts, you can get baggies which have a built in chamois, or get regular lycra shorts and just wear some light regular shorts over them. If you make only one investment, this is the one that will make the biggest difference in comfort, IMO.

    I'm not one to preach helmet use on bike paths and/or tooling around town, but if looks are the only reason you are skipping them, I'd reconsider. There are ones out there that don't look all pointy and goofy. I think these guys make some neat designs. If you go to the "apparel" forum, you will find lots of recs for helmets that don't look like you are riding in the TDF.

    Don't give the age of your bikes a second thought. They are fine.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  15. #15
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    Op I'm confused, shouldn't you go with a stronger than stock for your weight?
    Check out Proflex / K2 Riders Group News
    There's forums and some useful tech and maintenance articles.
    Round and round we go

  16. #16
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    You both look healthy, you just have to ease into the longer rides and I agree with others about wearing padded shorts and using a standard saddle that fits your sit bones well. I'm 54 and my lovely wife is 5 years younger. My wife is an avid runner and does 6-7 miles 4 days a week and rides road with me occasionally. I've been into riding a long time and my typical MTB ride is 3-4 hours of singletrack (20-25mi) when dry trails allow. My road rides are generally 40-50 miles 3, sometimes 4 days a week. You have to work up to it. In late winter/early spring I start with 25-30mi road rides and it all goes up from there. The problem is that I can't satisfy myself with a "short" 2 hour ride anymore...I'm like an addict who needs more, more, more!

  17. #17
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    I remember the first road ride I did over 50 miles. I had been mountain biking for a couple years, so it was no problem from a legs and lungs standpoint. But OMG my a$$ hurt!!! I could barely sit down that evening. Next time out on a 60 miler it was a tad sore but not too bad. Next long ride I felt fine. I do longer rides all the time now on that same saddle. No issues.

    Just to be clear, though, soreness and chafing is one thing. Most of that you just toughen up to. Deeper pain (or numbness) is different matter.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  18. #18
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    Skinny Butt and Broad Shoulders

    Quote Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
    Jana's Diamondback as well as my Beast are indeed in excellent condition. I do have a different spring on my Beast its a 500 lb instead of the stock 750 lb. With my weight pushing 215 lbs there is no issue with it being a hard ride, it is quite comfy actually and at my age I doubt I will ever have to worry about bottoming it out going aerial.
    The reason for theMeat suggesting a different spring is to set up the bike's suspension correctly for your body weight. If you weigh more you need a stiffer spring than stock, not a softer one.

    With an overly soft rear spring on the rear suspension of your Pro Flex Beast the rear suspension is going to do two things:

    As you pedal the bike's rear suspension is likely to be pogo-ing inefficiently, the rear suspension visibly bouncing up and down with every pedal stroke. This takes energy, slowing you down.

    An overly soft rear spring also has the effect of letting the rear suspension sag excessively. If you look at your photos you can see that the front of your saddle is slightly higher than the rear of the saddle when you aren't sat on the bike. When you sit on the bike the rear suspension will compress under your body weight, changing the saddle angle, so that the front of the saddle whilst riding is much higher than the rear of the saddle.

    As a general starting point you're likely to find sitting on a bike saddle more comfortable if it's angled flat or slightly nose down whilst riding, because that saddle orientation reduces pressure on your undercarriage when compared to a nose up saddle angle.

    There should be an allen bolt on the seatpost clamp to allow you to adjust the saddle angle and position. Putting a spirit level across the top of the saddle helps to make sure it's about right once the bolts are fully tightened.

  19. #19
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    Dang! you guys are a wealth of information... all is much appreciated.

    I will definitely look into the angel of the seat..Maybe that's a big part of the issue right there because I have to admit that the boys and behind the boys have been going numb and that cant be a good thing. Just thought it was part of the toughing up process and I didn't want to make to much out of it.

    The stronger spring tension seemed counter intuitive in regards to a more comfortable ride hence my decision to go softer. Now explained I see the error in my ways but I will look into that as well as it dosent seem to flex much.
    Is there some measure as to how much compression it should have, if any, say just sitting on the bike at a stand still?.. To be honest I haven't noted any bobbing while peddling yet..but my mind has been on other things more dire, if you catch my drift. Also I haven't done any off pavement riding or stand up peddling yet either. But springs are cheap so no biggie to go back the other way.

    I will have cute butt watch next time we ride and see if she can see any bobbing going on..Makes sense that you would not want that. Darn!! And here I was thinking an going to a 300 lb spring...for that Cadillac smooth ride...LOL

    My physiotherapist thanks all of you for your sound advice.. Keep it coming!
    My ride...Pro Flex Beast
    Wife's ride...Diamondback DBR-XR8

  20. #20
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    A google search for "sag for proflex beast" brought me to the the third link down which is a page from the website linky I posted above. They tell you how to, and which spring for your weight. The proper sag is 8mm measured at the shock. That is with no one the bike, and then you get on, there should be 8mm of travel. A tie wrap around the shaft can help to see how far it moves. There's also a preload adjustment (nut that tightens down spring) to help dial into that 8mm but obviously the spring needs to be in that ballpark. The spring should have at least a few turns of preload, or more, so it stays in place (doesn't jiggle around and fall off) regardless of preference.
    It's ok if you like it a bit smoother or harder, 8mm is just a guide/baseline.
    The spring rate and sag also have an effect on dampening so it's certainly something to get tuned, especially since it's supposed to make the ride smoother and more comfy and it sounds like you're having none of that.
    Round and round we go

  21. #21
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    Thanks Meat...

    Oh I'm pretty sure the bike is pretty comfy in the shock absorbing area at least compared to anything I have ever ridden in the past which would basically be a Schwinn Varsity as a kid, well shock absorbing enough for the pavement anyway...I'm just not accustomed this past 35 years to having any item smaller then a padded bar stool wedged in my arss..

    Loosing 50 lbs would do wonders in the pain department as well I'm quite sure...I'm at least out there on the road to that end now anyway.

    Thanks for the figures though I will measure mine and et you know...I don't want to join another forum...I about got killed for joining this one....I got seriously addicted to a couple sailing forums a few years back and it definitely compromised my relationship with my wife..Id be up for hours on end making friends all over the world. Thanks again Mate!
    My ride...Pro Flex Beast
    Wife's ride...Diamondback DBR-XR8

  22. #22
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    You're welcome
    You don't have to join that website to look at the info, only to post on forums.
    BTW, I know most specialized shops near me can measure for saddle fit, maybe give them a call. Wtb saddles have a demo trial thing in some shops too. Where you try out different saddles till you find the best one for you.
    Good luck
    Round and round we go

  23. #23
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    Don't let age be any kind of deterrent. I am 50 and and still hang pretty well with guys in their early 30s. Just a few weeks ago I was riding some pretty aggressive, rocky trails that were pretty challenging and a guy with 10 years on me smoked me and made it look easy.

    You have gotten some good advise, so I will just cover down on a few points that I think are important and hopefully will help you out a little.

    I will add to the ditch the gel cover advise. Bike saddles may seem counter-intuitive just like the rear shock did to you, but think about it this way. When you are sitting on a firm saddle, your body weight is supported on your muscle structure and the weight of your body doesn't press against your soft tissues. With a soft saddle, you sink into the padding allowing some of your body weight to be carried on your soft tissues. Obviously, your soft bits are not a good thing to have pressure against and that is where a lot of the soreness and numbness comes from.

    There are lots of different saddles to choose from and it can be hard to find the right one. Like a pair of boots, you have to find a pair that fits you. As recommended, most Specialized shops have a pad you sit on for a few minutes and when you stand up it leaves an imprint of your sit bones. The shop can use that measurement to recommend a saddle that should be a real good staring place for a good fit to your rear. That's about the only thing I will recommend Specialized for. I personally like Brooks saddles for my touring bike where I spend a lot of time sitting. I do a 100 mile Rail Trail ride with my brother every year on my singlespeed and the Brooks is the saddle of choice. Brooks are leather and much like a pair of leather boots, they break in with some use and fit like a glove. I use WTB saddles on my trail bikes and am very happy with them. The "Speed V" model is comfortable for me and I have done 50 mile races using that saddle with no issues at all.

    Padded shorts are another good recommendation. Get good, tight fitting lycra shorts with a good chamois pad. Wear baggy shorts over the top of them. Nobody mentioned it yet, but there is a product called "Chamois Butter" that you rub onto you skin that serves as a lubricant to prevent chaffing. Also, advise for a new rider, don't wear underwear with your bike shorts. Generous amount of Chamois Butter on your skin everywhere that might rub on anything, and just the shorts. Once your butt is in riding shape, you won't need the Chamois Butter on relatively short rides.

    Another good piece of advise that I will second, work with your saddle adjustment until you get comfortable. Relatively level saddle position is usually best. If you can ride with no hands without sliding forward or feeling pressure on the boys you will probably find that is a good place for your saddle.

    Helmets are not all pointed. I would be the last guy to tell you guys what to do, but I do wear a helmet all the time and I think it is a good idea. A little loose gravel under your front tire and you can be down before you know what happened. I wear Fox Flux helmets. They are good strong helmets, they have good ventilation and it doesn't look like you have a cruise ship on your head.

    http://cdn.mos.bikeradar.com/images/...73w-670-70.jpg

    When I first started riding I wore the skate board style helmets. I like them, but they are hot because you don't get much air flow across your head.

    I used to run a lot when I was younger and I have the bad knees now too. Piss on running.

    Good on you guys for getting on the bikes and getting out. This stuff is addictive and you may very well find yourself out riding trails in the woods before you know it.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  24. #24
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    Holly Smokes!

    I cant believe how much time some of you are putting forth to help me out and as new member I'm quite taken aback by it.

    Words cant express my gratitude to all of you.... and believe me I am taking it all in and will be implementing a good deal if not all of it.

    Including getting us some proper helmets, and I do indeed think the ones you just linked to 11Bravo might just be the ticket..Sort of a happy medium between the extremes and not half bad looking at all. There actually seems to be some side impact protection something I always thought the skater/climbing type helmet had over the high sit on top racing style. Yet as you say including the all important ventilation.

    I'm laying off the bike this week to heal up but by next week I should be good to ease back into it.

    I am looking forward to trying all these helpful suggestions you all have provided. Measuring my bike set up and angles will be first on my list, ordering protective clothing, skid lid purchase, Sit bone measurements, correct saddle choice and more. It puts a whole new perspective on just jumping on a hand me down bike and going for a ride. I would have never knew there was so much detail in setting up a bike for proper comfortable riding.


    Again thanks guys! And I will keep you updated.
    My ride...Pro Flex Beast
    Wife's ride...Diamondback DBR-XR8

  25. #25
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    Yup this place rocks, some cool people around.
    Round and round we go

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