RE: A Sensitive Question
>at about 15 miles my legs are feeling great, my attitude’s terrific, and
>everything’s go except for where my body hits the seat, which is either numb or
>in a fair amount of pain.
>I’ve tried Vaseline, tight pants, loose pants – all kinds of things. Anyone
>ever ride with a cup (sounds painful, but what do I know)?
Cups weren’t made to be sat on. Athletic supporters (from my limited experience)
put the straps in the wrong place, so you sit on them.
You didn’t mention cycling shorts. Cycling shorts are made for cycling and there
is no substitute. Fabric on the legs reduces possible chafing from pedaling
action against the seat, and the big padded thing in there makes a huge
difference. They are designed to be worn directly against the skin.
But this alone won’t get you from 15 miles to 50.
>By the way, I’ve got an old Schwinn – perhaps you know a way I can modify the
>seat for long distance riding?
The old style Schwinn seats are the easiest to upgrade to an air seat. If you
have the seat with the removeable vinyl cover you can do it. As these seats get
old, the foam breaks down and crumbles away. Take out the foam, put in a 12"
inner tube (scooter tire). Run the valve stem out thru the hole in the seat
base. You don’t even have to put much pressure in it.
I just made one for my MUni, which has a Miyata seat. I cut the seat cover for
the valve stem (in the rear), and used a 16" tube, which I consider to be too
big. Rode almost 17 miles on Sunday, all on trails, and it felt great!
That, plus a good pair of cycling shorts (you get what you pay for, don’t buy
the cheapest ones you can find) should get you at least to 30 or 40 miles. If
you’re like the average person, your crotch may have to still suffer on a 50
mile ride. How did Bradley and I do the March of Dimes 75k in 1980? With pain
I also hold onto the front of the seat when I ride. When cruising, I’m pushing
down. This takes some weight off the crotch, similar to riding a bike. On a road
bike, about 40% of your weight is on the handlebars. This, and the different
position of your pelvic structure on the seat make it easier to go longer times
on a bike seat, so press down (may take getting used to) while riding.
Two important points:
- Personal comfort is a very individual thing. What one person finds
comfortable may not be true for another.
- Don’t go on a 50 mile ride with anything new! Make sure you’ve tried out your
shorts, your seat, your shoes, anything you’ll use. Many people have learned
this the hard way and it can’t be overstressed.
I’ve learned this from marathon and orienteering races at the competitions: If
you ride as fast as you can for the whole time, you won’t notice the saddle
pain. It’s true! If you do feel pain, it just means you weren’t going fast
Let us know how it turns out!