kuangning: (angry)
[personal profile] kuangning
I have deeply unhappy sit bones that are making sitting in even a regular chair or my memory-foam-equipped bed a difficult proposition, at the moment. So, like I do whenever something like this comes up, I turned to Google.

Google confirms for me, via pretty much every site on the subject ever, that women, especially those who have given birth, usually have sit bones that are spaced wider apart than men's -- it's a feature that comes with our wider hips, for the purpose of giving birth, which of course I've done a few times. I measure, and my sit bones are falling over the outside seams of the saddle, where there is almost no give, instead of over the pads meant to take them. Combine that with the upright posture my bike is meant for, putting more weight on the saddle, and I see why I'm bruising my bones. They may be plushly padded when I stand up, but sitting on the saddle is like sitting on the edge of a low seat; most of the padding gets shifted away, leaving the bones and the much thinner layer of muscle and fat directly over them to press hard against whatever surface I'm sitting on. I've got deep, specifically-located pressure pain, not muscle achiness or skin distress. Fair enough, yeah?

So, I need to look at wider saddles. To make sure I actually get a wider saddle, I need to know what my original one is. I look up my model and year on Trek's site; I have a 2008 7000 WSD. Note that WSD well -- it stands for Women's Specific Design. The bike comes with a very pretty Bontrager Suburbia FIT saddle. Armed with that fact, I trundle over to Bontrager's site to look up the Suburbia saddles and obtain specific measurements. This is where my jaw hits the floor.

Part No. MSRP* Color Cover Gender Model Rails Size Weight
276062 44.99 10 Black / Black Synthetic Leather Mens Suburbia Steel 265mm / 224mm 900g
276063 44.99 10 Gray / Black Synthetic Leather Womens Suburbia FIT Steel 263mm / 210mm 875g


Catch that? The FIT, the women's version, is slightly smaller than the men's version, contrary to all common sense and a fact that anyone can pick up in ten seconds' research on the subject. Bontrager made the decision to manufacture and market, and Trek made the decision to equip, on a bike meant to be specifically better for a woman's anatomy, a saddle that was smaller than the version of the same saddle provided for men, who have narrower-spaced sit bones. Here was I, thinking I just had an aberrant body, but it turns out, while I may in fact have an aberrant body, they also just decided to shortchange me and make it more likely that I was going to need a wider saddle than they provided for me.

Needless to say, any chance that my new saddle would be a Bontrager evaporated with my goodwill when I saw those measurements. Now I just have to decide on something else. And hope that by the time it arrives, I will no longer be in too much pain to sit on it.

Date: 2010-09-28 08:10 pm (UTC)
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
From: [personal profile] sara
After carrying an almost-10-lb.-at-birth child, I switched over to a Brooks B17 -- not the women's model. I am much, much happier now (well, except for the thing where I liked the Brooks so much I had to buy a second one for the tandem, which does get spendy).

Date: 2010-09-28 08:24 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
Well, for me it'd become basically impossible to use the bicycle because my feet were going numb, so I had to do something -- but yeah, they are not cheap, and I didn't get the second one for 18 months (and when they went 10% off at the LBS's Labor Day sale).

Date: 2010-09-28 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mayamaia.livejournal.com
I was always assured that bike saddles were never intended for actual sitting but for balance assistance, and as such generally land between the bones rather than being designed to support. As such, many mens ones appear to be nothing but torture instruments for organs kept outside the body...

I, however, am not awesome enough to bike without resting often on the seat, so I like to buy extra gel pads. They do really quite well, and two of them often fit well on top without any loss of balance.

Date: 2010-09-28 11:41 pm (UTC)
kowh: Cow with goatee pixelish art (Default)
From: [personal profile] kowh
As such, many mens ones appear to be nothing but torture instruments for organs kept outside the body...


Just thinking of it makes me shudder. I've tried a bad seat, never again. Pins and needles in that part of the anatomy is an incredibly uncomfortable sensation.

Date: 2010-09-29 12:48 am (UTC)
maize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maize
I have no idea what kind of saddle mine is, but I'm pretty sure that I just went into Canadian Tire or possibly my local bike shop and picked it up for not a huge investment. It is extremely wide. Most bike shops carry 'touring saddles' in-stock, which are very wide.

If you want, I can check for a model when I ride next, but that may not be for a little while.

Date: 2010-09-29 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hepkitten.livejournal.com
this reminds me that i need a new saddle stat because mine definitely is torturing my sit bones.

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