I have to write something that I still have a tough time typing. In fact, this post sat for a month while I tried to sort out what I wanted to say…
I have a commenter who torments me from time to time, especially when it comes to my support for wearing a helmet when cycling. Now, fair being fair, MJ rides a bike. His bike weighs at least twice my Venge, maybe more, and his average pace is half mine – he doesn’t ride anything like I do, if I had to “categorize” us, gathering from his comments he’s a commuter while I’m a sport cyclist.
With the different styles of riding, I can understand why our views on cycling helmets differ.
That said, a while back I wrote about having some fairly extreme saddle sore issues. Discarding some of the pompousness in some of his comments, he did suggest that if I’m having issues, something must be wrong that should be identified and corrected. I responded sternly and dismissed out of hand the part about identifying and correcting a problem. I had good reason to as well, as most of the trouble appeared to occur on the Venge, but seemed to originate with the tandem:
- I had a full Body Geometry fit done on my bike. Lasers, video, levels… Everything was thrown at the fit on the Venge. The measurements from the Venge went to the captain’s saddle/cockpit on the tandem and were transferred by the shop owner who fitted my Venge.
- I was putting in a lot of miles – 1,970 miles in two months. A saddle sore or two was expected.
- I’d just started riding a tandem with my wife, three days a week, and you’re stuck in the saddle a lot more on the tandem, with few opportunities to shift for discomfort while keeping pace with everyone else we’re riding with.
Now, I was certain with some saddle time and toughening up, I’d be okay. Here’s the part that hurts:
MJ was right – and the problem wasn’t with the tandem, it was with the Venge.
After using a special mix of hydrocortisone cream and an anti-fungal cream to heal up, I realized I was more comfortable on the tandem – the saddle felt just a little bit lower that the Venge. Against everything that I went through to get the Venge setup right, I dropped the saddle by about 2 millimeters. Sure enough, while I get a hot spot now and again (I ride 200-280 miles a week and don’t use chamois cream), the saddle sores that were once so bad I had a hard time walking, are gone.
So, MJ, you were right. There was something that had to be fixed, as implausible as it seemed at the time. I apologize for ripping on you in my reply. More important, if it wasn’t for your comment, I may not have come to realize that something was off. Thanks, man.
Finally, when they say setup requirements can change over time, it’s true and I am living proof. If after years of comfortable cycling you find yourself in discomfort, no matter how good your fitting was, there is a chance something may need to be changed.
Ride hard my friends.