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Old 06-11-02, 09:48 AM   #1
matt_stutts
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correct positioning on saddle

Hope you can help. I'm new to cycling. I have a Trek 5200 (yes, much more than i deserve but I can live w/that) w/a Selle San Marco Era saddle.
I love the bike but the saddle is very uncomfortable. I can't sit for more than 20 minutes w/o having to shift around.
The problem is that when I sit on it, my 'sit' bones tent to be on the very edges of the narrow part of the saddle.
My question is, where they be? If I move back so that the sit bones are on the wider part of the saddle, it is more comfortable but then I feel as if I'm too far back (or eventually I'll find myself scooting forward again.)
Should I move the seat forward?
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Old 06-11-02, 09:52 AM   #2
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Yes
The "correct" position is the most comfortable one.

Some saddles dont interface properly with some user rear-ends. If you have tried all positions and it is still uncomfortable, think about swapping your saddle.
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Old 06-11-02, 10:13 AM   #3
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You might also try tilting the saddle nose up *a little* to help keep you from sliding forward. Too much and you'll introduce another source of discomfort. Other possibilities are too much leg extension or too much reach to the h-bars, either of which might cause you to tend to slide forward.
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Old 06-11-02, 12:21 PM   #4
Rich Clark
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Hi, Matt.

If the wide part of the saddle is the correct width, then don't exchange the saddle. It does sound like it's possible you're position on the bike is too stretched out.

With the saddle level, try moving it forward on the rails a little. You want to make these adjustments a little bit at a time and then ride. If you move the saddle forward, you want to watch out for stress on the knees; also, fore/aft adjustments usually mean you also need to make height adjustments to keep the knees extension constant.

Can you ride comfortably on the saddle if you keep your hands only on the tops of the bars? That might tell you something about whether the reach is too long.

If the problem is extreme, a shorter stem might be the answer, or one with more rise.

Were you given a professional fitting session when you bought this bike? You should have been, with a good road bike like this. You might want to discuss this with your fitter, as well. Sometimes road bike shops tend to prosition riders with the bars too low and the position too stretched out, like a racer, when it's not really appropriate for the rider. Proper fit is part of the package when you buy an expensive road bike, or should be.

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Old 06-11-02, 12:33 PM   #5
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A cycling buddy of mine mentioned my wrong saddle position as well.
His advice was to straighten the saddle just like the waterlevel (don`t know the correct word) , in order to keep the pressure on the sitbones and not on my private parts!

In the beginning i had the intenion to slide of my saddle, but i`m used to the new positon now!
Much more comfortable and better for the offspring as well
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Last edited by toolfreak; 06-11-02 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 06-11-02, 01:31 PM   #6
matt_stutts
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folks, thanks for all the tips

when i originally got it, i wasn't thrilled w/the level of know-how by the guy who was 'fitting' me on my bike.
i did initially change out the stem for a shorter one...120mm to a 100. i think maybe the seat should be slid forward a bit but i'm going to get to the shop today and ask them to fit me again. i do feel a bit streched out (not tooo much) when my hands are on the hoods. i actually tend to use a position just between that and the tops of the bars (right where the bars start to bend.)

is it possible my bike doesn't fit me??!! that would bite.
perhaps things can be adjusted.
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Old 06-11-02, 01:53 PM   #7
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Did you have the LBS fit the bicycle to you when you purchased it? If so, they should offer a free re-fit after 100 - 500 miles. You may want to ask them about that.
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Old 06-11-02, 02:01 PM   #8
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Another suggestion, and please don't bash me on this guys, but I use a gel padded seat with bottom suspension, they cost 20 bucks at walmart, and have saved my ass literally! I am a short stocky guy, just over 200 lbs, and I honestly cannot see how you guys pedal around on those skinny little saddles, they are so uncomfortable, I actually sighed when I got this saddle, as there was no more pain. Just my opnion guys, no emails telling me that I am a cheap f*cker or nothing like that please.
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Old 06-11-02, 02:07 PM   #9
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Good point russhawk, It took me a few hundred miles to get use to my saddle. I think the wider gel saddles are great for shorter distances, or weekend riders. However, if your doing long rides, and spending a lot of time in the saddle, a more traditional saddle will cause a lot less pain. It may sound odd, but its true.

Matt, how many miles do you have on your new bike?
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Old 06-12-02, 10:21 AM   #10
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hey. thanks again for the tips. Right now I probably have less than 100 miles on the bike/saddle so obviously I should give it some time. I went to the bike shop yesterday and the wrench there was very cool, very helpful. I noticed that the saddle was all the way up on the rails...thus, in my 'normal' sitting position, my sit bones where really just hanging off the edges of the nose (right about where it starts to taper into the body of the saddle.)
I've moved it up a bunch and it's already much better. I think I could stand to move it up a bit more but I will make microadjustments as needed. Sure, the saddle is still hard as a rock but now i'm more willing to give it a shot with my sit bones on the wider part of the saddle.

If, after a while, I still feel it's just too much, I'll look into another saddle. I think it makes sense to try adjustments before shelling out $100 on another part.

now i need to get myself a cyclocomputer....!
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Old 06-12-02, 11:09 AM   #11
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It is very typical to have comfort problems when you first start riding, or when you start logging more miles in the spring after a winter of less (or no) cycling. Your body will become more accustomed to riding and you should experience less discomfort as your mileage increases. I'd give it a little longer before you give up on the seat. As others have mentioned, the fit on the bike is at least as important as the seat itself.

However, it's quite possible that the seat just isn't the right one for you. There is no 'most comfortable seat' because it is a matter of personal preference and body type. Try and find a shop which will let you evaluate a seat and return it if is doesn't work out for you and has not been damaged at all.

Last edited by bikerider; 06-12-02 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 06-12-02, 11:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by russhawk
Another suggestion, and please don't bash me on this guys, but I use a gel padded seat with bottom suspension, they cost 20 bucks at walmart, and have saved my ass literally! I am a short stocky guy, just over 200 lbs, and I honestly cannot see how you guys pedal around on those skinny little saddles, they are so uncomfortable, I actually sighed when I got this saddle, as there was no more pain. Just my opnion guys, no emails telling me that I am a cheap f*cker or nothing like that please.
I'm with you, man. I get flack for recommending soft riding (heavy) saddles with gel and springs. Still, the saddle that gets the rider on the bike is the one that gets my vote.

Hey, Matt, if you seem to be sitting nicely on the saddle when you are in your most comfortable riding position, then you are probably close to optimal.

When you hunker down to excellerate or climb, or go into the wind, then you might slide forward on the saddle. This is not unusual. In fact, when leather saddles were state-of-the-art, there was a term called 'riding the rivet". This term referred to the position where the racer would be mostly out of his saddle punishing his cranks. His posterior would be 'nosed' by the brass rivet on the nose of the saddle.
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