Back when I was completing my 740 miles in 7 days Ride for Mike, it wasn’t the bike, my legs, my head, or the external forces that almost brought the ride to a a premature end. It was my seat. The hours upon hours of riding had my posterior blistering and even bleeding by the time I rolled into Memphis. I was reminded of the experience last night.
As I asked him to, Jim has been incorporating some fixed gear riding into my training plan. Unfortunately, that means that I really need some time to ride on the road. I have not yet figured out how to get my fixed gear onto the trainer. I would also have to spend some time figuring out how to get the iBike to register my power while stationary. I know it can be done, but I really don’t have the time to devote to figuring it out.
So, I attempted to find the equivalent gearing on the road bike to match the 49 to 16 gear ratio on the fixed gear. My experience and my resulting discoveries will be a part of another blog post. Let’s just say for now that I didn’t have it figured out by the time I started my workout. I ended up going by “feel” to find a pedal pressure that would match that of the single speed.
Turns out I was pedaling in way too easy of a gear. I’ll have to make some adjustment to the gearing before I try that again. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.
Now, what has that got to do with my butt?
One of the reasons why you can ride for long lengths of time on a small saddle is because you are actually lifted ever so slightly from full pressure on the saddle as you push down with your pedal stroke. There are times I will move to a harder gear to give my seat a rest. Besides, you can even stand and still pedal efficiently giving the bum a break.
On a fixed gear it is a different animal. More often your cadence will be rather high even on flat ground. It is hard to have an efficient pedal stroke at a high cadence while standing. So, unless you are trudging up a hill, you spend lots of time seated. This is the case if you put a fixed gear on a stationary trainer.
Add to this to easy of a gear and you remove all pressure on the pedals to help lift you out of the saddle. What happens is you rest solely on your tail and spin your legs round and round causing where your body meets the saddle to rub repetitively.
Starting to get the picture?
Well, by the time I reached the hour mark in my session, I had to call it quits. I haven’t worked up the toughness yet down there to take that kind of continued motion and pressure. I was hurting and was still feeling it a bit this morning.
I realize that I will get a bit tougher as I spend more time on the saddle. Also, I’ve figured out the proper gearing to substitute my road bike for the fixie. I should feel a lot more pressure on the pedals next time.
Ultimately, I just can’t wait until I can leave the trainer behind and… well… not have to think about my behind.