Fitting Your Bike - Choosing the proper seat?????
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Tall Cool One
06-23-13, 06:35 PM
I'm 6' 7" and ride a 63 cm CAAD 9-5. I had a pro bike fit done 2 seasons ago and have been overall satisfied with the fit considering how undersized the bike is for me. I have a pretty substantial seat to handlebar drop. My seat is about shot and it's the seat that came with the bike. In selecting a new seat what do I need to keep in mind in choosing the correct saddle?
06-23-13, 07:48 PM
I'm not far off your size at 6'5" and until last week was also riding a 63cm Caad(4) frame. First and foremost is the width of your sit bones (ischial tuberosities). Surprisingly this is not necessarily proportional to your overall width or size. I am in all respespects a broad and heavy framed (scientifically, not just overweight) individual. Yet, the width between my sit bones is average and I find the moderate width saddles most comfortable. There are a number of different ways that LBS's have of measuring the width of these sit bones. The most common means come as part of the Specialized and Bontrager fit kits. So, look for a Specialized or Trek dealer and they should have the ability. There are other tools out there and any shop that does reasonably elite level fittings should have one.
The second factor is flexibility and your forward position on the bike. Basically, how low is your upper body and are you achieving that by rotating your pelvis forward or by bending your back. Look at the Fizik Kurve site to get an idea of how they design saddles around this general idea. It influences the "way" your sit bones utilize the saddle. And, this is by no means a hard science.
Next may be whether the saddle is more of a "V" or a "T" shape, the realative width of the nose, and whether there is any perineal relief (that channel or hole in the center or nose).
After all that, it still comes down to what works best for you and the only way to truly know that is to demo some saddles. This is an area where LBS's truly have an opportunity to add value and justify there existance. I encourage everyone to utilize the opportunity to demo numerous saddles and repay the service by purchasing locally. That is exactly the process I went through last year when I went looking for a saddle replacement for a discontinued style. I was open and honest with each of the shops, each of which had a different line available for demo. I narrowed things down quickly by either using a spare post in a stool they had or bringing my bike along and just quickly trying the various saddles in their line. I then demo'ed the potential saddles for up to a week. In a couple instances it only took one or two rides for me to determine that a particular saddle would not be the one. In a couple other instances I found saddles that were comfortable but only in one very narrow ranged position or only for a limited time less than I require. Ultimately I ended up back on the more modern version of the very saddle I had been on long ago. But, along the way I tried saddles from Selle Italia, Fizik, Specialized, and Bontrager. And purchased with realative confidence that I had chosen the best compromise for me.
Yep, check the sit-bone separation; some shops have the "Pad" (as I call it), from Specialized, you just sit on it, and the points of your sit bones imprint on the pad, so you can measure.
I don't remember what my measurement was (been over a decade), but I know I can't take anything narrower than 160-165mm. The particular shape matters, too -- I had a Specialized Body Geometry Milano, then a redesigned Milano, then a Sonoma; the last two were 175mm, and didn't do the job. But my present Selle SMP Trk, also 175, is a DREAM!
Recommending saddles for someone else is tough, as everyone's body shape is different. But you have my experience to accept/reject as you will.
06-27-13, 06:55 PM
325900325901Sitting on a pad or a box or whatever is not that same as sitting on a bike. We lost count how many times people have sat on a pad only to later find that it was not the best saddle choice. You need to actually sit on the saddle. Find a shop with the SwitchIt
07-04-13, 01:19 PM
There's nothing you need to know except that nobody's recommendation means squat when it comes to your butt. Assuming your saddle is the right height....and you start with KOPS (there's nothing magic about that point...just a good starting point)....from there it's all just a matter of what feels good. Move it back for balance, move it forward for power...too far forward and and you may have too much weight on your hands...too far back and you lose power. Play with nose up or down. Flat is normally best but a little up or down may help. The biggest thing to know is where to get a saddle you can try for a day or two and return. Rinse wash and repeat until you find a saddle that you can ride for 5 hours and finish without thinking about your saddle. The best saddle is one you don't notice. Until you have that, you're still searching for a saddle.
07-04-13, 04:39 PM
My Butt has found its favorites , But, I cannot say anything about Yours..
Bike shop .. Go, see what 'take offs' are left from Other peoples search ,
maybe you can buy one and trade it back in if it does not do it for you..
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