Question: I just paid for a pro bike fit at the local shop. They raised my saddle 1.5 inches. Now my knees feel better but my butt hurts. It’s chafed and my crotch is sore. What should I do? — Sal M.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Raising a saddle nearly 4 cm is too much all at once. Even if it’s your ideal height, such a large increase doesn’t allow your body to adjust. You should increase saddle height gradually, in smaller increments, to reach a new position.
When a saddle is much higher than you’re used to, you rock your pelvis to help each leg reach the bottom of pedal strokes. As a result, you strum your soft tissue over the nose of the saddle. This causes the pain and irritation you describe.
Lower the saddle to your old height, then go up 3 mm. See if that doesn’t ease the chafing. After several rides, go up 3 mm again. Keep at it as your body adjusts and you finally reach the new height. Assuming it’s optimum, you’ll ride stronger and be comfortable, too.
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