My Long Journey to a Comfortable Butt

Nirmala

Active Member
It was a perfect storm of factors that made my butt burn:
1-I have no built in padding down there, and any prolonged sitting can be a challenge for me
2-The Magnum Ui5 has a fairly upright city bike riding posture which puts more weight on my sitz bones.
3-The electric motor of course means that I am usually traveling at a higher speed and so hitting the bumps that much harder

As a result of the above, even though I was smiling during every mile because riding an ebike is so much fun, my butt was not smiling after just a few miles. But being a gadget/accessory freak, I figured there must be a solution. My first change was to buy this Bell Memory Foam saddle: http://amzn.to/1LOfDC7 It is much better than the stock saddle on the Ui5.

Then I bought a ST (short travel) Thudbuster ( and that was even better....but still not enough comfort for my skinny butt. So I upgraded to a LT Thudbuster: http://amzn.to/1iAzbzx (note this is the 27.2 diameter version that fits the Ui5, it is also the longer 450mm one that gives more seat height if needed), and the shorter ST Thudbuster went on my wife's bike. She noticed the difference even though she does not tend to get sore.

The Thudbusters really help with the bigger bumps if you do not see them coming and so do not manage to stand up over the bumps. They do add some height to your saddle, so make sure you can fit them between your frame and the seat. The ST is shorter and so easier to fit in this way, but I needed some extra seat post length anyways for the Ui5 so it was no problem for me to fit the LT version.

I still felt it after a long ride, and so I tried some of the usual other solutions, including a nice pair of padded cycling shorts: http://amzn.to/1Q8LaBS Again, these helped, but after 10 miles or more, I was still a hurting puppy.

Then I found something that seems to have made the biggest difference. For a while now I have been using the seat cushions made by Ergo21 in my car and on my office chair: http://amzn.to/1RVLkvc As I said, prolonged sitting is tough for me and these cushions really make a noticeable difference. Several friends have tried them and found them to work well.

Well it turns out that Ergo21 has just come out with a new bicycle seat cover that incorporates the liquid layer of their regular seat cushions to prevent pressure points: http://amzn.to/1k80p27 It is a fairly thick cushion that sits on top of the saddle as shown here (again adding a bit of height):
MagnumSeat.jpg

The small seat cushion is still pretty large and fits a larger cruiser saddle like the Bell saddle linked to above, which it happens to fit perfectly. The large version is gigantic and only suitable for some really big exercise bike seat or the like. Even the small would probably not work as well with a narrow racing saddle.

This cushion has really made a difference for me. I just rode 20 miles this morning and while I can still feel my butt a little, it is way better than usual. Thank you Ergo21!

One note: I discovered that the Ergo21 cushion works better without my padded shorts. It seems the liquid layer works best if there is not any additional padding on top of it.

I never know when to quit, so I am also trying some adhesive backed Sorbothane: http://amzn.to/1lmlHcH between the saddle and the Ergo21 cushion. I am not sure if I can tell anymore if there is any further improvement, but I am happy just thinking I am getting even more cush for my tush. I put two three inch circles in two layers of the 1/8 inch sorbothane on my saddle right under both of my sitz bones.

Not everyone would need all of the measures above, but maybe someone else will benefit from one or more of my solutions.

PS: I also picked up a pair of fingerless gloves with some sorbothane built in: http://bit.ly/1Qo8618
They are very thin, so I wear them under my regular cycling gloves for some added comfort up front also.

For more info about sorbothane:
 
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D

Deleted member 803

Guest
The last thing I would advise is to get a big cushy seat. The softer a seat is with more padding, the worse the support and long ride comfort. If you look at the seats that most cyclists use for long distance touring, they are definitely not cushy. A properly fitted seat for comfort hits only the sit bones and is narrow enough not to provide inner thigh chafing. If you are sitting on your butt cheeks while riding then you probably should see your dealer for advice and counsel. A good local bike shop should be able to set up your riding geometry properly, measure your sit bone distance, and recommend and adjust the seat accordingly.

Corbin, a motorcycle aftermarket seat maker (and the largest in the world) uses a closed cell compressed foam that is significantly firmer than most oem seats and yet is renowned for making great long distance saddles. I have used many and I can tell you that after a 500-700 day in the saddle, a firm seat with no hot spots or movement gets the job done well.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Are you a a bike dealer?
Not at all. I have no financial interest in any of the products or companies I mentioned. I just recently discovered the world of ebikes and so have gotten enthusiastically back into riding, after decades of little or no bike riding, and wanted to share what works for me.

As far as a firm saddle versus a padded saddle, I may not be a good example for everyone, as I really do have a high degree of sensitivity with any long periods of sitting, and I do prefer an upright posture on my bike for the sake of my neck and shoulders. I have followed a lot of online resources to get the height and fore/aft positioning of my saddle correct, but I am not going to ride in a lower crouch. So a firm saddle just does not work for me.

The Ergo21 seat cushion uses a unique technology called Liquicell that works a lot like the bursa in our joints to prevent pressure points as described here:

I do wish they used a firmer foam in the Ergo21 cushion, as the foam does compress a lot anyways and is probably not as effective as it could be when it is fully compressed. I think it is the liquid layer that is making the difference I feel when I use their cushion.
 
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D

Deleted member 803

Guest
Thanks for the info:

I asked if you were a dealer as the photo of the bike with the gel seat had a couple of boxed bikes in the background. We have had a few members of this community masquerading as enthusiasts who were, in fact, dealers, doing their best to steer opinion towards those products that they carried and to infer that they should purchase from them. It is ok to do this as long as the bias is noted up front.

Your upright riding position will only exacerbate your back and neck issues. Spine compression is at its worst when sitting straight up. I suggest you visit a fitter to see if you can handle a modest lean angle which will move your weight forward towards your knees and take the pressure off your back. I have a crushed L2/L4 vertebrae so I ride with a fairly aggressive lean to minimize shock. True a more forward lean puts pressure on the hands and shoulders, so you should probably test a modest lean angle. The other benefit is that your power stroke is weakest when sitting straight up. You may find it easier to apply power to your pedal cadence by leaning. This avoids unnecessary strain on knee joints and ligaments.

Welcome to the site and enjoy your riding.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
I understand your question now. We recently purchased two Magnum Ui5s, and then the controller went kaput in one of them, so Magnum sent us an entire third bike as I guess the controller is hard to get to. As a result we currently have three shipping boxes in our garage where the photo was taken! Magnum is supposed to send a shipping label to send back the box containing the faulty bike, and we will probably get around soon to taking the other two boxes to be recycled. Meanwhile our garage does look like a dealership :rolleyes:

And I do lean forward some while riding, just more like this:
Owen+Wilson+Owen+Wilson+Goes+Bike+Ride+ucuTI6XtFsVl.jpg

than like this:
How-Transition-Clipless-Pedals-Road-Cycling.jpg

It seems to work for me to add the cushioning and suspension under my butt and also reduce the weight on my hands by sitting with only a slight lean. Fortunately, the Ui5 has a front suspension and that helps with the shocks to my hands and arms. I also seem to naturally lean further forward when pedaling hard on uphills, so I do get the better leverage then.

In any case, thanks for the suggestions.
 
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Nirmala

Active Member
Another 18 mile ride today with no butt burn :)

This is noticeably better than before the new Ergo21 cushion. I hope to do a 40 mile ride later this week and see how well I do on an even longer ride.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
I rode for 51 miles today using both of our batteries, and while I am not going to exaggerate and say something like, "it was like riding on a cloud", it was still remarkable how little soreness I felt in my butt. I still come up out of the saddle on big bumps and occasionally hold myself up off the saddle a little to give my butt a rest, but the difference with the Ergo21 cushion is like night and day. It could be a good option for anyone with an upright cruiser or city bike who occasionally rides long enough to make their butt sore.
 

Tara D.

Active Member
The cover and pad on my bike seat came un-stitched sometime over the summer and my butt likes it even better without anything! I'm glad your's is feeling much more comfortable now! such an important thing in order to enjoy your ride.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
The cover and pad on my bike seat came un-stitched sometime over the summer and my butt likes it even better without anything! I'm glad your's is feeling much more comfortable now! such an important thing in order to enjoy your ride.
It is interesting how differently we all respond to things. At one point, I actually ordered a leather Selle Anatomica saddle, which has no padding, but is designed to flex a little. I sat on it for 5 minutes and it was very painful. Maybe it is something that you adapt to, but it did not seem at all promising to me, so I sent it back for a refund. But there are lots of saddles without any padding that work for people, like this one: https://bikerumor.com/2014/02/14/review-77-gram-trigon-vcs06-carbon-road-bike-saddle/

I admit I don't really know what is best, but for now I have found something that seems to work for me, especially since I more typically ride 20-25 miles which is now a piece of cake with my cushioned approach.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
My ultimate solution is moving to a recumbent. Here is a bike I found on Craigslist for $300:
00G0G_6Q5aRbw6hzG_600x450.jpg

It has rear suspension and a nice thick but firm seat cushion. I already have added this sorbothane pad to it that is used by rowing enthusiasts: (Link Removed - No Longer Exists) The thin layer of sorbothane really takes up any remaining shocks. Once my ShareRoller friction drive arrives, I will be riding an electric recumbent. Until then the bike is pretty heavy and very slow going uphills ( I think a tortoise passed me the other day going up a hill!). I have been spoiled by the electric motor on my regular bike.
 
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