A pain in the butt. Not since I started cycling had riding caused sore buttocks. Or to be more specific, a sore left buttock, I suspected a saddle sore, but there wasn’t any evidence of skin abrasion, let alone folliculitis.
There was no denying, however, that whenever I rode, I felt pressure and discomfort where my left sit bone (ischial tuberosity) rested on my saddle. My first thought was that I needed to replace my well-used bibshorts. Perhaps the chamois pads had become compressed, and were no longer providing the cushioning that they used to.
I tried some newer, better cushioned bibshorts, but the discomfort persisted. So I began to consider the possibility that I had somehow developed a pelvic tilt to the left. I started to investigate chiropractic or myofascial treatment to address a structural misalignment in my pelvis.
By that time a few weeks had passed. At which time I did develop some skin abrasion at the pressure point, which made me reconsider the possibility that I was developing a saddle sore. Out came the Dettol antiseptic cream. Perhaps it was the placebo effect, but it did feel as if the discomfort was lessening. But it never went away completely, and the reason for the pain remained a mystery.
The answer came after I had been riding with a sore butt for about a month. I had to send my bike for a service at Meng Thai Cycle in Kota Kemuning. More about why my bike needed a service in a future post.
When I went to collect my bike post-service, Lee asked me if I knew that a rail on my Selle Italia SLR Superflow saddle had broken. I did not.
The vanox rail under the left side had snapped at the point where it entered the slot at the left rear of the saddle shell. The rail is crimped at that point, which presumable creates a weak point. It must have snapped just before I started feeling discomfort on my left side.
The shell was like a spring, and the broken rail was no longer holding the shell down properly. The result was that the left rear of the saddle was slightly higher than the right side. It was only two or three millimeters higher. Not enough difference for me to notice whenever I looked at my saddle. But enough of a difference for my butt to notice.
I replaced the broken saddle with the same model off my Ritchey Break Away, and “Hey Presto!” No more pain in the butt.
I wouldn’t have thought that a few millimeters would have such an impact. I could put her to shame.