View Full Version : "My butt is sore!"

12-21-2005, 01:32 PM
Hopefully we all soon have a ton of new people saying that from the the New Year resolution crowd. How to handle 'em?

I've been telling people:

Yes, your groin will hate your first ride. Take frequent posture breaks, spend some time out of the saddle. (Develop that proper form with your weight over the pedals and off the handlebars as soon as you can.) But it will go away within a few rides and you just won't feel it anymore. As soon as you feel you can, get back on the bike. That'll probably take 3-4 days to recover that much.

What produces the fastest and "most painless" adaptation? I personally think the best time to ride again is when the soreness is MOSTLY gone. Is it better to wait until it's completely gone? Or to just suck it up and ride when it hurts? Or just leave it to the individual to decide?


12-21-2005, 01:36 PM
Oh, and as to the "cycling is TOO HARD!" complaint. Your thoughts?

I've been telling people, that's the idea! It's called a "work" out, after all. If something you do in the gym doesn't kick your butt, you're probably doing it wrong - either too easy or too much. The idea is to push your body's limits so it develops new ones.

And of course, it's YOUR ride.

What persuasive words do you use?


12-21-2005, 02:57 PM
Oh, and as to the "cycling is TOO HARD!" complaint. Your thoughts?

I've been telling people, that's the idea! It's called a "work" out, after all. If something you do in the gym doesn't kick your butt, you're probably doing it wrong - either too easy or too much. The idea is to push your body's limits so it develops new ones.

And of course, it's YOUR ride.

What persuasive words do you use?


"What motivates you?", "What challenges you?", "are you ready to change?"

12-22-2005, 11:29 AM
I always ride ride with my padded bike shorts on because it makes my ride more comfortable, so when I'm asked how to alleviate the "sore butt" problem I always respond with wear bike shorts! Same thing with shoes. If a new spinner can be convinced that they CAN make their ride more comfortable by wearing padded shorts and cycling shoes, right from the start then they are more likely to stick with the program. They have an intial investment as well! I say to them why try to work through the discomfort when they are little things out there that can ease the pain.
SO.... I suggest we all model ways to get them comfortable from the beginning.

12-22-2005, 04:36 PM
I encourage new riders to get back on the bike as soon as their bottom can handle it. Some say they will never get on it again because of the soreness, those people were looking to get fit fast without going the extra mile.

I suggest cycling shorts for most riders and a gel seat cover for those that "won't get caught dead in spandex".

12-24-2005, 03:04 PM
I'm lucky in that most people aren't opposed to the shorts themselves; it's their inherent price. People always ask if I recommend a gel seat cover, and my answer is actually, "no." This is because it only takes a few rides before your groin acclimates. And the sooner you get back on the bike the sooner it stops hurting. At least in my experience.

12-27-2005, 03:49 PM
I always recommend either padded shorts or a gel seat. I don't think you ever get totally used to the pain if your technique is correct.


01-10-2006, 08:35 AM
As with any "workout", there is the transition period....cycling is no different. So with golf, basketball, etc., ask them...do they quit because they worked hard and are a little soar? No...they endure, and continue...and with all things...it gets better. Cycling may be new to them...but the psychology of "working out" and aches and pains are just the same....

I also suggest gel seats or padded shorts. We actually keep a box in the cycle room that has extra gel seats if someone needs one.

01-10-2006, 08:40 AM
oops...too quick for my own good...I forgot to add:

you talked about motivation and what to say...

We put up a "white board"( some call them marker boards...) up in the cycle room. We utilize it for many things...one of which is to put up motivational quotes or statements. We have even received suggestions from the members....try it....


"It will matter to ME if I don't give my all !"

"Try a little harder, push a little farther"
(Is it farther or further???? my grammer #$%^%&)

"Go BEYOND the distance....surpass your goals!"

01-28-2006, 09:21 PM
Tell them to forget the skivies ....at least with the bike shorts. Being female, I do point this out to women who ask about comfort. Guys seem to figure it out on their own, probably by checking out what some other guy is wearing.

01-29-2006, 07:38 AM
I say what are you implying about us guys 'checking each other out'? Anyhoo............not caught dead in spandex..get mountain bike style shorts, built in pad & baggier stlye, whats not to love.
Gel saddles hmmmm never seen the point of making the saddle that has made you sore, wider, seems self defeating to me, whereas shorts move with you, a seat cover moves against you.
I love to convince people of the shoe/saddle/shorts thing & watch their enjoyment increase thru comfort.
By the way one of my bosses , a committed triathlete, cyclist etc for a good few years, declared his New Year Resolution 2005 was to try riding 'commando' for comfort...there was a stunned silence amongst the assembled who could not believe he had been riding in his skivvies & shorts all these years, especially when as a triatlete he is routinely mocked for wearing speedos & a crop vest when competing rather than an all in one trisuit..so it wasn't modesty.

01-29-2006, 08:02 AM
Oh, I just remembered that Assos clothing make a cream to put on your well.. you know where, which according to Lady Britspin makes the whole experience more comfortable, Spinning has a similar product on their website, but I have not tried it..has anyone else.
The assos stuff is avialable from good bike shops, & might I say Assos kit is expensive, but divine..your butt will thank you, but your bank may not.

01-29-2006, 08:52 AM
In our world of desiring quick fixes, I use seat soreness as a measure of progress. As we all know, we get many riders flowing through our classes who are quite over weight, out of shape and impatient. They want to lose 20 pounds after their first few rides. I tell them that we are on the path to fitness. It takes time. Often their first physical sign that things are working & the body is adapting is seat comfort. I tell them that's their first hurdle; increase fitness, better habits, reduced weight will follow.

Also, I am cautious during my intro classes about 'selling' all the tricks of the trade. I mention that there are products that can make the ride more comfortable but tell them not to spend any money until they see if they will enjoy the classes. We have found that many people shy away from indoor cycling because they think they have to spend a lot of money on extras. Of course we all know it's worth every penny but it can be a hard sell to people who are already strapped by their gym memberships.

01-29-2006, 12:41 PM
I like Pinks appraoch. A couple things I've learned about new students and SS (Saddle Soreness). It's going to happen. I have not found any way around it. So I'm up front with my new students and tell them their butt is going to get sore. Think of it as part of your initiation into Spinning.

A couple things that may help. Encourge them to "sit" on the saddle vs leaning their groin into the horn. I strongly recommend a good pair of biking shorts. Regular shorts tend to gather up and then you have chaffing between the legs plus a sore butt. Gel seats are good for starters but make sure you re-check their set up when they stop using gel. Different seats provide more comfort than others. We have had good luck with the latest stock seat from Star Trac. Finally regularly check the positon of the saddle(s). Make sure the saddles are tightly achored and straight. And because many students land their jumps into the horn a lot of the time saddles are pointed downward and subsequently new students are constantly sliding forward toward the horn and do not spend a lot of time sitting on the part(s) of the saddle they should be sitting on.


01-30-2006, 12:42 PM
Britspin-oops, I didn't really mean that the way it sounded...but somehow they figure it out. Your lady is right about the cream...I've used both a product called "Butt Butter", as well as just plain old vasaline. I've never used these for a 45 minute or 1 hour spin class, but for 50+ miles outside both work great. I'm sure the same would be true for any long spins. As far as your boss is concerned...I'll bet he never goes back!:)

One Cent
01-30-2006, 03:29 PM
This morning I pulled out Tolzer's Rolling hills and Switchbacks. When we returned to rolling hills I told the class to get comfortable in the saddle - which prompt chuckles among the newest members and a "you can get comfortable in the saddle?" from one of my regulars. It brought a smile to everyone's face and an assurance from me that it really is possible!:p

01-30-2006, 04:50 PM
About the gel seats. I'm generally not in favor of promoting them because of the reason mentioned above (moves around under you). BUT I will offer them to certain people, like a woman I've had in my step class for several months now, overweight, older and not one to even consider wearing lycra bike shorts. Plus I think there is an economic issue there as well. So I have been wooing her to take my spin class for months and finally she came last week. I gave her a gel seat and even then she was slightly uncomfortable, but she said today she's gonna stick with it and the gel seat was a lifesaver compared to the first time she tried it w/o one last year (took one class, never came back). I was so tickled today to hear that, she is such a sweet lady, one who thanks you sincerely for every class you give.

Other folks, I will steer more toward bike shorts though. It comes down to knowing who needs what and why.

01-31-2006, 01:17 AM
As someone who's never used any of the balms or salves or ointments, what do they do for you?


01-31-2006, 11:51 AM
Hi raptor...me either, but Ladyspin, she say it soothes & smoothes. We competed in a very hot (yes in England) tri last year, which had a negative effect on Ladyspins errr saddle area (I can't believe I'm writing about my ladys....on the internet & its not ever a dodgy site!) Along came the Assos cream & no more soreness since. Mind you we have not raced in that sort of heat since either!
Nuff said? If she catches me I am in deep doodoo.

01-31-2006, 01:46 PM
basically it prevents any chafing...I've never felt like I needed it for shorter rides, but when you're in the saddle for 3+ hours it's helpful. Also...it was recommended to me by a guy so it seems that both sexes can benefit.

01-31-2006, 11:10 PM
basically it prevents any chafing...I've never felt like I needed it for shorter rides, but when you're in the saddle for 3+ hours it's helpful. Also...it was recommended to me by a guy so it seems that both sexes can benefit.

How does that work? Mechanics, please.

Does it lubricate between your skin and the chamois (or other) pad? Or does it bind the shorts material to your skin, letting the fabric take the rubbing?

I bet it feels weird walking.


02-01-2006, 04:14 AM
I've not heard of lotion applied to the...err...skin area before but, in the days before modern fabrics, it used to be applied to the chamois leather to render it soft again (would harden up in the wash and... ouch! on your next ride).

02-01-2006, 12:09 PM
I've participated in a couple of 24 hour races. Believe me when I say any lotion, salve, balm or ointment will ease the tenderness your skin feels during the ride. I can sweat a lake so I'm constantly changing shorts on these type of rides.

I've used diaper rash cream, Chamios Butt'r and bag balm. All work well and not only help prevent or reduce the severity of chafing, but also aids in healing any sores you get.

Here's a link to Performance Bike for the Chamios Butt'r


Read the directions on any product, they tell you where to put it.

02-02-2006, 01:32 PM
thanks for your input raffcycles...nuff said.

02-17-2006, 11:56 AM
Regarding the general butt ache or muscle soreness that many beginners feel.. I tell my members to turn their resistance up just a little to reduce bouncing. I also tell them to think about kind of squeezing the glutes together, so your butt is supporting your sit bones. That way the sit bones don't bang against the seat. The lower abs and other core muscles are key to support. And of course it all comes together with time... so get back on the bike (once the soreness subsides)!