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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-10-07, 08:03 PM   #1
Wren
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Anyone ride an upright & have a Brooks B33?

I'm a female, ride an upright, and unfortunately I fit in the Athena category, 245lbs., and which I'd really love to get out of if only I could find a saddle that would allow me to ride comfortably for longer than 3-5 miles. I've tried 3 saddles now, and am back on the gel saddle the bike came with. When I get off the bike I don't see where my sit bones have been, and the seat appears to me now to have developed somewhat sloping sides. Talk about painful wedgies and numb butt. Pain is alleviated shortly after getting off the bike so I think it's the seat.

My current seat is 8 1/2" wide. The Brooks B33 is 9.25 inches or 235mm. Think I should go for it?

Last edited by Wren; 09-10-07 at 08:06 PM. Reason: to add additional info
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Old 09-10-07, 08:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Wren View Post
I'm a female, ride an upright, and unfortunately I fit in the Athena category, 245lbs., and which I'd really love to get out of if only I could find a saddle that would allow me to ride comfortably for longer than 3-5 miles. I've tried 3 saddles now, and am back on the gel saddle the bike came with. When I get off the bike I don't see where my sit bones have been, and the seat appears to me now to have developed somewhat sloping sides. Talk about painful wedgies and numb butt. Pain is alleviated shortly after getting off the bike so I think it's the seat.

My current seat is 8 1/2" wide. The Brooks B33 is 9.25 inches or 235mm. Think I should go for it?
Find a bike shop that has the Specialized "Butt-O_Meter. (No, I'm not puling your leg on the name). It's a piece of memory foam that measures the width of your Ischial Protuberences (Sit Bones at the bottom of the pelvis), so you can determine the correct width of your saddle. That's the first point.

Let's see, you ride a Cannondale Comfort 400, fairly upright, so I'd take a serious look at the B66, a womens version of the B67. The B33 is designed for pipe post mounts (Old Style).
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Old 09-10-07, 09:15 PM   #3
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I'm a female, ride an upright, and unfortunately I fit in the Athena category, 245lbs., and which I'd really love to get out of if only I could find a saddle that would allow me to ride comfortably for longer than 3-5 miles. I've tried 3 saddles now, and am back on the gel saddle the bike came with. When I get off the bike I don't see where my sit bones have been, and the seat appears to me now to have developed somewhat sloping sides. Talk about painful wedgies and numb butt. Pain is alleviated shortly after getting off the bike so I think it's the seat.

My current seat is 8 1/2" wide. The Brooks B33 is 9.25 inches or 235mm. Think I should go for it?
There are other possible issues, one is that your not sitting on the sit bones, but rather then surrounding, uh, tissues. You should consider a bike fitting, to make sure your properly positioned on the bike, and the bike is adjusted properly. Perhaps your saddle is not high enough, or too high, and this is causing the problem. Fact is that most womens saddles, which are wider then mens saddles are no where near that wide, 140mm to 150mm being more typical.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:17 PM   #4
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I don't think the gel synthetic saddles with leave sit bone impressions.

Take if from me, the wider the saddle doesn't mean the comfier it will be. I'm a Clyde, but I'm finding narrower and harder to be MUCH more comfy despite my fear of the opposite. All the padding on those wide soft saddles can put to much pressure in the wrong place and not enough on the right places. I know it's hard to believe this, it's taken me a LONG time to finally realize it myself. Try a saddle that puts most of you weight on you sit bones and less on all the other areas and you'll be surprised.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:30 PM   #5
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Find a bike shop that has the Specialized "Butt-O_Meter. (No, I'm not puling your leg on the name). It's a piece of memory foam that measures the width of your Ischial Protuberences (Sit Bones at the bottom of the pelvis), so you can determine the correct width of your saddle. That's the first point.

Let's see, you ride a Cannondale Comfort 400, fairly upright, so I'd take a serious look at the B66, a womens version of the B67. The B33 is designed for pipe post mounts (Old Style).
I agree with Tom about the "butt-o-meter". You need to know your sitbone span before you make choices about your saddle. However, he's a little off with the saddle types. The B-33 just has more/stronger springs than the B-66/67 saddle and is a little bit wider. Traditionally, the B-33 is popular in underdeveloped countries with terrible roads. The B-66 and the B-67 are the same saddle. The B-66 is for straight pipe style seatposts and the B-67 is for the newer, "microadjust" seatposts. There are 2 variations of these that are considered "women's" models - the B-66S and the B-67S. The noses are shorter. The "S" stands for short. Traditionally, that was because women wore skirts and dresses to ride, but some women (and even a few men) just find it more comfortable. Other people can't stand them. I have the B-67 regular and I'm perfectly happy with it. There's really no way to know which kind you'll like until you try them.

First thing is to get your sitbone measurement. It has nothing to do with how wide one's rear end is. You can gain or lose weight and that will remain the same, although childbirth can widen it a bit in some women. The average woman's span is between 5 and 6-ish inches. My span is 7 inches, so I went with the B-67. I would also recommend you get your Brooks through Wallingford. Bill has helped so many women choose the right saddle for them. If he knows your sitbone span and something about how and what you ride, he'll suggest one or more models for you. The best part is if you buy from him, you have 6 months to try it out and still be able to exchange it. No one else does that. I've heard of women who have gone through 4-5 saddles before they found the perfect one for them.

If your pain is especially centered in your soft tissue "bits", a Brooks may well work for you.
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Old 09-11-07, 12:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help. Will do regarding getting my sit bones measured, and yes, donnamb, it's the soft tissues that are suffering most, plus my seat just instantly chafes me. I'll try to get the sit bones measurement in tomorrow. Then go after the more expensive bike fitting.

Wogsterca, I had to raise my handlebar stem to combat carpal tunnel so I'm in a very upright position. All my weight is on my sit bones. I've also had to raise my seat. It is adjusted so that when the right peddle is down, my heel is flat on the peddle, with no bend in my leg which makes for a slight bend when the ball of my foot is on the peddle in riding position. Handlebars are a good 6" higher than the saddle, and have to be that high for me. Otherwise I'd be forced to ride a bent, and I'm not ready to go that route if I can avoid it.
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Old 09-11-07, 07:57 PM   #7
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Ok, got my tuberosities measured today and they're 143mm apart. So now what?
It seems nobody makes a decent narrower saddle with springs for an upright rider.
Everything is gel, gel, and more gel. Should I try a Brooks? Which one? Should I go with the kind for riding in third world countries which is supposed to be better for the ahmmm, heavier cyclist? I just don't have a clue.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Ok, got my tuberosities measured today and they're 143mm apart. So now what?
It seems nobody makes a decent narrower saddle with springs for an upright rider.
Everything is gel, gel, and more gel. Should I try a Brooks? Which one? Should I go with the kind for riding in third world countries which is supposed to be better for the ahmmm, heavier cyclist? I just don't have a clue.
Given your upright stance, I'd use the B66 or 67, depending on which seatpost you use and get the woman specific model. Try from walbikes (Wallingford), because they have that 6 month no questions asked return policy on their Brooks saddles. If it is a no go, you aren't out the $$ and can either try another Brooks or get your money back.

http://www.wallbike.com/#

Be advised, there is a bit of a racy picture on the Brooks Saddles page, just to let you know.
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Old 09-11-07, 09:22 PM   #9
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Thanks, Tom, I'll most likely be ordering one tomorrow.
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Old 09-13-07, 04:22 AM   #10
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I had a B-33 (well, I still have it but one of the rails broke because I improperly installed it*NOTE: You need a special clamp to install it on a modern seatpost*) and it rode very well for the 1,000 miles or so it lasted. I liked it. After I broke one of the rails I switched to a single rail B67. I like this one as well. I am considering putting it on my new bike.
Here is the B33 in its glory days:


Sorry, no picture of the current B67
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Old 09-13-07, 07:20 AM   #11
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Ok, got my tuberosities measured today
Hey, is that really what they're called?
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Old 09-13-07, 07:30 AM   #12
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anatomical precision

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Hey, is that really what they're called?
Most accurately they are called ischial tuberosities.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:38 AM   #13
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Go with the 67. With your ischials measuring 5.5", there is also the fleshy pad that surrounds them which adds another 1' to 1.5' of total width. That's about 170mm.

Brooks saddles have a steel frame under the rear of the saddle that looks like a horseshoe. It comes around to the sides and cannot be 'broken-in' by riding - unlike the leather top itself. The sitbones and those fleshy pads need to fit inside that frame or you won't be very comfortable after a few miles.

At 230mm wide, you can subtract about 40mm of actual useable area and conclude that the saddle web is 190mm. With your ischial width, you should fit right in with a little to spare at the sides.

Now, another issue with us Clydes/Athena's is the room between the upper thighs, where the saddle flair is felt. That is called the pinaforis muscle. If you have alot of muscle mass in that area, reducing the distance between your upper thighs, you may encounter some rubbing there. Sometimes it may feel a little like a cramp or charlie-horse. Another reason to go Brooks, because they are slick and thus help to reduce the chafing effect of synthetics. If the mass is flab, you won't have that much of a problem because flab doesn't compress like muscle. A small blessing.

Good luck
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Old 09-13-07, 10:54 AM   #14
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Hey, is that really what they're called?
That's one anatomical name. It's also just the plain ol' Ischium.
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Old 09-13-07, 07:43 PM   #15
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One more thing to think about. Make absolutely certain you're sitting far enough back on your seat. I had real pain with my seat and then one day I decided to see if I could scoot back just a little more. I started scooting and scooting and scooting. I kept going until my sit bones actually slide off the back of the seat. I then moved just a little bit forward. I had been sitting WAY too far forward and since I changed positions I have had no significant pain. I used to be in agony after 5 miles. I've now ridding 35 with no more than 5 minutes off the bike and felt fine at the finish.

Joe
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Old 09-13-07, 08:59 PM   #16
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One more thing to think about. Make absolutely certain you're sitting far enough back on your seat. I had real pain with my seat and then one day I decided to see if I could scoot back just a little more. I started scooting and scooting and scooting. I kept going until my sit bones actually slide off the back of the seat. I then moved just a little bit forward. I had been sitting WAY too far forward and since I changed positions I have had no significant pain. I used to be in agony after 5 miles. I've now ridding 35 with no more than 5 minutes off the bike and felt fine at the finish.

Joe

+1 ditto, same here.
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Old 09-14-07, 01:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by spencejm View Post
One more thing to think about. Make absolutely certain you're sitting far enough back on your seat. I had real pain with my seat and then one day I decided to see if I could scoot back just a little more. I started scooting and scooting and scooting. I kept going until my sit bones actually slide off the back of the seat. I then moved just a little bit forward. I had been sitting WAY too far forward and since I changed positions I have had no significant pain. I used to be in agony after 5 miles. I've now ridding 35 with no more than 5 minutes off the bike and felt fine at the finish.

Joe
+2

When I was getting fitted for my bike the tech told me to stick my booty out as I was mounting the bike. Then rock/slide forward until you're comfortable. I have found this advice helpful.
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Old 09-16-07, 05:39 AM   #18
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Brooks Saddle

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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Find a bike shop that has the Specialized "Butt-O_Meter. (No, I'm not puling your leg on the name). It's a piece of memory foam that measures the width of your Ischial Protuberences (Sit Bones at the bottom of the pelvis), so you can determine the correct width of your saddle. That's the first point.

Let's see, you ride a Cannondale Comfort 400, fairly upright, so I'd take a serious look at the B66, a womens version of the B67. The B33 is designed for pipe post mounts (Old Style).
I'm an overweight woman who rides a Cannondale hybrid, and I recently bought a Brooks B67s. It's a single rail and doesn't require a special clamp, it fits right on the seatpost.
I have at least six
gel saddles, including two Terry saddles, all uncomfortable. I wanted a saddle with springs, but they aren't available at my LBS, and neither is the Brooks line, so I had to order online.
The woman's version Brooks saddles are indicated
by an 's' designation, which means shorter and wider, according to the website. My B67s is a nice saddle, it's starting to break in, mercifully, so I can ride longer periods
before it becomes a rock again! It looks great on the bike, but a Brooks requires a break-in time and some Proofide applications. It feels better with every ride, though, so I'm encouraged. Good Luck!
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Old 09-16-07, 08:11 PM   #19
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Has anyone mentioned bike shorts + chamois lube?? I feel obliged to at least suggest that to the OP.
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Old 09-27-08, 05:25 PM   #20
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I'm 6'4" and 300 lbs., I just got a B33 from Wallingford for my Townie Balloon 3 and I love it! It's not broken in yet but even after one 10 mile ride it feels great. Being heavier, I have to make sure the tension is kept high enough to prevent the leather top from bottoming out on the rails. The suspension of the saddle combined with the 2.35" Fat Frank tires (inflated to 55-60lbs) is dreamy.

Did you get a B33 or other Brooks for your bike? If so, let's see!
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