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Old 09-12-12, 11:24 AM   #1
BikeOnly
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SAE Saddle on Metric Bike?

See my signature for some background. I have ridden my new bike five times about one hour each time. I am riding every other day with weights in the gym on days in between.

On each ride by the time I get to mile 8 my butt is sore - too sore. The seat is Avenir 200 Series Road. I have carefully adjusted for the proper seat height and angle and am careful to keep my butt back on the seat where it is supposed to be.

Sitting idle in the garage with rotten tires is my 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer with a very comfortable Brooks saddle that is still highly functional and was molded to my butt many years ago. I guess the rails on the Brooks saddle are SAE and are a little too big to fit the clamp on my Raleigh metric seat post.

Any idea how to "make" that SAE Brooks seat fit?

Or should I expect the butt soreness to go away after some more riding?

Or should I buy a new somewhat wider saddle? Which ones do you recommend?

Doing this with minimum investment is one of my objectives.

Last edited by BikeOnly; 09-12-12 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-12-12, 12:24 PM   #2
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I have never heard of "SAE" ve "metric" saddles. Have you actually tried to fit the Brooks saddle to your clamp? Sometimes the rail spacing does not exactly line up. It may take a little persuasion but I'll bet you can get it to work. An already broken-in Brooks saddle is a great thing to have ; it may still take some riding to get your butt broken back into the saddle. Also as you build up your strength you will be bearing more weight on your legs and less on your rear end.
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Old 09-12-12, 12:50 PM   #3
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seat rails are normalized so common to fit on a variety of seat posts..
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Old 09-12-12, 02:02 PM   #4
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Yes, that was an assumption that the Brooks saddle is SAE. The distance between the rails on the Brooks are about one-rail thickness wider that the distance between the grooves on the new bike's seat clamp.

Sounds like I need to try to fit it again.
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Old 09-12-12, 02:13 PM   #5
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Do you have a Brooks with 4 thinner rails 2 per side,
or the more common 2 rail type ?
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Old 09-12-12, 02:41 PM   #6
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It should fit, I commonly use "Channelock" type pliers to squeeze the rails as I tighten the clamp.
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Old 09-14-12, 10:28 AM   #7
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It should fit, I commonly use "Channelock" type pliers to squeeze the rails as I tighten the clamp.
Thanks! That was it!

I squeezed the rails down to the right width with Vise-Grip pliers and used the pliers to hold the rails until they were seated on the clamp. It took a little fiddling but the Brooks saddle is now properly seated.

I rode up the block and the Brooks saddle seems a lot more comfortable. In the next few days I will do an hour ride and see how my butt feels.
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Old 09-14-12, 04:49 PM   #8
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SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) ??? AKA english inches system??? Metric, you mean IS metric system??

Never heard such a thing of a metric or SAE saddle ever, where in the world did you read about a SAE saddle? what car industry has to do with a bicycle saddle?? Interesting almost as interesting as the guy asking where the uppercase "@" is located in the keyboard.

Good luck with the saddle, brooks saddles are nice but need time to stretch and get soft.
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Old 09-14-12, 05:21 PM   #9
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SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) ??? AKA english inches system??? Metric, you mean IS metric system??

Never heard such a thing of a metric or SAE saddle ever, where in the world did you read about a SAE saddle? what car industry has to do with a bicycle saddle?? Interesting almost as interesting as the guy asking where the uppercase "@" is located in the keyboard.

Good luck with the saddle, brooks saddles are nice but need time to stretch and get soft.
Someone needs to get some.
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Old 09-14-12, 06:35 PM   #10
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I'm not sure, but I think I did hear of older saddles with rails closer together than what is found in current ones. IIRC, they were saddles from sometime maybe in the 40's or 50's.....or earlier?

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Old 09-14-12, 10:13 PM   #11
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I used stuff like that like centuries ago but never heard about SAE before and cant even think why SAE.
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Old 09-14-12, 10:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BikeOnly View Post
Thanks! That was it!

I squeezed the rails down to the right width with Vise-Grip pliers and used the pliers to hold the rails until they were seated on the clamp. It took a little fiddling but the Brooks saddle is now properly seated.

I rode up the block and the Brooks saddle seems a lot more comfortable. In the next few days I will do an hour ride and see how my butt feels.
Good job sounds like you have it under controll. The rails on most 2 rail Brooks saddles are close enough that with a little persuasion that they work fine with most clamps made from the 60's to present. You may need to flex them in or out a little but I have found few if any that won't take standard Brooks saddle.
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Old 09-15-12, 10:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
I'm not sure, but I think I did hear of older saddles with rails closer together than what is found in current ones. IIRC, they were saddles from sometime maybe in the 40's or 50's.....or earlier?

Chombi
I refrained from mentioning those for fear of being accused of pedantry, but now that you've brought it up...

Yes, until the 1960s some high-end saddles were made with a narrow, 20mm spacing between the rails and required a matching post, e.g.:



But this is not the OP's problem. His rails were already wider than the standard spacing.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:06 PM   #14
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Despite tightening the bracket that holds the Brooks seat rails to the point of overtightening, the rails have popped out of the bracket twice now - once after riding 15 miles and a second time after riding 30.

I am not so sure the Brooks saddle was solving the problem of a very sore butt anyway, so I am back to the stock saddle.

I am wondering if dropping the handlebars a bit to put me in a less erect position will help ease the stress on my butt? I am sitting a bit above the 45-degree position and I understand 45 degrees is a good starting position for a new flat-bar rider. What do you say?

Thanks.
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Old 10-16-12, 08:14 PM   #15
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Universal mechanical principle #1: If it don't fit, force it
Universal mechanical principle #2: If it still don't fit, get a bigger hammer.

Universal bike fit principle #1: If your ass hurts, adjust your position to put more weight on your hands and arms.
Universal bike fit principle #2: If your hands and arms hurt, do the reverse.

Universal principle of bicycling: Your ass will hurt until you ride enough to strengthen the muscles that meet your seat.

Ride more.......try different positions......eventually it will hurt less.
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