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Setups and saddle for back pain


NickGM
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Hi Hubbers,

I've got a bit of lower back pain which had been getting worse for a couple of years. It's not severe but bad enough for me to (a) see a biokineticist about it and (b) get my road bike setup properly for the first time. 

 

Both have helped a lot, but I'm left with 1 issue: my revised bike setup generally feels a lot better with the exception that I have excessive pressure in an area that one would colloquially call "the gooch". Perineum I believe?, As with my back, it's not hugely uncomfortable, but its bad enough for me to ask an embarrassing question on bikehub. Also it means that I end up sitting asymmetrically in a effort to keep the pressurized area either to the left or right of the saddle. I have to "pick a side", which is not ideal. 

 

So anyway, I suspect either the setup needs a minor adjustment or I need a different saddle. I currently have a fizik hisene which came with the bike. I've seen others (eg Selle SMP) that have a hollowed out bit in the middle presumably to relive pressure in said area. 

 

Also, to pre-empt any questions about the setup, the guy that carried it out is well qualified, reputable and has made a saddle suggestion: SQlabs. He's also offered to fine tune the setup a bit. 

 

Before I fork out for an expensive saddle though, I'm just asking around to see if anyone has had similar issues and to see what worked for them, if anything. 

 

Thanks

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Spez Power saddles get a lot of recommendations here and for good reason. Other saddles have similar shapes and results. Perhaps try one of those? I see Fizik has announced a similar-shaped saddle now too.

 

My advice is try some options. It's not a one-size-fits-all, so keep at it until you're comfy!

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spaz power saddle fixed my gooch tissue-issue too lol. the wife liked mine so much she got her own(albeit in 155mm). There is a Ryder copy of it for 1/4 of the price if you just want to try it out first,it wasnt around when i was looking otherwise i could have gotten it as it is in my width....the ryder is a copy of the 143mm spaz one. i think you just need space or a hole for your junk to go now lol.

 

https://www.rydercycling.co.za/ryder-products/saddles/swift-2-0-saddle-324-detail

 

PS: the spaz Phenom and Romin are also popular choices apparently. 

but for the price of a Ryder version (±R300) you can defo start there first if you want

Edited by morneS555
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What @morneS555 said

Maybe try the Ryder Force Saddle? I believe it is cheap enough (relative to other saddles) to give it a go? I got one and it solved the pressure issue for me. If it works for you, you can then decide if you want to keep it or upgrade to a Spez Power saddle?

Edited by gerriemtb
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spaz power saddle fixed my gooch tissue-issue too lol. the wife liked mine so much she got her own(albeit in 155mm). There is a Ryder copy of it for 1/4 of the price if you just want to try it out first,it wasnt around when i was looking otherwise i could have gotten it as it is in my width....the ryder is a copy of the 143mm spaz one. i think you just need space or a hole for your junk to go now lol.

 

https://www.rydercycling.co.za/ryder-products/saddles/swift-2-0-saddle-324-detail

 

PS: the spaz Phenom and Romin are also popular choices apparently. 

but for the price of a Ryder version (±R300) you can defo start there first if you want

I second this.

 

I have a Selle San Marco version of the Spez Power on my roadie and the Ryder knock off of the power on my trail bike.

 

The Ryder is cheap enough to experiment with but doesn't look like a cheap shitty knock off. If i knew then what I know now I would have just bought 2 of these instead of spending thousands on cactus's cunningly disguised as saddles.

Edited by Duane_Bosch
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Before spending any money on a new saddle, check your current one with a spirit level.

 

Even the slightest raise at the front can cause discomfort. Make sure its 100% level.

 

If it is level, then you can consider dropping the nose of the saddle ever so slightly and if that doesn't help, then look at something new.

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I second this.

 

I have a Selle San Marco version of the Spez Power on my roadie and the Ryder knock off of the power on my trail bike.

 

The Ryder is cheap enough to experiment with but doesn't look like a cheap shitty knock off. If i knew then what I know now I would have just bought 2 of these instead of spending thousands on cactus's cunningly disguised as saddles.

That's actually not a bad idea. I generally spend more time in one position on my road bike, so maybe experiment on my mtb with a cheaper version. If that works, go all-in on the road bike. 

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I had similar back pain , In short  was from tender gooch ( to coin your phrase ;-) and you rotate hips to take pressure off causing back pain 

 

A specialized power saddle sorted it , and I now have one on each bike and swear by them 

 

The rapide is also worth a try  https://www.rapide.co.za/product/rapide-tf-147-saddle/

I have experimented with their oval chain rings ,  intending to by a top of range one when i settled on the right one, but just stuck with rapide they are that good.

 

The fact that the cut out does not go all the way through stops mud on your Gooch ;-) 

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Fizik stands for: Anal torture device in Chinese  :whistling:. Not my own description but I find it fitting here. I used to have a Gobi many moons ago and a friend (the person who originally coined the opening phrase) had the Fizik saddle starting with an "A" I think it was the Antera or something like that. 

 

Anyhow, he moved over to the Phenom and rode that for close to 10 000 km before moving over to the WTB volt. He swears by the WTB because of the extra padding (he is a heavier rider). 

 

Me on the other hand - the Gobi caused massive chaffing and prostate issues, so after around R7k of dr bills I got me some ASSOS bibs as well as the Phenom (after a saddle set-up). 

 

This was about 6 years or close to 30 000 km ago. I have tried the following saddles in my journey:

  • Power x 2
  • Phenom x 6
  • Romin x 1
  • Sella x 1

So my findings were as follows:

  • The power worked ok-ish but I sold it after about 2-3 uses (not really for mtbing according to the Spaz shop here in PTA)
  • The Romin is very hard but comfy and it has quite a long narrow nose (again, this is a road saddle).
  • Sella - I just got this one cause it was very cheap, I did not use it very often but it had lots of padding
  • Phenom - You can see that I've had many of them over the last few years and they work really really well for me, it has nice "lovers-groove" not as wide as the Power but it works very well. 

My advice will then be: 

  • Go with either the Power, Phenom, WTB or even the Ryder, this is dependent on how much you want to spend and or how much padding you want.
  • Also invest in a proper bib if you haven't done so yet - I know, it's flippen expensive but a proper bib makes a HUGE difference. I still use my one bib I bought back in 2014 or 2015 so they're very economical over the long run. 
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