Endurance rides = sit bone pain?


#1

Does anyone else have this issue? I saw someone allude to it in a thread on Baxter…

I just got done with a 75 minute endurance ride, and my sit bones were KILLING me towards the end. I know exactly why this is happening…it’s because the power (or lack thereof) I’m applying to the pedals isn’t offsetting my weight as much as it would on a SS/Threshold/VO2 workout, so my backside is supporting pretty much all of it. But is there any remedy for it?

Does anyone put extra padding on their saddle for an endurance ride? If so, what do you use? Or would that introduce more complications? Is this just a case of me needing to HTFU??


#2

Hey there!

This is very common actually. Sitting on the trainer for that long in one position is hard and does cause most of us discomfort. I know @mcneese.chad recommends putting a rocker plate under your trainer so that you have a bit of movement to offset the pressure points on your sit bones. You can check the thread he put out on this here:

Also, simply standing every once in a while or adjusting your position throughout the long workouts can help as well. Other than that, if you don’t have one, investing in a nice chamois for the trainer may help but they are pretty expensive for a little butt pad…


#3

Are there specific chamois made for the trainer?

Normally I wear the same type of pad I would ride or commute on…


#4

I’m sure there are (there is anything and everything out there these days) but I am not aware of any. A normal chamois is what most of us use but you can get “upgraded” chamois’s from companies like Cuore and Castelli.


#5

I’d be careful with additional padding as it is known to cause unwanted pubic area pressure after a while. Not really an issue for “shorter” rides, say 1-2 hours, but something to be mindful of.

I went the opposite direction and went for less saddle padding by putting a Cobb one fifty one on. I have a couple cheap chamois mainly because I don’t want to do laundry more than once a week but I sure dread using them. I save those for the shortest sessions of the week.


#6

I make it a point to stand to pedal every 20 min for about 45 sec to a minute. It doesn’t solve the issue but it can delay the painful onset. In my case, about 30-40 more minutes.


#7

Endurance rides are definitely harder on the sit bones. I’m working my way through some traditional base rides before jumping into SSB 1, and I can definitely feel the difference. I think finding a good chamois-to-undercarriage match is important regardless on the trainer because you’re in much more of a fixed position. steady-state rides just seem to exacerbate these feelings more than intervals because you’re not shifting around in the saddle between putting down power and resting like you are in other workouts.

I’m definitely going to rocker plate route here soon!


#8

LOL, that was only part of my solution during 2.25 - 2.75 hour long endurance rides of traditional base. Stopping and standing up helps, and when it really hurts I’ll get off the bike for 30-60 seconds.


#9

The rocker plate sounds reasonable.

I am using a saddle that I do long rides on, long as in brevet rides, 400 km a day is not unusual. The saddle works then. But I am having some of the same pains. Standing up now and then helps. That is what I do outside. But I am starting to wonder if the bike doesn’t have a different slope now. I feel like I’m tending to fall forward, taking my sit bones away from their cozy little abode (I use a leather saddle).

I am going to check if the seat is still level to the floor after hooking the bike up to a trainer. That’s my present suspect … sloping frame.


#10

Interesting . . . I have tilted my wheel up 1" to 2" before, and it is definitely more comfortable overall, but I am terribly prone to perineal numbness, and tilting the bike up exacerbates that. So I am trying to find that perfect balance between sit bone discomfort and perineal numbness. HTFU, indeed…

That said, I will probably grab my best chamois for endurance rides in the future and see if that helps (7Mesh or Rapha, in case you’re curious).

I feel a rocker plate in my future…


#11

I am not sure, but I always thought that the purpose of chamois was mostly to soak up sweat and keep your tender spots from chaffing. I ride firm saddles (leather) but I never really have any pain issues. I think my nerves in that area are pretty much desensitized, if not simply out of commission.

This particular bike is going to be there for a few months now, so I am planning to just pull out the level and readjust the seat so that it is level with the floor.


#12

Get or build a rocker plate…makes it so much better.


#13

ya gotta laugh… I did a double century last year with no problems in that area (a little hot foot around mile 140). But get on a fixed-position trainer and my rear end starts hurting after 75 minutes.


#14

Everyone has this pretty well covered, but here is my short take.

  1. adopt a practice to standing for 10-30 seconds at a time, about every 5-10 minutes.
  2. If on a road bike with drop bars, make use of the full compliment of positions to change loading on the body, to include the sit bones and related tissue.
    • (Tops, Hoods, Drops, etc.)
  3. raise the front end (as you have already tried).
  4. add a rocker plate, or even some thicker foam under the trainer to give some amount of motion.

I’m happy to answer rocker questions in the other thread too.


#15

Stand regularly and adjust your position slightly throughout the workout. Treat it like a drill.


#16

Good point @BennyC. I added the bar position to my list above.


#17

I find chamois cream helps too. I don’t need it for outside rides just inside on the trainer.


#18

I find the SQlab Active seat technology (along with the ergonomics of the seats) has made a huge difference in sit bone discomfort on long rides.

https://www.sq-lab.com/en/sqlab-ergonomics/sqlab-concepts/sqlab-active-saddle-technology.html

I purchase them for RadSport in the US

They come in different sizes for different width sit bones as well.


#19

Interesting. I’ve never seen this before. Any thoughts on which model is best for the trainer?


#20

Most saddles these days seem to have very little padding. Saddles like these I’ve found to be OK for shorter rides outside (< 4 hrs or so), but for longer outside rides, and rides over 60 mins on the trainer, I get sit bone pain from the pressure.

I’ve played around with multiple saddles, and find the most comfortable usually to be the cheaper models in a given line - because they have the most padding.

Worth going to your LBS and getting a few demo saddles to try out. It’s a good time of year to experiment with different saddles.